Sense and Sensibility
  • Henry Dashwood
  • Mrs. Dashwood
  • Elinor Dashwood
  • Marianna Dashwood
  • Margaret Dashwood
  • Colonel Brandon
  • Willoughby
  • Mrs. Ferrars
  • John Dashwood
  • Fanny Dashwood
  • Little Henry
  • Edward Ferrars
  • Robert Ferrars
  • Mrs. Jennings
  • Sir John Middleton
  • Lady Middleton
  • Charlotte Palmer
  • Mr. Palmer
  • Miss Steele
  • Lucy Steele

Meet the characters and cast of Sense and Sensibility

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

Henry Dashwood


Mrs. Dashwood

Left in dire circumstances after the death of her husband Henry Dashwood, Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters are driven from their home.

Played by:
Janet McTeer

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Janet McTeer has won awards for her work on stage and in film. Her portrayal of Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House won her a Tony Award, a Laurence Olivier Award and a London Critics' Circle Theatre Award. She received a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Tumbleweeds, her first major role in an American film. Other film projects include Songcatcher, Tideland, As You Like It, Waking the Dead, and The King is Alive. On MASTERPIECE, McTeer has appeared in Precious Bane, Portrait of a Marriage, The Black Velvet Gown, Miss Marple and The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard.

Elinor Dashwood

The sensible eldest Dashwood daughter, Elinor is quiet and responsible, always putting the needs of her family first. She becomes enamored of Edward Ferrars.

Played by:
Hattie Morahan

Hattie Morahan is the daughter of director Christopher Morahan (The Jewel in the Crown) and actress Anna Carteret. At the age of 16, Morahan made her debut in the MASTERPIECE production of Peacock Spring, directed by her father. Morahan has numerous theater credits including Arsenic and Old Lace, Power and Iphigenia at Aulis. In 2007, she was awarded third prize in the Ian Charleson Awards (a British award given to outstanding classical actors under age thirty) for her role in the National Theatre's staging of The Seagull. On film, she has recently appeared in The Golden Compass and The Bank Job. She is engaged to actor Blake Ritson, seen in MASTERPIECE's Mansfield Park.

Marianne Dashwood

The enthusiastically romantic and impulsive second daughter of the Dashwoods, Marianne is romantically pursued by Colonel Brandon and Willoughby.

Played by:
Charity Wakefield

Granddaughter of British film actor James Hayter (The 39 Steps and Tom Brown's School Days), Charity Wakefield hails from the United Kingdom but lived in Spain as a child and credits her love of acting to the festivals and pantomimes she experienced there. Encouraged in an academic path by her mother, Wakefield ultimately chose to study acting at the Oxford School of Drama. On stage, she has appeared in The Graduate and The Three Musketeers, and on television in Casualty 1907 and Doctors.

Margaret Dashwood

The youngest Dashwood daughter.

Played by:
Lucy Boynton

Born in 1994, Lucy Boynton had the aspiration at age 11 to be an actress before she turned 13. Shortly thereafter, she was cast as a young Beatrix Potter in the film Miss Potter with Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. She went on to star as Posy Fossil in the BBC production of Ballet Shoes alongside Emma Watson.

John Dashwood

The son of Henry Dashwood by his first wife.

Played by:
Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss is best known as part of the British comedy ensemble "The League of Gentlemen." An accomplished author and playwright as well, much of Gattis's writing has related to the television series Doctor Who. One of his other novels, period thriller The Vesuvius Club, is being developed by the BBC as a drama series. Gatiss may be recognized by MASTERPIECE viewers for his roles in The Wind in the Willows and The Murder at the Vicarage.

Colonel Brandon

A close friend of Sir John Middleton, Colonel Brandon becomes intrigued by and attracted to Marianne Dashwood.

Played by:
David Morrissey

A self proclaimed Andrew Davies admirer, David Morrissey jumped at the chance to star in the screenwriter's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Born in Liverpool, England, Morrissey got his big break in the BBC production One Summer. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, subsequently working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Some of his notable television credits include Blackpool, MASTERPIECE's Our Mutual Friend, and State of Play, for which he was nominated for a 2004 BAFTA Award for best television actor. On film, Morrissey has been seen in The Other Boleyn Girl, The Reaping and Captain Corelli's Mandolin among others. Morrissey is married to novelist Esther Freud, great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud. He has also ventured into directing, having worked on several short films and the television drama Passer By.


Charming and mysterious, Willoughby woos Marianne Dashwood.

Played by:
Dominic Cooper

Dominic Cooper grew up in East London and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. In his mid 20s, Cooper landed the role of 12-year-old Will in the Royal National Theatre's production of His Dark Materials, based on the popular Phillip Pullman books. His breakthrough role was on stage in Alan Bennett's The History Boys, which won several Tony Awards, including those for best play and best director. In 2006 he reprised his role for the film adaptation of the play, for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for most promising newcomer. On MASTERPIECE, Cooper has been seen in Jericho and Warrior Queen. Next, Cooper will appear in the film adaptation of the stage musical Mamma Mia! With Meryl Streep and Colin Firth, and The Duchess starring Keira Knightley.

Mrs. Ferrars

Mother of Edward, Fanny and Robert, Mrs. Ferrars is concerned with her sons making suitable choices in marriage.

Played by:
Jean Marsh

Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Marsh is best known for co-creating (with Eileen Atkins) and starring in the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. She and Atkins also created the television series The House of Eliott. She has appeared in several films, including Return to Oz, The Changeling, and Willow, and has worked extensively on television, appearing in Doctor Who and The Tomorrow People among others. Marsh is slated to appear in Alice, inspired by the books of Lewis Carroll.

Fanny Dashwood

The wife of John Dashwood and sister of Edward and Robert Ferrars, Fanny is selfish, eager to take Norland Park from the Dashwoods.

Played by:
Claire Skinner

Claire Skinner is known for her roles in films such as Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, Sleepy Hollow, Bridget Jones's Diary and Naked. MASTERPIECE fans may recognize her from appearances in Wingless Bird, as well as for parts in Inspector Morse, Miss Marple and Poirot episodes. In 1995, she won the London Critics' Circle Theatre Award for best actress for her performance on stage in The Glass Menagerie.

Little Henry


Played by:
Morgan Overton

Morgan Overton makes his debut in Sense and Sensibility.

Edward Ferrars

Fanny and Robert's brother, the graceful and unassuming Edward strikes up a friendship with Elinor Dashwood.

Played by:
Dan Stevens

Born in 1982 in Croydon, England, Stevens has received recognition for his work on stage and on television. Stevens was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award (a British award given to outstanding classical actors under age thirty) for his portrayal of Orlando in As You Like It, and made his West End theatrical debut in Noel Coward's Hay Fever alongside Dame Judi Dench. On television, Stevens is known for his lead role in The Line of Beauty, based on Alan Hollinghurst's 2004 Booker Prize winning novel. Stevens appeared with David Suchet in MASTERPIECE's Dracula.

Robert Ferrars

Edward and Fanny's brother, eventually marries Lucy Steele.

Played by:
Leo Bill

Leo Bill worked in television and theater as a young teen, and later graduated from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. On film, he has appeared in Gosford Park, Vera Drake, These Foolish Things and Becoming Jane among others. Bill is a member of the National Theatre, and has appeared in productions such as The Hothouse and The Reporter.

Mrs. Jennings

The mother of Lady Middleton and Charlotte Palmer, Mrs. Jennings take a particular interest in matchmaking for the Dashwood daughters.

Played by:
Linda Bassett

With extensive film, stage and television credits, Linda Bassett is well known for her role in the stage and film productions of East is East. Other films include The Hours, Calendar Girls, Oscar and Lucinda and Mary Reilly. On television, Bassett has also appeared in MASTERPIECE's Our Mutual Friend, Traffik, Far From the Madding Crowd and Bramwell. She is currently working on the film The Reader, based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink.

Sir John Middleton

A distant relative of Mrs. Dashwood, Sir John Middleton invites the Dashwoods to move into a cottage on his property after their loss of Norland Park.

Played by:
Mark Williams

Mark Williams has had a long and successful career in film and on television, but is most recently known for his recurring role as Arthur Weasley in the popular Harry Potter films. He also has appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare in Love, and The Borrowers with Jim Broadbent. On television, Williams is known for his work in the BBC sketch comedy series The Fast Show. He will next be seen in the 2008 MASTERPIECE production of Room with a View.

Lady Middleton

The wife of Sir John Middleton

Played by:
Rosanna Lavelle

A graduate of the National Student Theatre, Rosanna Lavelle has been noted for her work on stage, winning the London Sunday Times outstanding performance award for her role as Beatrice in A View from the Bridge. Other theater credits include An Inspector Calls, Closer and Private Lives. On film, Lavelle has been seen in Charlotte Gray and Two Men Went to War among others.

Charlotte Palmer

The daughter of Mrs. Jennings and the younger sister of Lady Middleton.

Played by:
Tabitha Wady

One of Tabitha Wady's earliest appearances was in the MASTERPIECE Mystery! series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, but is more recently known for her role as Katrina Bullen in the British soap opera Doctors.

Mr. Palmer

The husband of Charlotte Palmer

Played by:
Tim McMullan

Tim McMullan is known for his work in films such as The Queen, Shakespeare in Love, Onegin and Shadowlands. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, McMullan has appeared in National Theatre productions such as The Alchemist, The Life of Galileo and Once in a Lifetime, among other theatrical credits.

Lucy Steele

Lucy Steele, who cultivates the friendship of Elinor Dashwood, has had a longstanding engagement to Edward Ferrars.

Played by:
Anna Madeley

Anna Madeley was drawn into acting at an early age as a result of being sent for speech lessons with a woman who doubled as an agent for children. Her stage credits include Colder Than Here, The Philanthropist and Coram Boy, in which she played two boys, ages 8 and 15. Madeley played the lead role in MASTERPIECE's The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton. She can be seen in the film In Bruges with Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes.

Miss Steele

The sister of Lucy Steele

Played by:
Daisy Haggard

Born in Scotland, actress Daisy Haggard is the daughter of director Piers Haggard. Her comedic talents have been highlighted on British television in Man Stroke Woman and Green Wing. She was seen on MASTERPIECE in Casanova. Haggard's film credits include Max and Nicholas Nickleby.

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