Lesley Manville is preparing to become a household name in the UK as she stars in the highly anticipated new series of The Crown.
The Crown season 5, due to release on Netflix on November 9, is causing quite a stir, not least because it will be the first series to air since King Charles III. ascended the crown after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Actress Lesley, 66, known for her roles in films such as Sherwood and Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, will play Princess Margaret for the next two seasons of the show before finally coming to an end at the end of season six.
The series centers on then-Prince Charles, his divorce from the late Princess Diana, and an affair with the Queen’s consort, Camilla Parker-Bowles, which has reportedly caused some distress in the royal household.
Notable public figures, including former Prime Minister Sir John Major, have expressed dislike for some of the storylines set to unfold, with Buckingham Palace reportedly fearful for King Charles’ reputation, although Olivia Williams – the Camilla plays – insists they shouldn’t fear.’
But while we viewers eagerly await the new season and the explosive drama it brings, who exactly is Lesley Mannville and what other shows and films has she been in?
Who is Lesley Manville??
Lesley Manville will replace Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in season five of The Crown, and while they have some pretty big shoes to fill, the actress certainly has the talent.
Born in Brighton in 1956, Lesley is the daughter of a ballet dancer and a taxi driver and was trained as a soprano at the tender age of eight.
Soprano singing was anything but an easy hobby as she was twice crowned Sussex Under-18 Soprano Champion during her childhood.
However, by the time she became a senior teacher, she had turned away from singing and turned to acting, having secured a place at the Italia Conti Academy of Theater Arts at the age of 15.
The young actress dabbled in West End musicals and soap operas early in her career and has since appeared in dozens of films, television shows, plays and musicals.
In 2015, the actress was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Birthday Honors List and later a Commander (CBE) in the New Year Honors List 2021 for services to theater and charity.
Was she married to Gary Oldman?
Lesley Manville has been married twice, including to Harry Potter star Gary Oldman.
Gary was Lesley’s first husband and the couple married in 1987.
They have one son together, Alfie Oldman, 34, who has devoted himself to filmmaking, although he works more in the camera department than on screen.
Alfie later worked on films such as The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, and in season five’s The Town alongside mother Lesley as a center loader.
Lesley and Gary were married for two years and separated in 1989, just three months after Alfie was born.
She later married actor Joe Dixon, best known for his performance in The Mummy Returns, although they divorced in 2004.
What other films and TV shows has she been in?
Lesley Manville has been acting since her early teens and has had dozens of titles under her belt, from screen to stage.
She began her television career with a regular role on the soap Emmerdale Farm, playing the teenage Rosemary Kendall in 1975-1976 for a total of 79 episodes.
Lesley went on to play regular roles in TV series such as Soldier Soldier, Goggle Eyes before making her mark on the 1994 BBC series Ain’t Misbehavin.
It’s not Lesley’s first stint with the royal family either, as in 2009 she took on the role of Margaret Thatcher in the docudrama The Queen, which aired on Channel 4.
In 2018, the star was nominated for her first Academy Award for her role in Phantom Thread, where she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
She has also been nominated for Bafta Awards multiple times for various shows, but has yet to win.
More recently, Lesley is best known for her role as Julie Jackson in the acclaimed BBC Sherwood series, based on the real-life murders that took place in Ashfield, Nottingham, in 2004.
She has also worked as a narrator in the BBC Two series Life After Life, based on the book by Kate Atkinson, and a role in Britbox Original Magpie Murders.
The actress hit the big screen in early 2022 when she played the title role in Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, which is about a 1950s cleaning lady who falls madly in love with a Dior dress and hatches a plan to to get one of their own.
The Crown begins streaming on Netflix on November 9th
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