Hermione Norris

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Hermione Norris
Hermione Norris cropped.jpg
Norris on the set of Kingdom
BornFebruary 1967 (1967-02) (age 47)
London, England
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Simon Wheeler (2002–present)
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Hermione Norris
Hermione Norris cropped.jpg
Norris on the set of Kingdom
BornFebruary 1967 (1967-02) (age 47)
London, England
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Simon Wheeler (2002–present)

Hermione Norris (born February 1967) is an English actress.

Norris attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the 1980s before taking small roles in theatre and on television. In 1996, she was cast in her breakout role of Karen Marsden in the comedy drama television series Cold Feet. She appeared in every episode of the series from 1998 to 2003 and was nominated for a British Comedy Award.

From 2002 to 2005, she co-starred in the crime drama series Wire in the Blood as Carol Jordan, and from 2005 to 2009 co-starred in the BBC One spy drama Spooks as Ros Myers. Her role in Spooks won her the award for Best Actress at the 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards, and another nomination the next year. From 2007 to 2009, she co-starred in the ITV comedy drama Kingdom, opposite Stephen Fry.

Norris is married, with two children.

Early life and education[edit]

Hermione Norris was born in February 1967[1] as the second of four children (she has two sisters and a brother).[2] Her parents, Michael and Helen Norris (née Latham), a businessman and health visitor respectively, divorced when she was four years old.[2] She moved with her mother and siblings to live with her grandmother in Derbyshire, but moved back to London a few years later. She failed her eleven plus exam but won a scholarship to Elmhurst Ballet School in Surrey. While there, she took up drama at an after-school club, performing alongside her dance studies until she left aged 17. For the next two years she did "various office jobs to get by".[3]

At age 19 she enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[3] On an exchange to the Moscow Art Theatre School she played Nina in a production of The Seagull.[4] After leaving college at the age of 21, she lived in a house in Brixton with four other actors. At the same time, she had to deal with the sudden death of her father.[2]


Norris made her professional stage debut in a 1989 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which earned her her Equity card. She made her television debut in the 1991 BBC serial The Men's Room, playing the daughter of Bill Nighy's character.[5] Other early television roles include appearances in Agatha Christie's Poirot, the television serial Clarissa, and a 1991 episode of Drop the Dead Donkey. She continued to make guest appearances in series such as Between the Lines and Casualty. When out of work, she supported herself by working on Sainsbury's supermarket checkouts, and selling double glazing in a shopping centre.[2]

After being out of work for four months in 1996, Norris considered quitting acting and reading for a degree in law, intending to become a solicitor.[3][6] However, she got a part in Cold Feet playing Karen Marsden, a middle-class woman who feels trapped by her middle-class lifestyle.[2][6] Norris appeared in every episode and was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Actress in 2001.[7]

During the six years Cold Feet ran, Norris appeared in a leading role in the BBC drama Berkeley Square, Killing Time: The Millennium Poem, starring opposite Christopher Eccleston, and the 2002 television film Falling Apart, playing a woman in a violent relationship. In 2002, she co-starred with Robson Green in Wire in the Blood, playing Detective Inspector Carol Jordan. She stayed with the series until 2005 when she was replaced by Simone Lahbib. Further film roles include an appearance in an adaptation of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim, and in David Kane's Born Romantic.

At the end of 2005 she was cast in the BBC One spy drama Spooks, playing Ros Myers.[8] She appeared throughout the 2006 series, then in eight of the ten episodes in the 2007 series before taking time off filming for maternity leave. She returned to the show for the 2008 series.[2] For her part, she won the Best Actress award at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.[9] She was nominated in the same category the next year.[10] She left the series in 2009 after four years.[11]

From 2007 to 2009, she appeared in three series of Kingdom playing Beatrice Kingdom, the half-sister of Stephen Fry's character. She took the role as a change of pace from the "ice maiden" characters she often portrays.[12] In 2010, she stars opposite Trevor Eve in the remake of Bouquet of Barbed Wire.[13] In 2010, she was cast in the television science fiction drama Outcasts as Stella Isen, the head of security on an extraterrestrial human colony.[14][15] Filming occurred on location in South Africa. From November 2010, Norris is due to play Ruth Condomine in a national tour of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit. She will star opposite her Cold Feet co-star Robert Bathurst, and Alison Steadman. Of the play, Norris said, "Coward's insights into the way the female mind works are excellent. Elvira's manipulations and Ruth with her control issues, they're both utterly believable".[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Norris began a relationship with Simon Wheeler, a writer on Wire in the Blood. The couple married in December 2002 in a ceremony at the Tower of London.[6] Their first child, Wilf, was born in June 2004, and their daughter, Hero, followed in August 2007.[17] Her father-in-law is General Sir Roger Wheeler, the Chief of the General Staff from 1997 to 2000.


1990Blood RightsVirginiaTelevision film
1991–1992SpatzWendy2 episodes of television series:
  • "Talent Contest" (1991)
  • "Poetry and Music" (1992)
1991The Men's RoomJoanna Carleton4-part television serial
1991Drop the Dead DonkeyOctavia1 episode of television series:
  • "The Gulf Report"
1991CasualtyAbby Larwood1 episode of television series:
1991ClarissaAnna Howe4-part television serial
1992Screen Two: The Count of SolarCarolineTelevision film
1993Agatha Christie's PoirotCelestine1 episode:
  • "Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan"
1993Between the LinesGail Myles1 episode of television series:
  • "Manslaughter"
1994Under the HammerAnthea Bovington1 episode of television series:
  • "The Spectre at the Feast"
1994CasualtyBobbie Croft1 episode of television series:
1997Comedy Premieres: Cold FeetKaren MarsdenTelevision pilot
1997Hospital!Cast memberTelevision film
1997See You FridaySophie1 series of television series
1997Agatha Christie's The Pale HorseHermia RedcliffeTelevision film
1997Get Well SoonVanessa Del Ray1 episode of television series:
  • "The Whist Drive"
1997CadfaelMary1 episode of television series:
  • "The Raven in the Foregate"
1998The BillLouise Golding1 episode: "Friends in High Places"
1998Berkeley SquareVictoria St. John1 series of television series
1998–2003Cold FeetKaren Marsden5 series of television series
1999Peak PracticePenny1 episode of television series: "New Beginnings"
1999HeartbeatDiane Palmer1 episode of television series: "David Stockwell's Ghost"
2000Killing Time: The Millennium PoemMillennium WomanTelevision film
2001Born RomanticCarolanneFeature film
2002Falling ApartClareTelevision film
2002–2005Wire in the BloodDCI Carol Jordan3 series of television series
2003QuicksandSarahFeature film
2003Lucky JimCarol GoldsmithTelevision film
2005Separate LiesPriscillaFeature film
2006The Kindness of StrangersFiona ChartersTelevision film
2006–2009SpooksRos Myers4 series of television series
2007–2009KingdomBeatrice Kingdom3 series of television series
2010Bouquet of Barbed WireCassie Manson3-part television serial
2011OutcastsStella Isen1 series of television series
2012A Mother's SonRosie2-part television serial
A Year in the WildNarrator3-part documentary series
2013Agatha Christie's Marple: A Caribbean MysteryEvelyn Hillingdon1 of 3 of television series
2014The Crimson FieldGrace Carter
2014In the ClubRoanna


YearTitleRoleDirectorPerformance history
1989A Midsummer Night's DreamHelenaRichard Digby DayMercury Theatre, Colchester. 11–30 September 1989
1989Habeas CorpusFelicity RumpersMichael WinterMercury Theatre, Colchester. 4–28 October 1989
1989Daisy Pulls it OffChristopher G. SandfordThorndike, Leatherhead. 13 November–9 December 1989
1991Man and SupermanAnn WhitfieldHelena Kaut-HowsonCitizens Theatre. 3 May–1 June 1991
1991Three Judgements in OneDona ViolanteSimon UsherGate, Notting Hill. 11 October–9 November 1991
1992–1993PygmalionClara Eynsford-HillHoward DaviesOlivier (National). 6 April 1992 – 11 January 1993
1992Square RoundsVariousTony HarrisonOlivier (National). 1–17 October 1992
1994September TideCherryCelia BannermanTour (Islington, Leatherhead, Liverpool). 18 January–April 1994
1994–1995Charley's AuntAmy SpettigueEmil WolkRoyal Exchange, Manchester. 8 December 1994 – 21 January 1995
1995Look Back in AngerHelena CharlesGregory HersovRoyal Exchange, Manchester. 26 January–25 February 1995
1995ReaderIrene/JacquelineIan BrownTraverse Theatre. 29 July–2 September 1995
1996Blinded by the SunBarbaraRon DanielsCottesloe (National). 3 September–28 December 1996
2005PetronellaPetronellaIndhu RubasinghamOld Vic. 19 June 2005
2010–2011Blithe SpiritRuthThea SharrockNational tour, 2010–2011[21]
  Theatre Royal, Brighton. 3–21 November 2010
  Cambridge Arts Theatre. 22–27 November 2010
  Milton Keynes Theatre. 14–19 February 2011
  Richmond Theatre. 21–26 February 2011
West End transfer, 2011[21]
  Apollo Theatre. 2 March–18 June 2011


  1. ^ Register of births for Jan-Mar 1967: Paddington, volume 5d, page 928. Several print sources claim that she is a year younger than this (e.g. Cable).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cable, Amanda (11 October 2008). "A tortured spook". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers): pp. 10–14 (Weekend supplement).
  3. ^ a b c Kerr, Paula (6 May 2006). "My teenage years". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers).
  4. ^ McLeod, Pauline (9 November 2002). "My cultural life: Hermione Norris". The Times (Times Newspapers).
  5. ^ Swann, Yvonne (17 February 2005). "Acting's in my blood". Daily Mirror (MGN): p. 57.
  6. ^ a b c Tweedie, Neil (28 February 2008). "Hermione Norris: 'I nearly gave up acting to be a lawyer...'". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group).
  7. ^ Staff (16 December 2001). "Skinner crowned TV comedy king". BBC News Online. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  8. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (31 December 2005). "'Cold Feet' star joins 'Spooks'". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  9. ^ Rosser, Michael, (6 October 2008), "Morse author honoured at Crime Thriller Awards". Broadcastnow (Emap Media). Retrieved on 7 October 2008.
  10. ^ Allen, Kate (7 September 2009). "Coben, Cole, Atkinson vie for crime awards". The Bookseller. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  11. ^ Power, Vicki (30 May 2010). "Richard Armitage: ‘I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into’". Sunday Mirror (MGN).
  12. ^ Wylie, Ian (2 May 2007). "Why star still gets Cold Feet over bedroom scenes". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media).
  13. ^ Hemley, Matthew (15 October 2009). "Hermione Norris joins cast of ITV’s A Bouquet of Barbed Wire". The Stage.
  14. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (19 February 2010). "Watch out for..." Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers): p. 46.
  15. ^ "Outcasts". BBC Online. Retrieved on 2 June 2010.
  16. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (16 July 2010). "From Spooks to a seance". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers).
  17. ^ Staff (31 August 2007). "Cold Feet actress has baby girl". BBC News Online. Retrieved on 1 September 2007.
  18. ^ Hermione Norris. British Film Institute. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  19. ^ Scottish Theatre Archive Catalogue. University of Glasgow Special Collections. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  20. ^ The Stage Archive. The Stage Newspaper Limited. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  21. ^ a b BWW News Desk (16 July 2010). "Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst Join Cast of BLITHE SPIRIT, Opens 3/2". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved on 16 July 2010.

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