Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brenda Blethyn (born Brenda Ann Bottle 20 February 1946 in Ramsgate, Kent) is a British actress and an OBE. After studying at the Guildford School of Acting, she went on the London stage, where she won the London Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1980 for Steaming .
She had a reputation as a Shakespearean actress on stage by the time she won two key roles in the BBC's complete works of Shakespeare during the early 1980s, playing Cordelia in King Lear and Joan of Arc in the Henry VI cycle. She did a great deal of British television, including several episodes of Alas Smith & Jones and several series of the sitcom, Chance in a Million (opposite Simon Callow), before debuting in films in The Witches in 1990. But it was her performance in Secrets & Lies which garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In 1998 she was again Oscar nominated, this time for Best Supporting Actress for Little Voice .
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