Joely Richardson

Joely Kim Richardson (born 9 January 1965) is an English actress, known for her role as Julia McNamara in the FX drama series Nip/Tuck (2003–10), and Queen Catherine Parr in the Showtime series The Tudors (2010). She has also appeared in films such as 101 Dalmatians (1996), Event Horizon (1997), The Patriot (2000), Return to Me (2000), Anonymous (2011), the Hollywood film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the remake of Endless Love (2014), and the thriller Red Sparrow (2018).

Joely Richardson
Joely Kim Richardson

(1965-01-09) 9 January 1965
Marylebone, London, England, UK
Years active1968, 1984–present
Tim Bevan
(m. 1992; div. 2001)
ChildrenDaisy Bevan
Parent(s)Tony Richardson
Vanessa Redgrave

Early life

Richardson was born in Marylebone, London, to the theatrical Redgrave family, the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson, and the granddaughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, Lady Redgrave.[lower-alpha 1] Actress Natasha Richardson (1963–2009) was her sister, and through her, she is the sister-in-law of actor Liam Neeson, and the aunt of Micheál and Daniel Neeson. She is the niece of actors Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave and cousin of actress Jemma Redgrave, who is five days younger than Richardson. Joely appeared as an extra at the age of three in the 1968 version of The Charge of the Light Brigade, directed by her father.

Richardson and her sister Natasha's early education began in London at the independent St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith.[1] At age 14 Richardson moved to boarding school at the independent Harry Hopman Tennis School in Tampa, Florida. In 1983, she graduated from the Thacher School in Ojai, California, then returned to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


Possessing an early ambition to become a professional tennis player, she spent two years at a tennis academy in Florida. Richardson then turned to acting. In 1985, she portrayed, by flashbacks, the younger version of the leading character played by her mother in the film Wetherby. After a leading role in Peter Greenaway's cult success Drowning by Numbers (1988), her first major role in front of a mass audience was as Joanna Farley in a 1989 television episode of Poirot, based on Agatha Christie's detective series. In a 1989 episode of Jim Henson's The Storyteller, she was cast as a princess. She portrayed a teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the 1989 Channel 4 serial Behaving Badly and fictional Finnish Princess Anna (with "a voice like a tuba") in the 1991 screen comedy King Ralph.

A year later she appeared in Shining Through alongside her future brother-in-law, Liam Neeson, with both actors playing Nazis.

In 1993, Richardson appeared in the BBC's Lady Chatterley opposite Sean Bean. In 1996, she played fashion designer Anita Campbell-Green in the Disney live-action remake of the animated 101 Dalmatians opposite Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil. In 1998, in the television drama The Echo, she played Amanda Powell. The next year, she played in the science fiction horror film Event Horizon as Lieutenant Starck, executive officer of the research and rescue ship Lewis and Clark, sent to rescue crew of the long-lost experimental ship Event Horizon.

One year later, Richardson appeared opposite Mel Gibson in the film The Patriot, an American film set in the American Revolution. Also in 2000, she appeared opposite Hugh Laurie in Maybe Baby, Ben Elton's film adaptation of his book Inconceivable. She was cast in the 2001 film The Affair of the Necklace after director Charles Shyer noticed her resemblance to doomed 18th century French Queen Marie Antoinette.

In 2003, Richardson took on the role of Julia McNamara in the television drama Nip/Tuck, based on the lives of two plastic surgeons in Miami. Her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, appeared in several episodes, playing her character's mother.

In 2005, Richardson starred in Lies My Mother Told Me, based on a true story about a murderous con artist. In 2007, she played the mother in The Last Mimzy with Timothy Hutton and Chris O'Neil. She also starred in the television drama Wallis & Edward, playing the lead role of Wallis Simpson, lover of Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 2009-10, Richardson appeared as Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, in the fourth (and final) season of Showtime's hit period drama The Tudors. The role reunited her with her former husband Tim Bevan, who was part of the show's production team.

Joely joined the cast of TV series Titanic: Blood and Steel in which she played the role of Countess Markievicz.[3] In 2015 she co-starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the zombie thriller film Maggie.[4]

Personal life

Richardson is divorced from film producer Tim Bevan. The couple have a daughter, Daisy Bevan (b. 1992), who is also an actress.

Richardson had an affair with theatre producer Archie Stirling, resulting in the failure of Stirling's marriage to Diana Rigg in 1990.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Charge of the Light Brigade Extra Uncredited
1985 Wetherby Young Jean Travers
1987 Body Contact Dominique
1988 Drowning by Numbers Cissie Colpitts 3
1989 A proposito di quella strana ragazza Giovanna Serafin (Maria) aka About That Foreign Girl in English
1992 Rebecca's Daughters Rhiannon
Shining Through Margrete Von Eberstein
1994 Sister My Sister Christine Papin
1995 I'll Do Anything Cathy Breslow
1996 Loch Ness Laura McFetridge
101 Dalmatians Anita Campbell-Green-Dearly
Hollow Reed Hannah
1997 Event Horizon Lt. Starck
1998 Under Heaven Eleanor Dunston
Wrestling with Alligators Claire
The Tribe Emily
2000 Maybe Baby Lucy Bell
Return to Me Elizabeth Rueland
The Patriot Charlotte Selton
2001 The Affair of the Necklace Marie-Antoinette
2003 Shoreditch Butterfly
2004 The Fever Woman at 30
2007 The Last Mimzy Jo Wilder
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Susan McDowel
2011 Anonymous Young Queen Elizabeth I
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Anita Vanger/Harriet Vanger
2012 Red Lights Monica Handsen
Thanks for Sharing Katie
2013 The Devil's Violinist Ethel Langham
2014 Vampire Academy Queen Tatiana Ivashkov
Endless Love Ann Butterfield
Maggie Caroline Vogel
2015 Papa: Hemingway in Cuba Mary Hemingway
2016 Snowden Janine Gibson
Fallen Sophia Bliss
2017 The Hatton Garden Job Erzebet Zslondos
The Time of Their Lives Lucy
2018 Red Sparrow Nina
In Darkness Alix
The Aspern Papers Miss Tina Post Production
Surviving Christmas with the Relatives Lyla
2019 Color Out of Space Theresa Gardner Post Production
2020 The Turning Upcoming film


Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Storyteller Princess Episode: "The Three Ravens"
1989 Behaving Badly Serafina 4 episodes
Agatha Christie's Poirot Joanna Farley Episode: "The Dream"
1993 Lady Chatterley Lady Chatterley 4 episodes
2003–2010 Nip/Tuck Julia McNamara Main role, 72 episodes
2003 Fallen Angel Katherine Wentworth Television movie
2005 Lies My Mother Told Me Laren Sims Television movie
Wallis & Edward Wallis, Duchess of Windsor Television movie
2006 Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America Dr. Iris Varnack Television movie
2007 Freezing Rachel Episode: "1.1"
2009 The Day of the Triffids Jo Playton 2 episodes
2010 The Tudors Queen Catherine Parr Main role (season 4), 5 episodes
2012 Titanic: Blood and Steel Countess Markievicz Episode: "Stained Steel"
2017 Emerald City Glinda Main role
2019 The Rook Lady Farrier/Queen Main role; 8 episode miniseries

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Refs
1999 Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Female Under Heaven Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated


  1. In his autobiography, Tony Richardson notes that Kim was the original chosen name in honour of the actress Kim Stanley, but at the last minute they copied Natasha's swimming teacher who named her daughter Joely. It was actually a misspelling of the French jolie.


  1. Singh, Anita (19 March 2009). "Natasha Richardson skiing accident in Canada: profile of actress". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  2. Rosen, Marjorie (23 March 1992). "Family Way". People. 37 (11). Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  3. "Joely Richardson Joins 'Titanic: Blood and Steel'". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  4. "Joely Richardson Joins 'Maggie '". DC. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  5. Farndale, Nigel (6 July 2008). "Diana Rigg: her story". The Daily Telegraph (London).
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