Worked With:

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Abbie Cornish


Natasha Richardson


Martin Landau


Colin Firth


Julianna Margulies


Victoria Smurfit


Stephen Fry


Drew Barrymore


Kathy Bates

Judy Parfitt Biography


Home > Actresses > P > Parfitt, Judy > Biography


Birth Name: Judy Parfitt
Born: 11/07/1935
Birth Place: Yorkshire, England, GB


Film and TV directors often cast the actress in similar type role. Parfitt offered a memorable turn as Geraldine James' alcoholic mother in the miniseries "The Jewel in the Crown" (PBS, 1984) and Hugh Grant's upper class mother in "Maurice" (1987). Crossing the pond, she was deliciously vile as the wicked stepmother in the otherwise middling ABC sitcom "The Charmings" (1987-88), which transplanted the fairy tale characters in contemporary Southern California. A number of her other small screen performances, though, have been in high-toned British imports that aired on PBS (i.e., "The Blackheath Poisonings" 1993). More recently, Parfitt lent her unique talents to the role of the prince's mother in "Ever After" (1998), a retelling of the "Cinderella" story, and appeared as an older woman targeted by a psychopathic Matthew Broderick in the Broadway revival of Emlyn Williams' "Night Must Fall" (1999).

After an appearance on an episode of "ER" (NBC, 1994- ), Parfitt had a supporting role in the A&E murder mystery, "Death's Shadow" (2000). Then a small role as an ambassador in "Falling Through" (2000), an action thriller about the American embassy in Paris on high alert from a wave of counterfeit passports, was followed by a meatier part in "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (2003), in which she played famed painter Johannes Vermeer's domineering mother-in-law whose 16-year-old housemaid (Scarlett Johansson) becomes the subject of the artist's famed painting as well as his domestic troubles. In "The Long Firm" (BBC, 2004), a four-part miniseries about a notorious homosexual East End gangster, Parfitt had a small part as the disillusioned wife of a closeted gay man (Derek Jacobi) who gets into shady business dealings with London's less-desirable elements.

Parfitt then appeared in "The Aryan Couple" (2005) as the elderly wife of a wealthy Jewish man forced to sell all he owns to the Nazis in exchange for their freedom. She next had a small supporting role in "Asylum" (2005) as the sharp-tongued mother of an ambitious forensic psychologist (Hugh Bonneville) hired on as deputy superintendent at a mental institution where he moves his wife (Natasha Richardson) and son (Gus Lewis). At the asylum, his wife begins an affair with an inmate (Marton Csokas), which sparks the interest of the resident sexual pathologist (Ian McKellen).