Miss Austen Regrets
  • Mrs. Austen
  • The Austens
  • E. Austen Knight
  • The Knights
  • Fanny Knight
  • Henry Austen
  • Cassandra Austen
  • Jane Austen
  • Harris Bigg
  • John Plumptree
  • Rev. Brooks Bridges
  • Dr. Charles Haden

Meet the characters and cast of Miss Austen Regrets

Click on any of the major characters in Miss Austen Regrets to learn more about how they fit in the story, and also about the careers of the actors who portray them.

Mrs. Austen

Jane Austen's mother, Mrs. Austen is resentful that Jane didn't follow through on marrying Harris Biggs.

Played by:
Phyllida Law

Born in Scotland, Phyllida Law met her husband Eric Thompson in 1953 while they were both appearing in Romeo and Juliet. Law is the mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson, both actresses, and is known for her appearances with them in films such as Emma and Peter's Friends. In 1997, she and Emma played a mother/daughter in The Winter Guest. Law has had an extensive career on stage, and in film and television. Law has been seen in a number of Masterpiece productions such as Much Ado About Nothing, The Blue Boy, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, and The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries.

Edward Austen Knight

Jane Austen's brother, Edward was adopted by Thomas and Catherine Knight, rich cousins of the Austens. He is the father of Fanny Knight.

Played by:
Pip Torrens

Pip Torrens has been seen in an array of Masterpiece productions including Dead Gorgeous, What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw, Jeeves & Wooster, To Play the King, and The Unknown Soldier. On film, he has been seen in Remains of the Day, Rogue Trader starring Ewan McGregor, and the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Torrens will be seen in Lewis, coming in 2008 to Masterpiece mystery!

Fanny Knight

Jane Austen's young niece, Fanny Knight turns to Austen for advice as she is selecting a suitor.

Played by:
Imogen Poots

Imogen Poots, the daughter of a TV producer, joined Young Blood, a youth drama group in London, at age 14. She has been seen in films including V for Vendetta and 28 Weeks Later. She will next be seen in Waking Madison with Elisabeth Shue.

Henry Austen

Henry Austen is Jane's brother, and when he takes ill, Jane serendipitously meets an intriguing young doctor.

Played by:
Adrian Edmondson

An actor, writer, comedian and director, Adrian Edmondson is well known for his work in the British television series The Young Ones and Bottom which he co-wrote and starred in with his frequent comedy partner Rik Mayall. Edmondson and Mayall formed their own comedy club in London, The Comic Strip, which later became the source for the BBC series The Comic Strip Presents. It is through The Comic Strip that Edmondson met and married Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame. Edmondson has had recurring roles in a variety of television series, most recently Holby City.

Cassandra Austen

Jane Austen's older sister, companion and confidante.

Played by:
Greta Scacchi

Born and raised in Italy by her Italian father and English mother, Greta Scacchi later moved to London and Australia. Scacchi trained at the Old Vic Theatre School, and started performing in film in the 1980s, She has appeared in an array of European, American and Australian films. She starred with Harrison Ford in Presumed Innocent, and with Tim Robbins in The Player. She won an Emmy for her role as Tsarina Alexandra in Rasputin. On Masterpiece, Scacchi has been seen in Daniel Deronda and Miss Marple.

Jane Austen

At age 27, Jane Austen is not married and seemingly happy. When her niece Fanny Knight asks Austen for counsel of potential suitors, Austen finds herself examining her own life and relationships.

Played by:
Olivia Williams

The daughter of two lawyers, Olivia Williams studied at Cambridge before two years at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Before portraying Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets, Olivia Williams played Jane Fairfax in the 1996 adaptation of Emma. Williams has had an extensive film career in features such as The Postman, Rushmore, The Sixth Sense and Peter Pan. On stage, she starred in a four-month tour of Richard III with Ian McKellan in 1995, and has a number of credits at the Royal Shakespeare Company. In January, 2008, she started a run in "Happy Now?" at the National Theatre. Williams is an occasional travel writer, and insists on bicycling to and from her sets.

Harris Bigg

The wealthy brother of a close friend, Harris Biggs proposed to Jane Austen. She accepted, then a day later changed her mind.

Played by:
Samuel Roukin

Samuel Roukin is a 2003 graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He will next be seen in the Mike Leigh motion picture Happy Go-Lucky with Persuasion star Sally Hawkins, as well as Love You More and Solomon Kane. On stage, Roukin played the role of Pip in Great Expectations, his Royal Shakespeare Company debut.

Mr. John Plumptree

In his mid 20s, John Plumptree is the object of Fanny's affection. He is earnest, extremely intense and very fervent.

Played by:
Tom Hiddleston

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Hiddleston has appeared on television in Nicholas Nickleby, The Gathering Storm, and Victoria Cross Heroes among others. On stage, he has acted in two Cheek By Jowl theatre company productions — the world tour of Cymbeline, and the European tour of The Changeling, for which he received a nomination for the Ian Charleson Award, given to outstanding classical stage actors under age 30. Hiddleston has lent his vocal talents to BBC 4 radio productions of Dracula, Another Country, Caesar III and The Angry Brigade.

Rev. Brook Bridges

A clergyman in his late 30s, Rev. Brook Bridges is Fanny's maternal uncle. A chance encounter between Jane Austen and former acquaintance Bridges leads Austen to reflect on his previous marriage proposal that she did not accept.

Played by:
Hugh Bonneville

Bonneville launched his acting career with the National Youth Theatre, simultaneously studying theology at Cambridge University. He also trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. In film, Bonneville has been seen with Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. He portrayed Mr. Rushworth in the 1987 film adaptation of Mansfield Park. In 2002, he earned a BAFTA nomination and carried off the Best Young Actor Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for his performance in Iris as the young John Bayley, Iris Murdoch's husband, opposite Kate Winslet. Bonneville has been seen numerous times in Masterpiece, in productions such as Daniel Deronda, Heat of the Sun, Madam Bovary, Take a Girl Like You, Doctor Zhivago and The Cazalets.

Dr. Charles Haden

Played by:
Jack Huston

Son of writer/actor Tony Huston and nephew of Angelica Huston, Jack Huston appeared in the film Factory Girl.

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