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Bridgerton star Polly Walker's famous brother-in-law is period drama royalty

The actress is married to Laurence Penry-Jones


Polly Walker as Lady Portia Featherington in Bridgerton
Megan Bull
TV Writer
May 12, 2023
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Bridgerton star Polly Walker is internationally recognized for her portrayal of Lady Featherington – the well-meaning but often manipulative mother of Prudence, Philippa and Penelope. Away from the cameras, however, Polly couldn't be more different to her on-screen character. Since 2008, the TV star has been married to actor Laurence Penry-Jones, who happens to be the brother of period drama royalty – Rupert Penry-Jones. Keep reading for all the details…

Polly Walker and Laurence Penry-Jones in 2007. They're cuddled up for a photo. © Getty
Polly Walker married Laurence Penry-Jones in 2008

Who is Bridgerton star Polly Walker's famous brother-in-law Rupert Penry-Jones

Like his sister-in-law, Rupert Penry-Jones is no stranger to the world of period dramas. Famed for portraying Captain Frederick Wentworth in ITV's adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion (2007), he has also starred in Jane Eyre (1997), The Four Feathers (2002) and A Little Chaos (2014). 

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Close up of Rupert Penry-Jones. He is wearing a black suit and white shirt. © Getty
Through her marriage to Laurence, Polly is the sister-in-law of actor Rupert Penry-Jones

Following his role as Captain Wentworth in Persuasion, Rupert was declared a heart-throb, a title that he happily pokes fun at. "It was fantastic. That's why I took the job," he joked to Manchester Evening News. "There's 30 pages in the script of everyone saying how good looking, clever and funny Wentworth is. So all you have to do is walk in front of the camera and say Hello!" 

Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Frederick Wentworth in ITV's adaptation of Persuasion© Rex
The actor was dubbed a heart-throb after portraying Captain Frederick Wentworth in ITV's adaptation of Persuasion

Away from his critically-acclaimed roles in period dramas, Rupert is also known for his performances as Adam Carter in Spooks, Clive Reader in Silk and DI Joseph Chandler in Whitechapel. He and his brother Laurence – Polly's husband – grew up in London with their parents Peter Penry-Jones and Angela Thorne, who were both actors themselves. Clearly, a love for the arts runs in the family! 

Who is Bridgerton star Polly Walker's famous husband Laurence Penry-Jones? 

Laurence Penry-Jones is an English actor who has starred in Waking the Dead (2000), The Forsyte Saga (2002) and Doctors (2000). According to several publications, the TV star has since made a career change and currently works as an ambulance driver. 

Laurence Penry-Jones and Polly Walker attend HBO Golden Globes Afterparty at The Beverly Hilton on January 16, 2006© Getty
Actor Laurence Penry-Jones has starred in Waking the Dead (2000), The Forsyte Saga (2002) and Doctors (2000)

While the couple remains extremely private, it's reported that they first met in 2003 at the Theatre West End in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Polly and Laurence later tied the knot on October 23 2008. Through his marriage to the Bridgerton star, Laurence is the stepfather of Polly's two children – Giorgio and Delilah. 

The couple previously resided in Los Angeles for eight years, before moving back to London, a decision that benefitted them throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. 

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"During the first lockdown, we were at home in London," she told the Sunday Post. "Luckily we had great weather and I spent a lot of time in the garden, and had quality time with my husband and daughter. We went on a lot of walks with our two dogs. Sadly one of our dogs passed away during the lockdown. I spent a lot of time baking, getting organised, having massive clear-outs. And perhaps the most beneficial thing I did was to complete a 30-day yoga programme, which I thoroughly enjoyed."

Meet the cast of Bridgerton season three 

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington© Netflix
Nicola Coughlan is returning as Penelope
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton© Netflix
Luke Newton will be back as Colin Bridgerton
Jonathan Bailey portrays Anthony Bridgerton© Netflix
Jonathan Bailey portrays Anthony Bridgerton
Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton© Netflix
Claudia Jessie plays Eloise Bridgerton
Simone Ashley reprises her role as Kate Sharma© Netflix
Simone Ashley reprises her role as Kate Sharma

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