WCW: Fenella Woolgar


You may not realize you know her, but if you’ve watched costume flicks in the last 20 years, you have definitely seen her. Today we celebrate Fenella Woolgar, who not only has the best name ever, but has also graced the screen in many of our favorite historical movies and TV shows. It’s time she’s given her due!


Bright Young Things (2003) – Agatha

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS, Fenella Woolgar, 2003, (c) ThinkFilm


Eroica (2003) – Princess Marie Lobkowitz


Stage Beauty (2004) – Lady Meresvale


He Knew He Was Right (2004) – Arabella French


Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing (2006) – Angela Moping


Doctor Who, “The Unicorn and the Wasp” (2008) – Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie’s Poirot, “Hallowe’en” (2008)- Ellis


Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (2012) – Nancy Dakin


War & Peace (2016) – Catiche Kuragina


Home Fires (2015) – Alison Scotlock


Harlots (2017) – Lady Repton


Quacks (2017) – Lady Campbell


Victoria & Abdul (2017) – Miss Phipps


Have you noticed Fenella Woolgar in a historical costume movie or TV series? What’s your favorite of her roles?


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

19 Responses

    • Lady C. Longue

      Yes! So this. It’s as if she stepped directly from out of an Edward Gorey book.

  1. KayHay

    Very much a fan. I’ve loved her since BYT in 2003, and especially in HKHWR, ’04. Her Tennant tug-of-war with “sister” Claudie Blakley (Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice and Pigs!) was epic and hilarious. She was a nasty piece of work in Stage Beauty, but other performances have been delightfully eccentric, or sweet and poignant as in the Poirot and Home Fires (and the not-historical Case Histories with Jason Issacs). She should be better known.

      • Karen K.

        She’s just great in everything! I hadn’t heard of half of these but now must seek them out. I particularly loved her in He Knew He Was Right and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. Home Fires was good too, so annoyed that it was canceled.

  2. Charity

    I totally forgot she was chasing after Tennant’s character in HKHWR! Makes her stint as Agatha Christie and the Doctor’s obvious fan worship even more entertaining. :D

  3. ljones1966

    I’m surprised that you didn’t list her role of the bigoted and unpleasant Lady Julia Monogram in “The Way We Live Now”.

    My favorite role that she did was Arabella French in “He Knew He Was Right”.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      We usually leave out the movies we can’t readily find images of, which is why I didn’t include “The Way We Live Now”.

  4. Konstantin

    I knew her face looked familiar… Saw her in Poirot and Harlots. Not big roles, but I still liked her very much. She fit perfectly with her looks in the first one – what era is it anyway? As Agatha Christie fan, I should be knowing this… :)

    • Sarah Lorraine

      She’s sort of the consummate supporting actress. She hasn’t done a lot of main roles in her career. It’s either sidekicks or women of questionable repute. But I love it every time I see her face pops up!

  5. Jonh S.

    She was also in an episode of The Halcyon tv series

  6. LadySlippers

    I really like her!

    And you missed her on other roles too. She was in Spies of Warsaw and in Mr Turner.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      We typically don’t include movies we can’t easily find images of online. Both Spies of Warsaw and Mr Turner had no useable images of her online.

  7. toportyan

    I adore her, happy to see her featured in WCW