Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Lesley Manville

Last updated 09 January 2020

Lesley Manville
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Lesley Ann Manville

Born: Monday 12th March 1956 (age: 65)


Born in Brighton and raised in Hove, Lesley Manville trained as singer and then moved to acting as a teenager, gaining a place at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Turning down a place in girl troupe Hot Gossip, she became known on television as Rosemary Kendall in Emmerdale Farm. Other television credits throughout her career have included Soldier, Soldier, Goggle Eyes, Other People's ChildrenAin't Misbehavin, Tears Before Bedtime, The Cazelets, North & South, Cranford and Law and Order: UK.

In 1979 she met Mike Leigh, which led to a number of collaborations with the director, including the films High Hopes, Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy, All or Nothing and Another Year. Other films include Dance with a Stranger, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, A Christmas Carol and Womb (which also starred Matt Smith).

Manville has also had a distinctive theatre career, including work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She met her first husband Gary Oldman whilst working at the Royal Court Theatre, and they had a son, Alfie, together. In 2011 she reunited with Leigh for the National Theatre production of Grief.