Jane Horrocks

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Jane Horrocks
Jane Horrocks waxwork.jpg
Jane Horrocks wax sculpture at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, Lancashire
BornBarbara Jane Horrocks
(1964-01-18) 18 January 1964 (age 51)
Rawtenstall, Lancashire, England, UK
OccupationActress, voice artist, singer
Years active1987–present
Partner(s)Nick Vivian
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Jane Horrocks
Jane Horrocks waxwork.jpg
Jane Horrocks wax sculpture at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, Lancashire
BornBarbara Jane Horrocks
(1964-01-18) 18 January 1964 (age 51)
Rawtenstall, Lancashire, England, UK
OccupationActress, voice artist, singer
Years active1987–present
Partner(s)Nick Vivian

Barbara Jane Horrocks (born 18 January 1964) is an English stage, screen and television actress, voice artist, musician and singer. She played "Bubble" in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous and is known for her distinctive voice and strong Lancashire accent.

Early life[edit]

Horrocks, the youngest of three children, was born in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, the daughter of Barbara (née Ashworth), a hospital worker, and John Horrocks, a sales representative.[1] She attended Balladen County Primary School and later trained at Oldham College and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with Imogen Stubbs and Ralph Fiennes,[2] and began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company.[3] She drew critical notice for her performance in the film Life Is Sweet (1991), followed by her award-winning performance in the West End play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in which she sang all the songs. Horrocks became a name with the role of Bubble in Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012).

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice[edit]

While working on Road, a play directed by Jim Cartwright, Horrocks warmed up by doing singing impressions of Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Ethel Merman. Cartwright was so impressed with her mimicry he wrote The Rise and Fall of Little Voice for her.[citation needed] She was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1992 West End production, directed by her boyfriend Sam Mendes.[citation needed] She reprised her role in the 1998 screen adaptation, Little Voice, which earned nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, the Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture, and the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress.[citation needed]

In 2000, Horrocks made the CD Further Adventures of Little Voice, again singing in the style of favourite divas.[citation needed] The recording includes duets with Ewan McGregor, Robbie Williams and Dean Martin. Horrocks collaborated once more with Robbie Williams the following year, for a cover of the Bobby Darin song "Things" on Williams's album Swing When You're Winning.


Horrocks has appeared on stage in Ask for the Moon (Hampstead, 1986), A Collier's Friday Night (Greenwich, 1987), Valued Friends (Hampstead, 1989), and The Debutante Ball (Hampstead, 1989). She appeared in "Catherine Cookson's The Fifteen Streets, alongside Sean Bean and Owen Teale in 1989, Our Own Kind (Bush, 1991), Deadly Advice (Fletcher, 1993), Cabaret (Donmar Warehouse, 1994), Macbeth (Greenwich Theatre, 1995) and Absurd Person Singular (Garrick Theatre, 2007).[1] Her last West End appearance was in Sweet Panic, the 2003 Stephen Poliakoff drama in which she portrayed a neurotic mother locked in a battle of wills with her disturbed son's psychologist.[citation needed] She starred in Richard Jones's critically acclaimed production of The Good Soul of Szechuan at the Young Vic in 2008,[4] and was reunited with Jones in a new musical production of Annie Get Your Gun, which opened at the Young Vic in October 2009.[5]

Horrocks's voiceovers have been used on Chicken Run (2000), Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001), Corpse Bride (2005), Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006) and Tinker Bell (2008) (in which she was Fairy Mary; she reprises the role in the Tinker Bell sequels), and on radio as Fenchurch in the audio adaptation of Douglas Adams' science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for BBC Radio 4. She has voiced Donner in all three Robbie the Reindeer films in aid of Comic Relief.

Other television credits include Absolutely Fabulous, Victoria Wood - We'd Quite Like To Apologise, Bad Girl, Boon, Heartland, Hunting Venus, La Nonna, Leaving Home, Never Mind the Horrocks, Nightlife, Wyrd Sisters, Foxbusters, Red Dwarf, Some Kind of Life, Suffer the Little Children, The Storyteller, The Garden, Fifi & the Flowertots, Little Princess (the voice of the princess) and Welcome to the Times.[citation needed] She was the subject of an episode of the genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are? in 2006. That year she played the title role in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, a drama about a woman elected prime minister. For 10 years, Horrocks appeared with Prunella Scales in commercials for the UK supermarket chain Tesco.[6] She narrated BBC Two's television series The Speaker in April 2009.[7]

Also in 2009, Horrocks took the lead in the BBC TV production Gracie!, a drama portraying the life of Gracie Fields during World War II and her relationship with the Italian-born director Monty Banks (played by Tom Hollander).[8]

On Tuesday 14 January 2014, Horrocks appeared as a contestant in The Great Sport Relief Bake Off on BBC Two. This programme is the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off, whose purpose is to help raise money for the charity Sport Relief, and was hosted by Jo Brand. The other contestants were: TV and radio presenter Kirsty Young, choreographer Jason Gardiner, and Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford.

In October 2014, Horrocks will play Ella Khan in the London revival of East is East at Trafalgar Studios as part of Jamie Lloyd's Trafalgar Transformed season. [9]

Personal life[edit]

Horrocks lives with playwright Nick Vivian[10] in Twickenham with their children, son Dylan and daughter Molly.[11]

In 2011, Horrocks caused minor controversy by admitting to no longer shopping in Tesco, stating that '(t)here's always a set type of people doing their shopping ... whether it's pensioners holding everyone up or screeching kids. Or sometimes you can have rather a lot of chavs in, and that gets a bit scary.' Writers Julie Burchill and Barbara Allen branded Horrocks snobbish and hypocritical for her comments, drawing particular attention to the fact that Horrocks had famously fronted a series of adverts for the supermarket chain in the 1990s.[12][13][14]



YearTitleRoleDirected by
1988The DressmakerRitaJim O'Brien
1989Getting It RightJennyRandal Kleiser
The Wolves of Willoughby ChasePatternStuart Orme
1990The WitchesMiss Susan IrvineNicolas Roeg
Memphis BelleFaithMichael Caton-Jones
Life Is SweetNicolaMike Leigh
1993Second BestDebbieChris Menges
1994Deadly AdviceJodie GreenwoodMandie Fletcher
1997Bring Me the Head of Mavis DavisMavis Davis / Marla DorlandJohn Henderson
1998Little VoiceLVMark Herman
1999FaeriesHuccaby (voice)Gary Hurst
2000Chicken RunBabs (voice)Peter Lord & Nick Park
Born RomanticMoDavid Kane
Lion of OzWimsik (voice)Tim Deacon
2001Christmas Carol: The MovieGhost of Christmas Past (voice)Jimmy T. Murakami
2005Corpse BrideThe Black Widow / Mrs. Plum (voice)Tim Burton
Brothers of the HeadRoberta HoweKeith Fulton & Louis Pepe
2006Garfield: A Tail of Two KittiesMeenie (voice)Tim Hill
2008Tinker BellFairy Mary (voice)Bradley Raymond
2009Tinker Bell and the Lost TreasureFairy Mary (voice)Klay Hall
2010No One Gets Off in This Town
2011Arthur ChristmasLead Elf (voice)Sarah Smith
2012Secret of the WingsFairy Mary (voice)Bobs Gannaway & Peggy Holmes
2013Sunshine on LeithJeanDexter Fletcher
2014The Pirate FairyFairy MaryPeggy Holmes


1987First SightNatalieEpisode: "Leaving Home" (1.3)
ScreenplayLouiseEpisode: "The Road" (2.13)
1988The StorytellerAnjaEpisode: "The True Bride" (1.9)
The Ruth Rendell MysteriesPippa BondEpisode: "No Crying He Makes" (2.7)
1989The Jim Henson HourAnjaEpisode: "Musicians" (1.8)
Victoria WoodCathy WarburtonEpisode: We'd Quite Like to Apologise" (1.4)
Smith & JonesEpisode: "The Unprepared Version" (5.6)
1990BoonTrisha DowneyEpisode: "Best Left Buried" (5.11)
1991Screen OneGailEpisode: "Alive and Kicking" (3.7)
PerformanceEpisode: "Nona" (1.2)
1992Red DwarfNirvanah CraneEpisode: "Holoship" (5.1)
ScreenplayMaggie HuntEpisode: "Bad Girl" (7.3)
PerformanceEpisode: "Roots" (2.3)
1995PerformanceDoll TearsheetEpisode: "Henry IV" (5.5)
1996Tales from the CryptCammyEpisode: "Cold War" (7.6)
Never Mind the HorrocksVarious roles
1997Wyrd SistersMagrat Garlick (voice)Television mini-series
The BlobsVarious (voice)26 Episodes (all episodes)
1995–1998Crapston VillasFlossie20 episodes (all episodes)
1999FoxbustersJeffries (voice)
1999–2000Watership DownHannah14 episodes
2000MirrorballYitta HilberstamTelevision pilot
2001Little Big MouthKrystan (voice)
2002Linda GreenTeresa FranklinEpisode: "Teresa" (2.2)
2004Monkey TrousersVarious roles
2005JerichoSadie SwettenhamEpisode: "To Murder and Create" (1.3)
2006The StreetAngela QuinnEpisodes: "The Accident" (1.1)
"Stan" (1.2)
2005–2005Fifi and the FlowertotsFifi Forget-Me-Not40 episodes
2006The Amazing Mrs PritchardRos Pritchard6 episodes (all episodes)
2006–2007Little PrincessLittle Princess (voice)
2011Coming UpFelicityEpisode: "Magic" (6.5)
Phineas and FerbElizaEpisode: "My Fair Goalie" (3.11)
This is JinsyMrs. StentonEpisode: "Vel" (1.6)
Little CrackersHairdresserEpisode: "Jane Horrocks' Little Cracker: Barbara" (2.3)
Pixie Hollow GamesFairy Mary (voice)Television special
2012Get Your House in OrderNarrator (voice)Episode: "Stuart" (1.3)
True LoveSandraEpisode: "Sandra" (1.4)
1992–2012Absolutely FabulousBubble
(also played Katy Grin, Lola and radio voice)
33 episodes
2011–2013TrolliedJulie Cook35 episodes
2014Lily's Driftwood BayWee Rabbit(filming)

Television films[edit]

1989The Fifteen StreetsChristine Bracken
1991Came Out, It Rained, Went Back in AgainLearner Lesbian
1993CabaretSally Bowles
1994Self CateringMarilyn
Suffer the Little ChildrenDeborah Hayes
1995Some Kind of LifeAlison
1999Hunting VenusCassandra
The Flint Street NativityZoe
2009Gracie!Gracie Fields
2010The Road to Coronation StreetMargaret Morris

Short Film, Television and video[edit]

1995Combination Skin(voice)Short film
1999Hooves of FireDonner (voice)Television
2002Legend of the Lost TribeDonner / Artic Fox (voice)Television
2002Last Rumba in RochdaleGran (voice)Short film
2004Wheeling DealingAuthentic NewsreaderShort film
2006Voices from the UnderworldHerself (voice)Video Short
2007Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd KindDonner (voice)Television
2011The Itch of the Golden Nit(voice)Short film


New Order - 1963 (1994)

Awards and honours[edit]


External links[edit]