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Liz Smith

Liz Smith was most recently seen in the role of Grandma Georgina in Tim Burton's summer hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Her upcoming films include Roman Polanski's screen adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist and the comedy Keeping Mum. Earlier in her career, she won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Malcolm Mowbray's A Private Function.

Smith began her career in 1947 at the Gateway Theatre in London, where she performed in repertory. Over the next seven years, she worked all across England in small theatres and repertory companies. She then left the theatre for a time to raise her two children. Returning to acting, she joined Charles Marowitz's permanent company, then called The Stage, where she stayed for five years. Following that, she spent six years mainly playing leads with the Forbes Russell Company. Her theatre credits include such titles as Endgame, Playhouse Creatures, This is a Chair, Just Between Ourselves, Cell Block H, Why Me?, When We Are Married, Once a Catholic and Enjoy.

In 1971, Smith made her feature film debut as Mrs. Roberts in director Mike Leigh's Bleak Moments. Two years later, he cast her in the starring role of Mrs. Thornley in the telefilm Hard Labour. They more recently reunited in Leigh's award-winning film Secrets & Lies. Smith also played the role of Marta Balls in three of Blake Edwards' Pink Panther movies: Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse of the Pink Panther and Son of the Pink Panther. Smith's other film credits include Dead Cool, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Revengers' Comedies, Haunted, Pretty Princess, Dakota Road, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Bert Rigby, You're a Fool, High Spirits, Little Dorrit, The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Duellists.

On television, she has been seen in a long list of miniseries and telefilms, including A Good Thief, Between the Sheets, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist, Imaginary Friends, When We Are Married, Separate Tables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Spend Spend Spend and David Copperfield. She has also had regular roles on more than a dozen series over the past 30 years, including The Royle Family and 2point4 Children, in addition to guest starring on numerous series.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Liz Smith Facts

BirthdayDecember 11, 1921 (102)
BirthplaceScunthorpe, England, United Kingdom

Selected Filmography

I Love You, Man
What Women Want
Into that Good Night
City of Ember
Dominick Dunne: After The Party
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Tru Calling Complete Series
Born on the Fourth of July
Lark Rise to Candleford: Season 1
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