An acclaimed British actress noted for her portrayals of high-strung females, Jane Lapotaire has more or less concentrated on the stage but has offered memorable turns in features and TV programs. Born and raised in Ipswitch, she was trained for the stage at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, joining their company in 1965. After two seasons, Lapotaire moved to the newly-formed National Theatre where she distinguished herself in secondary roles. She moved up to leading lady as one of the co-founders of the Young Vic Theatre, undertaking Katherine in "The Taming of the Shrew" and Jocasta in "Oedipus" (both 1970-71). After a decade spent playing leads in many of Shakespeare's comedies, Lapotaire landed the breakthrough role of Edith Piaf in Pam Gems' acclaimed "Piaf". Fully capturing the petite chanteuse, she earned numerous accolades and traveled to the USA to recreate the role on Broadway in 1981. (The show was filmed and aired in syndication.) Since her acclaimed turn, she has continued to create finely etched characters in plays as varied as "Shadowlands" (1989-90), "Ghosts" (1993) and "Henry VIII" (1998).