Gwynne in 2015
|Born||1957 (age 61–62)|
|Known for||Drop the Dead Donkey|
Haydn Gwynne (born 5 October 1957) is an English actress. She was nominated for the 1992 BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance for the comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–91), and won the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical. She is also a four-time Olivier Award nominee. Her other television roles include Peak Practice (1999–2000), Merseybeat (2001–02), and playing Camilla in The Windsors (2016).
Born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex to father Guy Thomas Hayden-Gwynne, she played county level tennis before studying Sociology at the University of Nottingham, and is fluent in French and Italian. She then took a five-year lectureship in Italy at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where she taught English as a foreign language. Gwynne lives in London with her partner, Jungian psychotherapist Jason Phipps, and their two sons.
She also undertakes voluntary work for the charity Sightsavers International, a group committed to combating blindness in developing countries. In August 2014, Gwynne was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
Gwynne became an actress in her mid-twenties. In her first prominent television role she played feminist lecturer Dr. Robyn Penrose in the BBC television mini-series dramatisation of David Lodge's Nice Work in 1989.
Her first high-profile comedy role was as Alex Pates in Drop the Dead Donkey in 1990. She then appeared in the 1991 Children's ITV science-fiction series Time Riders and later became a regular in Peak Practice; first appearing at the start of series 7 (Episode 1) in 1999 as Dr Joanna Graham. The character of Dr Joanna Graham was written out of the show at the end of series 9 (Episode 13) when she was fatally shot whilst intervening in a conflict between a man and his daughter. After Peak Practice Gwynne went on to star in Merseybeat in 2001.
In 2002, she starred in the TV drama for the BBC The Secret playing the character of Emma Faraday.
Her theatre work has included a variety of regional and London based appearances, from the Octagon, Bolton in Hedda Gabler, to Richard Cheshire's Way of the World appearing in London's West End productions of Ziegfeld as "Billie Burke" (1988),City of Angels and Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award. She reprised her role as Mrs Wilkinson in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot, which opened at the Imperial Theatre on 13 November 2008. Gwynne has been awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award for her performance in Billy Elliot. She was also nominated for a 2009 Tony Award, Featured Actress in a Musical.
Gwynne has also performed in numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her television appearances are now usually in shorter dramas, such as the role of Julius Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, in the TV series Rome. She also appeared in the first Christmas special episode of Midsomer Murders.
She has guest starred in an episode of Lewis in the first of a new series (2008). She appeared in the first episode of series 2, "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea", playing the character of Sandra Walters. Also appearing in this episode was Neil Pearson, who co-starred with her in Drop the Dead Donkey.[ She appeared in the 2011 film Hunky Dory which also stars Minnie Driver and was filmed around Swansea, Wales.
Gwynne performed at the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London in a performance of Becky Shaw which ran from 20 January until 5 March 2011. She also appeared in a second episode of the Midsomer Murders series 14 called "Dark Secrets" which was aired in Britain in 2011. Gwynne starred in the Shakespeare play Richard III alongside Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic in London during the summer 2011 as part of the Bridge Project.
In 2014 she featured in an episode of Ripper Street as a woman living her life as a man to escape what she felt were the horrors of being a woman. In 2015 she starred alongside Tamsin Greig in the new musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, based on the Pedro Almodovar film, at The Playhouse in London.
In January 2014, she appeared in the episode "Fraternity" of the BBC forensic science series Silent Witness, followed by appearances in another two BBC series in February: the British sitcom Uncle and the crime comedy-drama Death in Paradise (Series 3, Episode 5). In 2015, she appeared in the BBC Father Brown episode, "The Last Man".
In 2016, she starred as Mrs Peacham in Simon Stephens' adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, alongside Rory Kinnear as Macheath, Nick Holder as Mr. Peacham, Rosalie Craig as Polly Peacham and Sharon Small as Jenny Diver at the National Theatre in London. In the same year, she played Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in the Channel Four sitcom, The Windsors, which is based around the British Royal Family.
Awards and nominations
|1991||British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress||Drop the Dead Donkey||Nominated|
|1992||BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance||Nominated|
|1994||Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical||City of Angels||Nominated|
|2006||Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical||Billy Elliot the Musical||Nominated|
|2009||Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Won|
|Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical||Nominated|
|2015||Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown||Nominated|
|2017||Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical||The Threepenny Opera||Nominated|
- Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916–2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
- Shoard, Catherine (11 April 2005), "All-singing, all-dancing, all-smoking", The Daily Telegraph
- Woods, Judith. "I’m not sure there was much demand for tall ingénues with long noses'" The Telegraph, 12 January 2015
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- " 'Nice Work' Listing" genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2015
- " 'Ziegfeld' Credits" ovrtur.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015
- "'Billy Elliot' announces its New York cast". Associated Press. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008.[dead link]
- "Haydn Gwynne Credits" playbillvault.com. Retrieved 19 April 2015
- https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/lewis/moonbeams_credits.html " 'Lewis. Moonbeams' Cast and Crew"] pbs.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015
- " 'And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea' Listing" tv.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015
- " 55th BFI London Film Festival: 'Hunky Dory'" soundonsight.org, 26 October 2011
- Becky Shaw Archived 12 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Cumming, Ed. " 'Midsomer Murders', ITV1, preview" The Telegraph, 29 March 2011
- " 'Dark Secrets'" midsomermurders.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015
- Michael Billington "Richard III – review, The Old Vic", The Guardian, 29 June 2011
- Paul Vale "Duet For One", The Stage, 3 October 2012
- Taylor, Paul. "Review: 'The Audience', Gielgud Theatre, London" The Independent, 6 March 2013
- Billington, Michael. " 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' review – West End musical is screwball fun" The Guardian, 12 January 2015
- "Fraternity" BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2015
- " Death in Paradise' " BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2015
- "Channel 4 comedy The Windsors to see the funny side of Kate, Wills and the British monarchy". Radio Times. Retrieved 24 March 2016.