Margolyes was born in Oxford, England to Joseph Margolyes, a physician, and Ruth Walters, a real estate investor. She grew up in a Jewish family and began acting in her twenties in Cambridge.
Margolyes keeps her private life just that - private. But she has not seen any reason to keep it a secret that she is a lesbian, or as she playfully says "deliberately never been married or had children". She took some time off of her career to take care of her ill mother and spent a quarter of a million pounds on full time care for her father. She has been an Australian citizen since 2013.
With her distinctive voice, Margolyes first gained recognition for her work as a voice artist. She recorded a soft-porn audio called Sexy Sonia: Leaves from my Schoolgirl Notebook. She performed most of the supporting female characters in the dubbed Japanese action TV series, Monkey. She also worked with the theatre company Gay Sweatshop and provided voiceovers in the Japanese TV series The Water Margin (credited as Mirium Margolyes).
Margolyes' first major role in a film was as Elephant Ethel in Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977). In the 1980s, she made appearances in Blackadderopposite Rowan Atkinson: these roles include the Spanish Infanta in The Black Adder, Lady Whiteadder in Blackadder II and Queen Victoria in Blackadder's Christmas Carol. In 1986 she played a major supporting role in the BBC drama The Life and Loves of a She-Devil. She won the 1989 LA Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Flora Finching in the 1988 film Little Dorrit. On American television, she headlined the short-lived 1992 CBS sitcom Frannie's Turn. In 1994 she won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs Mingott in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993).
Margolyes came to the notice of younger audiences when she starred as Aunt Sponge in James and the Giant Peach (1996); she also provided the voice of the Glow Worm in the same film. During the same time she played the Nurse in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996). Around this time, she voiced the rabbit character in the animated commercials for Cadbury's Caramel bars and provided the voice of Fly the dog in the Australian family film Babe (1995).
She plays the role of Aunt Prudence in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
In 2017, Margolyes was reported to have had a "tetchy" reaction to the question of if she had seen the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, stating that she was "not interested in Harry Potter anymore," though she did later "calm down" and state that she was "glad it's a success" but that it has nothing for her.
Career in the theatre
Miriam also portrayed Madame Morrible in the London production of Wicked and played the minor role of Grunhilda in season three of the television show Merlin, The Changling.
In 2009 she appeared in a new production of Endgame by Samuel Beckett at the Duchess Theatre in London's West End.
Notes and references
- ↑ Internet Movie Database biography page
- ↑ Rawden, Jessica (May 17, 2017). The Harry Potter Actress Who Played Professor Sprout Lashed Out Over A Cursed Child Question. Cinemablend. Retrieved on 2017 May 17.