Joely Richardson: Biography, Early Life, Career

English actress Joely Kim Richardson was born on January 9, 1965. She is best known for her roles as Queen Catherine Parr on Showtime’s The Tudors and Julia McNamara on ABC’s Nip/Tuck. Still, she has also starred in films like 101 Dalmatians (1996), Event Horizon (1997), The Patriot (2000), and the upcoming film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Joely Richardson: Biography

Joely Richardson, born to Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson, is an English actress. She rose to fame for her portrayals on the FX drama series “Nip/Tuck” as Julia McNamara and the Showtime period drama “The Tudors” as Queen Catherine Parr. Richardson had plans to become a professional tennis player, but she ended up following in the footsteps of her famous parents and siblings by becoming an actress.

She has been in such films as “Wetherby,” “Body Contact,” and “Drowning by Numbers,” among others. In her early years as a TV actress, she appeared on shows including “Behaving Badly” on Channel 4 and “Lady Chatterley” on the BBC. In her three-decade-long acting career, she has been in several critically acclaimed films, including 101 Dalmatians, Event Horizon, The Patriot, The Last Mimzy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Endless Love, Maggie, and Red Sparrow. Her participation in the television show Nip/Tuck has garnered several nominations for various awards.

The Early life of Joely Richardson

Joely Kim Richardson was born on January 9, 1965, in Marylebone, London, England, to a family with a long history in the performing arts. Her ancestors trace back four generations to the Redgrave family. She is the granddaughter of performers Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson and the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and filmmaker Tony Richardson.

Their older sister, Natasha, was also an actress, but she was killed in a skiing accident on March 18, 2009. Since her sister predeceased her, she has been the aunt of actors Liam Neeson’s kids, Michal and Daniel.

Through her mother’s marriage to Italian actor Franco Nero, she is the step-sister of Italian-English screenwriter and film director Carlo Gabriel Redgrave Nero. Through her father’s marriage to Grizelda Grimond, she is the step-sister of Katharine Grimond. Both her aunt Lynn and her uncle, Corin Redgrave, were actors. Jemma, Corin’s daughter, is also a professional performer.

At 14, Richardson was sent to the prestigious elite Harry Hopman Tennis School in Tampa, Florida, after attending the prestigious independent St. Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith. She graduated from the Thacher School in Ojai, California, in 1983 and then went back to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Joely Richardson

Joely Richardson: Career

At age three, Joely Richardson made her acting debut in her father’s film, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” released in 1968. However, she spent two years of her teenage years in a tennis academy in Florida with the hopes of making a living as a professional tennis player.

Her acting debut came in 1985 when she played the younger version of the protagonist character in flashback portions of the film “Wetherby,” in which her mother had a supporting role. She appeared as a supporting character in the 1987 film Body Contact and as a princess in an episode of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller television series the following year.

The cult classic “Drowning by Numbers,” directed by Peter Greenaway and starring her as Cissie Colpitts 3, earned the “Cannes Film Festival” award for “Best Artistic Contribution” in 1988. Her first significant part in front of a wider audience was in an episode of the Agatha Christie-inspired detective series ‘Poirot’ from 1989, in which she played Joanna Farley.

In the 1989 Channel 4 serial “Misbehaving,” she played Serafina, a teacher on the edge of a mental breakdown. In the 1993 BBC series “Lady Chatterley,” she starred alongside Sean Bean as the title character. During this period, she appeared in many movies, including 1991’s “King Ralph,” 1992’s “Rebecca’s Daughters,” and 1993’s “Shining Through,” in which she played a Nazi opposite her future brother-in-law, Liam Neeson.

In the 1996 live-action adaptation of the Disney animated feature 101 Dalmatians, she played the lead role of fashion designer Anita Campbell-Green. In 1998, she portrayed Amanda Powell in the TV movie version of The Echo. She played Lieutenant Starck in the 1997 science fiction horror thriller Event Horizon, bombed at the box office and with critics.

In 2000, she starred in the film “Maybe Baby,” played a significant role opposite Mel Gibson in “The Patriot,” and had a minor role in Ben Elton’s film version of his book “Inconceivable.” The film’s director, Charles Shyer, saw a likeness between her and the doomed French monarch and put her in the title role in “The Affair of the Necklace” (2001).

In 2003, she returned to the small screen as the series lead on the FX medical drama Nip/Tuck, which followed the personal and professional lives of two Miami cosmetic surgeons. Until the series finale in 2010, her real-life mother made frequent appearances on the show as her on-screen counterpart.

Both “Lies My Mother Told Me” (based on a true story about a deadly con artist) and “Wallis & Edward” (based on Edward VIII’s abdication issue) were television movies she starred in throughout 2005. In 2007, she had a pivotal role in the science fiction film The Last Mimzy, and in 2009, she guest-starred in two episodes of the BBC’s The Day of the Triffids.

She is most known for her portrayal of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, in the series’ final season of the smash Showtime historical drama The Tudors (2009–10), and she will also have a significant part in the upcoming series The Rook. She has appeared in several films this decade, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Maggie,” “Snowden,” and “Red Sparrow.”

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