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Who's Who [imagemap with 7 links]

Who's Who

Mr. Gibson
Bill Paterson

Mr. Gibson is the kindly doctor whose marriage to the beautiful yet shallow widow Mrs. Kirkpatrick gives his 17-year-old daughter Molly the new mother she never asked for.

"Quite early on, you see his predicament," says actor Bill Paterson. "He is a widowed father striving to bring up his daughter properly. And yet he makes the understandable mistake of marrying the wrong person. It's not a marriage from hell; it's just that Mrs. Gibson wants a type of life that doesn't suit him."

Whatever his misgivings about his marriage, Mr. Gibson finds continued comfort in Molly. "Being a father, I instantly understood the warmth between the father and the daughter," said Paterson. "When she gets to the stage of moving away from him and entertaining suitors, you can feel the tension in him. He wants the best for her, but doesn't want to lose her. Any parent will understand that."

Celebrated actor Bill Paterson has appeared in two previous Masterpiece Theatre productions, starring as Jack Lithgow in Traffik and as Blackpool in Charles Dickens's Hard Times.

In Gaskell's Words

And 'who was this Mr. Gibson?' they asked, and echo might answer the question, if she liked, for no one else did. No one ever in all his life knew anything more of his antecedents than the Hollingford people might have found out the first day they saw him: that he was tall, grave, rather handsome than otherwise; thin enough to be called 'a very genteel figure,' in those days, before muscular Christianity had come into vogue; speaking with a slight Scotch accent; and, as one good lady observed, 'so very trite in his conversation,' by which she meant sarcastic. As to his birth, parentage, and education, - the favorite conjecture of Hollingford society was, that he was the illegitimate son of a Scotch duke, by a Frenchwoman; and the grounds for this conjecture were these: He spoke with a Scotch accent; therefore, he must be Scotch. He had a very genteel appearance, an elegant figure, and was apt -- so his ill-wishers said -- to give himself airs. Therefore, his father must have been some person of quality; and, that granted, nothing was easier than to run this supposition up all the notes of the scale of the peerage -- baronet, baron, viscount, earl, marquis, duke.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter III, Molly Gibson's Childhood
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Mrs. Gibson
(Hyacinth 'Clare' Kirkpatrick)

Francesca Annis

Mrs. Gibson, the frivolous widow and former governess at The Towers, marries Mr. Gibson and becomes Molly's stepmother. Her arrival at the doctor's humble home brings unwelcome changes. With the help of her worldly daughter Cynthia, she unwittingly turns Molly's quiet life upside down.

"When you hear it's a classic BBC serial, you wonder what sort of middle-aged mum Mrs. Gibson is going to be," says Francesca Annis. "But in fact she overturns expectations; she's very different. People ask, 'Isn't she terribly manipulative?' but I don't see her like that. To me, she's just a shallow person who's able to skate over things that would be offensive to others. She is a survivor. She has the ability to twist and turn with the wind - not because she's Machiavellian, but because she's practical."

After a successful career that has included appearances in Masterpiece Theatre's Lillie, Madame Bovary and Parnell and the Englishwoman, Annis recently catapulted back into the spotlight with the success of Reckless, the May-December romance in which she starred opposite Robson Green. "It's been a long time since people have stopped me spontaneously in the supermarket and asked me really emotionally, 'What happens next?'"

In Gaskell's Words

She was very pretty and graceful; and that goes a great way towards carrying off shabby clothes; and it was her taste more than any depth of feeling, that had made her persevere in wearing all the delicate tints -- the violets and greys -- which, with a certain admixture of black, constitute half-mourning. This style of becoming dress she was supposed to wear in memory of Mr. Kirkpatrick; in reality because it was both lady-like and economical. Her beautiful hair was of that rich auburn that hardly ever turns grey; and partly out of consciousness of its beauty, and partly because the washing of caps is expensive, she did not wear anything on her head; her complexion had the vivid tints that often accompany the kind of hair which has once been red; and the only injury her skin had received from advancing years was that the coloring was rather more brilliant than delicate, and varied less with every passing emotion.... Her eyes were soft, large, and china-blue in color.... Her figure was a little fuller than it used to be, but her movements were as soft and sinuous as ever. Altogether, she looked much younger than her age, which was not far short of forty.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter IX, The Widower and the Widow
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Molly Gibson
Justine Waddell

Raised alone by her father, Molly Gibson finds her quiet life thrown into disarray when he decides to remarry. At 17, Molly gains a meddling stepmother, Hyacinth 'Clare' Kirkpatrick, and a beautiful stepsister, Cynthia. While Molly and the new Mrs. Gibson remain at odds, she and Cynthia become fast friends despite their different temperaments. Molly begins to fall for Roger Hamley as his affection for Cynthia grows.

In approaching the role of Molly, actress Justine Waddell had to learn to suppress many of her modern instincts. "Today's teenagers are a lot more streetwise and independent. I had to forget about the knowingness of modern day young women and play Molly with a sense of purity."

Above all, Waddell warmed to the down-to-earth nature of the character. "What's appealing is that Molly's so ordinary. She's completely straightforward and unpretentious. That chimes with the whole piece. Wives and Daughters is a very ordinary story. There's nothing heroic about it. It's like a contemporary drama about an everyday small community filled with everyday characters."

Waddell has made a name for herself in period dramas -- on television in Masterpiece Theatre's Great Expectations and The Woman in White, and on the big screen in Mansfield Park.

In Gaskell's Words

She looked at herself in the glass with some anxiety, for the first time in her life. She saw a slight, lean figure, promising to be tall; a complexion browner than cream-colored, although in a year or two it might have that tint; plentiful curly black hair, tied up in a bunch behind with a rose- colored ribbon; long, almond-shaped, soft grey eyes, shaded both above and below by curling black eye-lashes.

'I don't think I am pretty,' thought Molly, as she turned away from the glass; 'and yet I am not sure.' She would have been sure, if, instead of inspecting herself with such solemnity, she had smiled her own sweet merry smile, and called out the gleam of her teeth, and the charm of her dimples.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter VI, A Visit to the Hamleys
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Cynthia Kirkpatrick
Keeley Hawes

Upon her mother's remarriage, Mrs. Gibson's beautiful daughter Cynthia returns from school in France to live with her new family in the provincial English village of Hollingford. Her worldly ways both delight and perplex her more sheltered stepsister, Molly. Soon after Cynthia's arrival, a secret liaison from the past returns to threaten her happiness -- and her new sister's too.

Keeley Hawes, whose recent film roles have ranged from a 19-year-old Irish girl in Elizabeth Bowen's The Last September to a nymphomaniac in Iain Banks' Complicity, found Cynthia an atypical period heroine. "In these sort of dramas, women are often looking out coyly from under their eyelashes, but Cynthia is dynamic," says Hawes. "She returns from France with modern ideas and fashions that are desperately exciting to the people of Hollingford. They know there's going to be a touch of glamour involved - it's a bit like Marilyn Monroe arriving in Hollingford."

In Gaskell's Words

When they all came into the full light and repose of the drawing room, Molly was absorbed in the contemplation of Cynthia's beauty. Perhaps her features were not regular; but the changes in her expressive countenance gave one no time to think of that. Her smile was perfect; her pouting charming; the play of the face was in the mouth. Her eyes were beautifully shaped, but their expression hardly seemed to vary. In coloring she was not unlike her mother; only she had not so much of the red-haired tints in her complexion; and her long-shaped, serious grey eyes were fringed with dark lashes, instead of her mother's insipid flaxen ones. Molly fell in love with her, so to speak, on the instant.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter XIX, Cynthia's Arrival
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Roger Hamley
Anthony Howell

Roger Hamley, the warm-hearted, studious younger son of Squire and Mrs. Hamley, surprises everyone when he, not Osborne, distinguishes himself at university. While on an extended visit to Hamley Hall, Molly first encounters Roger in the garden where she laments the news that her father will remarry. In time, Roger comes to think of Molly as a sister, while his romantic thoughts turn to her new stepsister, Cynthia.

Anthony Howell enjoyed playing Roger because he was "an unheroic hero.... He is a very good man; he has a lot of integrity. He's honest and he's down to earth, but he's never ambitious. Within the family, all the praise is heaped on Osborne, the older son, so Roger is something of an underdog."

Roger Hamley is Howell's first major television role. "I'd just got back from touring the world for 12 months in Robert Le Page's Geometry of Miracles when I went for the audition. I thought 'I'll never get a great part in a classic BBC drama.' I was simply bowled over when I heard I'd got the part."

In Gaskell's Words

His face was rather square, ruddy-colored (as his father had said), hair and eyes brown -- the latter rather deep-set beneath his thick eyebrows; and he had a trick of wrinkling up his eyelids when he wanted particularly to observe anything, which made his eyes look even smaller still at such times. He had a large mouth, with excessively mobile lips; and another trick of his was that, when he was amused at anything, he resisted the impulse to laugh by a droll manner of twitching and puckering up his mouth, till at length the sense of humor had its way, and his features relaxed, and he broke into a broad sunny smile; his beautiful teeth -- his only beautiful feature -- breaking out with a white gleam upon the red-brown countenance. These two tricks of his -- of crumpling up the eyelids, so as to concentrate the power of sight, which made him look stern and thoughtful; and the odd twitching of the lips, which was preliminary to a smile, which made him look intensely merry -- gave the varying expressions of his face a greater range 'from grave to gay, from lively to severe,' than is common to most men. To Molly, who was not finely discriminative in her glances at the stranger this first night, he simply appeared 'heavy-looking, clumsy,' and 'a person she was sure she should never get on with.'

Wives and Daughters
Chapter VIII, Drifting Into Danger
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Squire Hamley
Michael Gambon

Squire Hamley is the fiery patriarch of the oldest family in Hollingford and proprietor of its estate, Hamley Hall. He becomes distraught when his favored son and heir, Osborne, fails his exams at Cambridge while running up sizeable debts. Molly is visiting when Roger brings home the news, and the squire and Mrs. Hamley find great comfort in her company.

Michael Gambon, who has enjoyed such theatrical hits as View from the Bridge and The Life of Galileo, won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his portrayal of the squire.

Wives and Daughters producer Sue Birtwistle says that Gambon was her ideal squire: "He's a brilliant actor, and perfect for the Squire because there's a hugeness about him. He fills the space, which is exactly what the squire does. Michael plays him as a man who wears his emotions on his sleeve and is not slow to cry, but you see in this character that terrible male inability to talk to his son; to say the things that really matter before it's too late. We're all going to recognize that. Even though he adores them, he's so misunderstood by his children. Nick [Director Nicholas Renton] and I called it 'the King Lear part'. There are many similarities and we knew we needed an actor who could carry all that."

In Gaskell's Words

He was imperfectly educated, and ignorant on many points; but he was aware of his deficiency, and regretted it in theory. He was awkward and ungainly in society, and so kept out of it as much as possible; and he was obstinate, violent-tempered, and dictatorial in his own immediate circle. On the other side, he was generous, and true as steel; the very soul of honor in fact. He had so much natural shrewdness, that his conversation was always worth listening to, although he was apt to start by assuming entirely false premises, which he considered as incontrovertible as if they had been mathematically proved; but, given the correctness of his premises, nobody could bring more natural wit and sense to bear upon the arguments based upon them.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter IV, Mr. Gibson's Neighbors
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Mrs. Hamley
Penelope Wilton

Mrs. Hamley, the squire's wife, takes Molly under her wing when she visits Hamley Hall. Already in failing health, she is broken-hearted to learn that her beloved eldest son, Osborne, has failed to live up to high expectations of academic success at Cambridge and fallen into debt while pursuing his studies there. The resulting falling out with his father causes Mrs. Hamley to take a turn for the worse, leading eventually to her premature death.

Penelope Wilton was already a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel before taking the role of Mrs. Hamley. "Gaskell was married to a clergyman and was out to change the moral order. She wasn't just a social commentator, though her observations are fantastically acute. She is kinder and less judgmental than Jane Austen. She is amused by people, but she doesn't pass judgment."

Wilton and Michael Gambon, who plays Squire Hamley, have played opposite each other as husband and wife many times throughout their careers, in everything from Betrayal to Much Ado About Nothing. In addition, Wilton has appeared in several Masterpiece Theatre productions, including Country Matters and The Tale of Beatrix Potter.

In Gaskell's Words

He had married a delicate fine London lady; it was one of those perplexing marriages of which one cannot understand the reasons. Yet they were very happy, though possibly Mrs. Hamley would not have sunk into the condition of a chronic invalid, if her husband had cared a little more for her various tastes, or allowed her the companionship of those who did... Mrs. Hamley was a great reader, and had considerable literary taste. She was gentle and sentimental; tender and good. She gave up her visits to London; she gave up her sociable pleasure in the company of her fellows in education and position. Her husband, owing to the deficiencies of his early years, disliked associating with those to whom he ought to have been an equal; he was too proud to mingle with his inferiors. He loved his wife all the more dearly for her sacrifices for him; but, deprived of all her strong interests, she sank into ill-health; nothing definite; only she never was well.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter IV, Mr. Gibson's Neighbors
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Osborne Hamley
Tom Hollander

Osborne, the handsome, beloved elder son of Squire and Mrs. Hamley, defies parental expectation when he flunks his exams at Cambridge, all the while running up debts that ruin his future prospects. Distraught and disappointed, the frail Mrs. Hamley takes a turn for the worse, while the Squire banishes Osborne from the house. He then embarks on the first of frequent unexplained trips. In time, he takes Molly into his confidence, revealing that he has a wife, Aimée, living in a cottage near Winchester, south of Hollingford.

Osborne is not your typical 19th-century leading man, says actor Tom Hollander, and that's why he likes him. "He's not formulaic or stereotypical. Unlike, say, Mr. Darcy, he's not your familiar, tall, handsome hero. The audience is not initially sure whether he's a villain or a good guy. Elizabeth Gaskell keeps us guessing, but eventually it turns out that he did what he did for love."

Hollander has starred in films such as Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence and Ben Elton's Maybe Baby and appeared opposite Liam Neeson in the Broadway hit Judas Kiss.

In Gaskell's Words

Osborne, the eldest -- so called after his mother's maiden name -- was full of tastes, and had some talent. His appearance had all the grace and refinement of his mother's. He was sweet-tempered and affectionate, almost as demonstrative as a girl. He did well at school, carrying away many prizes; and was, in a word, the pride and delight of both father and mother; the confidential friend of the latter, in default of any other.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter IV, Mr. Gibson's Neighbors
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Aimée Hamley
Tonia Chauvet

A former French nursery maid that Osborne met while at university, Aimée represents the opposite of Squire Hamley's hopes for in a daughter-in-law: a Catholic, non-Englishwoman without title or fortune. As a result, Osborne keeps his wife, and later his son, secret from his father, who learns the truth only after Osborne's death.

Tonia Chauvet is a television and stage actress who recently appeared at the new Globe Theatre in Shakespeare's As You Like It.

In Gaskell's Words

Mrs. Osborne Hamley had been nothing more than a French bonne, very pretty, very graceful, and very much tyrannized over by the rough little boys and girls she had in charge. She was a little orphan-girl, who had charmed the heads of a travelling English family... By and by her mistress ceased to take any particular notice of Aimée in the bustle of London and London gaiety; but though feeling more and more forlorn in a strange land every day, the French girl strove hard to do her duty. One touch of kindness, however, was enough to set the fountain gushing; and she and Osborne naturally fell into an ideal state of love, to be rudely disturbed by the indignation of the mother, when accident discovered to her the attachment existing between her children's bonne and a young man of an entirely different class. Aimée answered truly to all her mistress's questions; but no worldly wisdom, nor any lesson to be learnt from another's experience, could in the least disturb her entire faith in her lover. Perhaps Mrs. Townshend did no more than her duty in immediately sending Aimée back to Metz.... The young man set off straight for Metz in hot haste, and did not let the grass grow under his feet until he had made Aimée his wife.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter XXVII, Father and Sons
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Roger Stephen Osborne Hamley
(Osborne and Aimée's son)


In Gaskell's Words

The squire was curiously absorbed in the child; but Molly's supreme tenderness was for the mother. Not but what she admired the sturdy, gallant, healthy little fellow, whose every limb, and square inch of clothing, showed the tender and thrifty care that had been taken of him.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter LIII, Unlooked-For Arrivals
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Lord Cumnor
Ian Carmichael

Lord Cumnor is the lord and earl of Hollingford, loved and revered by the local townspeople despite his often times laughable demeanor. He is first to suggest the possible match of Mr. Gibson and Mrs. Kirkpatrick.

"In a nutshell, Lord Cumnor is an amiable buffoon and a very expansive sort of chap," says actor Ian Carmichael. "But, despite any shortcomings Lord Cumnor is endowed with admirable qualities too. He's always very jolly and kind and always generous toward others. I thoroughly enjoyed playing such a well-drawn character.

Carmichael's credits span the last 50 years of British television, stage, and screen. He has appeared in numerous Masterpiece Theatre productions including Clouds of Witness, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Murder Must Advertise, The Nine Tailors, Five Red Herrings, The Great Kandinsky, and Bramwell, Series I.

In Gaskell's Words

...It had so happened that one day when Lord Cumnor was on a 'pottering' expedition, he had met Mr. Gibson, the doctor of the neighborhood, coming out of the farm-house my lord was entering; and having some small question to ask the surgeon (Lord Cumnor seldom passed any one of his acquaintance without asking a question of some sort - not always attending to the answer; it was his mode of conversation), he accompanied Mr. Gibson to the out-building, to a ring in the wall of which the surgeon's horse was fastened. Molly was there too, sitting square and quiet on her rough little pony, waiting for her father. Her grave eyes opened large and wide at the close neighborhood and evident advance of 'the earl'; for to her little imagination the grey-haired, red-faced, somewhat clumsy man, was a cross between an archangel and a king.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter I, The Dawn Of A Gala Day
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Lady Cumnor
Barbara Leigh-Hunt

Lady Cumnor holds a yearly party at the family estate for Hollingford guests. It is there, at The Towers, that the young Molly first encounters her future stepmother, Mrs. Kirkpatrick. Exhausted from the heat and excitement of the day, Molly becomes separated from her chaperones, the Miss Brownings, and falls asleep in the shade of a cedar tree. Discovered by Lady Harriet, she is entrusted into Mrs. Kirkpatrick's care.

Distinguished stage and screen actress Barbara Leigh-Hunt was already a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell before accepting the role of Lady Cumnor. "Some years ago I played the voice of Elizabeth Gaskell in a radio production about Charlotte Brontë and discovered they were great friends in their day. It was then that I read Gaskell and discovered her generously observed portraits. I was struck by how well she writes both men and women."

Leigh-Hunt appeared most recently as the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the BBC's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and as Iris Fleming in Masterpiece Theatre's A Perfect Hero.

In Gaskell's Words

Lady Cumnor having married her two eldest daughters, found her labors as a chaperone to Lady Harriet, the youngest, considerably lightened by co-operation; and, at length, she had leisure to be an invalid. She was, however, too energetic to allow herself this indulgence constantly; only she permitted herself to break down occasionally after a long course of dinners, late hours, and London atmosphere: and then, leaving Lady Harriet with either Lady Cuxhaven or Lady Agnes Manners, she betook herself to the comparative quiet of the Towers, where she found occupation in doing her benevolence, which was sadly neglected in the hurly-burly of London.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter VIII, Drifting Into Danger
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Lord Hollingford
Shaughan Seymour

Lord Hollingford, the eldest son of Lord and Lady Cumnor, introduces the accomplished Roger Hamley to other distinguished scientists who often assemble at The Towers. A widower and a shy man, he also befriends Mr. Gibson, with whom he discusses the latest scientific discoveries.

Shaughan Seymour is a British actor whose credits include performances in Masterpiece Theatre's A Rather English Marriage, Strangers and Brothers, After the War, and Parnell and the Englishwoman.

In Gaskell's Words

Lord Hollingford, the eldest son, had lost his wife, and was a good deal more at the Towers since he had become a widower. He was a tall ungainly man, considered to be as proud as his mother, the countess; but, in fact, he was only shy, and slow at making commonplace speeches. He did not know what to say to people whose daily habits and interests were not the same as his; he would have been very thankful for a handbook of small talk, and would have learnt off his sentences with good-humored diligence.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter IV, Mr. Gibson's Neighbors
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Lady Harriet Cumnor
Rosamund Pike

Lady Harriet, the youngest daughter of Lord and Lady Cumnor, takes an interest in Molly's welfare when her former governess, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, becomes Molly's stepmother. Later, when Molly becomes the subject of scurrilous town rumors while acting on Cynthia's behalf, Lady Harriet comes to the rescue by taking up the cause of her honor.

Rosamund Pike is a British television actress whose credits include performances as Fanny in the BBC's Love in A Cold Climate and as Celia in Masterpiece Theatre's A Rather English Marriage.

In Gaskell's Words

'Oh, mamma' said Lady Harriet, the youngest daughter of the house - the prettiest, the most indulged; 'I cannot go; there is the water-party up to Maidenhead on the 20th, I should be so sorry to miss it: and Mrs. Duncan's ball, and Grisi's concert; please, don't want me. Besides, I should do no good. I can't make provincial small-talk; I'm not up in the local politics of Hollingford. I should be making mischief, I know I should.'

Wives and Daughters
Chapter VIII, Drifting Into Danger
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Miss Sally Browning
Barbara Flynn

Sally and her sister Phoebe, good friends of Molly's late mother, provide refuge and unsolicited advice to Molly in her absence.

Barbara Flynn was initially attracted to the complexity of Elizabeth Gaskell's writing. "Charles Dickens, who was her editor, criticized her for diverging from the plot and going off the point, but that's precisely what makes her such a strong writer. Gaskell is so aware of the larger social canvas. This is not just a story about heaving bodices."

Flynn has starred in numerous British television programs, including Cracker and The Beiderbecke Affair. In addition she's appeared as Goneril in the Masterpiece Theatre's presentation of King Lear and as Mary Bold in The Barchester Chronicles.

In Gaskell's Words

Long as his ride had been that day, [Mr. Gibson] called on the Miss Brownings in the evening, to arrange about Molly's accompanying them to the Towers. They were tall handsome women, past their first youth, and inclined to be extremely complacent to the widowed doctor.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter I, The Dawn Of A Gala Day
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Miss Phoebe Browning
Deborah Findlay

Phoebe and her sister Sally, good friends of Molly's late mother, provide refuge and unsolicited advice to Molly in her absence.

As she worked on Wives and Daughters, actress Deborah Findlay particularly enjoyed her pairing with Barbara Flynn, who portrayed Sally Browning. "We really sparked off each other. The Miss Brownings play a vital part in the story. They're not petty gossips; they have a deep concern for Molly, to whom they are surrogate mothers. Their worries about her well being are genuine. They are a lovely mixture of the funny and the touching."

Findlay won Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Stanley in 1997. She has appeared in Truly, Madly, Deeply and The End of the Affair with Ralph Fiennes and starred as Countess Lydia in Masterpiece Theatre's Anna Karenina.

In Gaskell's Words

Long as his ride had been that day, [Mr. Gibson] called on the Miss Brownings in the evening, to arrange about Molly's accompanying them to the Towers. They were tall handsome women, past their first youth, and inclined to be extremely complacent to the widowed doctor. until he had made Aimée his wife.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter I, The Dawn Of A Gala Day
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Mr. Preston
Iain Glen

Mr. Preston is the Cumnor family's seemingly sinister land agent whose duties take him from Ashcombe, where Mrs. Gibson taught school prior to her re-marriage, to Hollingford. He harbors a dangerous secret that could compromise both Molly and her new sister.

"There is something endearingly honest about him once you've got to know him," says actor Iain Glen. "Preston is acting out of profound love and has the purest motivation of anyone in the story. He has held onto that feeling even in the most barren of circumstances. As Preston protests, 'I have waited for years. I've put up with jealousy, and neglect.' Unfortunately, his love has turned into an obsession, as it can do when those feelings aren't reciprocated."

Glen has appeared in two previous Masterpiece Theatre productions, in the title role of George Eliot's Adam Bede and as Sebastian Stafford in Painted Lady. He also appeared in the London stage hit, The Blue Room, opposite Nicole Kidman.

In Gaskell's Words

Mr. Preston was very handsome, and knew it. He was a fair man, with light-brown hair and whiskers; grey, roving, well-shaped eyes, with lashes darker than his hair; and a figure rendered easy and supple by the athletic exercises in which his excellence was famous, and which had procured him admission into much higher society than he was otherwise entitled to enter.

Wives and Daughters
Chapter XIII, Molly Gibson's New Friends
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