Anna Friel


Anna Friel Biography

Anna Louise Friel (born 12 July 1976) is an English actress. Born in Rochdale, she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes. She played Beth Jordache on the Channel 4 soap Brookside which had the first lesbian kiss on British television in January 1994. She made her West End stage début in London in 2001, and has subsequently appeared on stage in several productions, including an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.

Friel made her film debut in 1998 in David Leland's Land Girls and has since made a number of films appearing with such notable co-stars as Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Robert De Niro, Will Ferrell, and Rachel Weisz. Outside of film, she is probably best known in the USA for her work as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in the ABC comedy series Pushing Daisies for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2008.

She is the recipient of a number of awards including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009). She has also appeared in music videos and television and print media advertising campaigns and is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Bolton.

She was previously in a relationship with the actor David Thewlis, and in 2005 had a daughter by him.

Early life

Friel was born in Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, the daughter of Julie (née Bamford), a special needs teacher, and Desmond "Des" Friel, a former teacher of French and owner of a web design company. Friel's Irish Catholic father, a former folk guitarist, was born in Belfast, and grew up in County Donegal. Her brother, Michael, starred in Hovis television adverts. He is now a doctor.

She attended Crompton House Church of England High School (in High Crompton), and later attended Holy Cross College (in Bury). She began her training as an actress at Oldham Theatre Workshop.

Acting career

At the age of 13, she was hired for her first professional acting job in the Channel 4 drama serial G.B.H., as the daughter of Michael Palin's character. Her performance led to a series of appearances on various British television shows, including Emmerdale. In 1992, she was added to the cast on the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, where she gained greater exposure in the role of Beth Jordache. She stayed on the programme for two years. Friel's on-air lesbian kiss with Nicola Stephenson was the first in British soap history. In 1995, Friel won the National Television Award for Most Popular Actress for her work on Brookside.

In 1996, Friel courted further controversy when she appeared in the television film The Tribe by Stephen Poliakoff, which included nudity and a much discussed ménage ŕ trois sex scene between characters played by Friel, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeremy Northam.

In 2001, she made her West End stage début in London in a fringe production of Lulu, which also transferred to Broadway.

Friel's film credits include playing Nick Leeson's wife Lisa in Rogue Trader opposite Ewan McGregor; David Leland's The Land Girls, which also starred Rachel Weisz and Catherine McCormack; Adam Collis Sunset Strip as Tammy Franklin, opposite Jared Leto, Simon Baker and Nick Stahl; All for Love with Richard E. Grant; A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia, opposite Christian Bale, Dominic West and Calista Flockhart; Timeline as Gerard Butler's object of affection; Me Without You opposite Michelle Williams; and Goal! and Goal II: Living the Dream.

Her television work includes the short lived The Jury for the Fox and ITV1's Watermelon which was based on the novel by Marian Keyes. In 2007, she started playing Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in Pushing Daisies, a new television series from the creator of Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, on the American network ABC. Although popular with critics, in November 2008, creator Bryan Fuller stated that it had been cancelled due to poor ratings. The show ran for two seasons. Following the series' cancellation, Friel was offered six pilots during the next pilot season but declined all six roles in favour of focusing on her film career.

In November 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bolton for contributions to the performing arts.

Henry Bond's photograph depicts Anna with David Thewlis. The couple were reported to have been paid Ł50,000 to appear in the campaign.

In September 2009, Friel starred in a West End adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It was particularly noted for now including a nude scene which was not part of the original Breakfast At Tiffany's performance.

In April 2010, she was cast in the psychological thriller film The Dark Fields (now entitled Limitless and released in March 2011). In November 2010, Friel starred in London Boulevard alongside Ray Winstone, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and her then partner David Thewlis.

Friel appears in the video for the Manic Street Preachers' September 2010 single "(It's Not War) Just the End of Love" opposite Welsh actor Michael Sheen, with whom she co-starred in the 2003 film Timeline.

In January 2011, Friel appeared in an episode of the BBC series Come Fly with Me as a fictionalised version of herself. In the show she is bald and has lost her wig. In December of that year, she played the star role (Ellie Manning) in ITV's series drama Without You. That same month, she starred as Captain Elizabeth Bonny in the SyFy network's production of Neverland, a prequel to J.M. Barrie's classic story Peter Pan.

In March 2012, Friel began filming for The King of Soho, later renamed The Look of Love, a biographical movie about "porn baron" Paul Raymond, in which she plays Raymond's wife Jean alongside Steve Coogan as Raymond. She also starred in Public Enemies, a 3-part BBC television drama which aired in early 2012, opposite Daniel Mays. The two previously worked together during her appearance on The Street. It also featured Barnaby Kay, an actor whom she worked with in Without You.

In 2013 Anna was cast in Showtime's new drama The Vatican opposite Kyle Chandler. Anna Friel filmed Having You, a TV movie, opposite Andrew Buchan, in 2012, and it aired on Sky TV in early May 2013 for UK residents. Having You has yet to be released on DVD.

Personal life

In 2001, Friel began a relationship with actor David Thewlis, after the pair met on a flight to Cannes. (Contrary to popular belief, however, the two never married.) In the same year Friel collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, needing emergency surgery and two blood transfusions for a burst ovarian cyst. It was later discovered that she suffers from endometriosis and would have great difficulty conceiving. However, she succeeded in conceiving and gave birth to Gracie Ellen Mary Friel on 9 July 2005 at Portland Hospital in London. Gracie was named after Gracie Fields, who was also from Rochdale, and her mother's grandmothers, Ellen and Mary. She has appeared along with her mother in the film Bathory.

In 2008, Friel began supporting the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

In December 2010, Friel and Thewlis separated after almost ten years together. Since 2011, Friel has been in a relationship with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.

She lives in Frome, Somerset.

Awards and nominations

  • 2009 Royal Television Society North West Award " Best Performance in a Single Drama or Drama Series for The Street
  • 2008 Golden Globe " Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical Nomination for Pushing Daisies (nominee)
  • 1999 Drama Desk Awards " Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for "Closer"
  • 1995 TV Times Awards " Best Actress
  • 1995 National Television Awards - Most Popular Actress for Brookside
  • 1994 TV Quick Magazine " Best Newcomer
  • Honorary degree, awarded by the University of Bolton.

Filmography

Year Title Role Other notes
1991 G.B.H. Susan Nelson TV mini-series
1992 Emmerdale Poppy Bruce Episodes
1993 Medics Holly Jarrett Episode (No.3.3)
1993"1995 Brookside Beth Jordache Episodes
1995 The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show Episode (No.2.1)
1996 Tales from the Crypt Angelica Episode ("About Face")
Cadfael (TV series) Sioned Episode ("A Morbid Taste for Bones")
1998 The Land Girls Prue (Prudence)
Our Mutual Friend Bella Wilfer Episodes (No.1.1, No.1.2)
The Stringer Helen
The Tribe Lizzie
St. Ives Flora Gilchrist
1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia
Rogue Trader Lisa Leeson
Mad Cows Maddy
2000 Sunset Strip Tammy Franklin
An Everlasting Piece Bronagh
2001 The Fear Storyteller Recurring
The War Bride Lily
Me Without You Marina
2002 Fields of Gold Lucia Merritt TV film
2003 Watermelon Claire Ryan TV film
Last Rumba in Rochdale Bodney Voice actor
Timeline Lady Claire
2004 Perfect Strangers Susie Wilding
2005 Goal! Roz Harmison
2006 Irish Jam Maureen
Niagara Motel Denise
2007 Goal! 2: Living the Dream... Roz Harmison
Rubbish Isobel
2007"2008 Pushing Daisies Charlotte "Chuck" Charles Main cast
2008 Bathory Countess Erzsébet Báthory
2009 Land of the Lost Holly Cantrell
The Street Dee Purnell Episodes (No.3.2 and No.3.3)
2010 London Boulevard Briony
Angel Makers Lizzie
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Iris
2011 Neverland Elizabeth Bonny TV film
Treasure guards Victoria Eckhart TV film
Come Fly with Me Herself Comedy series
Without You Ellie TV Series
Limitless Melissa
2012 Public Enemies Paula Radnor Drama series
2013 The Vatican Kayla Duffy Upcoming TV series
Having You
The Look of Love Jean Raymond



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Anna_Friel" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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