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Miriam Margoyles

Miriam Margoyles

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 18, 1941 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Oxford, England, GB Profession: actor, voice actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A short, heavy-set British character actress, Margolyes has performed primarily on the stage and radio, generally in eccentric comedy roles often requiring her to play older than her years. After studies at Cambridge, she began acting in radio with the BBC. Over the next decade Margolyes' ripe delivery could be heard everywhere in radio spots and TV commercial voiceovers, including a stint as a seductive rabbit plugging Cadbury's Carmel Bunny candy and as a charwoman chimp for a tea ad.

A short, heavy-set British character actress, Margolyes has performed primarily on the stage and radio, generally in eccentric comedy roles often requiring her to play older than her years. After studies at Cambridge, she began acting in radio with the BBC. Over the next decade Margolyes' ripe delivery could be heard everywhere in radio spots and TV commercial voiceovers, including a stint as a seductive rabbit plugging Cadbury's Carmel Bunny candy and as a charwoman chimp for a tea ad.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Guilt Trip, The (2012)
6.
 Dukes, The (2007)
7.
 Flushed Away (2006)
8.
 Undertaking Betty (2005) Thelma
9.
 Ladies in Lavender (2005) Dorcas
10.
 Chasing Liberty (2004)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Oxford, England
1963:
Got a job after graduating from college with the BBC's radio repertory company (date approximate)
1969:
Made feature film debut in a small role in "A Nice Girl Like Me"
1980:
Made first American films, "The Apple" and "The Awakening"
1987:
First major appearance on US TV, in a three-part adaptation of "The Little Princess", which aired on PBS
:
Appeared in a long-running series of commercial in England for British Telecom
1991:
Starred in the one-woman show, "Woomen, Lovely Woomen", onstage in London's West End; played a variety of female characters from the works of Charles Dickens; later took the show on tour internationally
1992:
American TV series debut: starred in the title role of Frannie Escobar in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Frannie's Turn"
1993:
First starring role onstage in a major play, as Mrs. Hardcastle in Sir Peter Hall's staging of Oliver Goldsmith's classic 18th century Restoration farce, "She Stoops to Conquer"
:
Found second career recording books on tape
1995:
Provided the voice of Fly, the sheepdog who serves as surrogate mother to the title piglet in the Oscar-nominated "Babe"
1996:
Played the Nurse in Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet"
1996:
Was one of the voices on the soundtrack for the award-winning documentary "The Long Way Home"
1998:
Reprised Fly for the sequel "Babe: Pig in the City"
1999:
Returned to the London stage to star as Ranyevskaya in "The Cherry Orchard"
1999:
Cast as the original matriarch of a Hungarian-Jewish family in Istvan Szabo's "Sunshine"
2000:
Co-starred with Stacy Keach and Jeffrey Jones in the L.A. premiere of "Another Time"
2001:
Appeared in the London staging of "The Vagina Monologues"
2002:
Played Professor Sprout in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
2004:
Co-starred as Peg Sellers in "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" with Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron
2004:
Cast in "Being Julia," based on the novel "Theatre," by W. Somerset Maugham
2005:
Cast in "Modigliani," a story of Amedeo Modigliani's bitter rivalry with Pablo Picasso
2006:
Cast in the Australian-produced computer-animated film, "Happy Feet"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Oxford High School for Girls: -
New Hall College, University of Cambridge: -
Guildhall School of Music and Drama: London , England -

Notes

Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year's Eve honors, December 2001.

"An actress's greatest asset is her availability." --Miriam Margolyes to The Boston Globe, August 30, 1999.

"For me, the voice is the way into a character. Other actors may start from the shoes or the walk. I love listening to people talk, and I particularly like combination accents--a Jewish Scots accent, for example. Maybe that is the voice from my grandparents, who were Russian, Polish and German." --Miriam Margoyles quoted in The Boston Globe, August 30, 1999.

"I'm in the autumn of my life and I do feel it. I hear time's winged chariot and I have this feeling that I will suddenly drop dead. An overweight woman can't expect a long life, and I am physically like my mother. She was a huge personality, overweight and hyperactive, and she died in 1974 after being paralysed by a stroke for seven years, unable to move or speak. I swim and walk and try not to eat too much cheese but probably won't survive very long." --Margolyes quoted in the London Times, September 17, 1999.

"I'm a feminist but not a boring one. Hating men is as absurd as hating children or hating butter." --Margolyes to the London Times, September 17, 1999.

"Darling, I loathed the Pythons at the time and they loathed me. I've met Eric [Idle] and John [Cleese] since then, and they are perfectly pleasant people. I think they thought I was repellent, too--and I probably was. I was an arrogant young person and I knew I was as talented as they were and I wasn't going to give an inch.

"The person I really didn't like was Graham Chapman but that could have been because he was a very tortured and unhappy person. I didn't get on with him at all. I was asked to attend his memorial service in L.A., and I didn't because I thought it would be hypocritical. I thought, no, don't do that, that's sentimental and not truthful.

"Look, there isn't a person in the world, from Glenn CLose onwards, who doesn't feel they deserved a better career. But I do think the people who ran light entertainment when my generation were forming our career had an extraordinarily narrow view of what women could do."

--From the London Times, September 17. 1999.

Margolyes was named Britain's "best radio actress" for performing the roles of the entire Royal Family in a radio presentation of "Queen and I" by Sue Townsend, in which the English rulers cope with life in a housing project (1992).

She was elected three times to the governing council of British Actors Equity.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph Margolyes. Doctor. Died in 1995 at age 96.
mother:
Ruth Margolyes. Real estate agent. Died in 1974 after a stroke.

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