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Cast


Photo of Judi DenchQueen Victoria
Judi Dench

Judi Dench, who plays the grief-stricken Queen Victoria, is one of England's most renowned stage and screen actresses. In 1998 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown. The following year she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as another British monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, in Shakespeare in Love. Other film performances include A Room with a View, for which she received the BAFTA Award [British Academy of Film and Theatre Arts] for Best Supporting Actress; A Handful of Dust; Four in the Morning; Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Henry V; Jack and Sarah; 84 Charing Cross Road; Wetherby; Dead Cert; A Midsummer Night's Dream; A Study in Terror; He Who Rides a Tiger; and The Third Secret. She played M in the James Bond film GoldenEye and will reprise her role in the forthcoming Bond adventure.

A longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Dench has been a major star of the British stage since the late 1950s, appearing in literally dozens of Shakespearean and contemporary productions, including award-winning performances in Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth; Juno and the Paycock; A Kind of Alaska; The Importance of Being Earnest; Pack of Lies; Antony and Cleopatra; and most recently Antony Page's Absolute Hell and A Little Night Music, and David Hare's Amy's View, all at the National Theatre.

Dench also has extensive television credits. She received the BAFTA Award for Best Television Actress for her role in the comedy series A Fine Romance and a BAFTA nomination for her recent performances in the BBC series As Time Goes By. She has starred in television productions of Absolute Hell; Behaving Badly; Make and Break; Ghosts; The Browning Version; Smiley's People; Going Gently; The Cherry Orchard; Love in a Cold Climate; On Giant's Shoulders; Village Wooing; and Macbeth, among others. She won a Cable ACE Award for her performance in the A&E production of Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill.



Photo of Billy ConnollyJohn Brown
Billy Connolly

Best known to U.S. audiences for his comedic work, Billy Connolly gives a moving performance as the loyal servant John Brown, who sacrificed his heart for his Queen.

A stand-up comedian who has toured the world, Connolly has worked on a number of feature films, including Absolution with Richard Burton; Bullshot and Water with Michael Caine; Crossing the Line with Liam Neeson; Treasure Island with the Muppets; and the acclaimed BBC production Down Among the Big Boys. His voice is also featured in the Disney animated film Pocahontas. Most recently, Connolly starred in the BBC costume drama The Life and Crimes of Deacon Brodie.

Connolly is most recognizable from his hit television series Head of the Class, which was later spun off into his own series, Billy. His other television work includes appearances on the sitcom Pearl with Rhea Perlman and Malcolm MacDowell; comedy specials for HBO and BBC; Billy's Beloved Homeland; and The Bigger Picture, a series on Scottish art. Connolly has also release numerous home videos, including 25 B.C.; Billy and Albert; An Audience with Billy Connolly; Billy Connolly Live; and Live 94.

Connolly's eclectic career includes performances in the BBC's Androcles and the Lion; the Scottish Opera production of Der Fleidermaus; and his own play, The Red Runner, which performed to packed houses at the Edinburgh Festival.

He began his career as a musician, touring with Gerry Rafferty and the folk band the Humblebums. Connolly's humorous introductions soon became an audience favorite, and in 1971 he played his first solo concert. This led to The Great Northern Welly Boot Show, a mixture of music and talk that established his talent as a popular entertainer. He went on to release a double album and a No. 1 hit single, "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." Since then, he has released numerous hit comedy records and published several comedic books.



Photo of Antony SherBenjamin Disraeli
Antony Sher

Distinguished writer and actor Antony Sher plays the distinguished statesman and writer Benjamin Disraeli. Sher's leading roles on film and television have been in Genghis Cohen; Shadey; The Young Poisoner's Handbook; and Wind in the Willows. He most recently starred in Indian Summer, which won Best Film Awards at the Hamptons and London Film Festivals. Onstage, Sher has won accolades for roles in Richard III; Titus Andronicus; The Merchant of Venice; Hello and Goodbye; Singer; and Tamburlaine. He most recently starred in the Broadway production of Stanley, garnering a 1997 Tony nomination.

Sher's career as a writer is no less accomplished. His novels, all set in his native South Africa, have been published in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Germany, Italy, and Greece. His first novel, Middlepost, was long-listed for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize in 1988 and short-listed for South Africa's CNA Literary Award. He went on to publish The Indoor Boy and Cheap Lives, the latter winning a nomination for the Dublin Literary Prize. Sher has also written two nonfiction books: Year of the King, a book of reflections about acting; and Woza Shakespeare! Both books are adorned with Sher's distinctive sketches and drawings. A gifted artist, Sher has also published a book of his paintings and has exhibited at the Barbican Centre and at the Royal National Theatre.


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Henry PonsonbyGeoffrey Palmer

Archie BrownGerard Butler

Doctor JennerRichard Pasco

Bertie, Prince of WalesDavid Westhead

Lady ElyBridget McConnel

Lady ChurchillGeorgie Glen

Lady in WaitingCatherine O'Donnell

Princess AlexandraSara Stewart

Princess HelenaFinty Williams

Princess LouiseClaire Nicolson

Princess AliceHattie Ladburty

Prince AlfredOliver Kent

Prince ArthurAlex Menzies

Prince LeopoldSimon McKerrell

Bertie's ValetRupert Farley

Mrs. GrantElaine Collins

Mr. GrantJimmy Chisholm

Lord StanleyJason Morell

Assistant DresserRebecca Charles

Mary Ann DisraeliCherith Mellor

Speaker of the HouseGeorge Hall

Commons CounterRobin Marchal

Dean of WindsorOliver Ford Davies

JournalistsPatrick Hannaway
John Ramsay

Society LadyDelia Lindsay

Sir Charles DilkeJames Vaughan

BarneyBrendan O'Hea

FootmanTheo Steele



Credits


DirectorJohn Madden

WriterJeremy Brock

ProducerSarah Curtis

Executive ProducersDouglas Rae
Andrea Calderwood
Rebecca Eaton
Nigel Warren-Green

Casting DirectorMichelle Guish

ComposerStephen Warbeck

Production DesignerMartin Childs

Makeup DesignerLisa Westcott

Costume DesignerDeirdre Clancy

Director of PhotographyRichard Greatrex, B.S.C.

EditorRobin Sales

Associate ProducerPaul Sarony

1st Assistant DirectorDeborah Saban

2nd Assistant DirectorOlivia Lloyd

3rd Assistant DirectorSuzanne Lynch

Production ManagerHilary Benson

Production SecretariesHelen Dolan
Alexandra McIntosh

Production AccountantSusanna Wyatt

Assistant AccountantLynne Greenshields

Location ManagersJoe Gibbs
Roland Caine
Claire Tovey

Script SupervisorKim Armitrage

Art DirectorCharlotte Watts

Assistant Art DirectorFrances Bennett

Construction ManagersRobert Brown
Stuart Watson

Prop BuyerGill Ducker

Prop MasterRaymond Perry

Standby PropPaul Bradburn
Paul de Csarnatony

Standby CarpenterDavid Williams

Dressing PropPaul Hedges
Richard Stanley

Horse WranglerDebbie Kaye

Focus PullerMick Duffield

2nd Camera Focus PullerLorna Will

Clapper LoaderDeborah Smith

GripPat Garrett

Camera Car DriverMitchell Edwards

Steadicam/2nd Camera OperatorAlistair Rae

GafferTony Haslam

Best BoyIan Jackson

ElectriciansJamie Summers
David Bourke
David Christopher Taylor

Sound MixerAlistair Crocker, A.M.P.S.

Sound MaintenanceSimon Brown

Wardrobe SupervisorRos Ward

Costume AssistantsMarie Ross
Julian Day
Lorraine Richards

Makeup ArtistVeronica Brebner

Chief HairdresserBeverly Binda

Special EffectsTony Harding

Singing CoachKenny Hutchinson

Stunt ArrangerAndy Bradford

Stunt PerformersTom Delmar
Phil Lonergan
Vincent Ginger Keane
Seon Rogers
Tony Lucken

Stills PhotographerMark Tillie

Graphic DesignPenny Madden

Script EditorRobert Bernstein

Historical ConsultantsOwen Dudley Edwards
Margaret Knights

Based on an idea byGeorge Rosie

Post Production SupervisorsShellie Smith
Stephen Barker

Post Production CoordinatorFrancesca Castellano

Assistant EditorJonathan Sales

Sound EditorJohn Downer

Dialogue EditorSarah Morton

Dubbing MixerRupert Scrivener



Masterpiece Theatre has been presented on PBS by WGBH for nearly 30 years. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Russell Baker is series host. Masterpiece Theatre is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.


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