Worked With:

Evander Holyfield


Kristin Chenoweth


Luke Treadaway


Jennifer Love Hewitt


Christine Bottomley


Johnny Depp


Jennifer Saunders


Craig Ferguson


Brenda Blethyn

Jane Horrocks Biography


Home > Actresses > H > Horrocks, Jane > Biography


Birth Name: Jane Horrocks
Born: 01/18/1964
Birth Place: Lancashire, England, GB


Fresh out of drama school, Horrocks landed at the Royal Shakespeare Company where she felt underutilized and unchallenged. In 1986, she appeared in Jim Cartwright's "Road" (later filmed for British TV). The playwright was fascinated by the actress' facility with impressions (including Julie Andrews, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich) that he promised to write a play around her gifts. Five years later, Horrocks had a stage triumph as LV, a child-like, painfully shy girl who finds release in impersonating divas like Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Billie Holliday, in "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice". Although she had achieved a degree of fame, Actors Equity in the USA would not allow her to recreate the role on Broadway. Instead, Horrocks continued to show her versatility on stage as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes' landmark 1994 revisionist staging of "Cabaret" in an actual nightclub and as Lady Macbeth in a rare 1996 outing in Shakespeare.

Horrocks entered features with a supporting turn in "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" and moved up to a more prominent part in "The Dressmaker" (both 1988). She continued in distinguished projects like "The Witches" and "Memphis Belle" (both 1990) before breaking out in "Life Is Sweet". Her mesmerizing turn as the deeply unhappy, vitriolic teenager was one of the year's best and the Los Angeles Film Critics awarded her their Best Supporting Actress prize. Horrocks' refusal to go Hollywood (where she feels British actors are often oddly dropped into unsuitable films) may have hampered her career somewhat, but her uncompromising attitude has not stopped her from working in her native land. She essayed a Welsh woman who resorts to murder after a ghostly visitation in the black comedy "Deadly Advice" and supported William Hurt and Alan Cumming in "Second Best" (both 1994). Four years later, Horrocks recreated her stage role as LV in Mark Herman's "Little Voice". Some reviewers noted problems with the film's script, but hailed the cast (which included Brenda Blethyn, Michael Caine and Ewan McGregor), particularly citing Horrocks' lead performance. To be as true to the material as possible, the director took the unusual step of shooting all the musical numbers live as opposed to having the actress lip synch to a pre-recorded track. The effect enhanced Horrock's portrayal, bringing a depth and immediacy to it and set the stage for her ascension from cult figure to international star, if she should so chose.