Raised in Southport, an English seaside town
Studied to be a veterinary surgeon but dropped out to study acting
Professional stage debut with the Manchester Library Theater
Made her London West End debut at Queen's Theater in "Moving"
Made British TV debut as a pregnant au pair in the comedy series, "Agony"
Worked in repertory companies in England, acting in such plays as "All My Sons" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?"
US TV debut in British-made miniseries, "A Woman of Substance
First collaboration with Mike Newell, the stage play "Life of Einstein" in Lancaster, England
Film acting debut, "The Innocent"
Breakthrough film role, Ruth Ellis in "Dance With a Stranger", directed by Mike Newell
Starred in David Mamet's "Edmond" on the British stage
Played Queen Elizabeth I in the British comedy "Blackadder II" (BBC)
Acted in the British telefilm "After Pilkington"
First US feature film, Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun"
Returned to the London stage in Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind", co-starring Will Patton and Geraldine McEwan
Appeared in "Sorrel & Son" (aired in the USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater")
Reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth I in "Blackadder's Christmas Carol" (BBC)
Co-starred with Julian Wadham in "The Changeling" at the Royal National Theatre
Played Nurse Fletcher-Brown in an episode of "Blackadder Goes Forth"
Made first guest appearance on the British variety series "The Comic Strip"
Played an aspiring actress who turns to pornography and prostitution in the stage play "Etta Jenks"
Reteamed with Mike Newell for "Enchanted April" (released in the USA in 1992)
Co-starred in hit film "The Crying Game", playing a tough IRA operative
Earned first Oscar nomination playing the long-suffering wife of Jeremy Irons in Louis Malle's "Damage"
Hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (March 20)
Appeared in three episodes of the British series "The Comic Strip"
Earned second Oscar nomination playing Vivienne Haigh-Wood, wife of poet T. S. Eliot in "Tom and Viv"
Co-starred in the HBO made-for-cable movie "Fatherland"
Made guest appearance on the British sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous" as a overwrought new mother
Had major roles in Robert Altman's "Kansas City" and Robert Harling's "The Evening Star"
Co-starred opposite Mike Nichols in the London stage production of Wallace Shawn's "The Designated Mourner"
Had featured role in Robert Duvall's "The Apostle"
Acted in the acclaimed British TV adaptation, "A Dance to the Music of Time"
Appeared as Queen Mab and the Lady of the Lake in the NBC miniseries "Merlin"
Played the Queen of Hearts in the NBC miniseries "Alice in Wonderland"
Returned to the London stage co-starring with Glenne Headly in "Aunt Dan and Lemon"
Had supporting role in "The Big Brass Ring"; screened at festivals before premiering on Showtime
Co-starred as Christina Ricci's stepmother in "Sleepy Hollow"
Appeared in the short film "Blackadder Back and Forth"; premiered at the Millennial Dome in Greenwich
Provided a character voice for the animated feature "Chicken Run"
Co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in the remake of "Get Carter"
Cast as the evil queen in ABC's live-action remake of "Snow White: The Fairest of Them All"
Appeared as a schizophrenic's mother in "Spider"
Co-starred in "The Hours" as Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell
Portrayed Queen Mary in the BBC movie "Lost Prince"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
Portrayed Madame Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber's screen adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera"
Co-starred with Bill Nighy in BBC America's romantic drama "Gideon's Daughter" helmed by Stephen Poliakoff
Cast in Richard E. Grant's directorial debut, the autobiographical "Wah-Wah"
Played Aishwarya Rai's cellmate in "Provoked"
Played Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent, opposite Emily Blunt, in "The Young Victoria"