Holliday Grainger

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Holliday Grainger
Holliday Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, Toronto Film Festival 2012.jpg
Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, 2012 Toronto Film Festival
BornHolliday Clark Grainger
(1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 26)
Didsbury, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Other namesHolly Grainger
Years active1994–present
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Holliday Grainger
Holliday Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, Toronto Film Festival 2012.jpg
Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, 2012 Toronto Film Festival
BornHolliday Clark Grainger
(1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 26)
Didsbury, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Other namesHolly Grainger
Years active1994–present

Holliday Clark Grainger (also credited as Holly Grainger; born 27 March 1988) is an English screen and stage actress. Some of her prominent roles include Lucrezia Borgia in the Showtime series The Borgias and Estella in Mike Newell's adaptation Great Expectations.

Early life[edit]

Grainger was born in Didsbury, Manchester. She is of partial Italian descent through a grandfather.[1] Growing up in Manchester, Grainger's first taste of acting came at age six 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.[1]

She attended Parrs Wood High School from 1999 to 2006,[2] and in 2007 began a degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds. However, with her passion for acting, she eventually opted for the Open University[1] where she recently gained a First Class Honours Degree.[2]


Grainger's first acting role was at six years old in the BBC comedy drama series All Quiet on the Preston Front. Several roles followed in series such as Casualty, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe.[3] 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, ran for three seasons.[4]

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.[5] The movie, screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012, had its European premiere as the closing night film of the BFI London Film Festival.[5] She completed work on the third series of The Borgias, starred in Disassociation, a play by Luke Bailey, at the Lowry, and also played Bonnie Parker in a new mini-series about Bonnie & Clyde. She finished work on one of the female leads in the film version of the play Posh, alongside Max Irons, as well as having completed work on Kenneth Branagh's new cinematic retelling of Cinderella as Cinderella's step-sister, Anastasia Tremaine.[6] She will star in a film adaptation of the novel Tulip Fever alongside Alicia Vikander [7] and starred on stage in a contemporary version of Chekov's Three Sisters.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Grainger lives in Manchester with her mother Gian, a graphic designer.[3] She went to piano, gymnastics lessons, Taekwondo and was a pupil at the Madeley School of Dancing in Manchester.[9]



1994All Quiet on the Preston FrontKirsty4 episodes
1996Roger and the RottentrollsKate BeckettUnknown episodes
1997Missing Postman, TheThe Missing PostmanHarrietFilm
2000Comin' Atcha!PaulineEpisode: "The Day Off"
2000CasualtyKatie StoppardEpisode: "Seize the Night"
2001Dalziel and PascoeNicola CrowleyEpisode: "Walls of Silence"
2001DoctorsNita HarmerEpisode: "Writing to Charlie"
2002SparkhouseOlder Lisa BoltonFilm
2003Illustrated Mum, TheThe Illustrated MumStar WestwardFilm
2003–05Where the Heart IsMegan Boothe18 episodes
2005Magnificent 7Louise JacksonFilm
2005No AngelsSimoneEpisode: "2.5"
2005DoctorsHolly LeavisEpisode: "Indestructible"
2006Johnny and the BombRose BushellFilm
2006New Street LawKatie LewisEpisode: "1.1"
2007Waterloo RoadStacey Appleyard4 episodes
2007Bad Mother's Handbook, TheThe Bad Mother's HandbookCharlotte CooperFilm
2003Royal, TheThe RoyalCarole GreenEpisode: "Coffin Fit"
2008M.I. HighLeah RetsamEpisode: "It's a Kind of Magic"
2008Royal Today, TheThe Royal TodayAbigailEpisode: "1.3"
2008Fairy TalesLeeza GruffEpisode: "Billy Goat"
2008Waking the DeadNicola Bennet2 episodes
2008MerlinSophiaEpisode: "The Gates of Avalon"
2009DemonsRubyMiniseries (6 episodes)
2009Robin HoodMegEpisode: "A Dangerous Deal"
2009Blue MurderJess BurgessEpisode: "Having It All"
2010Above Suspicion 2: The Red DahliaSharon Bilkin3 episodes
2010Five DaughtersAliceEpisodes: "1.2", "1.3"
2010Stanley ParkDirty DebbiePilot
2010Any Human HeartTess Scabius2 episodes
2011–13Borgias, TheThe BorgiasLucrezia Borgia29 episodes
2013Bonnie & ClydeBonnie ParkerMiniseries
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries


2009AwaydaysMolly Carty
2009Scouting Book for Boys, TheThe Scouting Book for BoysEmily
2010ColetteColetteShort film
2011Jane EyreDiana Rivers
2012Bel AmiSuzanne Rousset
2012Anna KareninaBaroness
2012Great ExpectationsEstella Havisham
2014The Riot ClubLauren
2015CinderellaAnastasia TremaineIn post-production
2015Tulip FeverMariaIn post-production
2015The Finest HoursFilming


2009DimetosLydiaDonmar Warehouse, London


  1. ^ a b c "Holliday Grainger Interview". 1883 Magazine. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Parrs Wood Alumni". parrswood.manchester.sch.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Petty, Moira (18 November 2012). "It's the Holliday season". London: dailymail. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Harnick, Chris (4 May 2012). "The Borgias renewed season 3". huffingtonpost. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Ge, Linda (17 June 2011). "Holliday Grainger cast as Estella in "Great Expectations" opposite Jeremy Irvine". Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  6. ^ 'The Borgias' Star Holliday Grainger Joins Disney's 'Cinderella' (Exclusive) Retrieved 11 June 2013
  7. ^ "Alicia Vikander To Star In Long-Developing 'Tulip Fever,' Matthias Schoenaerts Sought For Role". indiewire.com. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  8. ^ 'Three Sisters, Southwark Playhouse, review' Retrieved 30 September 2014
  9. ^ "Holliday Grainger Awards and Bio". goldderby.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 

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