Juliet Anne Virginia Stevenson CBE
(born October 30
) is an English actress
Stevenson was born Juliet Anne Virginia Stevens
, the daughter of Virginia Ruth (née Marshall), a teacher, and Michael Guy Stevens, an army officer. Stevenson was educated at the independent St Catherine's School
in Bramley, near Guildford
in Surrey, and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). This led to a stage
career starting in the early 1980s with the Royal Shakespeare Company
. Although she has gained fame through her television and film
work, and has often undertaken roles for BBC radio
, she is most notably known as a stage actress. Significant stage roles included the female lead opposite John Malkovich
in the UK premier of Burn This
Stevenson is best known for her leading role in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), and her roles in The Secret Rapture (1993), Emma (1996), Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Mona Lisa Smile (2003). She has more recently starred in Pierrepoint (2006) (U.S. title Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman), Infamous (2006) as Diana Vreeland and Breaking and Entering (2006) as Rosemary, the therapist.
Known for her ability to profoundly move her audiences, she is regarded by some as one of the greatest English actresses of her generation.