Gemma Jones

Jennifer Gemma Jones (born 4 December 1942) is an English character actress on both stage and screen. Her film appearances include Sense and Sensibility (1995), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), the Harry Potter series (2002–11), and Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010). For her role in the BBC television film Marvellous (2014), she won the 2015 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Gemma Jones
Jennifer Gemma Jones

(1942-12-04) 4 December 1942
Marylebone, London, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1962–present[1]
Parent(s)Griffith Jones
RelativesNicholas Jones (brother)

Early life

Jones was born in Marylebone, the daughter of Irene (née Isaac; 1911–1985) and Griffith Jones, an actor (1909–2007).[2] Her brother Nicholas Jones is also an actor. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,[3] where she won the Gold Medal.[4]


Gemma Jones appeared at Nottingham Playhouse in 1965, as Anya, in The Cherry Orchard.[5] In 1966, she played the great soprano Giuseppina Strepponi in After Aida at the Old Vic Theatre. Jones became known to television viewers after starring in the BBC serial Kenilworth (1967) as Queen Elizabeth I, and in BBC 2's 1970 dramatisation of The Spoils of Poynton.

She was first recognised outside the UK in the mid-1970s, after playing the Empress Frederick in the BBC television drama series Fall of Eagles and Louisa Trotter in another BBC drama, The Duchess of Duke Street. In 1980, she played the role of Portia in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of The Merchant of Venice, opposite Warren Mitchell's Shylock.

Jones played Mrs. Dashwood alongside Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson in the Academy Award-winning period drama Sense and Sensibility (1995). Her other notable roles include Mrs. Fairfax in Jane Eyre (1997), Lady Queensbury in Wilde (1997), Grace Winslow in The Winslow Boy (1999), Bridget's mother Pam Jones in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Poppy Pomfrey in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), reprising her role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011).

From 2007 to 2008, she played Connie James in the BBC1 drama Spooks. She appeared in the Woody Allen film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger in 2010. In 2011, she appeared in the BBC1 series Merlin, as the Cailleach, the gatekeeper to the spirit world. Also in 2011 she appeared in the Bridge Project's version of Richard III as Queen Margaret, alongside Kevin Spacey as Richard III and directed by Sam Mendes, at the Old Vic and subsequently on an international tour.

She received the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Neil Baldwin's mother, Mary, in the 2014 television film Marvellous.[6]

In 2015, Jones played the part of Petunia Howe in the three-part BBC series Capital, based on John Lanchester's novel of the same name.[7]


Year Title Role
1971The DevilsMadeleine
1988PaperhouseDr. Sarah Nicols
On the Black HillMary Jones
1995Feast of JulyMrs. Wainwright
Sense and SensibilityMrs. Dashwood
1997Jane EyreMrs. Fairfax
WildeLady Queensberry
1998O.K. GarageMrs. Wiggins
The Theory of FlightAnne
1999The Winslow BoyGrace Winslow
Cotton MaryEunice Pickles
2001Bridget Jones's DiaryBridget's Mum, Pamela Jones
Don't Tempt MeNancy
2002Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsMadam Poppy Pomfrey
2003Shanghai KnightsQueen Victoria
Kiss of LifeSonia
2004Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonBridget's Mum, Pamela Jones
2005FragileMrs. Folder
2007The ContractorMrs. Day
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceMadam Poppy Pomfrey
2010You Will Meet a Tall Dark StrangerHelena
Forget me NotLizzie Fisher
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Madam Poppy Pomfrey
HysteriaLady St. John-Smythe
2013Burn the ClockBecky
2016Bridget Jones's BabyBridget's Mum, Pamela Jones
2017God's Own CountryDeidre Saxby
Gypsy's KissJudith
You, Me and HimSue Miller
2018The Egg and the Thieving PieThelma
TBAAmmoniteMolly Anning

Television credits

Year Title Role Note
1962ITV Play of the WeekPostmistress(episode: The Typewriter)
No Hiding PlaceBrenda
1963The Human JunglePamela Phillips
ITV Television PlayhouseRachel(episode: Adam's Apple)
1965Theatre 625Victoire / Lucille Desmoulins(episode:Poor Bitos)
1966ITV Play of the WeekVera Fawcett(episode: Come Laughing Home )
Thirteen Against FateAntoinette Baron(episode: The Lodger)
Theatre 625Nina(episode:The Seagull )
1967Rainbow CityMary Steele4 episodes
1968SanctuarySister Stephens(episode: The Novice)
1969The Wednesday PlayClarice1 episode
1970Crime of PassionNicole Delcourt
1971The Spoils of PoyntonFleda Vetch
1971Shadows of FearJudith(episode: At Occupier's Risk)
1974Fall of EaglesPrincess Vicky
1976The Duchess of Duke StreetLouisa Trotter1976–1977
1980The Merchant of VenicePortia
1986The Importance of Being EarnestMiss PrismTV Movie
1987Inspector MorseAnne Staveley(episode: "The Dead of Jericho")
1988The StorytellerQueen1 episode
1989ChelworthVirginia Hincham8 episodes
1990Ruth Rendell MysteriesMrs. Peveril3 episodes
1991Devices and Desires – Adam DalglieshAlice Mair
1993Wycliffe and the Cycle of DeathSara GlynnTV Movie
Screen OneNicky Dobbs1 episode
The Return of the BorrowersMiss Menzies3 episodes
1994FaithJane Moreton
1997The Phoenix and the CarpetMrs. Bibble
2002BootlegMrs. Bubby
Midsomer MurdersMaisie Gooch(episode "Ring Out Your Dead")
2003Agatha Christie's PoirotMiss Cecilia Williams(episode "Five Little Pigs")
Trial and RetributionDr. Jean Mullins2003–2008
10 episodes
2005All About GeorgeKate Kinsey
2007SpooksConnie James2007–2008
Ballet ShoesDr. JakesTV Movie
2010The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne ListerAunt Lister
Whistle and I'll Come to YouAlice Parkin
2011MerlinThe Cailleach2 episodes
2012The Lady VanishesRose Flood-Porter
2013Death in ParadiseSister Anne1 episode
Last Tango in HalifaxMuriel2 episodes
2014MarvellousMaryTV Movie
2015Teacup TravelsGreat Aunt Lizzie2015–2017
45 episodes
Doc MartinAnnie Winton2 episodes
UnforgottenClaire Slater6 episodes
CapitalPetunia3 episodes
2017Diana and IMrs. McDonaldTV Movie
2019Gentleman JackAunt Anne Lister

Video Games

Year Title Role
2018Harry Potter: Hogwarts MysteryMadam Pomfrey (voice)

Other projects, contributions


  1. Noble, Peter, ed. (1982). 1982–1983 Screen International Film And TV Year Book. King Publications.
  2. "Gemma Jones Biography (1942–)".
  3. Gemma Jones Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  4. Radio Times, p.6, 10–16 July 1971.
  5. Nottingham Playhouse. Programme, The Cherry Orchard. 1965.
  6. "Ant and Dec repeat Bafta success". BBC Online. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  7. "BBC One: Capital". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
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