Tara Fitzgerald

Tara Anne Cassandra Fitzgerald (born 18 September 1967) is an English actress who has appeared in feature films, television, radio and the stage. She won the New York Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play in 1995 as Ophelia in Hamlet. She won the Best Actress Award at The Reims International Television Festival in 1999 for her role of Lady Dona St Columb in Frenchman's Creek. Fitzgerald's appeared in the West End production of The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre, and in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Donmar Warehouse. Since 2007, Fitzgerald has appeared in more than 30 episodes of the BBC television series Waking the Dead and played the role of Selyse Baratheon in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Tara Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald in June 2012
Tara Anne Cassandra Fitzgerald

(1967-09-18) 18 September 1967
Cuckfield, Sussex, England
ResidenceLondon, England
Years active1991–present
John Sharian
(m. 2001; div. 2003)



Following her graduation from Drama Centre London, Fitzgerald appeared as the daughter of a beauty queen in the comedy Hear My Song (1991). She came to international attention in 1993 when she starred with Hugh Grant in the Australian comedy Sirens. The film landed Fitzgerald an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role. Two years later she again appeared with Grant in the comedy The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain. Fitzgerald appeared in a steady stream of independent feature films through the 1990s and 2000s, among them A Man of No Importance (1994), Brassed Off (1996), the Czech World War II fighter pilot drama Dark Blue World (2001), and the 2004 drama, Secret Passage (UK title: The Lion's Mouth), set during the Spanish Inquisition. In 2006, she appeared in In a Dark Place, and, in 2014, she played Miriam in Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Fitzgerald decided to expand her career into directing after becoming frustrated with what she saw as a lack of interesting roles for older actresses. She was one of 12 filmmakers selected for Film London's 2015 Microwave scheme, which provides training and mentoring to filmmakers who then pitch their ideas to a panel that selects the two best ideas for production, with budgets of £150,000 each.[1]


Fitzgerald's first major stage role came in 1992 when she appeared opposite Peter O'Toole in Our Song at the Apollo Theatre. She has alternated between stage and screen for almost two decades, with frequent theatre roles. In 1995, she starred as Ophelia in Hamlet at London's Almeida Theatre, which led to her American stage debut. The production transferred across the Atlantic and played more than 90 performances on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre.

Since then, she has played Antigone in a national UK tour and Blanche Du Bois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire at the Bristol Old Vic[2] and appeared in A Doll's House at the Donmar Warehouse. Fitzgerald has also appeared in Molière's The Misanthrope in 2009 at the Comedy Theatre (now the Pinter).[3] She appeared in The Winters Tale at the RSC in 2013, performed as Lady Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe theatre and appeared in Gaslight at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in 2015.[4]


A veteran of more than twenty television programmes and mini-series, Fitzgerald has portrayed Victorian heroines and modern police detectives. Her first TV role was in the 1991 BBC production The Black Candle, set in Yorkshire in the 1880s. In 1992, she was featured in The Camomile Lawn. After her feature film success, she landed her first starring role in a television film, The Vacillations of Poppy Carew. She won Best Actress at the 1999 Reims International Television Festival for the costumes-and-pirates love story Frenchman's Creek. In 2006, she was featured in The Virgin Queen, before taking on the role of Dr. Eve Lockhart on Waking The Dead, joining that cast in 2007. She also had a recurring role on Game of Thrones, playing Selyse Baratheon.[5]

Personal life

Fitzgerald was born Tara Anne Cassandra Fitzgerald in 1967.[6][7] She is the daughter of artist Michael Callaby[8][9] and Irish portrait photographer Sarah Geraldine Fitzgerald.[8][10][11] She spent part of her childhood in the Bahamas, where her maternal grandfather ran a law firm. Her sister, Arabella, was born there. Following the family's return to England when she was three, Fitzgerald's parents separated, and her mother then married actor Norman Rodway. She has a half-sister from this marriage, Bianca Rodway.[12][13] Her birth father, Callaby, died when she was 11.[8] Her mother's aunt was actress Geraldine Fitzgerald;[14][15] other cousins through the Fitzgerald family are the Irish novelist Jennifer Johnston[11] and Irish actress Susan Fitzgerald.[16]

In 2001, Fitzgerald married the American actor-director John Sharian, who directed her in the short film The Snatching of Bookie Bob. The couple separated in May 2003 and later divorced.[17]

Fitzgerald resides in London.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
1991Hear My SongNancy DoyleFilm won Best Comedy from the British Comedy Awards
1993SirensEstella CampionAustralian Film Institute nomination Best Actress in a Lead Role
GalleriaMarieFirst sci-fi role
1994A Man of No ImportanceAdele Rice
1995 The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a MountainElizabeth aka Betty from Cardiff
1996Brassed OffGloria Mullins
1998ConquestDaisy MacDonaldShot on location in Saskatchewan
The Snatching of Bookie BobSilk19-minute short directed by John Sharian, whom Fitzgerald married in 2001
1999New World DisorderKris PaddockFilmed in Luxembourg
ChildhoodAngeShot on location in Moscow
2000Rancid AluminiumMasha
2001 Dark Blue WorldSusan WhitmoreCzech title: Tmavomodrý svět
2003I Capture the CastleTopaz MortmainFilm won the Audience Award at the Film by the Sea International Film Festival
2004Five Children and ItMotherFilm won Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival
The Lion's MouthClaraUS title: Secret Passage
2006In a Dark PlaceMrs. GroseBased on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw
2014Exodus: Gods and KingsMiriam
2015Child 44Inessa Nesterov
LegendMrs. Shea
We Are HappyRachel17-minute short film written by Matt Winn & James Handel
Directed by Matt Winn
In memory of Sylvia Brown
2019The RunawaysMaggie
The KingHooper


Year Title Role Notes
1991The Black CandleVictoria MordauntBased on a novel by Catherine Cookson
1992Six Characters in Search of an AuthorEmilyBBC adaptation directed by Bill Bryden
The Camomile LawnYoung PollyBased on a novel by Mary Wesley
Anglo-Saxon AttitudesYoung Dollie StokesayBAFTA TV Award Best Drama Serial
1994Fall from GraceCatherine PradierSecond World War drama based on the book by Larry Collins
Cadfael: The Leper of St. GilesIveta de MassardEpisode 103, Book 5 of Cadfael
1995 The Vacillations of Poppy CarewPoppy CarewBased on the novel The Vacillations of Poppy Carew by Mary Wesley
1996The Tenant of Wildfell HallHelen GrahamBased on the novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
1997The Woman in WhiteMarian FairlieNominated for BAFTA TV Award Best Drama Serial
The Student PrinceGraceUS title: The Prince of Hearts
1998Frenchman's CreekDona, Lady St. ColumbWon Best Actress at the 1999 Reims International Television Festival
Little White LiesBeth MarshProduced by the BBC; has early Gerard Butler role
1999In the Name of LoveZoe WaltersThriller directed by Ferdinand Fairfax
2003Love AgainMonica JonesDirected by Susanna White
Murder in MindLiz MortonSeason 3, Episode 1, Echoes
2004Agatha Christie's Marple: The Body in the LibraryAdelaide Jefferson
2005Rose and MaloneyAnnie Sorensen-JohnsonSeason 2, Episode 2 (No.2.2)
Like Father Like SonD.I. Harkness
2006Jane EyreMrs. ReedDistributed by BBC One
The Virgin QueenKat AshleyUS title: Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen
2007Waking the DeadDr. Eve Lockhart32 episodes, seasons 6 to 9, 2007–2011
2009U Be DeadDebra PembertonITV drama based on Maria Marchese stalker case
2011The Body FarmEve LockhartBBC drama
2013–2015Game of ThronesSelyse BaratheonBased on A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R. R. Martin
2014In the ClubSusieBBC drama
The Musketeers Marie de MediciEpisode: "The Exiles"
2016Death in ParadiseAnouk LabanEpisode 5,6
2017StrikeTansy Bestigui3 episodes
2018RequiemSylvia Walsh6 episodes
2018OriginXavia GreyEpisode: "The Road Not Taken"
2018The ABC MurdersLady Hermione ClarkeTV Series
2019Tangled The SeriesZhan Tiri (voice)TV Series


Year Title Role Theatre
1992Our SongAngela CaxtonApollo Theatre (London) and UK tour
1995HamletOpheliaAlmeida Theatre (London) Belasco Theatre (New York)
1999AntigoneAntigoneOld Vic, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Oxford Playhouse
2000A Streetcar Named DesireBlanche Du BoisBristol Old Vic
2004A Doll's HouseNora HelmerUK tour
CloudsMara HillNational UK tour
2005And Then There Were NoneVera ClaythorneGielgud Theatre[19]
2009A Doll's HouseChristine LyleDonmar Warehouse
The MisanthropeMarciaComedy Theatre
2011Broken GlassSylvia GellburgVaudeville Theatre[20]
2013The Winter's TaleHermioneGlobe Theatre London and UK tour
2019ShipwreckAlmeida Theatre, London
Prism Nicola/Katie UK tour
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2018 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Queen Mia Greymane (voice)
2019 Anthem Additional Voices (voice)


  1. Razaq, Rashid (30 November 2015). "Game of Thrones star Tara Fitzgerald 'driven to direct by lack of roles for older women'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. Logan, Brian (25 September 2000). "Tara Fitzgerald, the fantastic flirt, A Streetcar Named Desire". The Guardian. London.
  3. "Keira_Knightley, Damian_Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald to star in West End production of The Misanthrope" Archived 16 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com; accessed 22 October 2014.
  4. Bassett, Kate (24 May 2009). "The Donmar's new Ibsen isn't so much a clever interpretation as a bit of questionable rewriting". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  5. "'Game of Thrones': Meet New Arrivals for Season 3". ew.com. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  6. "Tara Anne Cassandra Fitzgerald". National Portrait Gallery.
  7. "Tara Anne Cassandra FITZGERALD". Companies House.
  8. Cerio, Gregory (12 June 1995). "Tara! Tara! Tara!". People.
  9. The Traumas of Tara. HighBeam.com. 29 October 2005.
  10. The International Who's Who 2004, Europa Publications, 2003, pg 542
  11. Paton, Maureen (2 May 2003). "Tara Fitzgerald: Naked ambition". The Independent.
  12. "From 'Reilly Ace of Spies' to Shakespeare". The Irish Times. 17 March 2001.
  13. Barker, Dennis (17 March 2001). "Obituary: Norman Rodway". The Guardian.
  14. Venning, Nicola (10 July 2016). "GOT star Tara Fitzgerald: I am a gold star worrier". The Express.
  15. Rees, Jasper (14 December 1997). "Arts: Sheer naked talent". The Independent.
  16. Coveney, Michael (13 September 2013). "Susan FitzGerald obituary". The Guardian.
  17. Roger, Sylvia (10 July 2009). "My Perfect Weekend: Tara Fitzgerald". The Telegraph. London.
  18. Roger, Sylvia (10 July 2009). "My Perfect Weekend: Tara Fitzgerald". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  19. And Then There Were None (2005 production); accessed 20 October 2014.
  20. Antony Sher and Tara Fitzgerald lead Broken Glass, westend.broadwayworld.com; accessed 20 October 2014.
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