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Celia Imrie Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Guildford, Surrey, England, UK
Birth NameCelia Diana Savile Imrie
Nicknames Impie
Ceals
Celia Impie
Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Celia Diana Savile Imrie is an English actress. She is known for her appearances with Victoria Wood; including Claire in Pat and Margaret (1994), Philippa Moorcroft in Dinnerladies (1998-2000) and playing various characters in the sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (1985-87), including Miss Babs in the spoof soap opera sketches Acorn Antiques. She reprised the role of Miss Babs in Acorn Antiques: The Musical! in 2005, and won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.

Imrie's other television roles include Marianne Bellshade in Bergerac (1983), Diana Neal in After You've Gone (2007-08), Gloria Millington in Kingdom (2007-09), and Miss Kizlet in the 2013 Doctor Who season opener The Bells of Saint John. Her film appearances include Highlander (1986), Hilary and Jackie (1998), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Calendar Girls (2003), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Imagine Me & You (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015). She has been described as "one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades".

Imrie was born in 1952 in Guildford, Surrey, the fourth of five children of Diana Elizabeth Blois (née Cator) and David Andrew Imrie, a radiologist. Her father was from Glasgow, Scotland.

Imrie was educated at Guildford High School, an independent school for girls in her hometown of Guildford, followed by the Guildford School of Acting.

Imrie's varied career spans films, television and radio drama, and the theatre. Her film credits include Nanny McPhee, Hilary and Jackie (playing Iris du Pré) and the 1997 film of The Borrowers where she played Homily Clock. Other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Calendar Girls, Highlander and, as Fighter Pilot Bravo 5, in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In 2004, Imrie played Doctor Imogen Reed in the schoolgirl thriller, Out of Bounds. In 2007 Imrie appeared in St Trinian's.

Television series to feature Imrie include The Nightmare Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Casualty, Absolutely Fabulous, "Bergerac",The Darling Buds of May and Upstairs, Downstairs. In the 2000 miniseries of Gormenghast, she played Lady Gertrude. She also had a guest appearance in an episode of the BBC Scotland sitcom Still Game in 2003, where she played a home help called Mrs Begg. She also appeared in the 2005 BBC television drama Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle, playing the part of a teacher taking an unruly party of pupils on a day-trip to Salisbury Cathedral. She starred in the BBC sitcom, After You've Gone, alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst and in the ITV1 drama Kingdom, with Stephen Fry. Her part in After You've Gone has, whilst being critically acclaimed, been described as "criminally squandered". In 2013 she guest starred in the BBC's Doctor Who where she played the villainous Miss Kizlet in the series opener The Bells of Saint John.

Her radio work includes parts in BBC Radio 4's No Commitments, Adventures of a Black Bag, and Bleak Expectations. In early 2007, she narrated the book Arabella, broadcast over two weeks as the Book at Bedtime.

In May 2016, she made her US television debut in the DC action-adventure series Legends of Tomorrow.

Imrie is perhaps best known for her frequent collaborations with Victoria Wood, with whom she has appeared in TV programmes such as the sitcom Dinnerladies and sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. It was on the latter show in 1985 that she first played the infamous part of Miss Babs, owner of Acorn Antiques, a parody of the low budget British soap opera Crossroads.

These sketches became such a British institution that the show was turned into a West End musical in 2005 starring most of the original cast (see the picture on the right). Imrie won an Olivier Award for her performance. The character has curly blonde hair, and is known for her frequent parodic flirtations with the customers, and her abuse of the housekeeper Mrs Overall (portrayed by Julie Walters).

Imrie was the guest on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 on 13 February 2011. On 18 October 2013 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Winchester.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trade Mark (2)

Impressively muscular arms.
Often plays characters who are fun-loving and/or eccentric.

Trivia (10)

Has a son, Angus Imrie (b. 1994), with actor Benjamin Whitrow.
She appeared with her son, Angus Imrie, in the UK TV series Kingdom (2007), playing mother and son.
Established stage actress.
Worked extensively with Victoria Wood.
Has a house in London and also rents a flat in Swaffham in Norfolk.
Her Scottish father David worked as a radiologist, and her English mother Diana was a housewife.
Trained at the Guildford School of Acting.
She won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance in "Acorn Antiques The Musical".
Daughter of David Andrew Imrie (1892-1972) and Diana Elizabeth Imrie (née Blois) (1913-1999).
When Imrie was fourteen, she was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa. Under the care of controversial psychiatrist William Sargant, she was given electroshock and large doses of the anti-psychotic drug Largactil. Imrie has written that Sargant still features in her nightmares.

Personal Quotes (8)

Discussing her character in 'Wah-Wah': A friend of mine came to see a screening and said, 'Ceels, I was longing for you to suddenly become funny. And you didn't'. I said, 'I know, it's quite weird isn't it?' Originally Richard offered me another part but I said, 'yes, but what about this old bag?'
On Victoria Wood: I first met her through her university friends in Birmingham. I was in the room applauding when she won New Faces and she then rather loyally came to see me in a chorus line in a pantomime. She's been terribly loyal to me and I'm very proud to be working with her at the moment.
On Alan Bates: I'd known him for years and absolutely adored him. He really is naughty. Terrible. Or was, God bless him. But then, you see, Dame Judi's got that too. Everybody who's ever been one of my heroes is very naughty. Naughty sense of humor. Naughty sparkle in their eye.
When asked about Star Wars: I'm amazed anyone recognized me covered up in that hat and goggles. The casting director had seen me in a Harold Pinter play and asked me to be in Star Wars - how bizarre is that? I think I was originally up for the part of the mother at the beginning of the film but, when I didn't get it, they asked me to be a fighter pilot instead. I can't pretend I was a life-long Star Wars fan but I did think it would be rather cool for my son if his mum was in the film. He was little at the time so, when we went to see it, he went to sleep and missed me, but he got to see it with his school friends later. None of us knew what the story was, though. Because the producers are so worried about leaks, we had no idea how we fitted into the film. It was just terribly exciting to be on the set and part of a phenomenon like Star Wars.
Discussing working with George Lucas: He's very cool, as you'd expect....he asked me to take off my lipstick though. As I was going to be the first female pilot they'd ever used, I thought I'd put on some lipstick, and make an effort.
On her co-star in Kingdom: We all love Stephen (Fry) and we are a great team. I am very lucky.
(On how she developed her character in Wah-Wah) I sought out, wherever we went on location, friends of Richard's who had known the rather remarkable, as I daily discovered, Lady Riva that my character was based on. I tried to incorporate as many of her qualities and idiosyncrasies as I could. I also absorbed all the details of precious film footage of the day, that Richard [E. Grant] found for us. The subjects' behavior, and fashion, during social and historic events was a fascinating help.
(On what attracted her to her character in Wah-Wah) I couldn't believe Lady Riva Hardwick could be so ghastly and thought that, (a) it would be fun to play someone so utterly uncompromising and, (b) there must be more to her than meets the eye, and it would be a challenge to find it. I was also so taken up with the story of the film and our Director's enthusiasm and belief, I just wanted to jump on board and fly with him.

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