Mother | Larry | Leslie | Margo | Gerald | Spiro | Dr. Stephanides
"...In between keeping a watchful eye on us all, Mother was settling down in her own way. The house was redolent with the scent of herbs and the sharp tang of garlic and onions, and the kitchen was full of a bubbling selection of pots, among which she moved, spectacles askew, muttering to herself. On the table was a tottering pile of books which she consulted from time to time. When she could drag herself away from the kitchen, she would drift happily about the garden, reluctantly pruning and cutting, enthusiastically weeding and planting..."
2005 proved to be a benchmark year for Imelda Staunton, who was born in Archway, north London, in January 1956. She won a BAFTA for the role as post-war backstreet abortionist Vera Drake, and attended the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild awards, and the Academy Awards, where she was nominated for Best Actress. She finished off the year with a memorable performance as the cook, Mrs. Blatherwick, in Nanny McPhee and received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to drama.
At 17, Staunton was offered a place at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A variety of successful stage roles followed, including A Chorus of Disapproval and The Corn is Green, for which she won Laurence Olivier Awards for best supporting actress. She also won an Olivier Award in 1991 for best actress in a musical for Into the Woods.
In 1993 Staunton captured international attention when she appeared in Kenneth Branagh's version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Director Mike Leigh has described Staunton as "...brilliant. She has great warmth, compassion and humanity and a great sense of humor. Also she has not a grain of sentimentality, she is very rooted in the real world."
"Larry was designed by Providence to go through life like a small, blond firework, exploding ideas in other people's minds, and then curling up with cat-like unctuousness and refusing to take any blame for the consequences..."
Matthew Goode was born in 1976 in Exeter, Devon, England, the youngest of five children. He studied drama at the University of Birmingham before continuing his training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He has been seen previously on Masterpiece Theatre in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Series 3, He Knew He Was Right and in Miss Marple: A Murder is Announced.
Goode received two Teen Choice Award nominations in 2004 -- "Breakout Movie Star" and "Movie Liar" -- for his role opposite Mandy Moore in the film Chasing Liberty.
He'll be seen in Copying Beethoven (scheduled for limited release in the US in 2006), a fictionalized account of the last year of Beethoven's life with Ed Harris and Diane Kruger.
"Leslie's case held a couple of roll-top pullovers and a pair of trousers which were wrapped round two revolvers, an air-pistol, a book called Be Your Own Gunsmith, and a large bottle of oil that leaked..."
Russell Tovey has appeared frequently on television in the UK, notably in Holby City and Poirot. His extensive theater credits include the role of Rudge in The History Boys (by Alan Bennett) at the National Theatre in 2004.
"...Margo's luggage contained a multitude of diaphanous garments, three books on slimming, and a regiment of small bottles each containing some elixir guaranteed to cure acne..."
Tamzin Merchant played the role of Georgiana Darcy in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice.
"...I traveled with only those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids..."
Young actor Eugene Simon, who plays 12 year-old Gerald Durrell, has been seen previously as the young Casanova in the 2005 Heath Ledger film about the famous lover. He also played young Felix in Alpha Male and has appeared on British television in My Dad's the Prime Minister and Murder in Suburbia.
"... Behind the wheel sat a short, barrel-bodied individual, with ham-like hands and a great, leathery, scowling face surmounted by a jauntily-tilted peaked cap..."
Britain's only Iranian stand-up comedian and actor, Omid Djalili has appeared in some very big movies, including Gladiator, The World is Not Enough, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the 2005 film version of Casanova. He's also appeared frequently on television in the UK. He has won many awards for his live comedy with shows like Short Fat Kebab Shop Owner's Son and Omid Djalili is Ethnic.
"...He was ...immaculately dressed in a grey flannel suit with waistcoast, a spotless white shirt, a tasteful but somber tie, and large, solid, highly polished boots..."
Chris Langham, born in 1949 in London, has worked in TV as an actor, writer, director and producer since 1969. He was one of the original members of the popular BBC comedy Not The Nine O'Clock News.
Langham worked as a writer for Jim Henson and the Muppets and has appeared frequently on television and in films including Life of Brian, The McGuffin and The Emperor's New Clothes.
In 2005 he won Best Television Comedy Actor at the British Comedy Awards for the BBC series The Thick of It and Help.
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