Alison Steadman is regarded as one of Britain’s foremost actresses, whose career extends from theatre, to film, TV, radio, and voice-overs in great abundance. She has performed (and sometimes created) some of the most memorable roles in British theatre for over 30 years.
Her television performances alone are like a catalogue of the Best of British TV Drama – including FAT FRIENDS, LET THEM EAT CAKE, NO BANANAS, Z CARS, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE SINGING DETECTIVE, NUTS IN MAY and the now legendary ABIGAILS’S PARTY, which continuously appears on every list of the nation’s favourite performances.
Her film work is also extensive, again an encyclopaedia of British film: CHAMPIONS, CHUNKY MONKEY, P’TANG YANG KIPPER BANG, A PRIVATE FUNCTION, THE ADVENTURE OF BARON MUCHAUSEN, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, LIFE IS SWEET, TOPSY TURVY and many more.
Along the way she has worked with the best of British directors, including Mike Leigh, Sam Mendes, Howard Davies, Richard Eyre, Alan Ayckbourn, Ron Daniels, Bill Alexander, Jude Kelly, Dawn French, Alan Dossor, Peter Gill, Terry Johnson, Michael Apted, and Terry Gilliam, to name but a few.
Her theatre performances continue unabated after 30 years, with regular performances in the West End – where recent productions have included THE WOMAN WHO COOKED HER HUSBAND, ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE, and MEMORY OF WATER.
Over the years, she has won numerous honours for her work – including The Best Actress in the Evening Standard Awards for "Abigail’s Party," and The Plays and Players Award for Best Actress, also for "Abigail’s Party." Then came the Society of London Theatre’s Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice" at the National Theatre and in the West End. She has been nominated for the BAFTA awards as well as winning The Chicago Film Festival Gold Award for Best Actress for her role in "News Hounds" and The Society of American Film Critics Best Actress Award for "Life is Sweet."
And finally, in 2000 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to British Drama.
This was a fitting reward for a career spanning more than 30 years.
And it all started in a suburb of Liverpool, where she was born. The story goes that the young Alison Steadman harboured theatrical aspirations even as a teenager and "spent her evenings watching comedians on television and her days impersonating her teachers."