Harlots cast: Who is Lesley Manville? Meet the Lydia Quigley star

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Season three recently landed o the BBC iPlayer after more than one year of waiting. Lesley Manville, Samantha Morton and Jessica Findlay-Brown star in the series and fans are curious to know more. Who is Lesley Manville? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Who is Lesley Manville?

Lesley Manville, OBE, is an Oscar-nominated actress from Brighton.

Manville is best known for her role as Cyril Woodcock in Phantom Thread, starring alongside Daniel Day-Lewis.

For her performance as Cyril Woodcock, Manville won the London Film Critics Circle Award for Supporting Actress of the Year and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She is best known for her work with director Mike Leigh, appearing in his films All or Nothing Another Year, Grown-Ups, High Hopes, Secrets, Topsy-Turvy and Vera Drake.

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Manville made her television debut as Rosemary Kendall in Emmerdale Farm in 1974.

She played the role for two years before going onto star in The Film, Dolider Dolider and Perfect Parents.

Outside of Harlot’s fame, Manville is best known for her role as Cathy in BBC’s Mum, starring alongside Peter Mullan and Karl Johnson.

Most recently, she starred as Robina Chase in World on Fire and Jennifer in Save Me Too.

During her career, Manville has received five BAFTA nominations, most notably for her performances in Another Year, Mum, River and Phantom Thread.

Fans of Netflix’s The Crown will be pleased to learn Manville will portray an older Princess Margaret in seasons five and six.

She will replace Helen Bonham Carter who took over the role from Vanessa Kirby.

Manville also has a critically acclaimed stage career and has received several Olivier Award nominations.

For her performance as Helene Alving in the 2013 revival of Ghosts, she received the 2014 Oliver Award for Best Actress.

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In 2017, Manville joined the cast of Hulu’s Harlots, as the fearless baud, Lydia Quigley.

Speaking to the BBC this summer, Manville reflected on the role, which she described as a ‘delight’.

She said: “Lydia is a very high class, top end madam who runs a bawdy house. She is powerful and ruthless.

“Lydia doesn’t seem to care about very many people and she does terrible things.

“Lydia has a strange dual personality. Alongside all of the horrendous things she does, she is a great wit and entertainer.

“Very quick and also evil. It’s been a delight to play her, in that it’s quite theatrical, there’s a theatricality about Lydia, and hopefully, I’ve hit the right level with it. Because some of it demanded a theatricality.

“Lydia is a formidable force of nature. I have genuinely adored playing her.
Although some scenes have been rather unpleasant to play.

“But the scenes I’ve loved remind me of being in a restoration play at the National Theatre.”

Harlots is streaming on the BBC iPlayer now

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