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Clare Higgins
Born 10 November 1955
Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actor

Clare Frances Elizabeth Higgins (born 10 November 1955) is an award-winning English actress.


Early life

Higgins, the second of five children, was born in Bradford in the county of Yorkshire, England, the daughter of Paula Cecilia (née Murphy) and James Stephen Higgins.[1] Her parents came from a working-class Irish Catholic background[2] and worked as teachers. Higgins was interested in acting since her childhood. After being expelled from a convent school, she ran away from home at seventeen.[2] At 19, she gave birth to a boy but gave him to adoption because she was unable to raise him.[2]


At 23, she achieved her dream of becoming an actress, graduating from LAMDA. Through the '80s, she became a dynamic stage actress, both in London and on Broadway, and won the first of her three Olivier Awards in 1995. In 1983, she starred with Ben Cross in the BBC production of A.J. Cronin's The Citadel, playing the role of Christine Manson. For the big screen, Clare gave a landmark performance as Julia Cotton in the violent, harrowing Clive Barker directed Hellraiser. The film was made in 1986 and was based on Barker's original novel The Hellbound Heart.

Higgins reprised the role in 1988 for Tony Randel's Hellbound: Hellraiser II. A successful sequel to Hellraiser, Hellbound was considered a brutal horror film that shocked audiences around the world and,in general, collected good reviews[3]. The landmark movie marked forever the careers of all involved - William Hope, who had the most difficult scene with Higgins, to this day claims that Hellbound: Hellraiser II was the finest film he has ever done to date.

In 2007, Higgins took the rôle of Ma Costa in Chris Weitz's The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards.

Higgins recently appeared as Jocasta in the National Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Oedipus, opposite Ralph Fiennes in the title role. From April 2009 to May 2009, she appeared in Wallace Shawn's The Fever at the Royal Court Theatre.

From mid-May 2009 to September 2009, she is appearing as the Countess Rossillion in All's Well That Ends Well at the Royal National Theatre (Olivier stage).

Acting Awards and nominations

Higgins was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1995 (1994 season) for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Royal National Theatre. She won the same award in both 2002 and 2005: in 2002 for her performance in Vincent in Brixton performed at the Royal National Theatre Cottesloe and Wyndham Theatres, and in 2005 for her performance as Hecuba in the Euripides tragedy at the Donmar Warehouse. She was awarded the 2002 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in Vincent in Brixton. Additionally, she was awarded the 1994 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre) for Best Actress for her performances in The Children's Hour and Sweet Bird of Youth. She was also awarded the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in Vincent in Brixton at the Donmar Warehouse in London. In 2003 she was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Play for Vincent in Brixton on Broadway, and garnered the 2003 Theatre World Award for outstanding major Broadway debut.


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