Who is Lesley Manville? Meet the I Am Maria actress here

Find out all about the TV star's career

Channel 4's hard-hitting anthology series I Am is set to conclude on Thursday night with a new standalone drama from BAFTA-award-winning director Dominic Savage.

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Titled I Am Maria, the episode stars Lesley Manville as a woman who is discontented with her marriage and at a crossroads in life. As she reaches her milestone 60th birthday, she begins to long for change, liberation and happiness. 

Viewers may recognise Lesley from her other notable roles throughout her career. Get to know the actress here…

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WATCH: Are you watching Channel 4's other gripping drama Deceit?

Lesley Manville's early career

Lesley was born in Brighton in 1956, making her 65 years old. From the age of eight, she began training as a soprano singer but in her teen years discovered a passion for acting too. She studied at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and made her West End debut in 1972. Following that, she built a career as a distinctive theatre actress while also appearing in television dramas such as Emmerdale Farm.

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Lesley Manville's later career

From the 1990s onwards, Lesley pivoted to TV and film and has scored herself numerous best actress nominations from the BAFTAs and Royal Television Society Awards. Her extensive television credits include North and South, Cranford, The Queen and River. Lesley has also appeared in the films Romeo and Juliet, Maleficent, Phantom Thread and Misbehavior.

Lesley has many TV and film credits to her name

More recently, she has appeared in WWII drama World on Fire, Harlots and sitcom Mum. She is soon set to take over the role of Princess Margaret from Helena Bonham Carter for the last two seasons of Netflix hit The Crown. In 2015, she was made an OBE on the Queen's Birthday Honours list for her services to drama and charity which was then changed to an OBE in 2021.

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