Lindsay Duncan! This Scottish actress has done tons of theater (winning two Olivier awards and one Tony) as well as TV and movies. She’s also been in a number of historical TV shows and films! She specializes in a kind of quiet, subtle performance that I particularly love in baddie roles. Let’s appreciate her many frock flicks:
Dick Turpin (1980)
A TV series loosely based on the early 18th-century highwayman, Dick Turpin. Duncan plays “Catherine Langford” in one episode.
Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983)
A TV series starring Sam Neill as real-life British spy Sidney Reilly, who was active in the 1910s. Duncan guests in one episode as “The Plugger.”
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1985-87)
Okay, it’s a stage production, but it’s too fabulous! Duncan played the Marquise de Merteuil against Alan Rickman’s Valmont in the Royal Shakespeare Company AND Broadway productions, willing an Olivier award in the process.
A TV miniseries adaptation of the Henry Fielding novel. Duncan plays Lady Bellaston, society lady and Tom’s lover.
An Ideal Husband (1999)
Duncan plays Lady Markby, who is friends with the conniving Mrs. Cheveley, in this Oscar Wilde adaptation.
Mansfield Park (1999)
The feature film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Duncan plays TWO roles, Fanny’s aunt, the rich and pampered Lady Bertram, as well as Fanny’s mother, the poor Mrs. Price. The two characters are sisters.
Oliver Twist (1999)
A British adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. Duncan plays Elizabeth Leeford, estranged wife of Edwin, who is Oliver’s father.
The Queen of Sheba’s Pearls (2004)
A drama set in post-World War II Britain, in which a mysterious woman arrives on a family’s doorstep looking much like a family member who died several years prior. Duncan plays Audrey, I think the matriarch of the family?
Poirot: The Mystery of the Blue Train (2005)
She plays Lady Tamplin in this episode of the 1930s-set mystery series.
One of her finest roles! Duncan plays the evil, plotty Servilia of the Junii with quiet, lethal force in the HBO series.
Lost in Austen (2008)
As Lady Catherine de Bourgh, snobby aristocrat and nemesis of Amanda, in this play on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Duncan plays Helen Kingsleigh, mother of Alice, in this feature film adaptation of the Lewis Carroll novel.
Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010)
As Marina Gregg in one episode of the 1950s-set Agatha Christie mystery series.
The Sinking of the Laconia (2010)
A TV series about the famous British ship sunk by the Germans during World War II. Duncan plays “Elisabeth Fullwood.”
Christopher and His Kind (2011)
A TV miniseries about novelist Christopher Isherwood (Matt Smith), who moved to Germany during the 1930s and fell in love while experiencing the rise of Nazism. Duncan plays Isherwood’s mother.
A British fantasy TV series loosely based on the King Arthur legends. Duncan played “Queen Annis” for two seasons.
The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)
Duncan played the Duchess of York in this Shakespeare adaptation.
Duncan reprises her role as Alice’s mother.
Churchill’s Secret (2016)
As Winston Churchill’s wife, Clementine, in this story about Churchill’s stroke and recovery in 1953.
Close to the Enemy (2016)
Per IMDB, “A British intelligence officer has to ensure that a captured German scientist helps the British develop jet aircraft.” Set just after World War II, Duncan plays “Frau Bellinghausen.”
Around the World in 80 Days (2021)
Duncan will play Jane Digby in the BBC series that just recently premiered. I can’t tell what that role entails, but based on the photo, I’m thinking she’s a British explorer? Watch for our review next week!
Which is your favorite of Lindsay Duncan’s frock flick roles?