Blethyn, Brenda 1946–

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BLETHYN, Brenda 1946–


Original name, Brenda Anne Bottle; born February 20, 1946, in Ramsgate, Kent, England; daughter of William Charles (a mechanical engineer) and Louisa Kathleen (a homemaker) Bottle; married Alan James Blethyn (a graphic designer), 1966 (divorced, 1976); companion of Michael Mayhew (a theatrical art director). Education: Attended Thanet Technical College; trained at Guildford School of Drama and Dance, 1974. Avocational Interests: Reading, swimming, cryptic crosswords, marathon running.

Addresses: Agent—International Creative Management, 76 Oxford St., London W1D 1BS, England. Manager—Hofflund/Polone, 9465 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 890, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Actress. Royal National Theatre, London, member of company, 1975–90; performer at other venues, including Bubble Theatre and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, England. Appeared in commercials. Worked as a stenographer, bookkeeper, bank secretary, and personal assistant.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Poetry Society.

Awards, Honors: London Critics Circle Theatre Award, 1981, and Society of West End Theatre Award (now Laurence Olivier Award), 1982, both best supporting actress, for Steaming; Laurence Olivier Award nomination, actress of the year in a new play, 1984, for Benefactors; Theatre World Award, 1991, for Absent Friends; British Comedy Award, best television comedy actress, 1994, for Outside Edge; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, and Cannes International Film Festival Award, all best actress, all 1996, Film Award, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Golden Globe Award, both best actress in a motion picture drama, London Film Critics Circle Award and Empire Award, both best British actress, Sant Jordi Award, best foreign actress, Academy Award nomination, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, Golden Satellite Award nomination, International Press Academy, and Chlotrudis Award nomination, all best actress, all 1997, all for Secrets & Lies; Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, best supporting actress, 1998, Academy Award nomination, Film Award nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Screen Actors Guild nomination, all best supporting actress, Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actress in a motion picture, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best supporting actress in a motion picture comedy or musical, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others), outstanding performance by a cast, all 1999, all for Little Voice; honorary D.Litt., University of Kent at Canterbury, 1999; British Independent Film Award, best actress, 2000, Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical, London Critics Circle Film Award nomination, British actress of the year, and Empire Award nomination, best British actress, all 2001, all for Saving Grace; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie, 2001, and Golden Satellite Award nomination, best supporting actress in a miniseries or television movie, 2002, both for Anne Frank: The Whole Story; named an officer of the Order of the British Empire, 2002; DVDX Award, best supporting actress in a DVD premiere movie, DVD Exclusive awards, 2003, for The Sleeping Dictionary; Golden FIPA Award, best actress, fiction category, Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming, and Television Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, both 2005, for Belonging.


Film Appearances:

Mrs. Jenkins, The Witches, Warner Bros., 1990.

Mrs. Maclean, A River Runs through It, Columbia, 1992.

Cynthia Rose Purley, Secrets & Lies (also known as Secrets et mensonges), October Films, 1996.

Dawn Wilkinson, Girls' Night, Granada Films, 1997.

Shirley, Remember Me?, Manuel Salvador, 1997.

Alice Mooney, Night Train, Alternative Cinema Company/Subotica Productions, 1998.

Grace Swan, Music from Another Room, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Orion, 1998.

Ida Stubbs, In the Winter Dark, R. B. Films, 1998.

Mari Hoff, Little Voice (also known as The Rise and Fall of Little Voice), Miramax, 1998.

Herself, Road to Sundance (documentary), Kleparski and Bee Productions, 2000.

Grace Trevethyn, Saving Grace, Fine Line Features, 2000.

Mrs. Louise Tutwiler, Yellow Bird, Yellowbird Productions, 2000.

Julia Montgomery, Daddy and Them, Miramax, 2001.

Mrs. Delaney, On the Nose, Capitol Films, 2001.

Fish lady, Yes You Can (short film), 2001.

Betty Rhys-Jones, Plots with a View (also known as Plotz with a View, Undertaking Betty, Grabgefluester, Grabgefluester—Liebe kann Saerge versetzen, and Grabgefluester—Liebe versetzt Saerge), Vine International Pictures/Great British Films/Spice Factory, 2002.

Jane Marks, Lovely & Amazing, Lions Gate Films, 2002.

Jewel Phillips, Sonny, Samuel Goldwyn, 2002.

Judy Romanoff, Pumpkin, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 2002.

Voice of Mrs. Fairgood, The Wild Thornberrys Movie (animated), Paramount, 2002.

Aggie, The Sleeping Dictionary, Fine Line Features, 2003.

Annette, A Way of Life, Portman Film, 2003.

Aunt Millie, Blizzard, Premiere Group, 2003.

Polly Cassotto, Beyond the Sea, Lions Gate Films, 2004.

Piccadilly Jim, United International Pictures, 2004.

Joan, On a Clear Day, Focus Features, 2005.

Mrs. Bennet, Pride & Prejudice, Focus Features, 2005.

Voice of Mama Heffalump, Pooh's Heffalump Movie (animated; also known as The Heffalump Movie), Buena Vista, 2005.

Clubland, Palace Films, 2005.

Pushers Needed, Arclight Films, 2005.

No One Gets Off in This Town, Dan Films, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

Alison Little, Chance in a Million, Channel 4 (England) and Thames Television, 1984–86.

Sylvia, Sunday Premiere: Claws, BBC, beginning 1987.

Erica Rogers, The Labours of Erica, Independent Television, 1987–90.

Miriam Dervish, Outside Edge, Central Independent Television and Carlton Television, 1994–95.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Mrs. Lewis, That Uncertain Feeling, BBC, 1985.

Ticki Tocquet, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (also known as The Barbara Hutton Story), NBC, 1987.

Margaret Amir, The Buddha of Suburbia, BBC-2, 1993.

Narrator, Fire, Plague, War and Treason, Channel 4 (England), 2001.

Hazel Delany, Between the Sheets, Independent Television, 2003.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Louella Parsons, RKO 281 (also known as RKO 281: The Battle over Citizen Kane), HBO, 1999.

Auguste Rottgen-van Pels, Anne Frank: The Whole Story (also known as Anne Frank), ABC, 2001.

Jess Copplestone, Belonging, Independent Television, 2004.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Gloria, "Grown-Ups," BBC-2 Playhouse, BBC-2, 1980.

Mary, "The Imitation Game," Play for Today, BBC, 1980.

Joan, "Henry VI, Part One" (also known as "The First Part of King Henry VI"), BBC Television Shakespeare (also known as The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare), BBC-2, 1981.

Cordelia, "King Lear," BBC Television Shakespeare (also known as The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare), BBC-2, 1983.

Janice, "Floating Off," Play for Today, BBC, 1983.

Gwen, "The Bullion Boys," Screen One (also known as The Screen One: The Bullion Boys), BBC, 1993.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, UPN, 1997.

The 69th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1997.

Presenter, The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 1998.

The 71st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1999.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"Variations in Two Flats," Can We Get On Now, Please?, Independent Television, 1980.

Joan Littler, "The Greasy Pole," Yes, Minister, BBC-2, 1981.

Carol Hutchins, "Hit and Run," Tales of the Unexpected, Anglia Television and syndicated, 1983.

Pauline, "Rumpole and the Genuine Article," Rumpole of the Bailey (also known as Rumpole's Return: Series Three), Thames Television and PBS, 1983.

Angela Foley, Death of an Expert Witness (also known as Dalgliesh: Death of an Expert Witness), Anglia Television, 1983, broadcast on Mystery!, PBS, c. 1985.

Who Dares Wins, Channel 4 (England), multiple episodes, 1984.

Alas Smith and Jones, BBC-2, multiple episodes in 1984 and 1990.

Storyteller's wife, "A Story Short," The Storyteller, Channel 4 (England) and Television South, 1988, broadcast as "A Short Story," The Jim Henson Hour (also known as Jim Henson Presents), NBC, 1989.

Rose, "Maigret and the Night Club Dancer," Maigret, Granada Television and NBC, 1993.

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1997, 1999.

So Graham Norton, Channel 4 (England), 1999.

Film '00, BBC, 2000.

Richard & Judy, Channel 4, 2002.

V Graham Norton, Channel 4, 2002.

This Morning (also known as This Morning with Richard and Judy), Independent Television, 2004, 2005.

(In archive footage) Cinema mil, Televisio de Catalunya, 2005.

GMTV, Independent Television, 2005.

Appeared in Independent View, PBS.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Carol Potter, Carol Potter Gets a Life, ABC, 2005.

Appeared as Pamela, Seven Roses, CBS.

Television Appearances; Other:

Mona, First Signs of Madness, 1993.

Sleeping with Mickey, BBC, 1993.

Voice of Dr. Florence Montfitchett, Bob the Builder: The Knights of Can-a-Lot (animated; also known as Bob the Builder: The Knights of Fix-a-Lot), [Great Britain], 2003.

Stage Appearances:

Troilus and Cressida, Royal National Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, The Cut, London, 1976.

Mysteries, Royal National Theatre, London, 1979.

Steaming, Comedy Theatre, London, 1981.

The Double Dealer, Royal National Theatre, 1982.

Benefactors, Vaudeville Theatre, London, 1984.

Dalliance, Royal National Theatre, 1987.

A Doll's House, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, England, 1987.

Born Yesterday, Royal Exchange Theatre, 1988.

The Beaux' Stratagem, Royal National Theatre, 1989.

Diana, Absent Friends, Manhattan Theatre Club Stage I, New York City, 1991.

An Ideal Husband, Royal Exchange Theatre, 1992.

Wildest Dreams, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, 1993.

The Bed before Yesterday, Almeida Theatre, London, 1994.

Habeas Corpus, Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London, 1996.

Mrs. Warren, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Strand Theatre, London, 2002.

Thelma Cates, 'Night, Mother, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (formerly the Royale Theatre), New York City, 2004–2005.

Voice, Blizzard, Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre, New York City, 2005.

Appeared in Bedroom Farce, Fruits of Enlightenment, The Guardsman, Madras House, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Mysteries, The Passion, The Provok'd Wife, Strife, Tales from the Vienna Woods, and Tamburlaine, all Royal National Theatre; in Crimes of the Heart, Bush Theatre; and in The Dramatic Attitudes of Miss Fanny Kemble, Southampton, England.



Herself, The Best of So Graham Norton, United Film and Television Productions, 2000.

Herself, Film-Fest DVD: Issue 4—Hawaii, 2000.



Entertainment Weekly, March 1, 1999, p. 53; February 11, 2000, p. 22.

Evening Standard Hot Tickets, June 18, 1998, pp. 2-3.

Guardian (London), May 29, 1996, p. T10.

People Weekly, March 17, 1997, p. 22.

Playbill, October 7, 2004.

Radio Times, January 21, 1995, p. 130.

USA Today, January 28, 1997.