Many famous folks have come from dear old York, such as the composer John Barry, the indie band The Seahorses, and the writer W.H. Auden.
York has also been the home of many well-known actors and actresses. Here are four of the city’s most recognisable names from the world of theatre, television and film.
Dame Judi Dench
National treasure Judi Dench was born in Heworth and attended the Quakers’ Mount School in York. Since making her debut acting performance with the Old Vic Company in 1957, Dench has secured a reputation as one of the world’s greatest post-war actresses. Theatre has been the backbone of her career. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Dench established herself as one of the most significant performers, especially with the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the 1980s and 1990s, Dench became a household name when she starred in the sitcoms A Fine Romance and As Time Goes By. And in the 1990s, Dench became a worldwide star when she played the iconic role of M in GoldenEye, followed by several more performances in the James Bond series of movies, including 2006’s Casino Royale. Thankfully if you enjoy gambling nowadays, it’s much easier to visit an online casino in the UK rather than travelling to an exotic location abroad.
Dench appeared in plenty of other memorable films besides the Bond series. Indeed, Dame Judi Dench is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, and she won the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love.
Mark Addy is probably most famous for his film debut as Dave in the classic 1997 British comedy The Full Monty, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. But Addy is also known and loved for playing D.C. Gary Boyle in the sitcom The Thin Blue Line, and Hercules in the fantasy drama show Atlantis. Other notable performances include iconic caveman Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and King Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones.
Addy is a true Old Yorker. His family has lived in the city since 1910. And his father worked his whole life as a glazier at York Minster. Mark Addy attended Joseph Rowntree School before going on to be educated in the arts at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Although Janet McTeer was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, she spent her childhood in York and attended the Queen Anne Grammar School for Girls. She then worked at York Minster’s Old Starre Inn and performed locally at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre with the Rowntree Players before going on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She then went on to a very successful acting career.
In 1997, McTeer won numerous awards for her role as Nora in a production of A Doll’s House, and in 1999, McTeer won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the film Tumbleweeds. In 2011, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Albert Nobbs. Other notable films that McTeer has appeared in include The Woman in Black, As You Like It, and Me Before You.
Star of stage and screen David Bradley is perhaps most well-known for playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter series of films and Walder Frey in the phenomenal Game of Thrones. But Bradley has also appeared in numerous theatrical productions, television shows, and movies over the decades, including a production of King Lear, for which he won a Laurence Olivier Award, and the horror TV series The Strain.
Bradley was born in York, where he attended St George’s Secondary Modern School. He first began performing on stage in musical performances with the Rowntree Youth Theatre group. After completing a five-year apprenticeship with Cooke, Troughton & Simms, makers of optical instruments, Bradley moved to London in 1966, where he began his training to become an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.