Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guest Post: Period Drama Families

Not only are period drama actors and actresses connected by other period drama actors and actresses, but many of them that you know of are also related to each other. Here are some period drama actors and actresses that you may not have thought were related.

Connected by Marriage
Anthony Calf, who was Colonel Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice (1995), is married to Caroline Harker (middle picture), the sister of Susannah Harker who was Jane Bennet in the same adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

 Imelda Staunton who was Miss Pole in Cranford and Mrs. Palmer in Sense and Sensibility (1995) is married to Jim Carter who was Captain Brown in Cranford and Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey.

Toby Stephens, known for his role as Mr. Rochester in the 2006 miniseries of Jane Eyre, is married to Anna-Louise Plowman who was Caroline Spalding in He Knew He Was Right.

Iain Glen and Susannah Harker were both in Adam Bede as Adam Bede and Dinah Morris respectively Spoiler and married at the end of Adam Bede End of Spoiler They were also married in real life, but are now divorced.

Polly Maberly (Kitty Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1995)) is the sister of Kate Maberly (Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden).

Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)) and Sophie Thompson (Miss Bates in Emma (1996) and Mary Musgrove in Persuasion (1995)) are sisters.

Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995) and King George VI in The King's Speech) and Johnathan Firth (Fred Vincy in Middle March) are brothers.

Parents and Children
Joanna David (Mrs. Gardiner) and Emilia Fox (Georgiana Darcy) were both in Pride and Prejudice (1995). In real life, Joanna David is Emilia Fox's mother.

Judi Dench (Miss Matty in Cranford) and Finty Williams (Clara Smith in Cranford) are mother and daughter in real life.

Toby Stephens, who was Mr. Rochester in the 2006 miniseries of Jane Eyre, is the son of actress Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Lady Violet in Downton Abbey.

Janine Duvitski, who was Mrs. Meagles in Little Dorrit (2008) is the mother of Ruby Bentall who played Minnie in Lark Rise to Candleford.

Crispin Bonham-Carter (Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice (1995)) is distantly related to Helena Bonham-Carter (Queen Elizabeth in The King's Speech).

Blake Ritson (Mr. Elton in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (2007) is engaged to Hattie Morahan (Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (2008))

If you've enjoyed this post, you might be interested in this post at Enchanted Serenity of Period Films

Elegance of Fashion
Also be sure to check out my blog, Elegance of Fashion!


Melody said...

Wow!! Very interesting! I enjoyed this post a lot! Especially the parents and children part! I didn't know any of those.

Analiese said...

Charity - loved this post! It's cool to find this sort of stuff out, isn't it? Seems like sometimes several people of families are actors/actresses.

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

This is a very interesting post Miss Elizabeth! I love finding out these personal connections. When you watch interviews on DVD features and such you discover that many actors who frequent period drama roles are either related or have been friends for years.

I didn't know that Anthony Calf was married to Caroline Harker, that's neat!

Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter are an interesting pair, it's funny that they were in Cranford together! I wondered a bit if their characters in Cranford would get together but Miss Pole seemed destined to stay "Miss Pole still".

Polly & Kate Maberly look so much alike! I love those movies!

Colin & Jonathan Firth are favorites of mine and I always have a hard time deciding which brother I like best. I like the photos of them here because their hair looks so alike!

Joanna David & Emilia Fox are such sweet actresses! Did you know that Emilia's father is Edward Fox who has also been in many period dramas such as Daniel Deronda and The Importance of Being Earnest? Her brother Freddy Fox was in the new Three Musketeers movie and is Edwin Drood in the new adaptation. Also her uncle James Fox is in many similar period dramas and his son Laurence Fox was Mr. Wisley in Becoming Jane and is married to Billie Piper who played Fanny Price in Mansfield Park (2007).

Finty Williams looks a great deal like her mom Judi Dench. It's so lovely that they were in Cranford together!

When I first leaned that Toby Stephens was Maggie Smith's son I was very surprised but he does have a lot of her characteristics and facial features.

I just about squealed with delight when I discovered a couple month ago that Ruby Bentall was Janine Duvitski's daughter! Both are quite good at comedic parts!

Emma & Sophie Thompson's mother is Phyllida Law who played Mrs. Bates to Sophie's Miss Bates in Emma (1996). Sophie is married to period drama actor Jim Broadbant and Emma Thompson married Greg Wise who was Willoughby in S&S 1995 and Sir Charles Malvern in Cranford.

All these connections are so fascinating! :)

Mary Beth said...

Loved reading this very interesting post! :) I knew of some of the relations, but most of them were a surprise to me. :)

Somersaulting Through Life said...

Another delightful post in this series, thanks Miss Elizabeth!

Charity U said...

How cool! I love this. :) Emma Thompson and Miss Bates sisters! Love it. :)

Ha, and the Firths look like each other too.

And also LOL at Mr. Elton marrying Elinor!

Delightful post. Thanks so much!

Kathryn said...

Thank you! Very interesting to learn all this!

birdienl said...

What a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading this. Some I already knew about, others were new to me. If you google Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter you can see how small she is and how large he is, very funny couple they are! For example this picture:,r:43,s:0,i:92&tx=54&ty=67