Famous British Theater Personalities

Have you ever seen a stage performance? If you have, you would know how much goes into to bring up a show on stage. And mind it, though actors walk away with all the appreciation and love, a stage play is an outcome of a collaborative effort by a lot of people including actors, art directions, action directors, choreographers, music directors, set designers, costume designers, stage crew and backup team. All of them work hard creatively to convert a vision into a stage show that is purely for the infotainment needs of the audience. Britain has had a long history of theatre. Since Roman times, theatre flourished and prospered in the country and has become an integral part of its culture and tradition. Early on, stage plays enacted popular folklore and tales. Actors travelled from town to town performing these shows in return for money and hospitality. Though British theatre has come off age today, its soul remains in the renaissance period when William Shakespeare, the most famous playwright in the world, dominated British theatre scene. The Victoria age of British theatre saw the likes of James Planche, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw ruling the theatre scene. With this section, know about some of the most magnificent British theatre personalities, their life and their works on stage.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 John Cleese

John Cleese
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.

 2 Alice Eve

Alice Eve
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 6, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Alice Eve is best known as Molly McCleish from She's Out of My League and as Sophia from the series Entourage. She has also been seen in the series Black Mirror and The Raven. Due to a rare condition, her right eye is green and her left eye is blue.

 3 Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Matthew Goode is an English actor who played an important role in the success of the TV show A Discovery of Witches, which is an adaptation of Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy. During its initial run, the series performed consistently as Sky One network's most-watched show, thanks to Goode's portrayal of a molecular biologist and vampire named Matthew Clairmont.

 4 Andrew Lincoln

Andrew Lincoln
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Andrew Lincoln is best known for his Saturn Award-winning role of Rick Grimes in the horror series The Walking Dead. He has also played significant roles in the series This Life, Teachers, and Afterlife, and the movie Love Actually, and has appeared in plays such as A Christmas Carol.

 5 David Thewlis

David Thewlis
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
David Thewlis gained fame with his role in Naked, a film that won him a Cannes Film Festival Award. Fans loved him as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film franchise and Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares in Wonder Woman. He has also written a novel and directed a BAFTA-nominated short film. 

 6 Richard C Armitage

Richard C Armitage
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Richard Crispin Armitage is an English actor whose portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit film series earned him international recognition and a Saturn Award. Well-known for his baritone voice, Richard Armitage has also recorded many audiobooks; in 2014, he won an Audiobook of the Year award for his work on Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.

 7 Anna Friel

Anna Friel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Anna Friel is a British actress who gained international recognition after portraying Charlotte "Chuck" Charles on the popular American fantasy mystery TV series Pushing Daisies. After starting her professional acting career at the age of 13, Friel went on to establish herself as a successful adult actress. Friel also serves as an ambassador for The World Wide Fund for Nature.

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 8 Albert Finney

Albert Finney
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: February 8, 2019

Albert Finney was an English actor known for his contribution across all the three major acting mediums: films, television and theatre. A recipient of Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, Albert Finney also received nominations for prestigious awards, such as the Academy Award and Tony Award

 9 Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Emily Mortimer is an English-American screenwriter and actress. Mortimer, who started her acting career in stage productions, went on to establish herself as a bankable actress in the British film and TV industry. In 2010, she became an American citizen and has since been playing important roles in American films.

 10 Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

A Tony Award recipient, Ralph Fiennes is one of the most respected English actors of the current generation. He is known for playing important roles in notable films, such as the Harry Potter and James Bond film series. A Stanislavsky Award recipient, he is also known for his work behind the camera.

 11 Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Considered a British cultural icon, Ian McKellen is one of the most respected and decorated actors of all time. An openly gay actor, his work as an LGBT activist has been as impressive as his illustrious acting career. At the 1991 New Year Honours, he was knighted for services to performing arts.

 12 Indira Varma

Indira Varma
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Famous As: British Actress
Birthdate: September 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

British actress and narrator Indira Varma became a sensation with her debut film, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, she is a trained method actress. Besides films and TV shows, she has acted in many theater productions and is the winner of an Olivier Award.

 13 Iain Glen

Iain Glen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
One of the British theatre's preeminent men, Iain Glen is best-known for featuring in Resident Evil film series and Game of Thrones. Though he has a catalogue of splendid work but his works flew under the radar. He bagged in a Silver Bear for Best Actor for his phenomenal performance in Silent Screen at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.

 14 Frances Fisher

Frances Fisher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 11, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Frances Fisher began as a theater actor before gaining fame with her portrayal of Deborah 'Red' Saxon in the soap The Edge of Night. She has played significant roles in movies such as Titanic, The Host, and True Crime, and has also starred in the series Resurrection and Watchmen.

 15 Phillip Schofield

Phillip Schofield
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Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: April 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Phillip Schofield is an English TV presenter. Over the years, Schofield has been playing an important role in the success of ITV's This Morning and Dancing on Ice. He is also a humanitarian as he has been serving as a patron of Shooting Star Children's Hospices, which aids families of children with terminal illnesses.

 16 Dean-Charles Chapman

Dean-Charles Chapman
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Dean-Charles Chapman has delivered stellar performances as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical, as Tom Blake in 1917, and as Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones. He also played the titular character in the sitcom The Revolting World of Stanley Brown, and Castor in Into the Badlands.

 17 Mark Addy

Mark Addy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Mark Addy is best known as Gary Boyle from The Thin Blue Line and as Hercules from Atlantis. His debut in The Full Monty earned him a BAFTA nomination. He also played Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones.

 18 Natalia Tena

Natalia Tena
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 1, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Natalia Tena is an English actress and musician,  best known for playing Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter film series. She was interested in the performing arts since childhood. She began her career as a street musician, working as a busker on the London Underground. She then joined a theater group and soon branched out into acting.

 19 Honor Blackman

Honor Blackman
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: April 5, 2020
Honor Blackman became one of the oldest actors to play the "Bond Girl," with the role of Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Fans also loved her as Cathy Gale in the series The Avengers and as Laura West in The Upper Hand. Blackman was also active in British politics.

 20 Deborah Kerr

Deborah Kerr
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: October 16, 2007

Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who holds the record for having the most Academy Award nominations under the Best Actress category without a win. However, she received an Academy Honorary Award in 1994 for her contribution to the entertainment industry. Deborah Kerr was made a CBE in 1998 and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 21 Brenda Blethyn

Brenda Blethyn
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

Brenda Blethyn is best known for her Golden Globe- and BAFTA-winning role in Secrets & Lies. She was also appreciated for her performances in the films Little Voice and Saving Grace, and the mini-series Anne Frank: The Whole Story. She has also performed on stage in Manchester. 

 22 Janet McTeer

Janet McTeer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 5, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Janet McTeer soared to fame with her Tony-, Drama Desk-, and Olivier Award-winning performance as Nora in the play A Doll's House. Fans also loved her Academy Award-nominated performances as Mary Jo Walker in Tumbleweeds and Hubert Page in Albert Nobbs, and her Emmy-nominated role in Into the Storm.

 23 Michelle Fairley

Michelle Fairley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, Northern Irish
Northern Irish actor Michelle Fairley soared to fame as Catelyn Stark in the iconic series Game of Thrones. She is also known for her roles in Suits and 24: Live Another Day. She is an Olivier Award-nominated theater actor, too, and has appeared in films such as The Others.

 24 Penelope Wilton

Penelope Wilton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 3, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Penelope Wilton is an English actress known for her work in theatre, film, and TV. The winner of several prestigious awards, such as the Olivier Award, Penelope Wilton was appointed an OBE for services to drama in the 2004 New Year Honours. In the 2016 Birthday Honours, she was elevated to become a DBE.

 25 Linus Roache

Linus Roache
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 1, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Having inherited his acting skills from his parents William Roache and Anna Cropper, the English actor has been active both on the television and the big screen. Linus Roache starred in The Wings of the Dove and appeared in Coronation Street, a popular British soap opera for which his father is also known. He is also a stage actor.

 26 Rex Harrison

Rex Harrison
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: June 2, 1990

Rex Harrison was an English actor who won a couple of Tony Awards and an Academy Award in a career spanning 60 years. For his contribution to the film and TV industry, Harrison was honored with a couple of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1979, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

 27 Sean Pertwee

Sean Pertwee
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Sean Pertwee is an English actor and narrator. The son of actor, Jon Pertwee, Sean followed in the footsteps of his father to establish himself in the entertainment industry. Apart from playing important roles in films like Dog Soldiers, he is also known for his work as a narrator in TV shows, such as Zero Hour and MasterChef: The Professionals.

 28 Polly Walker

Polly Walker
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 19, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Polly Walker is best for her Golden Globe- and Satellite Award-nominated role of Atia of the Julii in the historical series Rome and her Genie Award-nominated performance as Paula Jackson in the movie Savage Messiah. Fans also loved her in the series Caprica and Pennyworth, and the film John Carter.

 29 Lashana Lynch

Lashana Lynch
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Lashana Lynch is best known for her roles of Rosaline Capulet in the series Still Star-Crossed and Maria Rambeau in the film Captain Marvel. She received the Laurence Olivier bursary in drama school. Lynch will be seen as Nomi in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die

 30 Jessica Hynes

Jessica Hynes
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 30, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
BAFTA-winning actor Jessica Hynes, also known as Jessica Stevenson, created, wrote, and appeared in the British sitcom Spaced. She began her career with theater and was nominated for a Tony for The Norman Conquests. Fans also loved her in the series Twenty Twelve and the film Tomorrow La Scala!

 31 Maxwell Caulfield

Maxwell Caulfield
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Maxwell Caulfield is best known for his roles in movies such as Grease 2 and The Supernaturals. Fans also loved him as Mark Wylde in the soap Emmerdale and as Miles Colby in Dynasty and its spin-off, The Colbys. He also voiced James Bond in a video game.

 32 Edward Woodward

Edward Woodward
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: November 16, 2009

Edward Woodward was an English singer and actor. After starting his career as a stage actor, Woodward achieved popularity in 1967 when he started playing the title role in the popular television series Callan, for which he won the British Academy Television Award in 1970. In 1986, he won the Golden Globe Award for his performance in the movie The Equalizer.

 33 Elaine Paige

Elaine Paige
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Radio personality
Birthdate: March 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 34 Jeremy Northam

Jeremy Northam
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Jeremy Northam is an English actor whose early career is defined by his performance at the Royal National Theatre; he won the Olivier Award for his work in The Voysey Inheritance in 1990. He then went on to establish himself in the film and TV industry before working on several audiobooks for Harper Audio, Macmillan, Naxos Audiobooks, and CSA Word.

 35 Ben Miles

Ben Miles
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 29, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

Ben Miles is an English actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as Coupling, The Forsyte Saga, and The Crown. A self-made man, Ben Miles attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before landing television roles in the 1990s. Apart from being an actor, Miles can also play drums, bass, and guitar.

 36 Sophie Thompson

Sophie Thompson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Sophie Thompson is a British actress known for her portrayal of the Baker's Wife in the London revival of Into the Woods, for which she received the Olivier Award under the Best Actress in a Musical category. She has received six other nominations at the Olivier Awards. Also a writer, Thompson has authored a recipe book and a children's book.

 37 Alison Steadman

Alison Steadman
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Alison Steadman is best known for her BAFTA-nominated roles in the series The Singing Detective and Fat Friends and for the film Life Is Sweet. A seasoned theater actor, she made it to Channel 4’s 50 Greatest Actors list. She is also an ambassador for the London Wildlife Trust.

 38 Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Samantha Bond, daughter of actor Philip Bond, gained fame as Miss Moneypenny in four James Bond movies, including Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day, all of them with Pierce Brosnan in the lead role. She also appeared in Downton Abbey and is an eminent Royal Shakespeare Company stage actor.

 39 Gemma Jones

Gemma Jones
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 4, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Gemma Jones is an English actress best known for playing Madam Poppy Pomfrey in the popular Harry Potter film series. A talented actress, Jones won the prestigious British Academy Television Award for playing Mary in the critically acclaimed television film, Marvellous.

 40 Sarah Alexander

Sarah Alexander
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 41 Michael Socha

Michael Socha
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 42 Rosemary Harris

Rosemary Harris
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 19, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

Rosemary Harris is an English actress known for playing Aunt May in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series. The winner of several awards, including a Golden Globe Award and Tony Award, Harris was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1986. In 1994, she received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1994 film Tom & Viv.

 43 Judy Loe

Judy Loe
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 44 Miranda Raison

Miranda Raison
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Miranda Raison gained fame playing Jo Portman in the series Spooks and Abbey in Married Single Other. She has also portrayed Anne Boleyn in Howard Brenton’s play of the same name and in Henry VIII. Raison has also voiced Millie in King of the Railway and Thomas & Friends.

 45 Ruta Gedmintas

Ruta Gedmintas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Ruta Gedmintas is a British actress best known for playing Kirsten Velders in the American horror drama TV series, The Strain. Before establishing herself as an actress, Gedmintas studied acting under Reuven Adiv at the Drama Centre London.  Although Gedmintas predominantly works in TV, she has played supporting roles in films like You Instead and A Street Cat Named Bob.

 46 Anne Reid

Anne Reid
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 28, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 47 Susannah Fielding

Susannah Fielding
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 48 Richard Briers

Richard Briers
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: February 17, 2013
Richard Briers initially gained recognition as George Starling from Marriage Lines. He later gained fame as a narrator of the animated series Roobarb and Noah and Nelly in... SkylArk. Fans also loved him in The Good Life and Monarch of the Glen. He was also a skilled Shakespearean stage actor.

 49 Steven Mackintosh

Steven Mackintosh
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 50 Saskia Reeves

Saskia Reeves
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Saskia Reeves is an English actress known for playing important roles in films like Close My Eyes and I.D. She has also contributed to the success of TV movies, such as The Perfect Match and A Christmas Carol. Over the years, Saskia Reeves has also contributed as a voice artist, lending her voice for book readings, narration, and commercials.