Anna Friel

Born Anna Louise Friel
12 July 1976
Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England
Occupation Actress

Anna Louise Friel (born 12 July 1976) is an English actress. Born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes. She played Beth Jordache in the Channel 4 soap Brookside, and portrayed the first lesbian kiss in a British soap opera in January 1994. She made her West End theatre debut in London in 2001 and has subsequently appeared in several productions, including in an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

Friel made her film debut in 1998 in David Leland’s Land Girls and has since made a number of films such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999), Timeline (2003), Land of the Lost (2009) and Limitless (2011). Outside of film, she played the role of Charlotte “Chuck” Charles in the ABC comedy series Pushing Daisies, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2008.

She is the recipient of a number of awards, including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009). She has also appeared in music videos and television and print media advertising campaigns and is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Bolton.

At age 13, she was hired for her first professional acting job in the Channel 4 drama serial G.B.H., as the daughter of Michael Palin’s character.

In 2001, she made her West End stage début in London in a fringe production of Lulu, which also transferred to Broadway.

Friel’s film credits include playing Nick Leeson’s wife Lisa in Rogue Trader opposite Ewan McGregor; David Leland’s The Land Girls, which also starred Rachel Weisz and Catherine McCormack; Adam Collis Sunset Strip as Tammy Franklin, opposite Jared Leto, Simon Baker and Nick Stahl; All for Love with Richard E. Grant; A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Hermia, opposite Christian Bale, Dominic West and Calista Flockhart; Timeline as Gerard Butler’s object of affection; Me Without You opposite Michelle Williams; and Goal! and Goal II: Living the Dream.

Personal life

In 2001, Friel began a relationship with actor David Thewlis, after the pair met on a flight to Cannes.[35] In the same year Friel collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, needing emergency surgery and two blood transfusions for a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was later discovered that she suffers from endometriosis and would have great difficulty conceiving. However, she became pregnant and gave birth to Gracie Ellen Mary Friel on 9 July 2005 at Portland Hospital in London.[38] Gracie was named after Gracie Fields, who was also from Rochdale, and her mother’s grandmothers, Ellen and Mary. She has appeared along with her mother in the film Bathory.

In 2008, Friel began supporting the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

In December 2010, Friel and Thewlis separated after almost ten years together.



1998 The Stringer Helen
The Land Girls Prue (Prudence)
The Tribe Lizzie
St. Ives Flora Gilchrist
1999 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hermia
Rogue Trader Lisa Leeson
Mad Cows Maddy
2000 Sunset Strip Tammy Franklin
An Everlasting Piece Bronagh
2001 The War Bride Lily
Me Without You Marina
2003 Last Rumba in Rochdale Bodney Voice actor
Timeline Lady Claire
2005 Goal! Roz Harmison
2006 Irish Jam Maureen
Niagara Motel Denise
2007 Goal! 2: Living the Dream… Roz Harmison
Rubbish Isobel
2008 Bathory Countess Erzsébet Báthory
2009 Land of the Lost Holly Cantrell
2010 London Boulevard Briony
Angel Makers Lizzie
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Iris
2011 Limitless Melissa
2013 The Look of Love Jean Raymond
Having You Anna
2014 Good People Sarah
2015 Urban & the Shed Crew Greta
2016 The Master Cleanse Maggie
I.T. Rose Regan


1991 G.B.H. Susan Nelson Miniseries; 6 episodes
1992 Emmerdale Poppy Bruce TV series
1993 Medics Holly Jarrett Episode #3.3
1993–1995 Brookside Beth Jordache TV series
1995 The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show Episode #2.1
1996 Tales from the Crypt Angelica Episode: “About Face”
Cadfael Sioned Episode: “A Morbid Taste for Bones”
1998 Our Mutual Friend Bella Wilfer 4 episodes
2001 The Fear Storyteller Episode: “Horror: A True Tale”
2002 Fields of Gold Lucia Merritt TV film
2003 Watermelon Claire Ryan TV film
2004 The Jury Megan Delaney Main cast
Perfect Strangers Susie Wilding TV film
2007–2009 Pushing Daisies Charlotte “Chuck” Charles Main cast; 22 episodes
2009 The Street Dee Purnell 2 episodes
2011 Neverland Elizabeth Bonny TV film
Treasure Guards Victoria Eckhart TV film
Come Fly with Me Herself Episode #1.5
Without You Ellie 3 episodes
2012 Public Enemies Paula Radnor 3 episodes
2013 The Vatican Kayla Duffy TV pilot
2015 American Odyssey Sgt. Odelle Ballard Lead role; 13 episodes
The Heavy Water War Julie Smith 6 episodes (titled The Saboteurs in the UK)
2016–present Marcella Det Sgt Marcella Summers Lead role; 8 episodes
2017 Broken Christina Fitzsimmons 3 episodes
The Girlfriend Experience Erica Myles 7 episodes
2018 Butterfly Vicky Miniseries

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