Photo of Brenda Blethyn Brenda Blethyn

By the time Brenda Blethyn wowed moviegoers with her Oscar-nominated portrayal of a mother getting to know the daughter she gave up in Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies (1996), she'd already been a working actress for more than two decades. But that was on stage: Now, Blethyn would begin a whole new phase of her career -- one that included another Oscar nod (for Little Voice) and a string of successful films.

One of nine children, Blethyn was born Feb. 20, 1946, in Ramsgate, England. After working as a secretary for a decade, she finally saved enough money to enroll in acting school. In 1975, she joined England's National Theatre Company where she rose to prominence working with leading stage directors such as Peter Wood and Peter Hall.

Recent films for Blethyn include 2000's Saving Grace and 2005's Pride and Prejudice (opposite Keira Knightley and Donald Sutherland).

Brenda Blethyn in Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice

2005 PG

In this retelling of Jane Austen's novel set in 19th-century England, Mrs. Bennet is all atwitter in hopes of marrying her daughters to prosperous gentlemen callers, especially when a wealthy bachelor moves nearby.

  • Brenda Blethyn in Atonement Atonement
  • Brenda Blethyn in A River Runs Through It A River Runs Through It
  • Brenda Blethyn in Saving Grace Saving Grace
  • Brenda Blethyn in The Sleeping Dictionary The Sleeping Dictionary
  • Brenda Blethyn in Beyond the Sea Beyond the Sea
  • Brenda Blethyn in On a Clear Day On a Clear Day
  • Brenda Blethyn in Vera Vera
  • Brenda Blethyn in The Witches The Witches
  • Brenda Blethyn in Daddy & Them Daddy & Them
  • Brenda Blethyn in The Wild Thornberrys Movie The Wild Thornberrys Movie
  • Brenda Blethyn in Undertaking Betty Undertaking Betty
  • Brenda Blethyn in The Buddha of Suburbia The Buddha of Suburbia
  • Brenda Blethyn in Little Voice Little Voice
  • Brenda Blethyn in RKO 281 RKO 281
  • Brenda Blethyn in Lovely & Amazing Lovely & Amazing
  • Brenda Blethyn in Mysterious Creatures Mysterious Creatures
  • Brenda Blethyn in Introducing the Dwights Introducing the Dwights
  • Brenda Blethyn in Dead Man Running Dead Man Running
  • Brenda Blethyn in King Lear King Lear
  • Brenda Blethyn in P.D. James: Death of an Expert Witness P.D. James: Death of an Expert Witness
  • Brenda Blethyn in Henry VI Henry VI
  • Brenda Blethyn in Rumpole of the Bailey: Series 3 Rumpole of the Bailey: Series 3
  • Brenda Blethyn in Outside Edge Outside Edge
  • Brenda Blethyn in Sonny Sonny
  • Brenda Blethyn in Blizzard Blizzard
  • Brenda Blethyn in War and Peace War and Peace
  • Brenda Blethyn in London River London River
  • Brenda Blethyn in Two Men in Town Two Men in Town