A United Kingdom of Actresses - Part 1, England

41 actresses, one from each of the 39 historic counties of England with a slight exception made for Yorkshire where we have one from each of the East, North and West Ridings.
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1.
Emily O'Brien
Emily O'Brien was born on May 28, 1985 in Bedfordshire, England. She is a 3 time Daytime Emmy nominated actress and writer, known for her 5 year series regular role on The Young and the Restless (1973), Pernicious (2014) and the voice of Y'Shtola in Final Fantasy (2015) She attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London...
“ Bedfordshire ” - sabercro
 
2.
Kate Winslet
Actress, Titanic
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
“ Berkshire. Honourable mentions to Geraldine James and Geraldine McEwan. ” - sabercro
 
3.
“ Buckinghamshire. ” - sabercro
 
4.
“ Cambridgeshire. Honourable mention to Olivia Newton-John. ” - sabercro
 
5.
Polly Walker
Actress, John Carter
Polly Alexandra Walker was born on May 19, 1966 in Warrington, Cheshire, England. She graduated from Ballet Rambert School in Twickenham, began her career as a dancer, but an injury at age 18 forced her to change direction. She started at London's Drama Centre to the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she portrayed small parts before graduating to small roles on television...
“ Cheshire. Honourable mentions to Wendy Hiller, Glenda Jackson, Patricia Routledge and Barbara Steele. ” - sabercro
 
6.
Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall, England, to Deborah (Hurlbatt) and Lieutenant Commander Simon Scott Thomas. Her ancestry includes Welsh, English, and Dutch. Her father was a pilot for the British Royal Navy and died in a flying accident in 1964. Her stepfather was also a pilot and died six years later under similar circumstances...
“ Cornwall. ” - sabercro
 
7.
“ Cumberland. ” - sabercro
 
8.
Lauren Socha
Actress, Misfits
Lauren Marie Socha is an actress, known for her role in Misfits (2009). She born June 9, 1990 in Derby, Derbyshire, England, to Kathleen (Lyons) and Robert Socha, and has Polish and British ancestry. In 2010, Socha starred alongside Tim McInnerny in the short film Missing. She also had a minor role in the television mini-series Five Daughters.
“ Derbyshire. Honourable mention to Suzy Kendall. ” - sabercro
 
9.
Pauline Collins
Pauline Collins, OBE, came to prominence with portraying Sarah Moffat in BBC's Upstairs, Downstairs and its spin-off Thomas and Sarah during the 1970s. After having played the title-role in the play "Shirley Valentine" for which she earned Laurence Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk awards, she reprised the role in its film adaptation Shirley Valentine...
“ Devon. ” - sabercro
 
10.
“ Dorset. Honourable mention to Jayne Atkinson. ” - sabercro
 
11.
Cathy Brown
Cathy is a combat performance artist and is a specialist in movement/psychological choreography. She has spent 16 years in the martial art and professional boxing industry as a fighter of which she was ranked number 3 in the World and held both English and European title and a professional boxing and martial arts coach...
“ Durham. Honourable mentions to Wendy Craig and Flora Robson. ” - sabercro
 
12.
Maggie Smith
One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor Robert Stephens and to playwright Beverley Cross...
“ Essex. Honourable mentions to Vicki Michelle, Sarah Miles, Anna Neagle, Hermione Norris, Tamzin Outhwaite, Joan Sims, Juliet Stevenson and Amanda Tapping. ” - sabercro
 
13.
Millie Midwinter-Lean
Actress, Panic Button
Millie Katharine Midwinter-Lean was born on 18th August 1995 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. She started performing aged 6 with the Everyman Youth Theatre and secured her 1st role shortly afterwards in the 2002 production of The Magician's Nephew. Her mother enrolled her with an agency at 12 in order for her to gain some more confidence...
“ Gloucestershire. Honourable mention to Gabrielle Glaister. ” - sabercro
 
14.
Holly Aird
Holly Aird was born in Aldershot, Hampshire on the 18th May, 1969. She showed a huge interest in ballet so she started to attend a local dance school. At the age of nine, young Holly was picked out by a casting director to star in The History of Mr. Polly. Her first acting appearance went well, and she began getting even more roles, such as The Tale of Beatrix Potter and The Flame Trees of Thika...
“ Hampshire. Honourable mentions to Juliet Aubrey, Kirsty Dillon, Amanda Holden, Elizabeth Hurley and Catherine McCormack. ” - sabercro
 
15.
Beryl Reid
Beryl Reid was the daughter of Scottish parents and grew up in industrial Manchester, England. She left home at the age of 16 to go and work in a shop. She lasted 6 weeks. She applied for and was accepted in a revue in the Summer season in Bridlington. She had no formal training but joined the National Theater in London as a comedy actress...
“ Herefordshire. ” - sabercro
 
16.
“ Hertfordshire. Honourable mentions to Stephanie Beacham, Helen Grace and Frances de la Tour. ” - sabercro
 
17.
“ Huntingdonshire. ” - sabercro
 
18.
Naomi Watts
Actress, King Kong
Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and she began to follow her mother and her brother around England...
“ Kent. Honourable mentions to Brenda Blethyn and Hatti Jacques. ” - sabercro
 
19.
Miranda Richardson
Actress, Sleepy Hollow
Miranda Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, England on March 3, 1958, to Marian Georgina (Townsend) and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive. She has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age she performed in school plays...
“ Lancashire. Honourable mentions to Kate Ashfield, Dora Bryan, Shirley Anne Field, Thora Hird, Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Stephenson. ” - sabercro
 
20.
“ Leicestershire. Honourable mentions to Kate O'Mara and Josette Simon. ” - sabercro
 
21.
Joan Plowright
Dame Joan Ann Plowright, the Baroness Olivier, is one of the most distinguished actors of her generation. She may be best remembered as the third wife and widow of Laurence Olivier, generally considered the greatest anglophone actor of the 20th Century, but she had a distinguished career of her own on stage and screen spanning six decades...
“ Lincolnshire. Honourable mentions to Patricia Hodge, Jennifer Saunders and Sybil Thorndike. ” - sabercro
 
22.
“ Middlesex. Honourable mentions to Gabrielle Anwar and Keira Knightley. ” - sabercro
 
23.
Miranda Raison
Miranda grew up in Burnham Thorpe on the North Norfolk coast and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Her father, Nick, is a jazz pianist and her mother, Caroline, read the news for Anglia television. In 2011, she played the title role in 'Anne Boleyn' at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to great critical acclaim.
“ Norfolk. Honourable mentions to Ruth Madoc and Hannah Spearritt. ” - sabercro
 
24.
Judy Carne
Trained in music and dance, tiny-framed, pixie-like Judy Carne was born Joyce Botterill in Northampton, England in 1939, the daughter of a grocer. Trained in dance, she appeared in music revues as a teenager and changed her name at the advice of a dance teacher. Slowly building up a career on British TV...
“ Northamptonshire. Honourable mentions to Joan Hickson and Nanette Newman. ” - sabercro
 
25.
Imogen Stubbs
Imogen Stubbs was born in Northumberland, lived briefly in Portsmouth, where her father was a naval officer, and then moved with her parents to London, where they inhabited an elderly river barge on the Thames. Educated at St. Paul's and then Westminster, where she was one of the "token girls" in the Sixth Form...
“ Northumberland. Honourable mention to Janet McTeer. ” - sabercro
 
26.
Rebecca Grant
Actress, Holby City
Rebecca Grant is mainly known for playing series regular 'Daisha Anderson' in BBC1's Bafta award winning program, Holby City and Shaheen Wazir in Tiger Aspect's 'Prisoners Wives II'. She received an award for 'Best Actress in a lead role' at the International Filmmakers Festival for World Cinema in an Independent Movie called 'Kristina'...
“ Nottinghamshire. Honourable mentions to Cherie Lunghi and Samantha Morton. ” - sabercro
 
27.
“ Oxfordshire. Honourable mentions to Miriam Margolyes, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Frances O'Connor, Rachel Ward and Annabelle Wallis. ” - sabercro
 
28.
“ Rutland. ” - sabercro
 
29.
“ Shropshire. Honourable mention to Rosemary Leach. ” - sabercro
 
30.
Jenny Agutter
Actress, The Avengers
Jenny Agutter was born on December 20, 1952, in Taunton, Somerset, England, UK. The daughter of an army officer, she spent her childhood traveling and living in different countries. Her film career began at the age of 12 in East of Sudan, which was quickly followed by Ballerina: Part 1 and Ballerina: Part 2...
“ Somerset. Honourable mentions to Sarah Parish and Indira Varma. ” - sabercro
 
31.
“ Staffordshire. Honourable mention to Frances Barber. ” - sabercro
 
32.
“ Suffolk. ” - sabercro
 
33.
Julia Ormond
The dark and classically beautiful British actress Julia Ormond was born into privileged surroundings as the daughter of a well-to-do laboratory technician. Her parents divorced when she was young; she was the second of five children. She attended Cranleigh, a private school, and showed interest in theatrics way back then...
“ Surrey. Honourable mentions to Julie Andrews, Jacqueline Bisset, Anna Chancellor and many others. ” - sabercro
 
34.
Judy Geeson
Born in Arundel, Sussex in 1948, Judy's father moved the family into London when she was 10 years old and enrolled her and sister Sally Geeson into the Corona Academy, Chiswick. Judy initially wanted to be a ballet dancer but had to change course when she suffered from terrible headaches as a result of some of the moves but acting had always been a great interest and she chose to pursue this...
“ Sussex. Honourable mentions to Alexandra Bastedo, Sally Geeson, Haydn Gwynne, Anna Massey and Amanda Redman. ” - sabercro
 
35.
Hazel Court
Born in Birmingham, England, Hazel Court carried on a love affair with the world of movies and make-believe that made her a leading student at her hometown's School of Drama and later helped her land a contract with the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Graduating from bits to supporting roles to leads, Court worked in English films from the mid-'40s until the early 1960s...
“ Warwickshire. Honourable mentions to Stephanie Cole, Felicity Kendal and Billie Whitelaw. ” - sabercro
 
36.
Elisabeth Croft
Actress, Crossroads
After her education at a boarding school in the Lake District she studied acting under Sir Frank Benson in 1930. Her first acting roles were in Shakespeare plays. mainly playing boys roles. She then joined the Nuneaton Repertory Theatre where she continued in Shakespeare but now in strong roles such as Cordelia...
“ Westmorland. ” - sabercro
 
37.
Billie Piper
Actress, Doctor Who
Billie Piper studied at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School. She caught the eyes of record producers who were interested in signing a young vocalist when she was the poster girl for the ad campaign of a British pop music magazine, "Smash Hits". She released her first single, "Because We Want To"...
“ Wiltshire. Honourable mention to Diana Dors. ” - sabercro
 
38.
Margaret Leighton
British theatre actress Margaret Leighton made her classical stage debut at age 16. The daughter of a businessman, she joined the Old Vic Company under the direction of Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson and in the late 40s and 50s earned kudos for her theatrical endeavors on both the London and Broadway stages...
“ Worcestershire. Honourable mentions to Susan Jameson and Trudie Styler. ” - sabercro
 
39.
Anna Maxwell Martin
Actress, Philomena
The rather striking Anna Maxwell-Martin is a rising star on both stage and screen. Anna had dreamed all her life of becoming actress even though her family had no background in the arts whatsoever. She starred in school plays and an acclaimed production of "Breezeblock Park" in the role of Betty. At the age of 20 she auditioned for the prestigious Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art...
“ Yorkshire (East Riding). Honourable mention to Maureen Lipman. ” - sabercro
 
40.
Judi Dench
Actress, Skyfall
Judi Dench was born in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre...
“ Yorkshire (North Riding). Honourable mentions to Thelma Barlow and Penelope Wilton. ” - sabercro
 
41.
“ Yorkshire (West Riding). Honourable mentions to Helen Baxendale, Diana Rigg, Mollie Sugden and Mary Tamm. ” - sabercro