Annette Crosbie

Last updated

Annette Crosbie

Born (1934-02-12) 12 February 1934 (age 85)
Years active1959–present
Michael Griffiths
(m. 1966;div. 1985)
ChildrenOwen Griffiths
Selina Griffiths

Annette Crosbie, OBE (born 12 February 1934) is a Scottish actress. [1] She is known for her role as Margaret Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000). She twice won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress, for The Six Wives of Henry VIII in 1971 and Edward the Seventh in 1976, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the 1976 film The Slipper and the Rose . Her other film appearances include The Pope Must Die (1991), Shooting Fish (1997), Calendar Girls (2003) and Into the Woods (2014).

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

<i>One Foot in the Grave</i> television series

One Foot in the Grave is a British television sitcom written by David Renwick. There were six series and seven Christmas specials over a period of eleven years from early 1990 to late 2000. The first five series were broadcast between January 1990 and January 1995. For the next five years, the show appeared only as Christmas specials, followed by one final series in 2000.

This is a list of the British Academy Television Awards for Best Actress. The British Academy Television Awards began in 1955. The Best Actress award was initially given as an 'individual honour' without credit to a particular performance until 1969 when Wendy Craig won for her performance in Not in Front of the Children. Since 1970, nominees have been announced in addition to the winner and are listed with the winner highlighted in blue. The Actress category was split into Leading Actress and Supporting Actress starting in 2010.


Early life and career

Crosbie was born in Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland, to Presbyterian parents who disapproved of her becoming an actress. [2] Nevertheless, she joined the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School while still in her teens. Her big break came in 1970 when she was cast as Catherine of Aragon in the BBC television series The Six Wives of Henry VIII , for which she won the 1971 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress. In 1973, she starred alongside Vanessa Redgrave in the BBC serial, A Picture of Katherine Mansfield .

Gorebridge village in the United Kingdom

Gorebridge is a former mining village in Midlothian, Scotland. The village gets its name from the bridge across the River Gore, a tributary of the South Esk. It was the home of Scotland's first gunpowder mill, at the Gore Water, that started operating in 1794.

Midlothian Council area of Scotland

Midlothian is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east-central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

In 1975, Crosbie made a similar impact as another Queen, Queen Victoria, in the ITV period drama Edward the Seventh , for which she won the 1976 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress. She played Cinderella's fairy godmother in The Slipper and the Rose , which was chosen as the Royal Film Première for 1976. In that film, Crosbie sang the Sherman Brothers' song, "Suddenly It Happens". Crosbie voiced the character of Galadriel in Ralph Bakshi's animated movie, The Lord of the Rings , filmed in 1978. In 1980, she played the abbess in Hawk the Slayer . In 1986, she appeared as the vicar's wife in Paradise Postponed . [1]

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

Cinderella European folk tale

"Cinderella" or The Little Glass Slipper, is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances, that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. The story of Rhodopis, recounted by the Greek geographer Strabo sometime between around 7 BC and 23 AD, about a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt, is usually considered to be the earliest known variant of the Cinderella story. The first literary European version of the story was published in Italy by Giambattista Basile in his Pentamerone in 1634; the version that is now most widely known in the English-speaking world was published in French by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. Another version was later published by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales in 1812.

Fairy godmother archetype

In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a fairy with magical powers who acts as a mentor or parent to someone, in the role that an actual godparent was expected to play in many societies. In Perrault's Cinderella, he concludes the tale with the cynical moral that no personal advantages will suffice without proper connections.

Crosbie's next major role was as Margaret Meldrew, the long-suffering wife of Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson) in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000) for which she is best known. She also played Janet, the housekeeper to Dr. Finlay , in the 1993-1996 revival of A. J. Cronin's popular stories. She also had a poignant role in the thriller The Debt Collector (1999).

Richard Wilson (Scottish actor) Scottish actor, theatre director and broadcaster

Richard Wilson is a Scottish actor, theatre director and broadcaster. He played Victor Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave. A later role was Gaius, the court physician of Camelot, in the BBC drama Merlin.

A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

Dr. Finlay

Dr. Finlay is a fictional character, the hero of a series of stories by Scottish author A. J. Cronin.

Crosbie's other roles include playing the monkey-lover Ingrid Strange in an episode of Jonathan Creek (1997), Edith Sparshott in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1997-2001), and Jessie in the film Calendar Girls (2003).

<i>Jonathan Creek</i> television series

Jonathan Creek is a British mystery crime drama series produced by the BBC and written by David Renwick. It stars Alan Davies as the title character, who works as a creative consultant to a stage magician while also solving seemingly supernatural mysteries through his talent for logical deduction and his understanding of illusions.

<i>An Unsuitable Job for a Woman</i> novel by P. D. James

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is the title of a 1972 detective novel by P. D. James and of a TV series of four dramas developed from that novel.

<i>Calendar Girls</i> 2003 film by Nigel Cole

Calendar Girls is a 2003 British comedy film directed by Nigel Cole. Produced by Buena Vista International and Touchstone Pictures, it features a screenplay by Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi based on a true story of a group of middle-aged Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research under the auspices of the Women's Institutes in April 1999 after the cancer death of one of their members' husband. The film stars an ensemble cast headed by Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, with Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Geraldine James and Philip Glenister playing key supporting roles.

In 2008 she appeared in a BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit . In 2009, she played Sadie Cairncross in the BBC television series Hope Springs . [1] In 2010, Crosbie appeared in the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour" and in the episode "Coming Out Ball" in season 7 of New Tricks . In 2014, Crosbie appeared in the movies What We Did on Our Holiday and Into the Woods . In 2015 she appeared in a BBC adaptation of Cider with Rosie . In 2016 she appeared in the new film version of Dad's Army . In 2019 she appeared in an episode of Call the Midwife .

<i>Little Dorrit</i> (TV series) television series

Little Dorrit is a 2008 British miniseries based on Charles Dickens’s serial novel of the same title, originally published between 1855 and 1857. The screenplay is by Andrew Davies and the episodes were directed by Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh, and Diarmuid Lawrence.

<i>Hope Springs</i> (TV series) television series

Hope Springs is a British television comedy-drama series following the lives of four female ex-cons in hiding following a multimillion-pound robbery. Produced by Shed Productions, the company behind Bad Girls, Footballers' Wives, and Waterloo Road, the 8-part series began airing on BBC One on 7 June 2009 and finished on 26 July 2009. After a single series, the BBC cancelled Hope Springs, because it "did not find its audience in the way that [they] had hoped."

<i>Doctor Who</i> British science fiction TV series

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.


Crosbie was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1998 New Year Honours for services to Drama. [3]

Personal life

Crosbie was previously married to Michael Griffiths, the father of her son Owen and daughter Selina who is also an actress. [4]

She is a campaigner for greyhound welfare. [5] Since 2003, she has been President of the League Against Cruel Sports. [6]



1965 Sky West and Crooked Mrs. White
1972 Follow Me! Miss Framer
1976 The Slipper and the Rose Fairy Godmother
1976 Mr Smith Anon
1978 The Lord of the Rings Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien Voice
1980 Hawk the Slayer Abbess
1984 Ordeal by Innocence Kirsten Lindstrom
1991 Chernobyl: The Final Warning Dr. Galina Petrovna
1991 The Pope Must Die Mother Superior
1992 Leon the Pig Farmer Dr. Johnson
1995Solitaire for 2Mrs Dwyer
1997 Shooting Fish Mrs Cummins
1999 The Debt Collector Lana
2003 Calendar Girls Jessie
2014 What We Did on Our Holiday Doreen
2014 Into the Woods Granny
2016 Dad's Army Cissy Godfrey
Eat LocalsAlice


1965-68 Theatre 625 Various4 episodes
1970 The Six Wives of Henry VIII Catherine of Aragon Episode: "Catherine Aragon"
1970CallanMay CoswoodEpisode: "Amos Green must live".
1973 A Picture of Katherine Mansfield Various5 episodes
1975 Churchill's People Elizabeth RushEpisode: "March On, Boys!"
Edward the Seventh Queen Victoria 10 episodes
1978LillieHenrietta LabouchereTV serial, 2 episodes
1983 Crown Court Mrs OwenEpisode: "Mother's Boy" (Part 1)
1984 East Lynne CorneliaTV film
1986 Paradise Postponed Dorothy SimcoxTV mini-series, 10 episodes
1986-89 Screenplay Mrs Holders / Cynthia3 episodes
1987 Taggart Maggie DavidsonEpisode: "Funeral Rites"
1989 Take Me Home Liz3 episodes
1990-2000 One Foot in the Grave Margaret Meldrew41 episodes plus Comic Relief sketches in 1993 (voice only) and 2001
1992 Heartbeat Penelope StirlingEpisode: "Old, New, Borrowed, Blue"
1993-96 Doctor Finlay Janet MacPherson27 episodes
1995-96 Screen Two Dr Elizabeth MacKay / Meg Kelso2 episodes
1997 Jonathan Creek Dr Ingrid StrangeEpisode: "The House Of Monkeys"
1999 Oliver Twist Mrs Bedwin4 episodes
2004 Black Books Moo-MaEpisode: "Moo-Ma and Moo-Pa"
2005 Midsomer Murders Amelia PlummerEpisode: "Sauce for the Goos"
2008 Little Dorrit Mr F's Aunt6 episodes
2009 Hope Springs Sadie Cairncross8 episodes
2010 Doctor Who Mrs AngeloEpisode: "The Eleventh Hour"
2015 The Vicar of Dibley Reverend Mavis PipkinEpisode: "The Bishop of Dibley"
2017 Henry IX Charlotte, The Queen Mother4 episodes
2019 Call the Midwife Clarice MillgroveSeries 8 Episode 2

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  1. 1 2 3 Annette Crosbie filmography at the Bfi database accessed 7 January 2016.
  2. Unipro Limited. "Interview: Annette Crosbie". Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  3. United Kingdom list: "No. 54993". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 30 December 1997. pp. 1–28.
  4. "Annette Crosbie OBE". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  5. "BBC Inside Out - Postcode lottery". 24 February 2003. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  6. About Annette Crosbie | Annette Crosbie's Blog