Anna Friel

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Anna Friel
BornAnna Louise Friel
(1976-07-12) 12 July 1976 (age 37)
Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England
OccupationActress
Years active1986–present
Partner(s)David Thewlis (2001–2010)[1]
 
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Anna Friel
BornAnna Louise Friel
(1976-07-12) 12 July 1976 (age 37)
Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England
OccupationActress
Years active1986–present
Partner(s)David Thewlis (2001–2010)[1]

Anna Louise Friel (born 12 July 1976) is an English actress. Born in Rochdale, she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes. She played Beth Jordache on the Channel 4 soap Brookside which had the first lesbian kiss on British television in January 1994. She made her West End stage début in London in 2001, and has subsequently appeared on stage in several productions, including an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.

Friel made her film debut in 1998 in David Leland's Land Girls and has since made a number of films appearing with such notable co-stars as Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Robert De Niro, Will Ferrell, and Rachel Weisz. Outside of film, she is probably best known in the USA for her work as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in the ABC comedy series Pushing Daisies for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2008.

She is the recipient of a number of awards including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009). She has also appeared in music videos and television and print media advertising campaigns and is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Bolton.

She was previously in a relationship with the actor David Thewlis, and in 2005 had a daughter by him.

Early life[edit]

Friel was born in Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, the daughter of Julie (née Bamford), a special needs teacher, and Desmond "Des" Friel, a former teacher of French and owner of a web design company.[2][3] Friel's Irish Catholic father, a former folk guitarist, was born in Belfast, and grew up in County Donegal.[4][5][6] Her brother, Michael, starred in Hovis television adverts.[7] He is now a doctor.

She attended Crompton House Church of England High School (in High Crompton), and later attended Holy Cross College (in Bury).[8] She began her training as an actress at Oldham Theatre Workshop.

Acting career[edit]

At the age of 13, she was hired for her first professional acting job in the Channel 4 drama serial G.B.H., as the daughter of Michael Palin's character. Her performance led to a series of appearances on various British television shows, including Emmerdale. In 1992, she was added to the cast on the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, where she gained greater exposure in the role of Beth Jordache. She stayed on the programme for two years. Friel's on-air lesbian kiss with Nicola Stephenson was the first in British soap history.[8][9] In 1995, Friel won the National Television Award for Most Popular Actress for her work on Brookside.[10]

In 1996, Friel courted further controversy when she appeared in the television film The Tribe by Stephen Poliakoff, which included nudity and a much discussed ménage à trois sex scene between characters played by Friel, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeremy Northam.[11]

In 2001, she made her West End stage début in London in a fringe production of Lulu, which also transferred to Broadway.[12]

Friel's film credits include playing Nick Leeson's wife Lisa in Rogue Trader opposite Ewan McGregor; David Leland's The Land Girls, which also starred Rachel Weisz and Catherine McCormack;[13][14] Adam Collis Sunset Strip as Tammy Franklin, opposite Jared Leto, Simon Baker and Nick Stahl; All for Love with Richard E. Grant; A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia, opposite Christian Bale, Dominic West and Calista Flockhart; Timeline as Gerard Butler's object of affection; Me Without You opposite Michelle Williams; and Goal! and Goal II: Living the Dream.

Her television work includes the short lived The Jury for the Fox and ITV1's Watermelon which was based on the novel by Marian Keyes. In 2007, she started playing Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in Pushing Daisies, a new television series from the creator of Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, on the American network ABC.[15] Although popular with critics, in November 2008, creator Bryan Fuller stated that it had been cancelled due to poor ratings.[16] The show ran for two seasons. Following the series' cancellation, Friel was offered six pilots during the next pilot season but declined all six roles in favour of focusing on her film career.[17]

In November 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bolton for contributions to the performing arts.[18]

Mulberry A/W 2001

Henry Bond's photograph depicts Anna with David Thewlis. The couple were reported to have been paid £50,000 to appear in the autumn/winter 2001 advertising campaign for British fashion company Mulberry.[19]

In September 2009, Friel starred in a West End adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.[20] It was particularly noted for now including a nude scene which was not part of the original Breakfast at Tiffany's performance.[21]

In April 2010, she was cast in the psychological thriller film The Dark Fields[22] (now entitled Limitless and released in March 2011). In November 2010, Friel starred in London Boulevard alongside Ray Winstone, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and her then partner David Thewlis.[23]

Friel appears in the video for the Manic Street Preachers' September 2010 single "(It's Not War) Just the End of Love" opposite Welsh actor Michael Sheen, with whom she co-starred in the 2003 film Timeline.[24]

In January 2011, Friel appeared in an episode of the BBC series Come Fly with Me as a fictionalised version of herself.[25] In the show she is bald and has lost her wig.[26] In December of that year, she played the star role (Ellie Manning) in ITV's series drama Without You.[27] That same month, she starred as Captain Elizabeth Bonny in the SyFy network's production of Neverland, a prequel to J.M. Barrie's classic story Peter Pan.[28]

In March 2012, Friel began filming for The King of Soho, later renamed The Look of Love, a biographical movie about "porn baron" Paul Raymond, in which she plays Raymond's wife Jean alongside Steve Coogan as Raymond. She also starred in Public Enemies, a 3-part BBC television drama which aired in early 2012, opposite Daniel Mays.[29] The two previously worked together during her appearance on The Street. It also featured Barnaby Kay, an actor whom she worked with in Without You.

In 2013 Anna was cast in Showtime's new drama The Vatican opposite Kyle Chandler.[30] Anna Friel filmed Having You, a TV movie, opposite Andrew Buchan, in 2012, and it aired on Sky TV in early May 2013 for UK residents.[31] Having You has yet to be released on DVD.

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, Friel began a relationship with actor David Thewlis, after the pair met on a flight to Cannes. (Contrary to popular belief, however, the two never married.)[32] In the same year Friel collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, needing emergency surgery and two blood transfusions for a burst ovarian cyst.[33] It was later discovered that she suffers from endometriosis and would have great difficulty conceiving.[34] However, she succeeded in conceiving and gave birth to Gracie Ellen Mary Thewlis on 9 July 2005 at Portland Hospital in London.[35] Gracie was named after Gracie Fields, who was also from Rochdale, and her mother's grandmothers, Ellen and Mary. She has appeared along with her mother in the film Bathory.[36]

In 2008, Friel began supporting the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.[37]

In December 2010, Friel and Thewlis separated after almost ten years together.[38] Since 2011, Friel has been in a relationship with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.[citation needed]

She lives in Frome, Somerset.[39]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1991G.B.H.Susan NelsonTV mini-series
1992EmmerdalePoppy BruceEpisodes
1993MedicsHolly JarrettEpisode (No.3.3)
1993–1995BrooksideBeth JordacheEpisodes
1995The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis ShowEpisode (No.2.1)
1996Tales from the CryptAngelicaEpisode ("About Face")
CadfaelSionedEpisode ("A Morbid Taste for Bones")
1998The Land GirlsPrue (Prudence)
Our Mutual FriendBella WilferEpisodes (No.1.1, No.1.2)
The StringerHelen
The TribeLizzie
St. IvesFlora Gilchrist
1999A Midsummer Night's DreamHermia
Rogue TraderLisa Leeson
Mad CowsMaddy
2000Sunset StripTammy Franklin
An Everlasting PieceBronagh
2001The FearStorytellerRecurring
The War BrideLily
Me Without YouMarina
2002Fields of GoldLucia MerrittTV film
2003WatermelonClaire RyanTV film
Last Rumba in RochdaleBodneyVoice actor
TimelineLady Claire
2004Perfect StrangersSusie Wilding
2005Goal!Roz Harmison
2006Irish JamMaureen
Niagara MotelDenise
2007Goal! 2: Living the Dream...Roz Harmison
RubbishIsobel
2007–2008Pushing DaisiesCharlotte "Chuck" CharlesMain cast
2008BathoryCountess Erzsébet Báthory
2009Land of the LostHolly Cantrell
The StreetDee PurnellEpisodes (No.3.2 and No.3.3)
2010London BoulevardBriony
Angel MakersLizzie
You Will Meet a Tall Dark StrangerIris
2011NeverlandElizabeth BonnyTV film
Treasure GuardsVictoria EckhartTV film
Come Fly with MeHerselfComedy series
Without YouEllieTV Series
LimitlessMelissa
2012Public EnemiesPaula RadnorDrama series
2013The VaticanKayla DuffyTV pilot
Having You
The Look of LoveJean Raymond

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Thewlis is the 'Anonymous' actor who's everywhere, Los Angeles Times, 12 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Anna Friel". Anna Friel. 23 May 1995. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Anna Friel Interview" Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times, 18 February 2001
  4. ^ "The Look Mirror Interview". Anna Friel. 5 June 1999. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Leith, William (9 August 1998). "Anna Friel: Lipstick thespian". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Official Anna Friel website". Annafriel.org. 11 December 1996. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Leith, William (9 August 1998). "Anna Friel: Lipstick thespian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Roffey, Monique (2 October 1994). "When Anna and Beth kissed Margaret: Anna Friel plays Brookside's lesbian pin-up. Monique Roffey met her". The Independent (London). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Discover more about the stars of BBC Drama – Anna Friel". BBC. 
  10. ^ Woods, Judith (6 December 2011). "Anna Friel: 'My daughter didn't ask to be from a broken home'". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  11. ^ "BuddyTV Bio". BuddyTV. Retrieved 8 September 2007. 
  12. ^ Smith, Neil (23 March 2001). "Sex, violence and Anna Friel". BBC News. 
  13. ^ "Entertainment Stars back the Rogue Trader". BBC News Online. 22 June 1999. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Julia Llewellyn Smith (27 February 2010). "Land girls: disquiet on the home front". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "(Pushing Daisies)About This Show". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "Pushing Daisies Cancelled, Eli Stone + Dirty Sexy Money at Risk". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Dos Santos, Kristin; Jennifer Godwin (26 February 2009). "Pushing Daisies: What's Anna Friel's Next Project?". E! Online – Watch with Kristin. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  18. ^ "University announces winter Honorary Doctorates". University of Bolton. 24 November 2006. 
  19. ^ "Friel The Heat". Vogue. 31 July 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Entertainment | West End Breakfast for Anna Friel". BBC News. 15 May 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  21. ^ "Irish News | Anna Friel's 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' nude scene causing a stir". Irish News. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  22. ^ "The Beautiful Anna Friel Latest to Enter 'The Dark Fields'". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  23. ^ "Anna Friel the Next to Run Through the Dark Fields". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  24. ^ "Sheen's painful embrace". 3 September 2010. www.thisissouthwales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "BBC One – Come Fly With Me, Episode 5". BBC Online. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "hairless: Come Fly With Me". themakeupgallery. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Without You at ITV web site
  28. ^ Hunt, Jason (30 November 2011). "Anna Friel is NEVERLAND's Bonny Lass". SciFi4Me.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  29. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2148433/
  30. ^ Jensen, Jeff (1 March 2013). "Showtime casts Anna Friel in 'The Vatican' | Inside TV | EW.com". Insidetv.ew.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  31. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2343549/
  32. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/20100609anna-friel-david-thewlis-accidently-set-house-fire.html?nclick_check=1
  33. ^ "Anna Friel was almost left infertile by a medical condition. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  34. ^ "Anna Friel was almost left infertile by a medical condition". Zeenews.india.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  35. ^ MacDonald, Marianne (26 September 2005). "Post-natal confession". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  36. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469640/?ref_=sr_1
  37. ^ "Fashion Targets Breast Cancer". Targetbreastcancer.org.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  38. ^ "Friel, Thewlis split after nine years". Digital Spy. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  39. ^ . 10 August 2013 http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3838987.ece.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/8935850/Anna-Friel-My-daughter-didnt-ask-to-be-from-a-broken-home.html

External links[edit]