Michelle Dockery

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Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery 2013 2.jpg
BornMichelle Suzanne Dockery
(1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 32)
Romford, London, UK
Years active2004–present
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Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery 2013 2.jpg
BornMichelle Suzanne Dockery
(1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 32)
Romford, London, UK
Years active2004–present

Michelle Suzanne Dockery[1] (born 15 December 1981) is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey (2010–present), for which she has been nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

Dockery made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004. For her role as Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of Pygmalion, she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award. For her role in the play Burnt by the Sun she earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her other notable stage credits include Pillars of the Community (2005) and Hamlet (2010). She has also appeared in the films Hanna (2009), Anna Karenina (2012) and Non-Stop (2014).

Early life[edit]

Michelle Suzanne Dockery was born on 15 December 1981 in Rush Green Hospital, Dagenham, London.[2] She has two elder sisters, Louise and Joanne. Her father, Michael Francis Dockery, was born at Athlone, Ireland,[3] and worked his way up from driving a van to becoming a surveyor;[4] her mother, Lorraine (née Witton) is from Stepney, East London. Dockery's maternal great-grandmother, Maud Malyon, was born in 1910 in Newham, East London, and was a domestic servant.[4] Malyon was 17 when she married Dockery's great-grandfather, grocer's assistant William Henry Oakman, 18, at West Ham Register Office.[4]

Dockery was educated first at the Chadwell Heath Foundation School (now the Chadwell Heath Academy) in Chadwell Heath, Essex. She was then trained at the Finch Stage School.[5] After her A Levels she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, graduating in 2004.[6][7]

Acting career[edit]


Dockery was a member of the National Youth Theatre, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the Gold Medal for drama and made her professional debut in His Dark Materials at the Royal National Theatre in 2004.[8] In 2006, she was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Dina Dorf in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre.[9]

Dockery appeared in Burnt by the Sun at the National Theatre for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[10] She won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath, which toured the UK and transferred to The Old Vic in 2008,[11] and for the same production was nominated Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards 2008.[12] In 2010, she played Ophelia in Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre alongside John Simm.[13]

Film & Television[edit]

Dockery made her television debut as Betty in Fingersmith in 2005.[14] In 2006, she starred as Susan Sto Helit in a two-part adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather.[15] In 2008, Dockery played Kathryn in Channel 4's The Red Riding Trilogy and played the guest lead of tormented rape victim Gemma Morrison in BBC's Waking the Dead. In 2009, she appeared in the two-part Cranford Christmas special for the BBC, and starred as the lead character in a modernised BBC adaptation of The Turn of the Screw.

Dockery came to public prominence in 2010 when she played Lady Mary Crawley in Julian Fellowes' series Downton Abbey, the first season of which was screened on ITV between September and November 2010. She was nominated for a Southbank Award in January for Best Breakthrough Performance in a TV drama. A second series of Downton Abbey was shown in 2011, followed by a special Christmas Day episode. The show's third series premiered on 16 September 2012 in the UK, and on 6 January 2013 in the US. A fourth series then began filming in February 2013, and premiered the same year in September. A fifth series has been commissioned, and began filming in February 2014.[16] For her role in the series, she has received three Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

Her first big screen role was as False Marissa in the 2011 film Hanna, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett. In 2012, she appeared as Princess Myagkaya in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina and starred with Charlotte Rampling in a two-part dramatisation of William Boyd's spy thriller Restless on BBC One.[17] In January 2014, she appeared opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in the thriller film Non-Stop. The same month, she was listed in Debrett's 500 most influential people in Britain[18]


Dockery is a jazz singer. She sang at the 50th Anniversary of Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London and has occasionally sung with Sadie and the Hotheads, a band formed by Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mother in Downton Abbey.[6][19] Dockery cites her musical influences as Peggy Lee, Melody Gardot and Billie Holiday in her more melancholy moods.[6]


Film, radio, and television[edit]

2005FingersmithBettyTV series
2006HogfatherSusan/Death of RatsTV movie
2007ConsentTV film
2007Dalziel and PascoeAimee HobbsTV series (2 episodes)
2008Poppy ShakespeareDawnTV film
2008HeartbeatSue PadgettTV series (1 episode: "Take Three Girls")
2009Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974Kathryn TaylorTV film
2009Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983Kathryn TaylorTV film
2009The Courageous Heart of Irena SendlerEwa RozenfeldTV film
2009Waking the DeadGemma MorrisonTV series (2 episodes)
2009Return to CranfordErminia WhyteTV mini-series (2 episodes)
2009The Turn of the ScrewAnnTV film
2009Amazonia: A Portrait of Arthur Ransome (BBC Radio3)Evgenia ShelepinaRadio Play
2010SpoilerGoth GirlShort
2010Shades of BeigeJodieShort
2010–presentDownton AbbeyLady Mary CrawleyTV series Main Role
2011HannaFalse Marissa
2012Out of Time[20][21]ChristineShort
2012Henry IV, Parts I and IILady PercyTV film
2012Anna KareninaPrincess Myagkaya
2012RestlessRuth GilmartinTV miniseries
2012American Dad!Margaret Watkins (voice)TV series
2012A Poem Is..NarratorDisney Animation Film/TV
2012Angelic Voices: The Choristers of Salisbury CathedralNarratorDocumentary
2013Family GuyBritish Woman (voice)TV series
2014Non-StopNancy Hoffman
2014Tough JusticeConnie ToughShort


2004His Dark MaterialsJessieNational Theatre
2005Henry IV, Parts I & IICarrierNational Theatre
2005The UN InspectorFemale activistNational Theatre
2005Pillars of the CommunityDinaNational Theatre
2007Dying for ItKleopatraAlmeida Theatre
2007PygmalionEliza DoolittleUK tour
2008Uncle VanyaYelenaUK tour
2008PygmalionEliza DoolittleOld Vic Theatre
2009Burnt by the SunMaroussiaNational Theatre
2010HamletOpheliaCrucible Theatre, Sheffield

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2005Ian Charleson AwardsBest ActressPillars of CommunityNominated
2007Ian Charleson AwardsBest ActressPygmalion2nd prize
2008Evening Standard AwardOutstanding NewcomerPygmalionNominated
2010Laurence Olivier AwardBest Actress in a Supporting RoleBurnt by the SunNominated
2011Monte-Carlo Television FestivalOutstanding ActressDownton AbbeyNominated
2012Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Drama ActressDownton AbbeyNominated
Glamour AwardsEditor's Special AwardN/AWon
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesDownton AbbeyNominated
Satellite AwardsSatellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series DramaDownton AbbeyNominated
2013Golden Globe AwardBest Actress – Television Series DramaDownton AbbeyNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama SeriesDownton AbbeyNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesDownton AbbeyWon
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesDownton AbbeyNominated
Huading AwardsBest Global ActressDownton AbbeyWon
2014Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesDownton AbbeyNominated


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. ^ Gore, Alex (31 August 2013). "Your number’s up". The Sun (London). 
  3. ^ "Downton Abbey: The Farce Factor". The Entertainment Network (RTÉ). 10 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Real secrets of Downton's girls" October 2011, Daily Mail
  5. ^ "Company Members – Michelle Dockery". National Theatre. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Michelle Dockery: What's an Essex girl doing at Downton Abbey?". Daily Mail (London). 9 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey". PBS. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Inverne, James (30 November 2004). "Previews for Second Part of His Dark Materials Begin Nov. 30". Playbill. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Recent awards for drama graduates". Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Olivier awards nominations". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). 8 February 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Theatre review: Pygmalion/Old Vic, London The Guardian, 17 May 2008
  12. ^ The 2008 ES Theatre Awards shortlist Evening Standard, 24 November 2008
  13. ^ First Night: Hamlet, Sheffield Crucible The Independent, 23 September 2010
  14. ^ "Michelle Dockery". IMDb. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  15. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (7 March 20008). "'Hogfather': Low-Budget Hogwash". Washington Post. p. T 39. 
  16. ^ Halliday, Josh (3 November 2011). "Downton Abbey: ITV confirms third series". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Michaels, Adrian (28 December 2012). "Restless, BBC One, review". www.dailytelegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "Debrett's 500". Debrett's. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  19. ^ The Times, 6 November 2010
  20. ^ Rothman, Lily (15 March 2012). "TIME Style and Design: Futuristic London Fashion". TIME magazine. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "TIME MAGAZINE | Out of Time". Josh Appignanesi. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 

External links[edit]