Jane Horrocks
Birth Date:
January 18, 1964
Birth Place:
Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, England, UK
Famous for:
Her role in 'Little Voice' (1998)
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Little Voice


British comedian and actress Jane Horrocks is famous for her role as Little Voice in Jim Cartwright's play, “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” (1992), from which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award, and in the film adaptation of the play, “Little Voice” (1998), where she netted a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA nomination, a British Independent Film nomination, a Satellite nomination, a Chicago Film Critics Association nomination and two Screen Actors Guild nominations for her bright performance. Horrocks is also known for playing the supporting role of Nicola on Mike Leigh's comedy film, “Life is Sweet” (1990), from which she took home a National Society of Film Critics Award and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, as well as for her stage roles as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” (1994) and Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth” (1996). On the small screen, Horrocks is popular among sitcom fans as Bubble on “Absolutely Fabulous” (1992-1995, 2001-2005). She also has starred in the television series “The Amazing Mrs Pritchard” (2006) and “Trollied” (2011). Also a voice artist, Horrocks' voice can be heard on such films as “Chicken Run” (2000), “Christmas Carol: The Movie” (2001), “Corpse Bride” (2005), “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” (2006), “Tinker Bell” (2008) and “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” (2009).

Horrocks was romantically linked to British stage and film director Sam Mendes (born August 1, 1965) from 1992 to 1995. Currently, she is living with writer Nick Vivian, with whom she has two children, Molly and Dylan.


Childhood and Family:

Jane Horrocks was born Barbara Jane Horrocks on January 18, 1964, in Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, England. She is the youngest of three children of Barbara (née Ashworth), a hospital worker, and John Horrocks, a sales representative. She was educated at Balladen County Primary School and later trained at the Oldham College . She graduated from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1985.

At age 33, Jane gave birth to her first child, son Dylan Vivian, on April 28, 1997. She welcomed her second child, daughter Molly Vivian, on March 21, 1999. The father of her children is long term companion Nick Vivian.

Life is Sweet


Jane Horrocks began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company soon after graduating from RADA. She, however, left the company after only a year because she felt unchallenged and underutilized. During her time at RADA, Horrocks appeared in productions such as “Mary After the Queen,” “The Dillen,” “The Good and Faithful Servant” and “As You Like It.” In 1986, the fledgling actress landed a featured role as Louisa in Jim Cartwright's new play “Road” at London's Royal Court Theatre. The production was filmed for broadcast on British TV in 1987. Horrocks continued to appear in a string of stage productions throughout the remainder of the 1980s, including Shirley Gee's “Ask For The Moon” (1986, as Fanny), Joe Orton's “The Good and Faithful Servant” (1987), DH Lawrence's “A Collier's Friday Night” (1987, as Beatrice), Stephen Jeffreys' “ Valued Friends” (1989, as Sherry) and Beth Henley's “ The Debutante” (1989, as Teddy).

Horrocks made her television debut in an episode of “First Sight” called “Leaving Home” (1987), playing Natalie. She appeared as Anja in an episode of “The Storyteller” and as Pippa Bond in an episode of “Ruth Rendell Mysteries,” the following year. It was also in 1988 that Horrocks made her big screen debut in the film adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge's book, “The Dressmaker,” directed by Jim O'Brien and scripted by John McGrath. There she played Rita, opposite Billie Whitelaw as Marge and Joan Plowright as Nellie. In 1989, she starred in two films, “ Getting It Right,” a comedy directed by Randal Kleiser, opposite Jesse Birdsall and Helena Bonham Carter, and “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase,” an adaptation of Joan Aiken's children's novel of the same name. The year also saw her appear in two TV films, “The Fifteen Streets” and“Heartland” (BBC), as well as in episodes of “The Jim Henson Hour,” “Victoria Wood” and “ Alas Smith & Jones.”

Horrocks portrayed Miss Irvine in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's book, “The Witches” (1990), opposite Jasen Fisher, Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling and Rowan Atkinson, and appeared with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D. B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin and Harry Connick Jr. in the Michael Caton-Jones directed drama/war movie “Memphis Belle” (1990) before getting her breakthrough film role in “Life is Sweet” (1990), a British comedy/drama film directed and written by Mike Leigh. As Nicola, the deeply unhappy, bitter twin sister of Natalie (played by Claire Skinner), her attractive performance was critically acclaimed, and she was awarded a National Society of Film Critics for Best Supporting Actress and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association in the same category.

After playing Sylvie in “Our Own Kind” (1990), a new play by Roy MacGregor, at the Bush Theatre, Horrocks enjoyed success on stage with her portrayal of LV, a child-like, distressingly shy girl who finds release in impersonating divas like Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Billie Holliday in the West End production “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,” a role specially written for her by Jim Cartwright. Directed by her then boyfriend Sam Mendes, she was nominated for a 1992 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance. Despite having received a degree of fame, she would not allow by the Actors Equity in the USA to reprise the role on Broadway. She instead went on to display her skillfulness on stage by playing Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes' landmark revisionist staging of “Cabaret” (1994), opposite Alan Cumming, and as Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's play, “Macbeth” (1996), at the Greenwich Theatre in London, along with Mark Rylance, Craig Pinder, Albie Woodington, and Tim Barlow in the cast.

Meanwhile, on television, Horrocks was cast as Bubble, Eddy's personal assistant on the British sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous,” which debuted on BBC one on November 12, 1992. She remained with the show until 1995, but refused to reprise her part in a two part TV film, “The Last Shout” (1996), which was set to be a series finale.

Horrocks returned to features in 1994 when she starred with Brenda Fricker and Edward Woodward in the British comedy/drama “Deadly Advice,” helmed by Mandie Fletcher, and portrayed a Debbie, a Welsh woman who resorts to murder after a ghostly visitation, in the black comedy “Deadly Advice,” with William Hurt and Alan Cumming. The latter role brought her a Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival for Best Actress. The same year, she made a cameo appearance in Cumming's short, “Butter.” She worked with Ray Stevenson in “Some Kind of Life” (1995) and starred in her own British TV special, “Never Mind the Horrocks” (1996). In 1997, she provided the voices for the characters in the animated British children's series “The Blobs.” She also lent her voices to the British animated comedy series “Crapston Villas” (1995-1998).

In 1998, Horrocks reprised her praised stage role of LV on the film adaptation “Little Voice,” which was directed by Mark Herman. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Role for Brenda Blethyn's performance as LV's mother, Mari, in addition to receiving another two wins and twenty two nominations. For her performance in the film, Horrocks picked up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical,

a BAFTA Film nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, a British Independent Film nomination for Best Actress, a Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, a Chicago Film Critics Association nomination for Best Actress, and two Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

Also in 1998, Horrocks recreated the role of Bubble in the direct to video “Absolutely Fabulous :Absolutely Not!.” In 1999, she went on to appear in the TV films “ Hunting Venus” and “The Flint Street Nativity” and in the TV series “Foxbusters.” She also provided the voice of Huccaby in the British animated movie “Faeries,” which also starred the voices of Kate Winslet, Jeremy Irons and Dougray Scott, among other actors.

In 2000, Horrocks co-starred in the ensemble comedy/drama film “Born Romantic,” with Craig Ferguson, Catherine McCormack, David Morrissey and Olivia Williams in the cast, and provided the voice of a dim-witted hen named Babs in the blockbuster Claymation film “Chicken Run,” helmed, written and produced by Peter Lord and Nick Park. The same year, she voiced Wimzik, the second protagonist, in “Lion of Oz,” an official animated prequel film to “The Wizard of Oz,” and Hannah in the animated children's series “Watership Down,” a gig she held since 1999.

In 2001, the actress was brought back to the new “Absolutely Fabulous,” which premiered on August 31, 2001. She did a number of voice overs, including the films “Christmas Carol: The Movie” (2001), “Ivor the Invisible” (2001,TV), “Happy Birthday, Peter Pan” (2005, TV), “Corpse Bride” (2005) and “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” (2006, as Meenie). From 2005 to 2006, she voiced Fifi Forget-Me-Not in the Channel 5 animated television series “Fifi and the Flowertots.” She also voiced Little Princess in the animated series “Little Princess” (2006). Between 2005 and 2005, the actress also appeared in the mockumentary “Brothers of the Head” (2005), adapted from the 1977 novel of the same name by science fiction writer Brian Aldiss, had a two episodic arc in “The Street” (2006) and starred in the title role on the BBC drama series “ The Amazing Mrs Pritchard” (2006). On stage, Horrocks played Mrs Trevel in “Sweet Panic,” a play by Stephen Poliakoff, at the Duke of York's Theatre, London in 2003. She later appeared as Jane in a 2007 stage production, “ Absurd Person Singular,” by Alan Ayckbourn.

Horrocks voiced Donner in the TV short “ Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind” (2007), Fairy Mary in the direct to video “ Tinker Bell” (2008) and the film “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” (2009). She played the role of Gracie Fields in the TV film “Gracie! “ (2009) and Margaret Morris in the TV film “The Road to Coronation Street” (2010) .

Recently, Horrocks starred as Deputy Manager Julie in the British sitcom “ Trollied,” which debuted on Sky1 on August 4, 2011. Also in that same month, she made a guest appearance in “Coming Up” and later in October, in an episode of “This Is Jinsy.” She provided the voice of Lead Elf in the animated film “ Arthur Christmas” and Fairy Mary in the TV film “ Pixie Hollow Games.”

Horrocks will again voice Fairy Mary in the upcoming video release “Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings” (2012). She is also set to make a guest appearance in “ Love Life” (2012).


  • Monte-Carlo TV Festival: Golden Nymph, Mini-Series - Best Performance by an Actress, “The Amazing Mrs Pritchard,” 2007

  • Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival: Best Actress, “Deadly Advice,” 1994

  • National Society of Film Critics (NSFC): Best Supporting Actress, “Life Is Sweet,” 1992

  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA): Best Supporting Actress, “Life Is Sweet,” 1991

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