WCW: Amanda Root


Occasionally, when I’m putting these posts together, thinking “Oh, this person would be good for a post because I liked them in one or two things, so let’s see what else is out there…” and then I stumble across a treasure trove of historical film and television roles that I didn’t realize they were in. Amanda Root is one of those people. I absolutely think her role as Anne Elliot in Persuasion is the definitive Anne and there should be no others after her (yes, I am a tad dogmatic about this sort of stuff, deal with it). And I have enjoyed seeing her in series like The Forsyte Saga and Daniel Deronda, so I knew there was at least a bit of a list I could start with for this post. But after compiling all of her historical film and television work here, I have SO MANY MORE MOVIES to watch now.


The Man Who Cried (1993)

Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root’s first pairing on screen was as an unhappy couple in this adaptation of the Catherine Cookson novel of the same name, set in pre-WWII Britain. I needed a flow chart to follow who was having an affair with whom, and when.


Persuasion (1995)


Jane Eyre (1996)

Amanda Root plays Miss Temple, one of the few sympathetic adults in Jane’s young life.


Breaking the Code (1996)

Amanda Root plays Pat Green, who was based on the real life cryptanalyst Joan Clarke, who worked with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park and was briefly romantically attached to him.


Anna Karenina (2000)

The only somewhat clear shot I could get of Amanda Root as Dolly, Anna’s sister-in-law in this 2000 miniseries adaptation of Tolstoy’s iconic novel.


Daniel Deronda (2002)

Amanda Root plays Mrs. Davilow, the doting mother of the spoiled Gwendolen.


The Forsyte Saga (2002-2003)

Amanda Root plays Winifred, Soames’ sister. I never could get into the series, but the costumes are beautiful.


Foyle’s War – “Fifty Ships” (2003)

Amanda Root plays Elizabeth, a former lover of DCSI Foyle’s, in the episode “Fifty Ships”.


Empire (2005)

Yes, I know this is not a photo of Amanda Root. She’s in this, but I couldn’t find any images of her in character. Don’t yell at me.


Julian Fellowes Investigates: The Case of the Croydon Poisonings (2005)

This series could go either way … It features well-known actors reenacting various real-life historical murders. This particular episode is set in the late-1920s.


The Impressionists (2006)

Amanda Root plays Alice Hoschedé, wife of Claude Monet. I hadn’t heard of this series before and now I’m wondering… Is this a spiritual predecessor to Desperate Romantics? And why haven’t I watched it yet?


Miss Marie Lloyd (2007)

Again, I know this is not a photo of Amanda Root, but I couldn’t find any images online of her role in this biopic of Edwardian music hall entertainer, Marie Lloyd, and I knew someone would get cranky in the comments if I didn’t acknowledge that yes, she is in this. So, here I am, acknowledging that she is in this.


Poirot – “Mrs. McGinty’s Dead” (2008)

You can’t go wrong with Poirot if you’re looking for fabulous 1930s costumes, fyi.


The Iron Lady (2011)

She’s also in this, but good luck finding a photo of her from the film online. So, here’s one of the 12983718924723748 photos of Meryl Streep as Maggie Thatcher instead.


Their Finest (2016)

Based on the WWII-era propaganda film industry in the UK. Amanda Root plays one of the actors, alongside Bill Nighy.


The Black Prince (2017)

Surprised we still haven’t reviewed this one. Amanda Root plays a middle aged Queen Victoria; Maharaja Duleep Singh is played by Satinder Sartaaj.


Call the Midwife (2020)

Amanda Root plays a woman struggling with complications of haemochromatosis in this episode of the popular long-running period medical series.


Which one of Amanda Root’s many historical film and television roles is your favorite? Share it with us in the comments!

17 Responses

  1. Orian Hutton

    Agree with you absolutely that Amanda Root is Anne Elliot; my favourite recreation of a Jane Austen character.

  2. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

    I agree with you as well about Amanda Root as Anne Elliot, no offense to Sally Hawkins who played the role in the remake. I’ve seen The Impressionists. It’s much more of a docudrama than Desperate Romantics, or the Pre-Raph Pack.

  3. Gail

    The best adaptation.

    But it says something that she is in so much and not always instantly recognizable, a testament to her talent.

  4. Rhonda Stannard

    LOVE her! She is Anne Elliot. She also was a very fun and likable character in the Forsyte Saga. She’s great in everything she does.

  5. Me

    That is my favorite Anna Karenina production and I’m not the least but sorry.

  6. Mab

    She’s always brilliant but definitely agree that Anne in Persuasion is the absolute best. I don’t see how that adaptation could be improved upon and she is a large part of that.

  7. Susan Pola Staples

    Although I loved her in Persuasion, I kinda want a longer miniseries as I feel that it’s a neglected Austen work film wise. Besides, if they won’t make series on Georgette Heyer novels, (These Old Shades, Grand Sophy – she’s perfect for Sophy’s aunt, Lady of Quality, etc). I’ll choose Austen and Gaskell.

  8. Colleen

    It’s definitely Anne. She played her superbly, and it is one of my favorite Austen films.

  9. Katie H

    The dress she is wearing as Winifred is the exact colors and style of what I always pictured Belle from BatB if her ballgown were adapted to a historical setting.
    And yes her Anne will go down as the BEST ANNE EVER. You will never change my mind. I also will die upon this hill. Her portrayal is what makes me love Persuasion as much as I do.

  10. The Montrose Courtesan

    Like they said…She was the perfect Anne and Persuasion is the perfect Austen adaptation. (My next favorite is “Mansfield Park”). Ciaran Hines is pretty hot also…

  11. M.E. Lawrence

    Imagine Root as Jane Eyre and Hinds as her Rochester (although Samantha Morton was not bad).

  12. Sarah Walsh

    I did a double take and then a quick rewind and realized yes, that was Amanda Root in the episode of “Call the Midwife”!! She has such distinctive features, but I confess I haven’t seen anything else of hers besides “Persuasion,” and that was 25 years ago now!!

  13. Martina

    I have hemochromatosis, so of course I loved her in the Call the Midwives. :)

  14. Popka Superstar

    I reviewed The Black Prince. Honestly you’re brave if you make it through though the costumes are mostly okay (with some extremely wtf choices). Amanda Root is amazing in the 5 minutes she’s in it though.