Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, NATASHA RICHARDSON (Mrs. Kingsley) started her career at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. She has performed extensively on stage in roles including Helena in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Ophelia in Hamlet at the Young Vic Theatre. In 1986, Richardson was voted Most Promising Newcomer by the London Critics’ Circle for her performance as Nina in The Seagull, with Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce. In 1987, she played Tracey Lord in Richard Eyre’s musical High Society.
Playing the title role in Anna Christie in 1992 at the Young Vic, Richardson was voted Best Actress in the London Drama Critics’ Poll. She reprised the role in 1993 on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company, opposite Liam Neeson, and was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress, and won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actress. For her performance as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ and Rob Marshall’s production of Cabaret, she won the 1998 (Triple Crown) Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for Best Actress in a Musical.
She then played Anna on Broadway in Patrick Marber’s Tony-nominated play Closer in 1999 and in 2003, played Ellida in Trevor Nunn’s production of The Lady From the Sea at the Almeida Theatre in London. She played Blanche DuBois for the Roundabout Theatre’s revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway in 2005 (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination).
Some of her television credits include Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts for the BBC, also starring Dame Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and Kenneth Branagh; the HBO miniseries Hostages, with Colin Firth; and the BBC film Suddenly, Last Summer, based on the play by Tennessee Williams, directed by Richard Eyre and costarring Maggie Smith. In 1993, Richardson was nominated for a CableACE Award for her portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald in the TNT movie Zelda, directed by Pat O’Connor and costarring Timothy Hutton. In 2001, she starred as Ruth Gruber in the CBS miniseries Haven, based on Ms. Gruber’s book.
In 1987, Richardson made her feature-film debut in the role of Mary Shelley in Ken Russell’s Gothic. Her performance caught the attention of director Paul Schrader, who cast her in her highly acclaimed title role in Patty Hearst. Since then, Richardson has achieved notable success in such films as Pat O’Connor’s A Month in the Country and Roland Joffé’s Fat Man and Little Boy. She then went on to win London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actress of 1990 for her performance in Volker Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Paul Schrader’s The Comfort of Strangers. In 1994, she received the Best Actress Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for her lead role in Widows’ Peak, costarring Mia Farrow and Joan Plowright. She costarred with Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson in Nell in 1995 and then in 1998, starred in Disney’s The Parent Trap, with Dennis Quaid and Lindsay Lohan. Her films also include Blow Dry; Ethan Hawke’s Chelsea Walls; Waking Up in Reno, with Billy Bob Thornton; and Maid in Manhattan, with Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes.
In 2005, Richardson starred with Sir Ian McKellen in Asylum, based on the Patrick McGrath novel adapted by Patrick Marber. For her work in Asylum, she was nominated for Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards 2005 and won London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actress. She also received an Achievement in Cinema Award for Acting at the Savannah Film Festival in October of 2005. In 2005, Richardson starred in the title role of Merchant Ivory’s The White Countess, an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, opposite Ralph Fiennes.
Richardson was most recently seen in Evening for Focus Features, based upon the novel by Susan Minot with a screenplay by Michael Cunningham, directed by Lajos Koltai. She is costarred with Claire Danes, Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette and Meryl Streep.