Holliday Clark Grainger, also known as Holly Grainger, is a famous English actress. She is best known for her roles as Lucrezia Borgia in the series 'The Borgias', as Kate Beckett in children’s show 'Roger and the Rottentrolls', as Anastasia Tremaine in the 2015 film 'Cinderella', as Robin Ellacott in BBC’s crime series 'Strike' and as Estella in the 2012 movie 'Great Expectations'. Grainger was raised by her mother Gian Grainger, whom she considers her biggest support. She began acting at the young age of five and continued doing small roles in various movies and television series through her teens. As a child, she performed equally well in academics, music, dance, gymnastic and martial arts. She has portrayed a gamut of characters on TV, stage and in films. She was recently seen in the film 'Animals' and the TV series 'Strike'.
Holliday Grainger debuted as Kirsty in 1994 in Tim Firth's multiple award-winning BBC comedy drama series 'All Quiet on the Preston Front'. Two years later, she appeared in a few episodes of the children's comedy television series 'Roger and the Rottentrolls' as Kate Beckett; and as Harriet in the 1997 film 'The Missing Postman'. From 2000 to 2003, she worked in the following BBC series: 'Casualty' as Katie Stoppard, 'Doctors' as Nita Harmer, 'Dalziel and Pascoe' as Nicola Crowley, 'Comin' Atcha!' as Pauline and 'Where the Heart Is' as Megan Boothe. She also did two movies in the same period, 'Sparkhouse' (2002) and 'The Illustrated Mum' (2003).
Over the next seven years, Grainger appeared in a dozen of movies and television series. Her prominent TV roles among those were: 'No Angels', 'New Street Law', 'The Royal', 'M.I. High', 'The Royal Today', 'Fairy Tales', 'Walking the Dead', 'Robin Hood', 'Blue Murder', 'Above Suspicion 2: The Red Dahlia' and 'Any Human Heart'. She was also noticed for her roles as Stacey Appleyard in BBC’s series 'Waterloo Road', as Sophia in the medieval fantasy show 'Merlin', as Ruby in the supernatural miniseries 'Demons', as Emily in the thriller film 'The Scouting Book for Boys' and as Alice the TV drama 'Five Daughters'. Other notable mentions in her body of work of this period are the films 'Magnificent 7' (2005), 'Johnny and the Bomb' (2006), 'The Bad Mother's Handbook' (2007) and ‘Dis/Connected' (2008).
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Rise to Stardom
Holliday Grainger’s big break came in 2011 when she played Diana Rivers in the 2011 film ‘Jane Eyre'. The movie exposed her to the global audience. In 2012, she appeared in the leading role of Estella Havisham in Mike Newell's film 'Great Expectations', which was based on Charles Dickens' novel of the same name. The movie was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was premiered at the BFI London Film Festival as the closing film. In the same year, she appeared in the movies 'Bel Ami' and 'Anna Karenina' in minor roles.
In 2013, she won the 'Critics' Choice Television Award' in the best actress category for her role as Bonnie Parker in the miniseries 'Bonnie & Clyde'. She also starred in Luke Bailey's play 'Disassociation', 'The Riot Club' (2014) - a movie adaptation of the play 'Posh', and the stage adaptation of 'Chekov's Three Sisters' (2014) by Anya Reiss at Southwark Playhouse. In the following years, she gave heart-winning performances in Kenneth Branagh's film 'Cinderella' (2015), Disney's movie 'The Finest Hours' (2016), Justin Chadwick's film 'Tulip Fever' (2017), the TV series ‘Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' (2017) and the miniseries 'Patrick Melrose' (2018).
Her movies 'Tell It to the Bees' and 'Animals' were premiered respectively at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Her 2017 film 'Home', based on the global refugee crisis, won many awards, including a BAFTA and a Gold Lion at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Since 2017, she is playing the role of Robin Ellacott in the detective television series 'Strike', which is based on J.K. Rowling's novels.
Family & Personal Life
Holliday Grainger was born on March 27, 1988, in Didsbury, Manchester, UK. She was raised by her single mother Gian Grainger after her parents divorced. Gian is a graphic designer by profession. Her parents separated when she was too young to understand and feel the trauma of such conflicts. She is of British and Italian descent as her grandfather was from Italy.
At the young age of five, Grainger made her acting debut with BBC’s series ‘All Quiet on the Preston Front’. After that, she appeared in a number of TV shows as a child actor. She made sure that her acting commitments did not affect her academic performance at Parrs Wood High School where she studied from 1999 to 2006. As a child, she took lessons in piano, gymnastics, Taekwondo (a Korean martial art) and ballet (from 'Madeley School of Dancing'). In 2007, she enrolled in the University of Leeds to study English literature. However, her acting commitments made her schedules quite hectic, and she had to opt out of college. She earned a first-class honours degree in English literature in 2012 through the Open University.
She is in a relationship with English actor Harry Treadaway. Earlier, she dated Luke Bailey from 2007 to 2011 and Francois Arnaud between 2011 and 2012. Grainger is not active on social media.