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Lara Pulver

Lara Pulver

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 1, 1980 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kent, England, GB Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Lara Pulver developed a solid reputation among West End audiences for her fine work in musicals and used the skills she acquired on stage to impress television viewers on popular programs syndicated throughout the world. She was introduced on the small screen via a lush new incarnation of "Robin Hood" (BBC, 2006-09) and turned heads on the erotic horror series "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14), but her breakthrough came via a very memorable guest appearance on "Sherlock" (2010- ), the BBC's smart and stylish update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's venerable sleuthing saga. Cast as one of the detective's most famous adversaries, Pulver's take on the sinister Irene Adler presented the character as formidable and sexually aggressive enough to nonplus even the unflappable Holmes. A scene in which Pulver appeared to be naked onscreen caused controversy when broadcast in England, but it was her confidence and skill in the role that made the episode a critical and fan favorite, and earned the actress critical accolades. The "Sherlock" assignment provided new notoriety for Pulver and the proficiency with which she embodied both the character's aggressive bearing and the more brittle being underneath that facade...

Lara Pulver developed a solid reputation among West End audiences for her fine work in musicals and used the skills she acquired on stage to impress television viewers on popular programs syndicated throughout the world. She was introduced on the small screen via a lush new incarnation of "Robin Hood" (BBC, 2006-09) and turned heads on the erotic horror series "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14), but her breakthrough came via a very memorable guest appearance on "Sherlock" (2010- ), the BBC's smart and stylish update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's venerable sleuthing saga. Cast as one of the detective's most famous adversaries, Pulver's take on the sinister Irene Adler presented the character as formidable and sexually aggressive enough to nonplus even the unflappable Holmes. A scene in which Pulver appeared to be naked onscreen caused controversy when broadcast in England, but it was her confidence and skill in the role that made the episode a critical and fan favorite, and earned the actress critical accolades. The "Sherlock" assignment provided new notoriety for Pulver and the proficiency with which she embodied both the character's aggressive bearing and the more brittle being underneath that facade provided an excellent showcase of further possibilities as an actress.

Lara Pulver was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England on Sept. 1, 1980. Encouraged to pursue jazz dance classes at a young age to serve as a distraction from her parents' marital break-up, Pulver soon discovered she possessed a love of performing. Supported by her mother, she enrolled at the prestigious National Youth Music Theatre at age 14. Near the end of her four-year stint at the theatre, Pulver supplemented that training at Bird College, another respected performing arts school, and graduated from that Kent institution in 2000. After years of preparation, the actress was ready for London's West End and appeared in such musicals as "The Last Five Years" (2006) and "Parade" (2007). Pulver's performance in the latter led to an Olivier Award nomination and she joined an all-star line-up of West End musical stars on the tribute album Act One - Songs from the Musicals of Alexander S. Bermange.

In 2007, Pulver married actor Joshua Dallas, best known for playing Prince Charming/David Nolan on "Once Upon a Time" (ABC, 2011- ). She earned her first television credits in several episodes of the BBC's picturesque "Robin Hood" (2006-09) series and played an intern in the U.S./U.K. co-production "The Special Relationship" (HBO/BBC, 2010), a made-for-TV feature about how the friendship between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair changed when the latter became Prime Minister of England. Most Americans were introduced to Pulver via her five-episode stint on the racy cable series "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14) as Sookie Stackhouse's (Anna Paquin) fairy godmother, and she also joined the cast for the final season of the long-running British espionage series "MI-5" (BBC, 2002 -2011). Feature film parts also came in the Idris Elba thriller "Legacy" (2010) and the independent romantic comedy "Language of a Broken Heart" (2011).

Lightning struck for Pulver following her unforgettable guest appearance as a reinterpreted incarnation of beloved nemesis Irene Adler on the BBC's witty, modernized incarnation of "Sherlock" (2010- ). One of the most notable women in the "Sherlock Holmes" literary canon, Adler's introduction to the famous detective (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) in the episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" found the character completely - and unashamedly - naked, save for diamond earrings and high heels. Working as a high-class dominatrix and highly secure in her sexual power, Pulver offered a decidedly more sensual take than previously presented. However, she also did an equally commendable job of selling Adler's more vulnerable side when Holmes was finally able to see her true nature.

While she was completely nude on the set, the scene in question was carefully blocked and edited to not reveal anything onscreen. Nonetheless, it caused considerable controversy in England as the show aired to 9.5 million viewers on New Year's Day 2012 in an early evening time slot before this sort of material was generally permissible. The fact that Adler's dialogue contained allusions to sado-masochism further heightened the issue. Much press coverage ensued, but the BBC stood its ground and refused to make any cuts to the program when it was repeated. Not surprisingly, audiences responded well to Pulver, but reviewers also lauded her skilfulness and daring, and she received a Critics' Choice Best Actress nomination for the performance. While talk circulated that Adler might return to "Sherlock" at a later date, Pulver returned to the stage as Yelena in a 2012 revival of "Uncle Vanya" and was also added to the cast of the supernatural series "Da Vinci's Demons" (Starz, 2012-15), from genre veteran David S. Goyer.

By John Charles

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Patch of Fog, A (2017)
3.
 MI-5 (2015)
4.
 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
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Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Kent, England
1994:
Attended the National Youth Music Theatre
2009:
Made screen debut as Isabella on BBC series "Robin Hood"
2010:
Made U.S. debut in the HBO movie "The Special Relationship" opposite Dennis Quaid and Michael Sheen
2010:
Cast as Sookie Stackhouse's fairy godmother Claudine Crane on HBO's "True Blood"
2012:
Appeared on BBC's modern day adaptation of "Sherlock," starring Benedict Cumberbatch
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