Holliday Grainger

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Holliday Grainger
BornHolliday Clark Grainger
(1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 24)
Didsbury, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Other namesHollie Grainger
Years active1994–present
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Holliday Grainger
BornHolliday Clark Grainger
(1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 24)
Didsbury, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Other namesHollie Grainger
Years active1994–present

Holliday Clark Grainger (also credited as Hollie Grainger; born 27 March 1988) is an English screen and stage actress. Some of her prominent roles include Lucrezia Borgia in Showtime series The Borgias and Estella in Mike Newell's Great Expectations. In May 2010, Grainger was named one of the 55 faces of the future in Nylon magazine's Young Hollywood Issue.[1]


Early life

Grainger was born in Didsbury. She is of partial Italian descent through a grandfather.[2] Growing up in Manchester, Grainger's first taste of acting came aged 6 when she was scouted for a BBC TV series. From then on, she appeared in multiple TV shows and independent films as a child actor.[2]

She attended Parrs Wood High School from 1999 to 2006,[3] then she started in 2007 a degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds. However, with her passion for acting, she eventually opted for an Open University[2] where she recently gained a First Class Honours Degree.[3]


Grainger's first acting role was at six years old in the BBC comedy drama series All Quiet on the Preston Front. A stream of roles followed in series such as Casualty, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe.[4] Among her television roles at young age, Grainger is perhaps most recognisable for playing Megan Boothe in Where the Heart Is, Stacey Appleyard in Waterloo Road and Sophia in Merlin.

In 2011 Grainger became popular with the Showtime television series The Borgias, where she plays Lucrezia Borgia alongside Jeremy Irons in the role of Pope Alexander VI. The series, created by Oscar-winning Neil Jordan and shot in Hungary, has been renewed for a third season.[5]

In addition to television she also performed on stage and on the big-screen. After her role as Emily in The Scouting Book for Boys she appears in a pair of 2011 feature productions – Jane Eyre, playing one of the Rivers sisters opposite Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, and Bel Ami alongside Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman. In 2012, she appeared in the film Anna Karenina, playing a minor role, Baroness Shilton.

In June 2011, Grainger landed a lead big screen role as Estella in Mike Newell's film adaptation of Great Expectations, opposite Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter.[6] The movie, screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012, had its European premiere as the closing night film of the BFI London Film Festival.[6] She recently finished filming the third series of The Borgias, starred in Disassociation, a play by Luke Bailey, at the Lowry, is due to start filming the British vampire film Hello Darkness this autumn, and has been cast as Bonnie Parker in a new mini-series about Bonnie & Clyde.

Personal life

Grainger resides in Manchester with her mother Gian, a graphic designer.[4] She went to piano, gymnastics lessons, Taekwondo and was a pupil at the Madeley School of Dancing in Manchester.[7]


1994All Quiet on the Preston FrontKirstyBBC1
1996Roger and the RottentrollsPrincess KateITV
1997The Missing PostmanHarrietBBC1
2000CasualtyKatie StoppardOne episode: "Seize the Night" (No.14.26); 26 February 2000BBC One
2001DoctorsNita HarmerOne episode: "Writing to Charlie" (No.3.55); 23 May 2001BBC One
Dalziel and PascoeNichola CrowleyOne episode: "Walls of Silence" (No.6.1); 29 October 2001BBC One
2002SparkhouseOlder Lisa BoltonSeptember 2002BBC One
2003The Illustrated MumStar5 December 2003 (adapted from the Jacqueline Wilson novel)Channel 4
The RoyalCarole GreenOne episode: "Coffin Fit" (No.1.3); 2 February 2003ITV
2005No AngelsSimoneOne episode (No.2.5); 12 April 2005Channel 4
New Street LawKatie LewisOne episode (No.1.1); 4 May 2006ITV
Where the Heart IsMegan Boothe18 episodes: 6 July 2003 – 28 August 2005ITV
DoctorsHolly LeavisOne episode: "Indestructible" (No.7.87); 9 November 2005BBC One
2007Johnny and the BombRose Bushell15 January 2006 (adapted from the Terry Pratchett novel)ITV1
The Bad Mother's Handbook[8]Charlotte Cooper19 February 2007 (adapted by Kate Long from her own novel)ITV1
Waterloo RoadStacey AppleyardFour episodes (No.2.5, 2.6, 2.8, 2.10); 11 February – 12 April 2007BBC One
2008Dis/ConnectedJenny31 March 2008BBC Three
M.I. HighLeah RetsamOne episode: "It's a Kind of Magic" (No.2.1); 7 January 2008BBC One
The Royal TodayAbigailOne episode (No.1.3); 9 January 2008ITV1
Fairy TalesLeeza GruffOne episode: "Billy Goat"; 31 January 2008BBC One
Waking the DeadNicolaTwo episodes: "Duty and Honour" (parts 1 & 2); 28–29 April 2008BBC One
Merlin[9]SophiaOne episode: "The Gates of Avalon" (No.1.7); 1 November 2008BBC One
2009DemonsRubyAll six episodes: 3 January – 7 February 2009ITV1
Robin HoodMegOne episode: "A Dangerous Deal" (No.3.9); 30 May 2009BBC One
Blue MurderJess BurgessOne episode: "Having it All" (No.5.1); 7 September 2009ITV1
Above SuspicionSharon BilkinThree episodes: "The Red Dahlia" (No.2.1); 4 January 2010ITV1
2010Stanley Park[10]"Dirty" DebbiePilotBBC Three
2010Five DaughtersAliceTwo episodes: 26–27 April 2010BBC One
2010Any Human HeartTessTwo episodes: 21–28 April 2010Channel 4
2011–presentThe Borgias[11]Lucrezia BorgiaShowtime
2000Daddy FoxYoung Maggie RichardsonDirector: John McCormack
2008AwaydaysMollyDirector: Pat Holden
2010The Scouting Book For BoysEmilyDirector: Tom Harper
2011Jane EyreDianaDirector: Cary Fukunaga
2012Great ExpectationsEstellaDirector: Mike Newell
2012Bel Ami[8]SuzanneDirectors: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
2012Anna KareninaThe BaronessDirector: Joe Wright
2009DimetosLydiaDonmar Warehouse, London; 19 March – 9 May 2009[12]
(author: Athol Fugard; director: Douglas Hodge)


  1. ^ "Holliday Grainger imdb Bio". imdb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0334441/bio.
  2. ^ a b c "Holliday Grainger Interview". 1883 Magazine. http://www.1883magazine.com/film/film/holliday-grainger. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Parrs Wood Alumni". parrswood.manchester.sch.uk. http://www.parrswood.manchester.sch.uk/school/alumni.html. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b Petty, Moira (18 November). "It's the Holliday season". dailymail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2232940/Holliday-Grainger-Its-Holliday-season.html#ixzz2Ca4L8oPG. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  5. ^ "The Borgias renewed season 3". huffingtonpost. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/the-borgias-renewed-showtime-season-3_n_1478562.html. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b Ge, Linda (17 June 2011). "Holliday Grainger cast as Estella in "Great Expectations" opposite Jeremy Irvine". http://upandcomers.net/2011/06/17/holliday-grainger-cast-as-estella-in-great-expectations-opposite-jeremy-irvine/. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Holliday Grainger Awards and Bio". goldderby.com. http://www.goldderby.com/candidates/holliday-grainger.html. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Holly Grainger Confirmed for Bel Ami « BelAmiFilm.com – Bel Ami The Movie – Starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci". Belamifilm.com. http://belamifilm.com/2010/02/01/holly-grainger-confirmed-for-bel-ami/. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  9. ^ "Merlin - Sophia and Aulfric played by Holliday Grainger and Kenneth Cranham". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/merlin/basic/characters/sophia/. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  10. ^ "Press Office - Network TV Programme Information BBC Week 23 Thursday 10 June 2010". BBC. 10 February 2004. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/2010/wk23/thu.shtml#thu_stanleypark. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  11. ^ Holliday Grainger The Borgias Wiki
  12. ^ Sauma, Luiza; "Close-up: Holliday Grainger" Independent.co.uk, 8 March 2009 (Retrieved: 2 August 2009)

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