WCW: Susan Lynch


She’s one of those bit players who sometimes has a key role that just sticks with you. Susan Lynch is a Northern Irish actress who’s been working in Irish and British TV for decades, and some of her film appearances have been particularly striking. Let’s review!



Paris Vampire in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Susan Lynch, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Alright, so not an auspicious start, she’s one of the 10 black-draped denizens of the Théâtre des Vampires.


Maura Ryan in Dangerous Lady (1995)

Susan Lynch, Dangerous Lady (1995), photo by Shutterstock

Wish I could find more pix because she sounds like a badass in this TV miniseries about 1950s gangsters in London’s East End. Photo by Shutterstock.



Rebecca in Ivanhoe (1997)

Susan Lynch, Ivanhoe (1997), photo by UPPA / Starstock / Diomedia.com

From the BBC, one of the better looking productions of the novel. Photo by UPPA / Starstock / Diomedia.com.



Caroline of Brunswick in A Royal Scandal (1997)

1997 A Royal Scandal

An entertaining movie about a terrible marriage, with quirky transitional costumes!

1997 A Royal Scandal



Maggie in Amongst Women (1998)

Susan Lynch, Amongst Women (1998)

All I know is that it’s based on a John McGahern novel set in 1950s Ireland.



Nora Barnacle in Nora (2000)

Nora (2000)

This is where Susan Lynch first came to my notice, as the fascinating, complicated wife of one of my favorite authors James Joyce (played by Ewan McGregor).

Nora (2000)

This obscure film is remarkably historically accurate, poetic, & sexy!



Liz Stride in From Hell (2001)

Susan Lynch, From Hell (2001)

Spoiler alert: She’s a whore who gets killed by Jack the Ripper, but she has a big of plot beforehand & gets in some good lines.



Annette Fleming in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Susan Lynch, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

As one of Mary, Queen of Scots’ ladies-in-waiting, renamed “Annette” because modern audiences apparently can’t hack that 75% of females in the 16th century were named “Mary.”



Tib in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)

I loved her in Nora, then I totally fell in love with her here!

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)

She’s Anne Lister’s poorly treated girlfriend between Lister’s “great loves.”

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)

At least Tib gets cute sporty Regency outfits.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010)

Because Anne is so mean to her!



Molly in Great Expectations (2011)

Great Expectations (2011)

She has a small, but important role, & unfortunately I can’t find screencaps.


Miss Lawton in Downton Abbey (2019)

Susan Lynch, Downton Abbey (2019)

Lynch plays the Royal Dresser who Anna catches stealing from the Queen & blackmails her into altering Edith’s dress overnight.



Have you noticed Susan Lynch in any of her historical costume movie or TV roles?

19 Responses

  1. Patricia Carson

    well “The Secret of Roan Inish” – Okay so she is a seal woman (selkie) in her brief appearance, but she also gets some working clothes that seem pretty authentic to the timeless time. The film has other appropriate to the time, too.

  2. Fran in NYC

    Not a Frock Flick, but she’s in season 4 of Unforgotten, on Masterpiece, playing one of the suspects. She’s very good as a Deputy Chief Constable with a horrible mother.

      • Frances Germeshausen

        THANK YOU! Same here – I know her from somewhere! (Shout out to Unforgotten – such a great show, but no frocks.)

  3. Vivika

    On the comment about modern audiences not getting that 75% of women are named Mary.
    When I explain who is who pre-tudor, tudor and post-tudor to my mother (she always gets everyone, except Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, confused) I have to draw charts because of all the Marys, Katherines, Annes and Elizabeths.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      As a huge fan of 16th-c. history, I’m always amused / annoyed at how TV/movies feel they have to change the names so modern audiences aren’t confused!

    • Sharon in Scotland

      I’ve never understood the confusion, they were known as the 4 Marys, they were 4 different women with the same name………this is not difficult!
      Isn’t John Lynch her brother?

    • Roxana

      I hadn’t thought of that! You’re right. I want the next Doctor to be a woman and to be a less traditionally pretty one. Lynch would do bery well with her strong, expressive face.

  4. Bonnie

    I love Susan Lynch, she has such a handsome, interesting face, and that hair! There are two roles she was born to play. Jane Morris (if they ever do a biopic) and when I read The Essex Serpent, I always imagined her from the description of Cora. I think Keira Knightley is playing her in the movie, which I’m not mad about, but a younger Susan Lynch would have been perfection.

    PS. You didn’t mention The Secret of Roan Inish, set in the 1940s.

  5. Lanelle

    I might have to give ‘From Hell’ a watch… Elizabeth Stride such a fascinating woman although I have a feeling her role will very small. I do cringe a little at the “whore” label though. No need to insult her in death when she suffered enough in life!

  6. Melanie

    It’s not period, but my favorite role of hers is in Waking Ned Devine. “If it weren’t for the pigs, I’d marry you tomorrow.” “I’ve been using fruity soaps, Maggie!”


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