Claire Foy

Claire Elizabeth Foy (born 16 April 1984) is an English actress. She studied acting at the Liverpool John Moores University and the Oxford School of Drama, and made her screen debut in the pilot of the supernatural comedy series Being Human, in 2008. Following her professional stage debut at the Royal National Theatre, she played the title role in the BBC One miniseries Little Dorrit (2008)[1] and made her film debut in the American historical fantasy drama Season of the Witch (2011). Following leading roles in the television series The Promise (2011) and Crossbones (2014), Foy received praise for portraying the ill-fated queen Anne Boleyn in the miniseries Wolf Hall (2015).

Claire Foy
Foy at an event for First Man in 2018
Claire Elizabeth Foy

(1984-04-16) 16 April 1984
Alma materLiverpool John Moores University
Years active2008–present
Stephen Campbell Moore
(m. 2014; div. 2018)
AwardsFull list

Foy gained international recognition for portraying the young Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the Netflix series The Crown (2016–2017), for which she won a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, among other awards. In 2018, she starred in Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller Unsane and portrayed Janet Shearon, wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong, in Damien Chazelle's biopic First Man. For the latter, she was nominated for the BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Early life

Foy was born in Stockport. She has said that her mother, Caroline, comes from "a massive Irish family". Her maternal grandparents were from Dublin and Kildare, respectively.[2][3][4] She grew up in Manchester and Leeds, the youngest of three children. Her family later moved to Longwick, Buckinghamshire, for her father's job as a salesman for Rank Xerox. Her parents divorced when she was eight.[5] She has a younger half-sister through her dad's second marriage.

Foy attended Aylesbury High School, a girls' grammar school, from the age of twelve; she then attended Liverpool John Moores University, studying drama and screen studies. She also trained in a one-year course at the Oxford School of Drama.[6] She graduated in 2007 and moved to Peckham to share a house "with five friends from drama school".[7]


2008–2015: Early work

While at the Oxford School of Drama, Foy appeared in the plays Top Girls, Watership Down, Easy Virtue and Touched.[8] After appearing on television,[9] she made her professional stage debut in DNA and The Miracle, two of a trio of single acts directed by Paul Miller at the Royal National Theatre in London (the third was Baby Girl).[10]

Foy starred as the protagonist Amy Dorrit in BBC series Little Dorrit, and was nominated for an RTS Award. She went on to appear in TV film Going Postal and in the medieval adventure film Season of the Witch alongside Nicolas Cage. Foy starred in the BBC revival of Upstairs Downstairs as Lady Persephone, and co-starred in the Channel 4 serial The Promise, broadcast in February 2011.

Foy played a lead role of Helen in the TV movie The Night Watch, which was based on a Sarah Waters novel.[11] She returned to the stage in February 2013 as Lady Macbeth, alongside James McAvoy in the title role, in Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.[12]

In 2015, Foy played the English queen Anne Boleyn in the six-part drama serial, Wolf Hall.[13] Foy's performance as Boleyn was met with critical praise, and compared to Geneviève Bujold's iconic performance in Anne of the Thousand Days. Foy would go on to be nominated for the 2016 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress.[14]

2016–present: International recognition

In 2016, Foy began portraying the young Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's Netflix biographical drama series The Crown, opposite Matt Smith as her consort Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and John Lithgow as Sir Winston Churchill. Her performance earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. She was also nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She reprised the role in the second season, before the role passed to actress Olivia Colman, who will portray the queen in middle-age. In 2017, Foy starred as Diana Cavendish in the biographical drama film Breathe, opposite Andrew Garfield as Robin Cavendish.

Foy then starred in Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller Unsane; portrayed the vigilante Lisbeth Salander in the action-thriller The Girl in the Spider's Web; and Janet Shearon, wife of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, in Damien Chazelle's biopic First Man (all 2018). For the latter, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Personal life

Foy married actor Stephen Campbell Moore in 2014.[15] Together they have a daughter, Ivy Rose, born in March 2015.[16] The couple announced their separation in February 2018, stating that they "have been separated for some time".[17]



Year Title Role Director Notes
2011 Season of the Witch Anna Dominic Sena
Wreckers Dawn D. R. Hood
2014 Vampire Academy Sonya Karp Mark Waters
Rosewater Paola Gourley Jon Stewart
2015 The Lady in the Van Lois Nicholas Hytner
2017 Breathe Diana Cavendish Andy Serkis
2018 Unsane Sawyer Valentini Steven Soderbergh
First Man Janet Armstrong Damien Chazelle
The Girl in the Spider's Web Lisbeth Salander Fede Álvarez
2020 Louis Wain Emily Richardson-Wain Will Sharpe Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Being Human Julia Beckett Episode: "Pilot"
2008 Doctors Chloe Webster Episode: "The Party's Over"
2008 Little Dorrit Amy Dorrit 14 episodes
2009 10 Minute Tales Woman Episode: "Through the Window"
2010 Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Adora Belle Dearheart 2 episodes
2010 Pulse Hannah Carter Television film
2010–2012 Upstairs Downstairs Lady Persephone Towyn 9 episodes
2011 The Promise Erin Matthews 4 episodes
2011 The Night Watch Helen Giniver Television film
2012 Hacks Kate Loy Television film
2012 White Heat Charlotte Pew 6 episodes
2014 Crossbones Kate Balfour 9 episodes
2014 The Great War: The People's Story Helen Bentwich 2 episodes
2014 Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night Narrator Television film
2015 Wolf Hall Anne Boleyn 6 episodes
2016–2017 The Crown Queen Elizabeth II 20 episodes
2018 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Claire Foy/Anderson Paak"


Year Title Role Theatre
2013 Macbeth Lady Macbeth Trafalgar Studios
2019 Lungs W The Old Vic
2020 Brooklyn Academy of Music

Awards and nominations


  1. "Little Dorrit cast announced". BBC Press Office. 6 May 2008.
  2. Jamieson, Teddy (17 January 2015). "Claire Foy on playing Anne Boleyn and getting her head chopped off". The Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  3. "The Queen of Wolf Hall". The Herald. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2017 via
  4. O'Shea, James (25 December 2017). "'The Crown's' Claire Foy has humble Irish roots". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. Gilbert, Gerard (18 February 2012). "A class act: Claire Foy on criticism, tumours and embarrassing sex scenes". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  6. "Showcase Presentation 2007 – One and Three Year Students" (PDF). Oxford School of Drama. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  7. Bearn, Emily (4 December 2008). "Little Claire Foy". Archived from the original on 16 June 2009.
  8. "Claire Foy". Royal National Theatre. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  9. "Claire Foy". Screen Daily. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008.
  10. Benedict, David (3 March 2008). "Baby Girl/DNA/The Miracle". Variety. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  11. "Interview: Claire Foy". Channel 4. 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  12. Merrifield, Nicola (4 January 2013). "Claire Foy to play Lady Macbeth opposite James McAvoy". The Stage. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  13. Plunkett, John (3 March 2016). "Poldark's topless scything fails to cut it with Royal Television Society judges". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  14. "2016 Television Leading Actress – BAFTA Awards". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  15. Radio Times, 29 January 2015, p. 16.
  16. Pavia, Lucy (4 November 2016). "Claire Foy on playing The Queen: 'Being likeable all the time isn't real life'". Marie Claire. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  17. Stone, Natalie (22 February 2018). "The Crown's Claire Foy Separates from Her Husband After 4 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
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