Childhood & Early Life
Anita Dobson was born on April 29, 1949, in Stepney, London, United Kingdom, to Alfred William Dobson and Amy Amelia Dobson. She grew up in London with her younger sister Gillian Dobson.
She joined the ‘Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art’ in 1970 and started studying performing arts, such as acting and music. She made her acting debut in 1979 when she was cast to play Roxanne in a television movie titled ‘Leave Him to Heaven.’
She appeared in a couple of stage plays and television series in the early 80s. In 1981, she was seen in a musical titled ‘Chorus Girls.’ In the same year, she was also seen in TV series ‘Nanny’ and ‘Play Away.’ From 1983 to 1984, she played Lois Tight in three episodes of a comedy television series ‘Up the Elephant and Round the Castle.’
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Dobson’s acting career took wing when she was cast to play Angie Watts in the popular crime-drama television series ‘EastEnders.’ From 1985 to 1988, she appeared in 253 episodes. Meanwhile, she also released the song ‘Anyone Can Fall in Love.’ The song, produced by musician Brian May, was based on the theme music of ‘EastEnders.’
In 1989, she played Cath in six episodes of popular TV series ‘Split Ends.’ She landed another recurring role in 1994 when she was cast to play Gertie in a television mini-series titled ‘Smokescreen.’ In the same year, she was also seen in three films, namely ‘Beyond Bedlam,’ ‘Seaview Knights,’ and ‘The Fireboy’ (TV film).
She played the main role of Mrs. Ivy Osborne in the short-lived 1997 comedy television series ‘Get Well Soon.’ In 1997, she also played minor roles in TV series, such as ‘New Voices’ and ‘Highlander.’ The following year, she played Daphne Teal in the romantic-comedy film ‘The Revengers' Comedies’ and then portrayed Fanny Loder in a drama film titled ‘The Tichborne Claimant.’
In 2000, she played prominent roles in a couple of television movies titled ‘The Stretch’ and ‘Daddyfox.’ In the same year, she was also seen in two TV series, namely ‘Hearts and Bones’ and ‘Urban Gothic.’
In 2005, she played Gertrude in the ‘English Touring Theatre’ production of William Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet,’ which was staged at the ‘New Ambassadors Theatre’ in London. In 2007, she was honored with a ‘Companionship’ by ‘Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.’
In 2009, she played a part in the stage production of ‘Calendar Girls’ at ‘Noel Coward Theatre’ in London. From 2009 to 2011, she played various roles in 13 episodes of the long-running children’s television program ‘Gigglebiz.’ Meanwhile, she was ranked 28th in the list of ‘100 Greatest EastEnders Characters of All Time’ in 2010.
In 2011, Dobson took part in the ninth series of the famous British television dance contest ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ In the show, Dobson was paired with professional Ballroom and Latin dancer Robin Windsor. She was eliminated in the ninth week of the competition.
In 2012, she made her debut at the famous ‘Royal Shakespeare Company’ (RSC) playing ‘Mistress Quickly’ in Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor.’ In 2015, she played supporting roles in three films, namely ‘Solitary,’ ‘The Rise of the Krays,’ and ‘London Road.’
From 2016 to 2017, she played Madame Morrible in the popular Broadway musical ‘Wicked,’ which was staged at the ‘Apollo Victoria Theatre.’ Simultaneously, she also played Margaret from 2016 to 2017, in nine episodes of a comedy TV series titled ‘The Rebel.’ In 2017, she also played Mabel Tillerson in one of the episodes of popular TV series ‘Call the Midwife.’
She played an important role in the 2018 Jessica Hynes-directed sports-drama film, ‘The Fight.’ In the same year, she also played Miss Perry in the Gillies MacKinnon-directed biographical sports-drama television film ‘Torvill & Dean.’ From 2018 to 2019, she played Mirabelle Hubble in three episodes of British-German children’s television series ‘The Worst Witch.’
Apart from appearing in films, TV series, and stage plays, Dobson has also made guest appearances in many popular television shows, such as ‘This Morning,’ ‘Breakfast,’ ‘The One Show,’ ‘Live from Studio Five,’ ‘This Week,’ ‘The New Paul O'Grady Show,’ ‘The Andrew Marr Show,’ ‘Today with Des and Mel,’ ‘The Lily Savage Show,’ etc.
Family & Personal Life
Anita Dobson met musician and astrophysicist Brian May at the preview screening of a comedy film ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills’ in 1986. In one of his interviews, May stated that Dobson had inspired him to write the 1989 song ‘I Want It All.’
After dating Brian May for 12 years, Dobson married him on November 18, 2000. Upon her marriage with May, Dobson became the stepmother of James, Louisa, and Emily Ruth who were born from May’s previous marriage with Christine Mullen. In one of her interviews, Anita Dobson stated that she works hard to keep her marriage alive in spite of being in love with her husband.