Susannah Harker made her acting debut in 1985, when she was cast to play Bessie Wills in Graeme Clifford-directed Australian adventure film ‘Burke & Wills.’ The film, which was played at the 1986 ‘Cannes Film Festival,’ is about the ill-fated ‘Burke and Wills expedition’ that took place in the early 1860s in Australia.
In 1987, she played a minor role in Michael Radford-directed British film ‘White Mischief.’ In the same year, she also played Alizon Eliot in a television movie titled ‘The Lady's Not for Burning.’
Harker landed her first recurring role in 1988 when she was cast to play Linda in a five-part television series titled ‘The Fear.’ In the series, Harker was seen alongside Scottish actor Iain Glen whom she would later marry in 1993. In 1988, she was also seen in one of the episodes of a TV mini-series titled ‘Troubles.’
She played the supporting role of Suzette du Toit in the 1989 American drama-historical film ‘A Dry White Season.’ Directed by Euzhan Palcy, the film had Donald Sutherland, Jürgen Prochnow, and Janet Suzman playing important roles. In 1989, she also played Laure de Lancel in a couple of episodes of a TV mini-series titled ‘Till We Meet Again.’
She received her breakthrough role in 1990, when she was cast to play Mattie Storin in the popular political thriller television series ‘House of Cards.’ The series, which was televised by the ‘BBC,’ received critical and commercial success. Harker was nominated for a ‘BAFTA TV Award’ for her performance in the series.
From 1990 to 1991, Harker played Joanna Franklyn in ‘ITV’ network's British crime drama series ‘Chancer.’ In 1991, she played Irene St. Claire in Fraser C. Heston-directed crime-drama television movie ‘The Crucifer of Blood.’ The following year, she played Dinah Morris in an episode titled ‘Adam Bede’ in the anthology drama TV series ‘Screen One.’
In 1994, she played supporting roles in two TV mini-series, namely ‘Faith’ and ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.’ In 1995, she was cast to play Jane Bennet in the TV mini-series ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ which was adapted from Jane Austen's novel of the same name.
In 1996, she played Marie-Thérèse Walter in James Ivory-directed biographical film ‘Surviving Picasso.’ Marie-Thérèse was one of the models and lover of famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. In 1997, she played Penny in a short film titled ‘The Cull.’
She played Superintendent Albert Tyburn’s love interest Emma Fitzgerald in the television crime drama series ‘Heat of the Sun,’ in 1998. In the same year, she also played Dr. Angela March in six episodes of a TV mini-series titled ‘Ultraviolet.’
From 2000 to 2002, she played various roles in films and series such as ‘Offending Angels,’ ‘Intimacy,’ ‘Murder in Mind,’ ‘Trance,’ and ‘Waking the Dead.’ In 2003, she voiced Clare Keightley in the audio version of ‘Shada’ from the popular science fiction series ‘Doctor Who.’
In 2004, she played Margaret in Julian Jarrold-directed television film ‘The Hotel in Amsterdam.’ In 2006, she was seen in another TV movie titled ‘Perfect Parents’ in which Harker played Alison opposite Christopher Eccleston.
In 2007, she was seen in a couple of short films, namely ‘Always Crashing in the Same Car’ and ‘My Mother.’ In 2009, she played Matilda Simms in an episode (The Black Book) of the detective drama series ‘Midsomer Murders.’ In the same year, she also played Sister Ambrose in Jan Dunn-directed comedy-drama film ‘The Calling.’
She played Lady Verity Muirhead in a three-part British television drama titled ‘Young James Herriot.’ The series is a biographical depiction of veterinary surgeon James Herriot's early life.
In 2012, she played Elizabeth Clayton in one of the episodes of the popular procedural crime drama series ‘New Tricks.’ In 2017, she played Titania in a comedy-drama film titled ‘A Caribbean Dream’ and then played Veronica Stone in ‘ITV’ network's detective drama series ‘Grantchester.’
Apart from acting in television series and films, Susannah Harker has also played prominent roles in stage plays. In 2003, she played Masha in Anton Chekhov's play ‘Three Sisters,’ staged at the ‘Playhouse Theatre’ in London. In 2012, she played Sue in Mike Leigh's play ‘Abigail's Party.’ In 2014, she was part of ‘Gate Theatre’ production of Sir Noël Peirce Coward's play ‘The Vortex.’
Family & Personal Life
Susannah Harker’s father, Richard Owens, was an actor. He is known for playing prominent roles in TV series such as ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge.’ Her mother Polly Adams is an actress, best known for playing Mrs. Brown in a television series titled ‘Just William.’ Harker’s sisters, Nelly and Caroline, went on to become actresses as well.
Harker dated actor Iain Glen before marrying him in 1993. Glen and Harker were blessed with a son named Finlay, in 1994. She divorced Iain Glen in 2004 and then dated actor Paul McGann from 2006 to 2008.