Testament of Youth
Cheryl Campbell is a British actress famous for her starring role of Vera Brittain in the BBC television adaptation of “Testament of Youth” (1979), for which she netted a Broadcasting Press Guild Award and a BAFTA TV Award. Other noteworthy performances include acting in “Pennies from Heaven” (1978), where she picked up a BAFTA TV nomination for portraying Eileen, “Mystery!: Malice Aforethought” (1979), “The Seven Dials Mystery” (1981), “The Secret Agent” ( (1992) and “William and Mary” (2003-2005). More recently, she had a recurring role in the long running BBC series “Casualty” (2011). In addition, Campbell has acted in several films, such as “McVicar” (1980), “Chariots of Fire” (1981), “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” (1984), “The Warning: Monday 10am” (2002) and “Tamara Drewe” (2010). On stage, Campbell took home a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance in a revival of Henrik Ibsen's “The Doll's House” (1982).
The Ibsen Girl
Childhood and Family:
Cheryl Campbell was born on May 22, 1949, in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. She attended Francis Bacon Grammar School in St Albans and later trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She is known by the nickname “The Ibsen Girl.”
Pennies from Heaven
Cheryl Campbell made her screen career debut in the early 1970s when she played Terri in an episode of the BBC series “Z Cars” called “The Taker” (1971). Three years later, she starred in the British television series “Affairs of the Heart” episode called “Emma” (1974). She then played Princess Beatrice in two episodes of the Emmy Award winning British dramatic series “Edward the King,” starring Annette Crosbie, Timothy West and Helen Ryan, Susan Carpenter in an episode of “Within These Walls” (both 1975), and Miss Duncan in “Killers” (1976).
In December 1974, Campbell began performing at the Old Vic Theatre in London and would remain there until January 1976. While there, she acted in a number of plays, including Henrik Ibsen''s “John Gabriel Borkman,” Rene Clair's “Grand Manoeuvres,” Peter Shaffer's “Equus,” George Bernard Shaw's “Heartbreak House,” Harold Pinter's “No Man's Land,” Samuel Beckett's “Happy Days,” Moliere's “The Misanthrope,” Trevor Griffiths's “Comedians,” Seneca's “Phaedra Brittanica,” W.S. Gilbert's “Engaged,” Millington Synge's “The Playboy of the Western World,” P.L. Travers's “Plunder,” William Shakespeare's “Hamlet” and Joseph Campbell's “Judgement.”
In 1978, Campbell was cast as Eileen in the BBC television miniseries “Pennies from Heaven,” which was written by Dennis Potter. For her good acting, she was nominated for a 1979 BAFTA TV Award in the category of Best Actress. The same year, she also made guest appearances in “Crown Court” and “The Sweeney” and played Sarah Bernhardt in an episode of the British TV serial “Lillie,” starring Francesca Annis.
Campbell gained further recognition with her portrayal of Vera Brittain in the television adaptation of “Testament of Youth” (1979). The role brought her a 1980 Broadcasting Press Guild for Best Actress and a BAFTA TV Award for the same category. The same year, she also offered notable performances in “The Duke of Wellington at Stratfield Saye,” as Duchess of Wellington, and “Mystery!: Malice Aforethought,” as Madeleine Bourne and Madeleine Cranmere. 1979 also found the actress returning to stage with a role in George Bernard Shaw's play “You Can Never Tell,” directed by David Giles. Costars of the production included Paul Rogers, Peter Egan, Sian Phillips, David Waller and Frank Middlemass.
In 1980, Campbell made her feature film acting debut as Sheila McVicar in the British drama “McVicar,” opposite Roger Daltrey and Adam Faith. Directed and co-written by Tom Clegg, the film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1981 MystFest, the International Mystery Film Festival of Cattolica. The same year, she also starred with Malcolm Stoddard and Ewan Stewart in the TV film “Rain on the Roof,” written by Dennis Potter. The next year, she played Lady Eileen Brent in a TV film adaptation of Agatha Christie's “The Seven Dials Mystery” (LWT), Jennie Liddell in the Academy Award winning film “Chariots of Fire,” directed by Hugh Hudson, and Sister Monica in Terry Marcel's “Hawk the Slayer,” starring Jack Palance, John Terry and Bernard Bresslaw.
In 1982, Campbell was cast in Henrik Ibsen's play “A Doll's House” in a Royal Shakespeare Company production at The Pit Theatre in London, England. Under the direction of Adrian Noble, she won a 1983 Laurence Olivier Theatre in the category of Best Actress in a Revival for her performance. She then appeared with Stephen Rea and Veronica Roberts in August Strindberg's play “Miss Julie” at London's Duke of York's Theatre in 1983. She next worked with Diana Rigg, Ronald Pickup, Anne Dyson and Paul Moriarty in Michael Meyer's translation of Henrik Ibsen's play “Little Eyolf” at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith in 1985 and Rowan Atkinson and Timothy West in Michael Frayn's translation of Anton Chekhov's play “The Sneeze” at the Aldwych Theatre in London in 1988.
Campbell returned to film in 1984 when she played the role of Lady Alice Clayton (Tarzan's mother) in “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” (1984), which is based on the 1912 novel “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was followed by a role in the Alan Bridges directed film “The Shooting Party” (1985), starring James Mason, Edward Fox, Dorothy Tutin, Sir John Gielgud, Gordon Jackson and Robert Hardy. Meanwhile on the small screen, Campbell starred as Caroline Ashurst in the short lived series “A Winter Harvest” (1984), opposite Sheila Ruskin and Mark Wing-Davey, costarred with John Baddeley and Michael Gambon in the TV comedy “Absurd Person Singular” (1985), and played Griselda Clement in “Miss Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage” (1986). In 1987, she starred as Elizabeth Fellowes in the British television series “A Sort of Innocence.”
In 1990, Campbell took on the role of Maria Wearing in the British TV miniseries thriller “Centrepoint” and Verloc's wife, Winnie, in the television adaptation of “The Secret Agent” in 1992. She also guest starred in such television series as “Inspector Morse” (1990), “Boon” (1990), “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes” (1991), “Ruth Rendell Mysteries” (1991, as Corrine Last) and “Maigret” (1992). In 1993, Campbell appeared in Shakespeare's play “Macbeth” in a Royal Shakespeare Company production at London's Barbican Theatre. Between 1995 and 1999, Campbell guest starred in such televisions series as “Sound on Film,” “Wing and a Prayer” and “A Touch of Frost” and played Emily in the TV miniseries “Bramwell.” She also acted in the TV films “The Shadowy Third” and “The Mill on the Floss.”
Entering the new millennium, Campbell was cast as Madeleine Claveau in the ITV series “Monsignor Renard” (2000), opposite John Thaw, and Lady Carbury in the four part television adaptation of a novel by Anthony Trollope, “The Way We Live Now” (2001), starring David Suchet, Matthew Macfadyen, Shirley Henderson and Cillian Murphy. In 2002, she starred as Dr. Jane Hampton in the dramatic film “The Warning: Monday 10am,” directed by Mark Hamilton. From 2003 to 2005, Campbell played the role of Molly Gilcrest Straud in the ITC series “William and Mary,” starring Julie Graham and Martin Clunes. In 2005, she was cast as Lola's mother, Valerie Hinchcliffe, in the BBC television series “Funland,” starring Daniel Mays, Kris Marshall, Burn Gorman and Sarah Smart. The same year, she also appeared in episodes of “Waking the Dead” and “To the Ends of the Earth.”
Campbell next portrayed Lou Williams in the TV film “Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!” (2006), Jean Swainbank in a two part episode of “Dalziel and Pascoe” called “Fallen Angel” (2006), Deputy Prime Minister in an episode of “MI-5,” and Penny Chapman in two episodes of “Peep Show” (2007). She also guest starred in “Inspector Lewis” and “Agatha Christie's Poirot” (both 2008). In 2010, she returned to feature films with a small part in the Stephen Frears comedy “'Tamara Drewe'.” The same year, she also played Ocean Waters in the “The Sarah Jane Adventures” episodes “Vault of Secrets: Part 1 & Part 2.”
Recently, in 2011, Campbell joined the cast of the BBC medical drama “Casualty” in the recurring role of Miriam Turner.
Laurence Olivier Theatre: Best Actress in a Revival, “The Doll's House,” 1983
BAFTA TV: Best Actress, “Testament of Youth,” “Mystery!: Malice Aforethought,” and “The Duke of Wellington,” 1980
Broadcasting Press Guild: Best Actress, “Testament of Youth,” 1980
Broadcasting Press Guild: Best Imported Programme, “Soap,” 1980