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Meet Imelda Staunton: Biography & Movies

Updated on June 7, 2015
Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton

Who is Imelda Staunton?

IMELDA Staunton is an actress from England who you might recognize for her performances in the the movies Sense and Sensibility, Vera Drake and Harry Potter (in which she plays Professor Dolores Umbridge.)

Ms. Staunton was born in North London, the daughter of a hairdresser and a road worker and labor. In 1974, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to be very well received in theater for which her work has twice received the Olivier award.

Her first movie role came in 1986 in the movie Comrades and she has since been in a large number of roles on the big screen and the television. On this page, learn a bit more about Ms. Staunton and discover a few of her best movie performances.

Click here to order your copy of Imelda Staunton's Vera Drake from Amazon.

"I am a character actress, well, let's say, I am a leading character actress who does interesting, odd parts."

- Imelda Staunton

Vera Drake Movie (2004) Synopsis and Trailer

"Wife. Mother. Criminal."

"Wife. Mother. Criminal." That is the very appropriate tagline for the movie Vera Drake in which Imelda Staunton is simply riveting. I couldn't take my eyes of the screen, particularly near the end of this movie. No wonder Ms. Staunton received awards for her role of wife and mother in this movie, which is set in England in 1950. It is an extremely emotional movie, take a peek at the official movie trailer:

Imelda STaunton as Vera Drake
Imelda STaunton as Vera Drake | Source

"Motherly Abortionist Gets Entangled With the Law" is how the New York Times titled their review of Vera Drake and that sums up the movie quite nicely. It doesn't however, tell you that Vera Drake was performing abortions because, as The Times explains later in their review, "she wants to help other women." Women who are poor and destitute, women who already have a family that they are struggling to feed, women who have been raped...

Ms. Staunton won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and the movie (and Ms. Staunton) were nominated for three Academy Awards.

Roger Ebert calls the acting, "pitch-perfect, seemingly effortless performances." He summarizes the film with these words, "Vera is kind and innocent, but Lily, who procures the abortions, is hard, dishonest and heartless. The movie shows the law as unyielding, but puts a human face on the police. And the enduring strength of the film is the way it shows the Drake family rising to the occasion with loyalty and love."

Vera Drake is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by both Roger Ebert and myself, with the warning that it does deal with the subject of abortion, which some may find upsetting. It is rated PG 17.

Masterpiece Theatre: My Family and Other Animals
Masterpiece Theatre: My Family and Other Animals

The movie that I watched and deem entertaining, if not a great movie.


My Family and Other Animals (2006)

A quirky Masterpiece Theatre movie.

In My Family and Other Animals we meet the quirky Durrell family in England of 1935 who move house, trading in the cold English damp for the sunny Greek Island of Corfu. We follow the family adventures -- from the writer son, to the gun-obsessed son to the boyfriend seeking daughter and finally, the animal-loving son...

My Family and Other Animals
My Family and Other Animals

The book upon which the movie My Family and Other Animals is based. It was written by Gerald Durrell.

My Family & Other Animals-Import
My Family & Other Animals-Import

The original BBC television series that some prefer because it was 10 parts, giving plenty of time to share the adventures of the Durrell family.


Harry Potter and The Order of the Pheonix (2007)

Imelda Staunton stars as Dolores Umbridge who may be pretty in pink but she is NOT sweet.

Imelda Staunton appeared as Professor Dolores Umbridge in both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

With regard to her role as Professor Dolores Umbridge, Imelda Staunton tells the story that a friend said to her, "'You've got to read the new Harry Potter book, there's a part in it that's perfect for you when they make the film." She thought, "Oooh, how lovely" and then went on to discover that Professor Umbridge was "a short, fat, ugly woman who was like a toad!" That is not how she is portrayed in the film as you will see when you watch her unveil her special version of evil on Harry Potter...

More Imelda Staunton Movies

I'll definitely be watching more Imelda Staunton movies and commenting about them on this page, so be sure to bookmark it to comeback and see what new discoveries I make.

© 2012 Treasures By Brenda

Have you seen Imelda Staunton in any movies? - Would you recommend them?

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    • auronlu profile image


      6 years ago from Spira

      She played the mother in "Rat." I'm not sure about that movie, but some of my friends love it.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      6 years ago

      No I'll have to check her out. Her movies look good.


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