Miriam Margolyes

Actor, Voice actor
A short, heavy-set British character actress, Margolyes has performed primarily on the stage and radio, generally in eccentric comedy roles often requiring her to play older than her years. After studies at Cambridge ... Read more »
Born: 05/17/1941 in Oxford, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (79)

Maya the Bee Movie 2015 (Movie)

The Queen Bee (Voice)

Not Afraid, Not Afraid 2015 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Wedding Video 2014 (Movie)

Patricia (Actor)

Water Warriors 2014 (Movie)

(Voice)

Sir Billi 2013 (Movie)

(Voice)

The Guilt Trip 2012 (Movie)

Anita (Actor)

Dharma & Greg 2000 - 2001, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011 (Movie)

Professor Pomona Sprout (Actor)

Merlin 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Graham Norton Show 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Closed Book 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 2010 (Movie)

Mrs. Plithiver (Voice)

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People 2008 (Movie)

Mrs Kowalski (Actor)

The Dukes 2008 (Movie)

Aunt Vee (Actor)

Flushed Away 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Rita's Grandma (Actor)

Happy Feet 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Mrs Astrakhan (Actor)

Ladies in Lavender 2005 (Movie)

Dorcas (Actor)

Miss Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Modigliani 2005 (Movie)

Gertrude Stein (Actor)

Undertaking Betty 2005 (Movie)

Thelma (Actor)

Being Julia 2004 (Movie)

Dolly de Vries (Actor)

Chasing Liberty 2004 (Movie)

Maria (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 (Movie)

Professor Sprout (Actor)

Alone 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cats & Dogs 2001 (Movie)

Sophie (Actor)

In Search of Peace - Part One: 1948-1967 2001 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

House! 2000 (Movie)

Beth (Actor)

Left Luggage 2000 (Movie)

Mrs Goldman (Actor)

One Fat Lady, One Large Life 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Sunshine 2000 (Movie)

Rose Sonnenschein (Actor)

Vanity Fair 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Dreaming of Joseph Lees 1999 (Movie)

Signora Caldoni (Actor)

End of Days 1999 (Movie)

Mabel (Actor)

Babe 2: Pig in the City 1998 (Movie)

of Fly (Voice)

Mulan 1998 (Movie)

of The Matchmaker (Voice)

Different for Girls 1997 (Movie)

Pamela (Actor)

The Imax Nutcracker 1997 (Movie)

Sugar Plum (Actor)

The Long Way Home 1997 (Movie)

(Voice)

Cold Comfort Farm 1996 (Movie)

Mrs Beetle (Actor)

James and the Giant Peach 1996 (Movie)

Aunt Sponge (Actor)

James and the Giant Peach 1996 (Movie)

of Glowworm (Voice)

Romeo + Juliet 1996 (Movie)

Nurse (Actor)

Babe 1995 (Movie)

of Fly (Voice)

Balto 1995 (Movie)

Grandma Rosy (Actor)

Immortal Beloved 1994 (Movie)

Nanette Streicher (Actor)

Ed and His Dead Mother 1993 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

Frannie's Turn 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Liberation 1993 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Age of Innocence 1993 (Movie)

Mrs Mingott (Actor)

As You Like It 1992 (Movie)

Audrey (Actor)

Collins Meets Coward 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Butcher's Wife 1991 (Movie)

Gina (Actor)

The Fool 1991 (Movie)

Mrs Bowring (Actor)

I Love You to Death 1990 (Movie)

Joey's Mother (Actor)

Pacific Heights 1990 (Movie)

Realtor (Actor)

The Finding 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Little Dorrit 1988 (Movie)

Flora Finching (Actor)

Old Flames 1988 (Movie)

Nellie (Actor)

The Good Father 1987 (Movie)

Jane Powell (Actor)

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Little Princess 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Little Shop of Horrors 1986 (Movie)

Dental Nurse (Actor)

Morons From Outer Space 1985 (Movie)

Lady Scientist (Actor)

Electric Dreams 1984 (Movie)

Ticket Girl (Actor)

Yentl 1983 (Movie)

Sarah (Actor)

Crystal Gazing 1981 (Movie)

Newsreader (Actor)

Scrubbers 1981 (Movie)

Jones (Actor)

The Apple 1979 (Movie)

Landlady (Actor)

The Awakening 1979 (Movie)

Dr Kadira (Actor)

On a Paving Stone Mounted 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Stand Up Virgin Soldiers 1976 (Movie)

Elephant Ethel (Actor)

The Battle of Billy's Pond 1975 (Movie)

Tour Guide (Actor)

A Nice Girl Like Me 1969 (Movie)

Pensione (Actor)

Orpheus Descending (TV Show)

Actor

Stalin (TV Show)

Actor

Wallis & Edward (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A short, heavy-set British character actress, Margolyes has performed primarily on the stage and radio, generally in eccentric comedy roles often requiring her to play older than her years. After studies at Cambridge, she began acting in radio with the BBC. Over the next decade Margolyes' ripe delivery could be heard everywhere in radio spots and TV commercial voiceovers, including a stint as a seductive rabbit plugging Cadbury's Carmel Bunny candy and as a charwoman chimp for a tea ad.

Relationships

Joseph Margolyes

Father
died in 1995 at age 96

Ruth Margolyes

Mother
died in 1974 after a stroke

EDUCATION

Guildhall School of Music and Drama

London , England

Oxford High School for Girls

New Hall College, University of Cambridge

was the only woman to perform in the Footlights Revue of 1962; studied under influential literary critic and theorist F R Leavis

Milestones

2006

Cast in the Australian-produced computer-animated film, "Happy Feet"

2005

Cast in "Modigliani," a story of Amedeo Modigliani's bitter rivalry with Pablo Picasso

2004

Co-starred as Peg Sellers in "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" with Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron

2004

Cast in "Being Julia," based on the novel "Theatre," by W. Somerset Maugham

2002

Played Professor Sprout in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

2001

Appeared in the London staging of "The Vagina Monologues"

2000

Co-starred with Stacy Keach and Jeffrey Jones in the L.A. premiere of "Another Time"

1999

Cast as the original matriarch of a Hungarian-Jewish family in Istvan Szabo's "Sunshine"

1999

Returned to the London stage to star as Ranyevskaya in "The Cherry Orchard"

1998

Reprised Fly for the sequel "Babe: Pig in the City"

1996

Was one of the voices on the soundtrack for the award-winning documentary "The Long Way Home"

1996

Played the Nurse in Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet"

1995

Provided the voice of Fly, the sheepdog who serves as surrogate mother to the title piglet in the Oscar-nominated "Babe"

1993

First starring role onstage in a major play, as Mrs. Hardcastle in Sir Peter Hall's staging of Oliver Goldsmith's classic 18th century Restoration farce, "She Stoops to Conquer"

1992

American TV series debut: starred in the title role of Frannie Escobar in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Frannie's Turn"

1991

Starred in the one-woman show, "Woomen, Lovely Woomen", onstage in London's West End; played a variety of female characters from the works of Charles Dickens; later took the show on tour internationally

1987

First major appearance on US TV, in a three-part adaptation of "The Little Princess", which aired on PBS

1980

Made first American films, "The Apple" and "The Awakening"

1968

Made feature film debut in a small role in "A Nice Girl Like Me"

1963

Got a job after graduating from college with the BBC's radio repertory company (date approximate)

Raised in Oxford, England

Found second career recording books on tape

Appeared in a long-running series of commercial in England for British Telecom

Bonus Trivia

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Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year's Eve honors, December 2001.

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"An actress's greatest asset is her availability." --Miriam Margolyes to The Boston Globe, August 30, 1999.

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"For me, the voice is the way into a character. Other actors may start from the shoes or the walk. I love listening to people talk, and I particularly like combination accents--a Jewish Scots accent, for example. Maybe that is the voice from my grandparents, who were Russian, Polish and German." --Miriam Margoyles quoted in The Boston Globe, August 30, 1999.

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"I'm in the autumn of my life and I do feel it. I hear time's winged chariot and I have this feeling that I will suddenly drop dead. An overweight woman can't expect a long life, and I am physically like my mother. She was a huge personality, overweight and hyperactive, and she died in 1974 after being paralysed by a stroke for seven years, unable to move or speak. I swim and walk and try not to eat too much cheese but probably won't survive very long." --Margolyes quoted in the London Times, September 17, 1999.

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"I'm a feminist but not a boring one. Hating men is as absurd as hating children or hating butter." --Margolyes to the London Times, September 17, 1999.

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"Darling, I loathed the Pythons at the time and they loathed me. I've met Eric [Idle] and John [Cleese] since then, and they are perfectly pleasant people. I think they thought I was repellent, too--and I probably was. I was an arrogant young person and I knew I was as talented as they were and I wasn't going to give an inch."The person I really didn't like was Graham Chapman but that could have been because he was a very tortured and unhappy person. I didn't get on with him at all. I was asked to attend his memorial service in L.A., and I didn't because I thought it would be hypocritical. I thought, no, don't do that, that's sentimental and not truthful."Look, there isn't a person in the world, from Glenn CLose onwards, who doesn't feel they deserved a better career. But I do think the people who ran light entertainment when my generation were forming our career had an extraordinarily narrow view of what women could do."--From the London Times, September 17. 1999.

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Margolyes was named Britain's "best radio actress" for performing the roles of the entire Royal Family in a radio presentation of "Queen and I" by Sue Townsend, in which the English rulers cope with life in a housing project (1992).

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She was elected three times to the governing council of British Actors Equity.

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