Anne-Marie Duff

Anne-Marie Duff (born 8 October 1970) is an English actress. She rose to prominence playing Fiona Gallagher on the first two seasons of UK television series Shameless. She then played Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (2006), and also the lead role in the television series From Darkness in 2015.

Anne-Marie Duff
At the 60th British Academy Film Awards, February 2007
Born (1970-10-08) 8 October 1970
Alma materDrama Centre London
Years active1995–present
James McAvoy
(m. 2006; div. 2016)

Duff has had roles in films such as Enigma (2001), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), Notes on a Scandal (2006), French Film (2008), The Last Station and Nowhere Boy (both 2009), Before I Go to Sleep (2014), and Suffragette (2015).

Her performances in Shameless, The Virgin Queen, Nowhere Boy and Suffragette earned her BAFTA nominations in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, and she was awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2007 television film The History of Mr Polly.

Duff married Scottish actor James McAvoy in 2006, after they met on the set of Shameless. The couple had one child together, but divorced in 2016.[2]

Early life and education

Duff was born on 8 October 1970, the younger of two children of Irish immigrants: her father was a painter and decorator and her mother worked in a shoe shop. The family lived in Southall, London, and Anne-Marie went to Mellow Lane School. At an early age, Anne-Marie attended a local youth theatre, Young Argosy, linked to the Argosy Players, in order to battle her shy nature: she soon became hooked on the stage.

In her mid-teens, involved in an amateur theatre company, she began to think seriously about applying to drama schools. Her first application was rejected. "At the time, I was desperately unhappy about it, but I just wasn’t polished. I got too nervous in the audition. It wasn't a world I was familiar with..." After further study of Film and Theatre, at the age of 19, she attended the Drama Centre in London, alongside John Simm, Anastasia Hille and her good friend, Paul Bettany.


Duff was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000, but first mainstream attention came as Fiona Gallagher in the Channel 4 television programme Shameless, and for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the lavish 2005 BBC television miniseries, The Virgin Queen which also starred Tom Hardy, Emilia Fox and Sienna Guillory. She also played Julia Stanley, the mother of John Lennon, in Nowhere Boy. In The Last Station, a biopic about Leo Tolstoy's later years, she played his devoted daughter Sasha.

An accomplished theatre actor, she has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre, including its 1996 production of Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, and also in London's West End (Vassa, Collected Stories). Credits at the National Theatre include Collected Stories, King Lear and most recently the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim.[3][4] In 2011 she played Alma Rattenbury in Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic directed by Thea Sharrock.[5] In 2007 she was one of nine female celebrities to take part in the What's it going to take? campaign promoting awareness of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom. She will be starring alongside Sandra Bullock and Rachel Weisz in Imagination of the Creatures.

Personal life

Duff married Scottish actor and former Shameless co-star James McAvoy in 2006, and gave birth to their son, Brendan McAvoy, in 2010.[6] On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced they were getting a divorce.[7]



Year Production Role Notes
1998 Mild and Better The Woman Short film
2001 Enigma Kay
2002 The Magdalene Sisters Margaret
2006 Notes on a Scandal Annabel
2007 Garage Carmel
The Waiting Room Anna
2008 French Film Sophie
2009 Is Anybody There? Mum
The Last Station Sasha Tolstoy
Nowhere Boy Julia Lennon
2012 Sanctuary Maire
2013 Closed Circuit Melissa
Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist Post-production
2014 Before I Go to Sleep Claire
2015 Suffragette Violet Miller
2017 On Chesil Beach Marjorie Mayhew


Year Production Role Notes
1997 Trial & Retribution Cathy Gillingham 2 episodes
1998 Amongst Women Sheila 2 episodes
1999 Aristocrats Louisa 4 episodes
2000 Reach for the Moon Cath Bird
2001 The Way We Live Now Georgiana 4 episodes
2002 Doctor Zhivago Olya
Holby City Alison McCarthy 1 episode
Wild West Holly 6 episodes
Sinners Anne Marie/Theresa TV film
2003 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Princess Henrietta of England 1 episode
2004–2005, 2013 Shameless Fiona Gallagher 19 episodes
2006 The Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth I 4 episodes
Born Equal Michelle TV film
2007 The History of Mr Polly Miriam
2008 Pop Britannia Narrator
2009 Margot Margot Fonteyn TV film
2012 Accused Mo Murray 1 episode
Parade's End Edith Duchemin 4 episodes
2015 From Darkness Claire Church All 4 episodes
2017 Hospital Narrator All 6 episodes
2018 Watership Down Hyzenthlay Miniseries; pre-production
2019 His Dark Materials Ma Costa TV series


Year Production Role Notes
1994 Uncle Silas Maud Ruthyn
The Mill on the Floss First Maggie
1995 La Grande Magia Amelia
1995–1996 Peter Pan Wendy
1996 War and Peace Natasha
1997–1998 King Lear Cordelia
1999 Vassa Lyudmila
1999–2000 Collected Stories Lisa
2000 A Doll's House Nora
2002 The Daughter in Law Minnie
2004 The Playboy of the Western World Pegín maidhc
2005 Days of Wine and Roses Mona
2007 The Soldier's Fortune Lady Dunce
Saint Joan Joan Olivier Theatre, London[8]
2011 Cause Célèbre Alma Rattenbury Old Vic, London
2013 Strange Interlude Nina Leeds National Theatre, London[9]
Macbeth Lady Macbeth Broadway debut, Lincoln Center Theater
2015 Husbands & Sons Lizzie Holroyd Co-production between National Theatre, London and Royal Exchange, Manchester
2016 Oil[10] May Almeida Theatre
2017 Common[11] Mary Royal National Theatre, London
2017 Heisenberg[12] Georgie Wyndhams Theatre, London
2018 Macbeth[13] Lady Macbeth Royal National Theatre, London
2019 Sweet Charity Charity Hope Valentine Donmar Warehouse, London

Radio and audio

Year Production Role Notes
1998 Twelfth Night Viola
2000 The Art of Love Cypassis
The Diary of a Provincial Lady Radio series
2001 A Time That Was Radio drama
2004 Life Half Spent Radio Play
Jane Eyre Narrator
2005 Ears Wide Open Diane
Othello Desdemona Audiobook
2006 The Queen at 80 Narrator Radio series
The Possessed Liza/Marya Radio drama
Look Back in Anger Alison Rehearsed reading
2007 Kingdom of the Golden Dragon Narrator Radio drama
2011 Carmilla Narrator Radio drama
2017 A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois Radio drama

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a TV Drama
2005 Nominated
Broadcasting Press Guild Best Actress Won
British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Nominated
2006 Royal Television Society Best Female Actor Won
2007 British Academy Television Awards Best Actress
The Virgin Queen
Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress
Saint Joan
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role in Television
The Virgin Queen
2008 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Collected Stories
Best Actress
Saint Joan
BAFTA Cymru Best Actress
The History of Mr Polly
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2010 Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Actress
Nowhere Boy
BIFA Award Best Supporting Actress Won
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Won
BAFTA Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
Empire Award Best Actress Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Film Nominated
Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
2012 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Film
2015 BIFA Award Best Supporting Actress
2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Musical Performance
Sweet Charity


  1. Lane, Harriet (8 February 2004). "Real-life romance". The Observer. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  2. Day, Margaret (20 May 2017). "Anne-Marie Duff on starting over, divorce and her sexually charged role". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  3. Billington, Michael (12 July 2007). "Saint Joan". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  4. Brown, Peter (13 July 2007). "Saint Joan". Retrieved 31 July 2009.
  5. Masters, Tim (27 March 2011). "Anne-Marie Duff on Rattigan revival". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  6. Mcdonald, Toby (24 April 2011). "Doting mum Anne-Marie Duff reveals toddler's name". Sunday Mail. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  7. Marquina, Sierra (13 May 2016). "James McAvoy and Wife Anne-Marie Duff to Divorce: See Their Statement". US Weekly. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. Billington, Michael (12 July 2007). "Theatre review: Saint Joan / Olivier Theatre, London". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  9. Billington, Michael (5 June 2013). "Strange Interlude – review". The Guardian. London.
  10. "Oil". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  11. "Common - National Theatre". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Kenton, Tristram (5 March 2018). "Macbeth at the National Theatre with Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff – in pictures". Retrieved 24 August 2018 via
  14. Masters, Tim (8 February 2010). "Duff and Serkis scoop Standard film awards". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
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