Download: Miranda Richardson - 2005

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Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English stage, film and television actor. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and has won two Golden Globes (with seven nominations) and a BAFTA (with six nominations) during her career.

In 1985, Richardson made her film debut as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, in Mike Newell's critically acclaimed biographical drama, Dance With A Stranger. Her performance won her much praise, and within a year she had been cast by Steven Spielberg to appear in his World War II drama, Empire of the Sun (1987).

Richardson is well-known for her role as an infantile Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II (1986). She returned to that role for a Christmas special (Blackadder's Christmas Carol 1988) and a special edition for the millennium (Blackadder: Back and Forth, 2000).

Her portrayal of a troubled theatre-goer in Secret Friends (BBC 2, 1990) was described as "a miniature tour de force... Miranda Richardson's finest hour, all in ten minutes" (The Sunday Times). Other television roles include Pamela Flitton in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Miss Gilchrist in St. Ives (1998), Bettina the obsessive-compulsive interior decorator in Absolutely Fabulous, the sadistic Queen Elspeth in Hallmark's Snow White: The Fairest Of Them All (2001), and the emotionally repressed Queen Mary in The Lost Prince (2003).

Richardson has appeared in a number of high-profile supporting roles in the cinema, including Vanessa Bell in The Hours, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow and Patsy Carpenter in The Evening Star. She also won acclaim for her performances in The Crying Game and Enchanted April, for which she won a Golden Globe, beating a quartet of Hollywood heavyweights: Geena Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Damage and Tom & Viv.

Her extensive film credits include stints in a number of critically acclaimed independent features, among them Robert Altman's Kansas City (1996), Robert Duvall's The Apostle (1997) and Richard E. Grant's Wah-Wah (2005). In 2002, she performed a triple-role stint alongside Ralph Fiennes in David Cronenberg's acclaimed thriller Spider, a film that won her several international critics awards.

Richardson also appeared as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in the Julia Stiles vehicle The Prince and Me and as the ballet mistress Madame Giry in the long-awaited film version of The Phantom Of The Opera, starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. In 2005 she appeared in the high-profile role of Rita Skeeter, the toxic Daily Prophet journalist in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and has since appeared in a number of critically acclaimed but low-profile feature films. In 2006 she appeared alongside Bill Nighy in Stephen Poliakoff's multi-Golden Globe winning BBC drama, Gideon's Daughter. She played Mrs. Claus in the film Fred Claus (2007), co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti.

Richardson teamed up alongside Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders in the BBC sitcom, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. She appeared as a guest on Nigel Slater's A Taste of my Life in which she cooked dishes including lamb tagine and huevos rancheros.

It was announced in December 2008 that Richardson was cast in a leading role in original AMC pilot, Rubicon. She will reportedly play a New York socialite who finds herself drawn into the central intrigue of a think tank, after the death of her husband.

Additionally, she will play Labour politician Barbara Castle in the upcoming British film Dagenham Girls.