Miranda Richardson trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and subsequently performed in plays by Terry Johnson, Edward Albee, David Mamet, Sam Shepherd, Harold Pinter and Wallace Shawn.
She made her first impression on film audiences in Mike Newell’s Dance with a Stranger (1985). Her first US production was Steven Spielberg’s Empire Of The Sun (1987). In 1992 Miranda’s performances in three films under three different directors – The Crying Game (Neil Jordan), Enchanted April (Newell) and Damage (Louis Malle) – garnered her the New York Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress of the year; she also received a Golden Globe Award for Enchanted April and an Oscar nomination for Damage. She soon earned a second Oscar Nomination for her portrayal of Vivienne Haigh-Wood, the wife of poet T S Eliot, in Tom & Viv (1994).
Miranda’s recent films include Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Hours (2002), Spider (2002) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), her third collaboration with Newell, Nicolas Roeg’s Puffball (2007) and Young Victoria (2007). In 2009 she appeared in Dagenham Girls, playing Barbara Castle and in Wally Shawn’s Grasses of a Thousand Colours at The Royal Court. In 2010 and 2011 she filmed World Without End in Hungary based on Ken Follett’s historical novel and Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s Parades End. Her most recent film is Amma Asante's Belle.
For television her performances include: Blackadder (1999); The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007) written by Jennifer Saunders, The Lost Prince and Gideon’s Daughter (2005). She has also starred as a main character in the successful US TV series ‘Rubicon’.
Miranda is Chairing the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year.
Miranda originally wanted to be a vet and today she surrounds herself with animals and would have more, if she didn’t feel guilty every time she leaves them to work.
Miranda is very focused on raising the awareness of animal welfare, both for domestic and wild animals. She is also keen to promote the importance of biodiversity within our ecosystems. Because of her commitment to these issues, she was a key speaker at the Icount Rally in London, in 2006, speaking out against climate change and appeared in the TV programmes Final Choice to Save about the threatened extinction of the Aye Aye lemur, and Extinct (WWF) championing the cause of Asian elephants.