Janet McTeerOBE (born 5 August 1961) is an English actress. In 1997, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role as Nora in A Doll’s House (1996–1997). She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Mary Jo Walker in the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Hubert Page in the 2011 film Albert Nobbs.
McTeer made her professional stage debut in 1984, and was nominated for the 1986 Olivier Award for Best Newcomer for The Grace of Mary Traverse. Her other theatre roles include Yelena in Uncle Vanya (London), Veronique in God of Carnage (London & New York), and the title role in Mary Stuart (London & New York), which won her a second Drama Desk Award in 2009.
On television, she starred in the title role of Lynda La Plante‘s The Governor (1995–1996), and received an Emmy Award nomination for Into the Storm (2009) and a Golden Globe nomination for The White Queen (2013). She also appeared opposite Glenn Close in the final season of the drama series Damages (2012).
Her other film roles include Half Moon Street (1986), Hawks (1988), Wuthering Heights (1992), Carrington (1995), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Songcatcher (2000), The Intended (2002), As You Like It (2006), Tideland (2005), Cat Run (2011), The Woman in Black (2012), Maleficent (2014), The Divergent Series (2015–2016), and Me Before You (2016).
McTeer was born in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and spent her childhood in York. She attended the now defunct Queen Anne Grammar School for Girls, and worked at the Old Starre Inn, at York Minster and at the city’s Theatre Royal. She performed locally with the Rowntree Players at Joseph Rowntree Theatre, then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, beginning a successful theatrical career with the Royal Exchange Theatre after graduating.
McTeer’s television work includes the BBC production Portrait of a Marriage, an adaptation of Nigel Nicolson‘s biography of the same name in which she played Vita Sackville-West, and the popular ITV series The Governor written by Lynda La Plante. She made her screen debut in Half Moon Street, a 1986 film based on a novel by Paul Theroux. In 1991, she appeared in Catherine Cookson‘s The Black Velvet Gown, with Bob Peck and Geraldine Somerville; this won the International Emmy award for best drama. She appeared in the 1992 film version of Wuthering Heights (co-starring Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes) and the 1995 film Carrington (which starred Emma Thompson and Jonathan Pryce) as Vanessa Bell.
In 1996, McTeer garnered critical acclaim – and both the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award – for her performance as Nora in a West End production of Henrik Ibsen‘s A Doll’s House. The following year, the production transferred to Broadway, and McTeer received a Tony Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play.
During the show’s run, McTeer was interviewed by Charlie Rose on his PBS talk show, where she was seen by American filmmaker Gavin O’Connor, who, at the time, was working on a screenplay about a single mother’s cross-country wanderings with her pre-teenage daughter. He was determined that she star in the film. When prospective backers balked at her relative anonymity in the US, he produced the film himself. Tumbleweeds proved to be a 1999 Sundance Film Festival favourite, and McTeer’s performance won her a Golden Globe as Best Actress and Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations in the same category.
McTeer’s screen credits include Songcatcher (with Aidan Quinn), Waking the Dead (with Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly), the dogme film The King Is Alive (with Jennifer Jason Leigh), The Intended (with Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis), and Tideland, written and directed by Terry Gilliam. She also starred in the dramatisation of Mary Webb’s Precious Bane. She has appeared in such British television serials as The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Hunter, and Agatha Christie’s Marple (episode: “The Murder at the Vicarage“).
McTeer played Mary, Queen of Scots in Mary Stuart, a play by Friedrich Schiller in a new version by Peter Oswald, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. She acted opposite Harriet Walter as Queen Elizabeth I in London’s West End in 2005, a role she reprised in the 2009 Broadway transfer. McTeer received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Mary Stuart, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play.