Vera star Brenda Blethyn looks unrecognisable in throwback to early career

The actress has appeared in plenty of shows over the years

Francesca Shillcock

Vera has been a staple on British TV ever since the first episode was aired back in 2011, and now fans were thrilled recently when ITV announced that an eleventh series is due! Brenda Blethyn will be back as DCI Vera Stanhope for a six-part instalment and will begin filming from this autumn and again in spring 2021, with the first two episodes to air in 2021, and the remaining four in 2022.

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Brenda's had a hugely successful career

In recent years, star of the show Brenda has been known and loved for her role as the detective, but the actress has appeared in a number of films and TV shows over the years. Take a look back at her career below – and you may be surprise at how different she looks!

Brenda Blethyn: early career

Brenda began acting in the 80s after studying the craft in her late twenties. She started working on the stage, before landing success working on BBC adaptations on many Shakespeare titles such as King Lear and Henry VI, Part 1. Soon after, the actress then starred in hit sitcom Chance In a Million alongside Four Weddings and a Funeral actor Simon Callow.

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Brenda at start of her career

Brenda's first dip into film acting came in the form of popular movie The Witches, adapted from Roald Dahl's classic tale, which also starred Rowan Atkinson and Anjelica Huston. This role lead to recognition Stateside, and the actress went on to appear in titles such as A River Runs Through It, alongside Brad Pitt, and in Mike Leigh's film Secrets and Lies.

Brenda's part in the latter title won her plenty of praise and awards including the BAFTA for Best Actress, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination.

Brenda Blethyn: later career

Thanks to her career success, Brenda has become a household name and in her later career has continued to appear in plenty of shows and film including Atonement, War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice (for which she received nominations for a BAFTA award and a London Film Critics Award). As well as Vera, the actress earlier this year began appearing in other ITV show, Kate & Koji.

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Brenda Blethyn: Vera

On the announcement of the upcoming new series, Brenda expressed her excitement and also gave insight into how production would take place in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Brenda said: "I’m really looking forward to working on the next series of Vera.

"The safety of all personnel is always at the forefront of production, and with all the extra COVID precautions in place we will relish creating and delivering six cracking new episodes."

Speaking about being able to film, executive producer Phil Hunter said: "In the wake of the pandemic I'm especially thrilled to announce the return of Vera. Like many productions we had to postpone filming back in March and simultaneously begin working on a plan as to how we could bring the series back."

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