Birthplace: Southport, England
After beginning her acting career in British theater and TV, Richardson made a striking movie debut in Dance with a Stranger (1985), in which she played a prostitute and murderer. Steven Spielberg cast her in the lead role of Empire of the Sun (1987). In 1992 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Damage and in the same year appeared in the Best Picture-nominated The Crying Game. She received another Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the wife of T.S. Eliot in Tom & Viv (1994) and played Robert Duvall's love interest in The Apostle (1997). Other roles include Sleepy Hollow (1999), the voice of Mrs. Tweedy in the claymation epic Chicken Run (2000), and as Vanessa Bell in The Hours (2002). She plays the journalist Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).