Lia Williams (26 November 1964) is an English actress, known for stage, film, and television appearances. She has also worked as a director.
Williams's breakthrough performance came in 1991 when she appeared in The Revengers' Comedies. In 1993, she created the role of Carol in the London production of David Mamet's Oleanna. In 1997, Williams appeared in London's West End and on Broadway in David Hare's Skylight. In 2001, Williams appeared again in the West End and on Broadway in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.
Other theatre performances include Mappa Mundi for the National Theatre (2002), Rosalind in As You Like It for the RSC (2005), The Hothouse for the English National Theatre (2007), Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular (2007), the role of Ellida Wangel in Henryk Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea (2008), and alternating in the roles of Anna and Kate in Pinter's Old Times in 2013. In 2019, she played the role of Hannah Jelkes in the West End theatre production of Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Williams appeared at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 2013 as Blanche du Bois in a production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.
Film and television
In 1993, Williams made her film debut in Michael Winner's Dirty Weekend. Winner chose her after seeing her in an Alan Ayckbourn play. Subsequent film appearances have included supporting roles in Firelight (1997), Shot Through the Heart (1998), The King Is Alive (2000), Girl from Rio (2001), and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (2007).
Williams' first major TV series was Seaforth (1994), a nine-part series set starring Williams and Linus Roache.
In 2001, Williams appeared opposite Sheila Hancock in the TV serial The Russian Bride.
Other recent television appearances include supporting roles in the Agatha Christie adaptations Sparkling Cyanide (2003) and By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2006), and guest roles in series such as Casualty (1989), Silent Witness (2002), Heartbeat (2002), The Last Detective (2005), A Touch of Frost (2005), and Midsomer Murders (2015).
In 2016, she appeared in the second series of The Missing as Nadia Herz.
Williams has been directing short films since 2002, her debut being Feathers (2002), which was based on a short story by Raymond Carver. In 2008, her short film The Stronger (2007) was nominated for the Best Short Film Award at the BAFTA Film Awards. In 2009, Williams directed Dog Alone, a dialogue-free short film which was broadcast as part of British Sky Broadcasting's Ten Minute Tales season.
She has also directed for the stage.
Williams lives in West Hampstead with her second husband, writer/producer Guy Hibbert, and her son from a former marriage, Joshua James. She and her husband also run their own production company, Tilting Ground Productions.
Selected stage credits
|Year||Play||Role||Awards and Nominations|
|1991||The Revengers' Comedies||Karen||Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer|
|1996||Skylight||Kyra Hollis||Theatre World Special Award for Best Ensemble Performance (shared with Michael Gambon and Christian Camargo)|
Nominated – Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Nominated – Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
|2005||As You Like It||Rosalind|
|2007||Absurd Person Singular||Eva|
|2008||The Lady from the Sea||Ellida Wangel|
|2009||God of Carnage||Véronique|
|2010||Earthquakes in London||Sarah|
|2016||Mary Stuart||Queen Elizabeth I / Mary, Queen of Scots|
|2018||The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie||Jean Brodie|
|2019||The Night of the Iguana||Hannah Jelkes|
Selected television credits
|Year||Title||Role||Awards and Nominations|
|1993||Mr Wroe's Virgins||Joanna|
|1997||The Uninvited||Melissa Gates|
|2001||The Russian Bride||Natasha Cherniavskaya||Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels Award for Best Actress|
|2003||Sparkling Cyanide||Ruth Lessing|
|2004||May 33rd||Ella Wilson||Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actress|
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actress
|2006||Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs||Nellie Bligh|
|2009||Doc Martin||Edith Montgomery||Series Regular, Season 4|
|2012||Secret State||Laura Duchenne|
|2013||Lewis||Emma Barnes||Guest Star, 2 episodes|
|2015||Midsomer Murders||Maggie Markham||Guest Star, 1 episode|
|2016||The Crown||Wallis, Duchess of Windsor|
|2016||The Missing||Nadia Herz|
|2019||The Capture||DSU Gemma Garland|
|1996||Different for Girls||Defence Solicitor|
|1997||The Fifth Province||Diana de Brie|
|1998||Shot Through the Heart||Maida|
|2000||The King is Alive||Amanda|
|2001||Chica de Rio||Cathy|
|2007||Blanche-Neige, la suite||Sleeping Beauty|
|The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey||Joan Tyler|