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Miranda Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire - in the north-west of the UK in 1958. She had an interest in performing at an early age, and after finishing school, she enrolled in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school. Two years later, she graduated, and went into local repertory theatre. Her first London play was Moving in 1981. Her performance on stage led director Mike Newell to cast her in the starring role of Ruth Ellis in Dance With A Stranger, a critically acclaimed performance.

Miranda has always picked and chosen her roles carefully, working on what she wanted to rather than what other people wanted her to do. She has a reputation for being versatile, and prefers to do "different" roles. She regularly performed on the London stage in the mid-late 80ís as well as performing in film and television.

Her TV work has been a particular strength. Her first major role was Queen Elizabeth I in the Blackadder II comedy series in 1985 which showed her comic talents to the full. But she has also tackled political drama (Die Kinder), emotional drama (Sweet as you are), black comedy (After Pilkington), murder mystery (Scolds Bridle), costume drama (All for love), and fantasy (Merlin).

Her stage appearances decreased in the early 1990ís, as she concentrated on film, on both sides of the Atlantic. Four films in particular brought acclaim - Damage, Enchanted April, The Crying Game and Tom and Viv - playing completely diverse characters in each. These films earned her a number of awards, and two Oscar nominations.

Miranda continues to be quite prolific on both TV and film, with recent appearances being in the NBC mini-series Merlin and Alice In Wonderland, and in the cinema in Robert Duvallís The Apostle.

(Mini-biography by Clive Sarney)

Lady VanTassel

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