Harriet Walter is best known as an actor though she is also a published author.
She trained at LAMDA and continued learning in the repertory system and in touring political companies such as 7:84 and Joint Stock, notably in William Gaskill’s production of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists before playing her first Shakespearean role, Ophelia in Richard Eyre’s production of Hamlet with Jonathan Pryce at the Royal Court. Since then she has played 18 Shakespearean roles, mainly with the RSC of which she is an honorary artist and a governor. She also played Brutus, Henry IV and Prospero in Phyllida Lloyd’s celebrated all-female Shakespeare trilogy for the Donmar theatre. Besides Shakespeare Harriet has performed the works of Webster, Middleton, Chekhov, Ibsen, Schiller, Arthur Miller and Pinter, and has created new roles with Stoppard, Poliakoff, David Edgar, Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker and many other new works.
Her most recent television work includes Succession, Silo, Killing Eve, The End, Ted Lasso, The Crown, Downton Abbey and Belgravia while her notable earlier work includes Lord Peter Wimsey, The Price, The Men’s Room and Ian McEwan’s The Imitation Game
Films include The Last Duel, Herself, The Sense of an Ending, Denial, Mindhorn, Star Wars; the Force Awakens; Atonement, Young Victoria, Chromophobia, Bright Young Things, Onegin, The Governess, Louis Malle’s Milou en Mai and Sense and Sensibility.
Other publications: Other People’s Shoes, Brutus and Other Heroines (Nick Hern Books) Macbeth in Faber’s Actors on Shakespeare series and Facing It a photographic book capturing the beauty of the ageing female face. She has also contributed essays to many publications including Virago’s Mothers by Daughters, Clamorous Voices( The Women’s Press). Renaissance Drama in Action- (Routledge)
She was awarded a CBE in 2000 an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of Birmingham in 2001 and became a Dame in 2011.