Rollover Information
About the Series Schedule The Archive Learning Resources The American Collection Home Search Shop
Bleak House
Dickens & Davies Production Notes Who's Who Synopsis/Episode Descriptions Novel to Film Links + Bibliography The Forum Masterpiece Theatre Bleak House
Who's Who/Cast + Credits [imagemap with 7 links]

Bleak House Who's Who

Bleak House | The Dedlock Household | Chancery and the Law
London | The Countryside | The Past

Bleak House

John Jarndyce | Esther Summerson | Richard Carstone
Ada Clare | Harold Skimpole | Harriet | Charley Neckett

John Jarndyce

Benevolent owner of Bleak House and party in the Chancery suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. A kind and generous man, he guardian to Esther, who becomes close friends with his cousins, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone.

Best known to British audiences as surgeon Tom Campbell-Gore in the BBC's medical drama Holby City, Denis Lawson is also well known to Star Wars fans for his appearances as pilot Wedge Antilles in the original films A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return Of The Jedi (1983).

Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1947, Lawson also appeared in the cult 1983 film Local Hero, which starred Burt Lancaster. He's the uncle of actor Ewan McGregor, who also has a Star Wars connection, having played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the second trilogy of films.

back to top

Esther Summerson

An orphan raised by her aunt, Miss Barbary, Esther's parentage is a mysterious secret. On her aunt's death she is taken in by John Jarndyce and becomes a companion to his wards, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone.

A native of East Yorkshire, England, Anna Maxwell Martin has appeared in the films The Hours and Enduring Love, the stage production of His Dark Materials, and played Daphne Manners in Radio 4's adaptation of The Jewel In The Crown.

In 2004, she played Bessie Higgins in North & South which was voted the top drama of the year by BBC viewers. In 2005, she guest-starred in an episode of the new Doctor Who series called The Long Game.

back to top

Richard Carstone

Ward of John Jarndyce and a party to the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. He has high hopes that the lawsuit will make his fortune.

Patrick Kennedy's previous credits include Spooks, Cambridge Spies and an episode of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries called A Traitor To Memory. He's also appeared in the film Nine Lives (which also featured Paris Hilton), and in a number of stage productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream at Bristol Old Vic.

back to top

Ada Clare

Ward of John Jarndyce, friend of Esther Summerson, and cousin of Richard Carstone. Idealistic and virtuous.

Twenty-year-old Carey Mulligan stars as Kitty Bennett in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, with Keira Knightley. She appeared in Forty Winks at the Royal Court Theatre in 2004.

back to top

Harold Skimpole

A friend of John Jarndyce. He claims he understands nothing of money, but it is a smooth act which enables him to get others to pay his way through life.

Nathaniel Parker is best known for playing the title role in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. His television career began in 1990 when he starred in Never Come Back. Nathaniel went on to appear in films Hamlet, The Bodyguard (with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston) and Wide Sargasso Sea. Memorable television appearances include Piece of Cake, Far from the Madding Crowd and Vanity Fair. Parker is also an accomplished theatre actor.

After graduating from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (where he was the star pupil of his year), Nathaniel joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986.

back to top


A servant at Bleak House.

In addition to the film Quills, Lisa Hammond has appeared on several television programs since the early 1990s including Holby City, Grange Hill and Every Time You Look at Me.

back to top

Charlotte (Charley) Neckett

Neckett's daughter. When her father dies, Charley cares for her two orphaned younger siblings: Emma and Tom. Charley becomes Esther's maid, nursing her through smallpox.

Young actress Katie Angelou has appeared on various television programs in the UK and in the film short Butterfly World in 2003.

Dickens & Davies | Production Notes
Who's Who | Synopsis/Episode Descriptions
Novel to Film | Links + Bibliography | The Forum

Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback

WGBH Logo PBS logo


Masterpiece is sponsored by: