Michelle Dockery (UPDATE)

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Michelle Dockery

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Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery 2013 2.jpg

Born Michelle Suzanne Dockery
(1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 35)
Rush Green, London, England
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2004–present
Known for Downton Abbey
Partner(s) John Dineen (2013–2015; his death)

Michelle Suzanne Dockery[1] (born 15 December 1981) is an English actress and singer. She is most widely known for her performance as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV (UK) and PBS (U.S.) television period drama series Downton Abbey (2010–15), for which she was nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress In Drama Series, and a Golden Globe Award nomination.[2] She made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004. For her role as Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of Pygmalion, she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award.[3]

For her role in the 2009 play Burnt by the Sun, she earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[4] Her other notable stage credits include Pillars of the Community (2005) and Hamlet (2010). She has also appeared in the films Hanna (2011), Anna Karenina (2012) and Non-Stop (2014).[5]

As of late autumn 2016, Dockery is portraying the lead role of a drug-addicted, alcoholic, American con artist in the U.S. drama series Good Behavior on the U.S. basic-cable network TNT.[6]

Early life[edit]

Dockery was born at Rush Green Hospital in Rush Green, London,[7] to Lorraine (née Witton) and Michael Francis Dockery, a lorry driver and later an environmental analyst.[8] She grew up in Romford, in East London, and she still has traces of an Estuary accent.[9] She says, “I’ll never sound like Lady Mary, although my Essex accent has softened over the years. But it comes back if I’ve had a couple of drinks or if I am around my family”.[10]

Dockery has two older sisters, Louise and Joanne. She was educated first at Chadwell Heath Academy, and later at the Finch Stage School.[11]

Dockery confirms in an 2017 interview with Parade, that if you asked her parents when she began performing they would answer that it was when she was 2 or 3 years old. “I wanted to entertain from such a young age, doing impersonations and putting on plays with my sisters,” says Dockery. “I always had it in me and loved it.” She remembers being 9 and performing for family members when they came to visit.[12]

After her A Levels, she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she was awarded the Gold Medal for Drama at her graduation in 2004.[13][14]

Career[edit]

Stage[edit]

Dockery was a member of the National Youth Theatre. She made her professional debut in His Dark Materials at the Royal National Theatre in 2004.[15] In 2006, she was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Dina Dorf in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre.[16] She appeared in Burnt by the Sun at the National Theatre, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[17]

She won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall‘s production of Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath, which toured the UK and transferred to The Old Vic in 2008,[18] and for the same production was nominated Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards 2008.[19]

In 2010, she played Ophelia in Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre alongside John Simm.[20]

Film and television[edit]

Dockery made her television debut as Betty in Fingersmith in 2005.[21] In 2006, she starred as Susan Sto Helit in a two-part adaptation of Terry Pratchett‘s novel Hogfather.[22] In 2008, Dockery played Kathryn in Channel 4‘s The Red Riding Trilogy and played the guest lead of tormented rape victim Gemma Morrison in BBC’s Waking the Dead. In 2009, she appeared in the two-part Cranford Christmas special for the BBC, and she also starred as the lead character, as the young governess, in a modernised BBC adaptation of The Turn of the Screw with future Downton Abbey co-star Dan Stevens, in the role of her psychiatrist.[23]

Dockery came to public prominence in 2010 when she played Lady Mary Crawley in Julian Fellowes‘ series Downton Abbey. Downton Abbey was filmed from February–August 2010-15. The series was broadcast on ITV September–November, with a special Christmas night episode for Series 2-6 in 2011-15, with a later airing schedule in the U.S. for PBS.

For her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the Downton Abbey series, Dockery received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress In Drama Series – 2012,[24] 2013,[25] and 2014,.[26] She also earned a Golden Globe nomination in 2013.[2]

Dockery’s first big screen role was as False Marissa in Hanna (2011). In 2012, she appeared as Princess Myagkaya in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina and starred with Charlotte Rampling in a two-part dramatisation of William Boyd‘s spy thriller Restless on BBC One.[27] In January 2014, she appeared in the action thriller feature film Non-Stop alongside co-stars Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Lupita Nyong’o.[28][29]

In 2014, Dockery was made Fellow of the Guildhall School in recognition of her achievements in television.[30] In 2014, Dockery was listed in The Sunday Times Britain’s 500 Most Influential People, which is a compilation of the most significant individuals in the UK who have demonstrated outstanding qualities of influence, achievement and inspiration.[31][32]

A far cry from her renowned portrayal as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, Dockery advanced her Hollywood career with a 2015 performance in sci-fi thriller feature film Self/less with Ryan Reynolds.[28]

Beginning in November 2016, Dockery stars in the lead role of Letty Raines in Good Behavior, an American drama series based on the novella series by Blake Crouch. Letty is a drug-addicted thief and con-artist who, released early from prison on good behavior, is attempting to get her life under control. This is complicated by a chance meeting and subsequent entanglement with a charismatic hitman, played by Juan Diego Botto. The 10-episode first season, airing on U.S. basic-cable network TNT, was filmed in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. In January 2017, the show was picked up for a second season.[33]

In 2017, Dockery stars alongside Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, and Emily Mortimer in the upcoming British film The Sense of an Ending from CBS Films, based on the Booker-winning novel of the same name by Julian Barnes. She plays Susie Webster, the daughter of Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent), a man who lives in quiet unquestioning solitude until he confronts secrets of his past. “The film is a beautiful adaptation of the book which I love. And I jumped at the chance to work with director Ritesh Batra, who also filmed The Lunchbox (2013)”, explains Dockery.[34][12]

Music[edit]

Dockery trained as a singer. She sang at the 50th Anniversary of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and has occasionally sung with Sadie and the Hotheads, a band formed by Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mother in Downton Abbey.[13][35] Dockery cites her musical influences as Peggy Lee, Melody Gardot and Billie Holiday in her more melancholy moods.[13] SIn 2014, she revealed her music influences varied from the likes of Oasis to Joni Mitchell and Frank Sinatra, noting that, “My family bought me some old vinyl records for my 30th birthday, so I’m gradually building my own collection. “I’ve got some Joni Mitchell, Oasis and the Doors, old standards like Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone, and then what I listened to as a teen”, she confirmed to the Mirror UK.[36]

Charity work[edit]

On World Humanitarian Day 2014, Oxfam announced Dockery as its first ever Humanitarian Ambassador.[37] Dockery is also a patron of Changing Faces[38] and supports a host of other charities.[39]

In 2014, along with 8 other A-list stars, Dockery was featured in an exclusive short film for Stand Up to Cancer, spreading the urgent message that we need to act now to accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Dockery’s fiancé John Dineen died of a rare form of cancer on December 13, 2015, at Marymount Hospice in Cork, Ireland, with Dockery at his bedside – where he was being cared for in recent weeks. Originally from Waterfall near Cork city, Dineen had been working with the FTI Consulting firm in London when he was diagnosed with the illness. Dineen was aged 34 at the time of his passing. Her relationship with Dineen is thought to have begun in September 2013 after they were introduced by the Irish actor Allen Leech, who starred alongside Dockery in Downton Abbey. The couple were first pictured together as they holidayed in Venice, Italy, during that year’s 70th International Venice Film Festival. The family appealed for privacy as they made the final preparations for a private funeral service in Cork, “The family is very grateful for the support and kindness they have received but would kindly request that they are left to grieve in private”, a spokeswoman for the actress said.[41]

The couple had made headlines earlier in 2015, when it was reported that Dockery was showing off a diamond ring to her co-stars during screen tests. But they guarded their privacy closely, with Dockery only briefly referencing Dineen in an interview more than a year ago when she said she had a “wonderful man in my life from Ireland”. In an interview with Red magazine, published in November 2015, she also spoke of the security her relationship brought her. “I’ve got people around me who I can turn to for advice: my mum, and my partner, John. But, at this stage, my instincts are pretty good”, she said. Leech has said of introducing the pair: “John’s like family to me and I knew he’d really get on with Michelle. She’s a great girl – probably as far from Lady Mary as you could imagine”.[42][41]

In 2016, Dockery has praised her family and friends with helping her cope following her fiance’s death. Confirming in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, that it is not something she wants to talk about, but she allows that family and friends helped her through the dark time following Dineen’s death. “No one I would name because I am very private about my private life”, she says, “But friends and family see you through the most difficult times. Acting, too, served as a “release” – and – “Home is wherever I’m working at the moment – For the last year I have moved around a lot and hopefully I will be in Wilmington again”, she confirmed.[43][9] “I just enjoy acting, whatever area – theatre, film, television”.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Spoiler Goth Girl Short film
2010 Shades of Beige Jodie Short film
2011 Hanna False Marissa
2012 Out of Time Christine Short film[44][45]
2012 Anna Karenina Princess Myagkaya
2012 A Poem Is.. Narrator Voice
2012 Angelic Voices: The Choristers of Salisbury Cathedral Narrator Documentary
2014 Non-Stop Nancy Hoffman
2014 Tough Justice Connie Tough Short film
2015 Self/less Claire Hale
2015 Many Beautiful Things Voice of Lilias Trotter Documentary
2015 District Zero: What’s Hidden Inside the Smartphone of a Refugee Narrator Documentary
2017 The Sense of an Ending Susie Webster

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Fingersmith Betty TV series
2006 Hogfather Susan/Death of Rats Television film
2007 Consent Television film
2007 Dalziel and Pascoe Aimee Hobbs 2 episodes
2008 Heartbeat Sue Padgett Episode: “Take Three Girls”
2008 Poppy Shakespeare Dawn Television film
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 Kathryn Taylor Television film
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 Kathryn Taylor Television film
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Ewa Rozenfeld Television film
2009 The Turn of the Screw Ann Television film
2009 Waking the Dead Gemma Morrison 2 episodes
2009 Return to Cranford Erminia Whyte 2 episodes
2010–15 Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley Main Cast; 52 episodes
2012 Restless Ruth Gilmartin Miniseries
2012 American Dad! Margaret Watkins Voice
1 episode
2012 Henry IV, Parts I and II Lady Kate Percy Television film
2013 Family Guy British Woman Voice
1 episode
2015 Japan: Earth’s Enchanted Islands Narrator BBC2 Documentary Series
2016–present Good Behavior Letty Raines Main cast; 10 episodes
2017 Godless Alice Fletcher Post-production
2017 Angie Tribeca Victoria 1 episode

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 His Dark Materials Jessie National Theatre
2005 Henry IV, Parts I & II Carrier National Theatre
2005 The UN Inspector Female activist National Theatre
2005 Pillars of the Community Dina National Theatre
2007 Dying for It Kleopatra Almeida Theatre
2007 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle UK tour
2008 Uncle Vanya Yelena UK tour
2008 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle Old Vic Theatre
2009 Burnt by the Sun Maroussia National Theatre
2010 Hamlet Ophelia Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2005 Ian Charleson Awards Best Actress Pillars of Community Nominated
2007 Ian Charleson Awards Best Performance by an Actor – 2nd Prize Pygmalion Won
2008 Evening Standard Award Outstanding Newcomer Pygmalion Nominated
2010 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Burnt by the Sun Nominated
2011 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
2012 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Critics’ Choice Television Award Best Drama Actress Downton Abbey Nominated
Glamour Awards Editor’s Special Award N/A Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
2013 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Huading Awards Best Global Actress Downton Abbey Won
Online Film and Television Association Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
2015 Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards Television Icon Award N/A Won
2015 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
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