This softly attractive brunette is best known to British and American TV viewers as Sarah Layton in the miniseries "The Jewel in the Crown" (1984) to filmgoers as Mirabehn, the fanatical western follower of "Gandhi" (1982) and to theatergoers as Portia opposite Dustin Hoffman in the London and Broadway (1989-90) production of "The Merchant of Venice." Geraldine James has kept a low profile to American audiences, but has had an active career in her native England, on stage and in film and television. She first won notice on the London stage as Dr. Von Zandt in the 1979 production of "The Passion of Dracula." She played Jessica in a heralded Coventry production of "The Merchant of Venice" a decade before playing Portia opposite Hoffman.
James' career was enhanced by playing opposite Dame Peggy Ashcroft in "She's Been Away" (1989), for which they were both cited as Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. More international notice has come with TV roles including the moderately successful comedy "Blott on the Landscape" (1986), in which she was a woman trying to save her family's estate, as the beloved teacher in the 1989 miniseries "Echoes" and as Nora's friend Kristina in "A Doll's House" (1992). James was also seen in the 1995 HBO miniseries "Band of Gold," a thriller in which prostitutes were being hunted by a serial killer. She also gained notice for her turn as a courtesan in Pen Densham's "Moll Flanders" (1996), starring Robin Wright.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made feature film debut, "Bloody Kids"
Starred in London production of "The Passion of Dracula"
Played small role in Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi"
Starred as Sarah Layton in "The Jewel in the Crown" (Granada TV; shown on PBS in the U.S.)
Starred in miniseries "Blott on the Landscape" (BBC; shown on A&E in the U.S.)
Portrayed Portia in Broadway production of "The Merchant of Venice" opposite Dustin Hoffman
Co-starred as Edna in "Moll Flanders"
Appeared in "The Man Who Knew Too Little," starring Bill Murray
Co-starred in "The Luzhin Defence" with Emily Watson and John Turturro
Cast alongside Helen Mirren and Julie Walters in the comedy feature "Calendar Girls"
Played Lady Rowley in the BBC miniseries "He Knew He Was Right"
Played the title character's landlady Mrs. Hudson in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes"
Landed a minor role in Tim Burton directed "Alice in Wonderland"
Joined the cast of David Fincher directed "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," based on the novel by Stieg Larsson
Reprised role in the sequel "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"
Appeared on TV series "Utopia"
Reprised "Alice in Wonderland" role in "Alice Through the Looking Glass"
Cast as Julie Wells on "The Five"
Played Marilla Cuthbert on "Anne"