Lesley Manville Bio - Biography

Name Lesley Manville
Naionality British
Date of Birth 12 March 1956
Place of Birth Brighton, East Sussex, England, UK
Famous for
As a teenager, Lesley Manville began her acting career, appearing in the award winning and critically acclaimed British soap opera "Emmerdale Farm" (1974-1976), BBC family drama "The Emigrants" (1976), the short-lived drama "A Bunch of Fives" (1977), and BBC children's television serial "King Cinder" (1977), in which she co-starred with Peter Duncan, playing two teenagers against a criminal gang running an extortion racket in a South Coast seaside town. Meanwhile, she was spotted as a guest in such British TV shows as BBC cop dramas "Softly Softly" and "Barlow at Large," as well as BBC drama "Wings" and BBC thriller "Leap in the Dark." She also displayed her talent on stage, performing in the plays "Who Needs Enemies?," "Lucy," "Trust Us," "Savage Amusement," and "The Sons Of Light" (all in 1978) at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) – Warehouse.

In the early 1980s, Manville still didn't get any big break, only appearing as a guest in the British cop drama "The Gentle Touch," the award-winning and longest-running British soap opera "Coronation Street," British anthology drama series "Play for Today," and Granada TV series "Bulman." She was also seen in the episode "Grown-Ups" (1980) of "BBC2 Playhouse" and in the made-for-television movie "The Firm" (1988), starring then-husband Gary Oldman.

Manville eventually graduated to the big screen in 1985 when she was featured alongside Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, and Ian Holm in director Mike Newell's critically-acclaimed, moving biographical British film "Dance with a Stranger." She followed it up with roles in Stephen Frears' comedic drama "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid" (1987; with Frances Barber and Ayub Khan-Din), Clare Peploe's independent comedy "High Season" (1987; starring Jacqueline Bisset), and writer/director Mike Leigh's indie drama/comedy "High Hopes" (1988; alongside Philip Davis and Ruth Sheen).

On stage, Manville could be seen performing in the plays "Rita, Sue and Bob Too" (1981) and "Falkland Sound" (1983) at the Royal Court. She was also in the plays "As You Like It" (1985-1986) at RST and "The Cherry Orchard" (1989) at Aldwych.

From the early to mid 1990s, Manville worked mostly on the small screen. She was a regular in the British drama series "Soldier Soldier" (1992), the BBC drama "A Skirt Through History" (1994), British domestic sitcom "Ain't Misbehavin'" (1994), and the BBC drama "Tears Before Bedtime" (1995). She has appeared in the TV movies "Top Girls" (1991), "Bad Girl" (1992), and "When the Lies Run Out" (1993), as well as the miniseries "The Mushroom Picker" (1993), "Goggle Eyes" (1993), and "Little Napoleons" (1994).

In 1996, Manville returned to the big screen in the BAFTA-nominated short film "Dual Balls," and reuniting with writer/director Mike Leigh in his drama film "Secrets & Lies," with Timothy Spall, Phyllis Logan, Brenda Blethyn, Claire Rushbrook, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. Three years later, she appeared in Gaby Dellal's 17-minute short film "Toy Boys," alongside Joely Richardson, and William Brookfield's independent dark comedy "Milk." Also in that year, she reteamed with writer/director Mike Leigh, this time for his Oscar-winning musical/biopic, "Topsy-Turvy," in which she portrayed Lucy "Kitty" Gilbert, the wife of English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator W. S. Gilbert (played by Jim Broadbent). Her performance in the film later earned her a London Critics Circle Film Award nomination for British Supporting Actress of the Year.

Meanwhile, TV viewers could catch Manville in the miniseries "The Bite" (1996) and "Holding On" (1997), as well as the TV movies "Painted Lady" (1997), "Real Women" (1998), and "Real Women II" (1999). She also guest starred in an episode of British TV series "Kavanagh QC" and the BBC One long-running thriller series "Silent Witness."

Entering the new millennium, Manville starred in the TV series version of Joanna Trollope's novel, "Other People's Children" (earned her an RTS Television Award nomination for Best Actor – Female), was spotted as a guest in an episode of the drama series "Black Cab," and appeared in the TV movie adaptation of Charles Dickens novel, "David Copperfield," in which she portrayed Mrs. Micawber.

After co-starring in the WW II drama series "The Cazalets" (2001), Manville added to her resume with roles in the films "All or Nothing" (2002; won her a London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actress of the Year), writer/director Mike Leigh's drama comedy in which she co-stars as Timothy Spall's taxi-driver partner, "Vera Drake" (2004), Leigh's Oscar-nominated, fact-based crime/drama starring Imelda Staunton, and "The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael" (2005), Thomas Clay's horror/drama. Most recently, she co-starred with Stockard Channing, Shaun Evans, Anthony Head, and Bob Hoskins in writers/directors Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter's comedy movie "Sparkle" (2007).

During this time, Manville also continued working on television, appearing in the TV movies "Plain Jane" (2002), "Promoted to Glory" (2003), "North & South" (2004), and "Perfect Parents" (2006), as well as the miniseries "Bodily Harm" (2002). She also played guest roles in an episode of the British crime drama series starring Sarah Lancashire and Phil Davis, "Rose and Maloney," and the popular British detective show, "Poirot." She also co-starred with Imelda Staunton, Simon Woods, and Judi Dench in the British television drama serial adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, "Cranford" (2007), portraying Mrs. Rose.

By this time, Manville has appeared in a number of productions, including "Miss Julie" (1990) at Greenwich Theatre, "His Dark Materials" (2005) at the National Theatre, "The Alchemist" (2006) at the National Theatre, and most recently, "All About My Mother" (2007), at The Old Vic.

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