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Phyllida Law

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Also Known As: Phyllida Ann Law Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A well-versed Scottish actress, Phyllida Law may perhaps be best-recalled for her appearances alongside daughters Emma Thompson and Sophie Thompson in such features as "Peter's Friends" (1992) and "Emma" (1996). She had established herself, however, as a fine character player on the British stage in roles ranging from the classics ("The Merry Wives of Windsor") to musical comedies (the London production of "La Cage Aux Folles") to contemporary plays ("Noises Off"). Law twice acted onstage with Sir Alec Guinness in "A Voyage Round My Father" (1971) and "Habeas Corpus" (1973).Law debuted in films in a small role in the 1968 spy spoof "Otley" but until the 1990s, her feature roles were sparse. She was one of the fanatical fraulein's in "Hitler: The Last Ten Days" (1973), alongside Alec Guinness, and had a supporting role in the thriller "Tree of Hands/Innocent Victim" (1989). Her film career picked up when her then son-in-law Kenneth Branagh cast her as a dignified housekeeper in "Peter's Friends" and as the servant Ursula in his adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" (1993). In "Emma", Law had the wordless role of dotty old Mrs. Bates and subsequently essayed Sean Bean's mother in "Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna...

A well-versed Scottish actress, Phyllida Law may perhaps be best-recalled for her appearances alongside daughters Emma Thompson and Sophie Thompson in such features as "Peter's Friends" (1992) and "Emma" (1996). She had established herself, however, as a fine character player on the British stage in roles ranging from the classics ("The Merry Wives of Windsor") to musical comedies (the London production of "La Cage Aux Folles") to contemporary plays ("Noises Off"). Law twice acted onstage with Sir Alec Guinness in "A Voyage Round My Father" (1971) and "Habeas Corpus" (1973).

Law debuted in films in a small role in the 1968 spy spoof "Otley" but until the 1990s, her feature roles were sparse. She was one of the fanatical fraulein's in "Hitler: The Last Ten Days" (1973), alongside Alec Guinness, and had a supporting role in the thriller "Tree of Hands/Innocent Victim" (1989). Her film career picked up when her then son-in-law Kenneth Branagh cast her as a dignified housekeeper in "Peter's Friends" and as the servant Ursula in his adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" (1993). In "Emma", Law had the wordless role of dotty old Mrs. Bates and subsequently essayed Sean Bean's mother in "Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'" (1997). Her best screen role to date, however, came reprising her stage role as a feisty, somewhat meddling mother in "The Winter Guest" (1997). Appearing as the on-screen mother to real-life daughter Emma Thompson, Law delivered a touching performance and their off-screen relationship informed their portrayals.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Day of Wrath (2006)
3.
 Miss Potter (2006)
4.
 Nanny McPhee (2006)
5.
6.
 Unleashed (2005)
8.
 Blinded (2004)
9.
 Brush With Fate (2003) Maria
10.
 Two Men Went to War (2003) Faith
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in numerous stage productions in London and in repertory and festivals
1968:
Had supporting role in feature film "Otley"
1973:
Played small role in feature film "Hitler: The Last Ten Days"
1989:
Appeared in daughter Emma's variety series, "Thompson"
1989:
Co-starred in CBS miniseries, "Judith Krantz's 'Till We Meet Again'"
1992:
First appeared in films with daughter Emma in "Peter's Friends", directed by Kenneth Branagh
1993:
Had featured role in Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing"
1994:
Co-starred as Emma Thompson's mother in the British TV-movie "The Blue Boy" (shown in the USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre")
1995:
Originated the role of Elspeth in the stage play "The Winter Guest"
1996:
Played Mrs. Bates in "Emma" alongside daughter Sophie Thompson
1997:
Recreated stage role in Alan Rickman's feature version of "The Winter Guest"; co-starred with daughter Emma Thompson
2000:
Co-starred with Brenda Blethyn in "Saving Grace"
2002:
Cast opposite Guy Pearce in the "Time Traveller," a remake of the 1960s film "The Time Machine"
2005:
Cast in the Luc Besson film, "Unleashed," starring Jet Li
2006:
Cast in "Copying Beethoven" with Ed Harris
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Eric Norman Thompson. Director, writer. Died in 1982 at age 53.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Law. Journalist. Divorced from Law's mother after WWII.
mother:
Megsie Law. Remarried; died in 1995.
daughter:
Emma Thompson. Actor, screenwriter. Born on April 15, 1959; worked together several times, most notably in "The Winter Guest" (1997).
daughter:
Sophie Thompson. Actor. Born c. 1962; played Law's daughter in "Emma" (1996).
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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