SHIRLEY HENDERSON (Matron) grew up in Fife in Scotland and studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. After graduating, she embarked upon a stage career that included spells at the National Theatre under the direction of Peter Hall, the Royal Court, the Traverse, Hampstead, the Citizens Theatre and, most recently, in Anna Weiss at the Whitehall Theatre under the direction of Michael Attenborough.
Her first on-screen role saw her playing opposite Robert Carlyle in the popular television series Hamish Macbeth, which led to roles in Rob Roy and Trainspotting. In 1999, Michael Winterbottom cast Henderson in his film Wonderland. This sparked an ongoing relationship that continued with her performances in The Claim, 24 Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story.
Following her role in Mike Leigh’s Topsy-Turvy, Henderson attracted the first of many award nominations and wins. These include a Scottish BAFTA for the highly acclaimed Frozen, for which she also won Best Actress at the Cherbourg-Octeville Festival of Irish & British Film (she is the only actress to have won this award twice—the second time for BAFTA-nominated American Cousins), a British Independent Film Award nomination for her portrayal of the feisty cook, Ella, in Frank Van Passel’s Villa des roses and the Best Actress Award at the Bordeaux Film Festival in 2003 for the quirky black comedy Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself. She received a London Film Critics’ Circle nomination for her portrayal of emotionally traumatized Sally in the Irish success story Intermission and, in May 2003, was voted Best Actress at the Bowmore Scottish Screen Awards (the Scottish Oscars®).
Henderson appeared as Bridget’s chardonnay-swilling sidekick, Jude, in Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. She also starred in acclaimed director Shane Meadows’ spaghetti western, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, which was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes. More recently, she starred in Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola for Columbia Pictures and I Really Hate My Job, directed by Oliver Parker; she continues to appear in the Harry Potter films as the tragic Moaning Myrtle.
Other television work for Henderson includes the lavish BBC production Charles II: The Power & the Passion, The Taming of the Shrew, The Way We Live Now, Dirty Filthy Love, an episode of Doctor Who and, most recently, Wedding Belles, written by Irvine Welsh for Channel 4.
Henderson was recently seen in the feature film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, costarring opposite Frances McDormand.