Joanna David

Joanna David (born Joanna Elizabeth Hacking; 17 January 1947) is an English actress, best known for her television work.[1]

Joanna David
Joanna Elizabeth Hacking

(1947-01-17) 17 January 1947
Other namesJoanna Ward
Years active1968–present
Edward Fox (m. 2004)
ChildrenEmilia Fox
Frederick "Freddie" Fox
Parent(s)Davida Elizabeth Nesbitt Hacking
John Almond Hacking
FamilyRobin Fox

Life and career

David was born in Lancaster, England, the daughter of Davida Elizabeth (Nesbitt) and John Almond Hacking.[2] Her first major television role was as Elinor Dashwood in the BBC's 1971 dramatisation of Sense and Sensibility followed a year later by War and Peace, in which she played Sonya. Joanna also featured in the TV series The Last of the Mohicans (BBC), in two episodes of Colditz, (Missing presumed Dead and Odd Man In, 1972) as Cathy Carter, the wife of Flt. Lt. Simon Carter (played by David McCallum). In 1975 she played Theo Dane in the BBC's television adaptation of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (32 years later in 2007, Emilia Fox, David's daughter by the actor Edward Fox, her long-standing partner and now husband starred in a new adaptation of the same book, with Emma Watson). In 1979, David played the heroine of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, opposite Jeremy Brett in the BBC miniseries of the same name. It was a role that would be played twenty years later by Emilia Fox. In 2005, she appeared in two episodes of Bleak House, playing Mrs Bayham Badger, alongside Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Alun Armstrong and Warren Clarke. Mr Bayham Badger was played by Richard Griffiths.

David's many other television appearances have included The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Foyle's War, Rumpole of the Bailey, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, The Darling Buds of May and in 2004 Rosemary & Thyme in an episode entitled "Orpheus in the Undergrowth". Recent appearances include the BBC comedy series Never Better,[3] Mutual Friends,[4] and Death in Paradise (2014 episode 3.8)

On stage, she played opposite Derek Jacobi in Breaking the Code. She gradually moved on to more mature parts, and appeared as Mrs Gardiner in the acclaimed 1995 BBC TV series of Pride and Prejudice, (in which her daughter Emilia Fox had her first major television role). In 2009 she appeared in Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind.

Her film appearances have included roles in The Smashing Bird I Used to Know (1969), the horror short Sleepwalker (1984), Comrades (1986), Secret Friends (1991), Rogue Trader (1999), Cotton Mary (1999), The Soul Keeper (2002, as the mother of her real-life daughter Emilia), and These Foolish Things (2006).

She is vice-president of the Theatrical Guild.[5]

Selected theatre performances

Charity work

David is a Trustee of the National Brain Appeal, the charity dedicated to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.[6] David underwent brain surgery in 1993 to correct a congenital Arnold–Chiari malformation.[7]

In January 2013, David became a patron of Pancreatic Cancer Action, which is a charity that is focussed on raising the awareness of pancreatic cancer. Joanna's friend Angharad Rees died from the illness in 2012.


  1. Pitts, Michael R. (15 December 2004). Famous movie detectives III. Scarecrow Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-8108-3690-7. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  3. Never Better at BBC2 web site
  4. Mutual Friends at BBC web site
  5. The Theatrical Guild
  6. "Downton Abbey star Joanna David tells how she 'owes her life' to neurology hospital". Camden New Journal. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. "We all make fantastic blunders…". Telegraph. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
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