Eileen Atkins Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (24)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Born in Clapton, London, England, UK
Birth NameEileen June Atkins
Height 5' 6½" (1.69 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Eileen Atkins was born in a Salvation Army Women's Hostel in north London. Her father was a gas meter reader; her mother, a seamstress and barmaid. A drama teacher taught her how to drop her Cockney accent, and she studied Shakespeare and Greek tragedies. Her breakthrough role in "The Killing of Sister George" took her to Broadway.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Family (2)

Spouse Bill Shepherd (2 February 1978 - 24 June 2016)  (his death)
Julian Glover (1957 - 1966)  (divorced)
Parents Arthur Thomas Atkins
Annie Ellen Atkins

Trivia (24)

She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1990 Queen's Birthday Honours List and the DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
Co-creator (with actress Jean Marsh) of the classic British drama series Upstairs, Downstairs (1971) - making her wonderful presence in the Altman upstairs-downstairs movie Gosford Park (2001) particularly resonant.
She was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1989 (1988 season) for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for "Cymbeline and Mountain Language".
She was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1999 (1998 season) for Best Actress for her performance in "The Unexpected Man".
She was awarded the 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress of the 2003 season for her performance in "Honour" at the Royal National Theatre: Cottesloe Stage.
She was awarded the 1992 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Night of the Iguana.
She was awarded the 1997 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in A Delicate Balance.
She was nominated for a 2003 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in Honour at the Royal National Theatre: Cottesloe.
She was nominated for a 1997 (1996) Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress in a play for her performance in "John Gabriel Borkman".
2004 Tony Award nominee for Best Actress in a Play for "The Retreat from Moscow."
Won the Best Actress Award for "Honour" at the 2004 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Has been nominated for four Tony Awards: as Best Actress (Dramatic), in 1967 for "The Killing of Sister George" and in 1972 for "Vivat! Vivat Regina!; and as Best Actress (Play), in 1995 for "Indiscretions" and in 2004 for "The Retreat from Moscow."
Is a breast cancer survivor.
She has no children. She stated in an interview with the Radio Times that she has never had any maternal instinct and put that down to the fact that she did not get on with her mother.
She claims to be high-maintenance.
Appearing in "The Birthday Party" at the Duchess Theatre, London. [May 2005]
She was will be replacing Tony Award-winner Cherry Jones' in the Pulitzer Award winning drama, "Doubt" with Ron Eldard in New York City. [January 2006]
Appearing with Anna Maxwell Martin and Sophie Thompson in Joanna Murray-Smith's "Female of the Species" at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. [July 2008]
Filming Wild Target (2010) with Rupert Grint and Bill Nighy. [2008]
She is starring with John Lithgow and Ben Chaplin in William Nicholson's drama, "The Retreat from Moscow", on Broadway. [February 2004]
Turned down a part in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) so she could do a play on the London stage.
She has portrayed the same character (Queen Mary of Teck, wife of King George V of England) in two different works: the tv movie Bertie and Elizabeth (2002) and the Netflix TV series The Crown (2016).
Both she and Judi Dench have portrayed Princess Dragomiroff in the different versions of Agatha Christie's novel "Murder on the Orient Express"; Atkins in a 2010 episode of Poirot (1989) and Dench in the film Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Prior to these adaptations Atkins and Dench played sisters on Cranford (2007).
Daughter of Arthur (1886-1975) and Annie (née Elkins) Atkins (1889-1984).

Personal Quotes (5)

In England, as here, there are always two kinds of audiences: the Royal Shakespeare and the West End. In the last 10 years, audiences have been changed by television. One can tell: people don't concentrate and they expect lighter fare - and I do hate disappointing the audiences. One lady came up to me afterwards here, very complimentary, and then she said 'Well, this is terrible heavy.' And I thought 'Oh dear, you think this is heavy? Because it isn't, it's just serious.
There's no such thing as a legend. Nearly everyone has forgotten Laurence Olivier. What's that dreadful word - 'dynasty', as in the Redgraves and Foxes? Acting is not in the blood - otherwise what are Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and I doing here? I'm the least well known, for a very good reason. Judi's an incredible actress who wouldn't be so popular if she hadn't been in As Time Goes By (1992). Maggie has always done movies, and won Oscars. I plough away at the classics.
I think most British people who say they can do an American accent are so bad at it. I find it excruciating. I find it excruciating the other way around, too.
I'm rarely wrong.
When I worked on Wolf (1994), Jack Nicholson came onto the set preceded by five people looking after him. It was impossible to get to know him. We'd barely been introduced and were about to do a shot when I noticed his flies were undone. So, I told him. Jack couldn't have cared less, said thank you and zipped himself up. But for everyone else, you'd have thought I'd lifted the Pope's gowns and shown his knickers. Ridiculous!

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