Zoë Wanamaker

Zoë Wanamaker

May. 13th, 1949
Born in
New York, USA
5' 3 1/2

Zoë Wanamaker's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Britannia TV Show
My Family (UK) TV Show
My Family (UK)
Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) TV Show
Who Do You Think You Are? (UK)
Gormenghast (UK) TV Show
Gormenghast (UK)
Edge of Darkness (UK) TV Show
Edge of Darkness (UK)
Johnny and the Bomb (UK) TV Show
Johnny and the Bomb (UK)
The Old Curiosity Shop (UK) (2007) TV Show
The Old Curiosity Shop (UK) (2007)
Love Hurts (UK) TV Show
Love Hurts (UK)
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (UK) TV Show
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (UK)
Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (UK) TV Show
Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (UK)
Paradise Postponed (UK) TV Show
Paradise Postponed (UK)
Spy Trap (UK) TV Show
Spy Trap (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Zoë Wanamaker CBE (born 13 May 1949) is an American-British actor. She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company; in films, including the Harry Potter series; and in a number of television productions, including a long-time role as Susan Harper in the sitcom My Family.

Early life and family
Wanamaker was born in New York City, the daughter of Canadian-born actress and radio performer Charlotte Holland, and American-born actor, film director, and radio producer Sam Wanamaker, who decided not to return to the United States after being blacklisted in 1952.

Wanamaker's parents were Jewish, though she was raised without religion. Her family originated in Ukraine. The BBC documentary Who Do You Think You Are? broadcast on 24 February 2009, revealed that Wanamaker's paternal grandfather Maurice Wanamaker (originally Manus Watmacher) was a tailor (born 1895) in Nikolaev in what is now Ukraine.

Wanamaker was educated at the independent King Alfred School in Hampstead, London and at Sidcot School, a Quaker boarding school in Somerset. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

In November 1994, Wanamaker married actor and dramatist Gawn Grainger.

From 19 May 2010 to 2 October (extended from 11 September), Wanamaker appeared in Arthur Miller's play All My Sons, portraying the role of Kate Keller at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London.

Starting in the early 1980s, Wanamaker began performing on screen, most notably in a number of critically acclaimed television productions, such as the BBC Television production Edge of Darkness; she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of the love interest of a suspected serial killer in the first instalment of the Granada series Prime Suspect.{{fact]}

She played Madame Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Television series have included Love Hurts (1992–94) with Adam Faith.

She played Clarice, one of the dim-witted twin sisters of Lord Groan in Gormenghast (2000), a BBC television adaptation of Mervyn Peake's trilogy.

Wanamaker has portrayed Susan Harper in UK television sitcom My Family since 2000.

Wanamaker voiced a CGI character named Lady Cassandra in the Doctor Who episode "The End of the World" (2005), and reprised the role (also appearing in the flesh this time) in the episode "New Earth".

She is a Patron of Dignity in Dying, The Lymphoedema Support Network, Youth Music Theatre: UK and of the Young Actors Theatre, Islington. She is also one of the Honorary Patrons of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.

Between the Wars (1973) (TV)
Spy Trap (1973) (TV)
Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974) (TV)
The Confederacy of Wives (1975) (TV)
Village Hall (1975) (TV)
Crown Court (1975) (TV)
A Christmas Carol (1977) (TV)
BBC Play of the Month (1978) (TV)
The Devil's Crown (1978) (TV)
Strike: The Birth of Solidarity (1981) (TV)
Baal (1982) (TV)
Inside the Third Reich (1982) (TV)
The Tragedy of Richard III (1983) (TV)
Edge of Darkness (1985) (TV)
Paradise Postponed (1985) (TV)
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987) (TV)
Tales of the Unexpected (1987) (TV)
The Raggedy Rawney (1988) (TV)
The Dog It Was That Died (1989) (TV film)
Ball-Trap on the Cote Sauvage (1989) (TV)
Othello (1990) (TV)
Theatre Night (1990) (TV)
Inspector Morse (1991) (TV)
Prime Suspect (1991) (TV)
The Blackheath Poisonings (1992) (TV)
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (1992) (TV)
Memento Mori (1992) (TV)
The Countess Alice (1993) (TV)
Love Hurts (1992–94) (TV)
Performance (1995) (TV)
The English Wife (1995) (TV)
Wilde (1997)
Swept from the Sea (1997)
A Dance to the Music of Time (1997)
Creatures Fantastic (1997)
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1998)
Norman Ormal: A Very Political Turtle (1998) (TV)
David Copperfield (1999) (TV)
Gormenghast (2000) (TV)
My Family (2000–present) (TV)
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (2001) (TV)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The Dark (2001) (animation, short)
Five Children and It (2004)
Britain's Best Sitcom (2004) (TV) (narrator)
Marple: A Murder is Announced (2005) (TV)
Doctor Who: "The End of the World" (2005) and "New Earth" (2006)
Agatha Christie's Poirot Cards on the Table (2005), Mrs McGinty's Dead (2008), Third Girl (2008) and Hallowe'en Party (2010) (TV)
A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets (2005) (TV)
Johnny and the Bomb (2006)
The Old Curiosity Shop (2007) (TV)
It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010)
My Week with Marilyn (2011)

  • She was awarded the 2006 New York City Drama Desk Award for outstanding ensemble performance for the Belasco Theatre production of Awake and Sing!.
  • She was nominated for a 1986 New York City Drama Desk Award for featured actress for her performance in a revival of 'Joe Orton (I)' (qv)'s Loot.
  • Both of her parents died of cancer.
  • Zo became a British Citizen in 2000 so she could receive a CBE at Buckingham Palace rather than, as an US citizen, receive her decoration from the foreign secretary.
  • She was nominated for a 1981 New York City Drama Desk Award for featured actress for her performance in Piaf.
  • Daughter of 'Sam Wanamaker' (qv) and 'Charlotte Holland' (qv)
  • She was nominated for a 1999 New York City Drama Desk Award for outstanding actress for her performance in Electra.
  • Has been nominated for Tony Awards three times: as best actress (featured role - play), in 1981 for Piaf, and in 1986 for a revival of 'Joe Orton (I)' (qv)'s Loot; and as best actress (play) in 1999 for portraying the title character in Electra.

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