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Gina McKee
Born Georgina McKee[1]
14 April 1964 (1964-04-14) (age 45)[1]
Peterlee, County Durham, England[1]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Kez Cary (1989–present)
Official website

Georgina "Gina" McKee (born 14 April 1964) is an English actor known for her television roles in Our Friends in the North (1996), The Lost Prince (2003) and The Forsyte Saga (2002); and her portrayal of Bella in the film Notting Hill (1999).


Early life

The daughter of a coal miner, McKee grew up in Peterlee, County Durham — an "industrial white working-class background… in the shadow of Easington colliery."[2] Her first experience of acting occurred in her final year at primary school as Mrs Hall, her teacher at Dene House Juniors, finished the school week off with improvisations, which she remembers as "the best time for me. Fantastic."[2] Seeing a poster in a shoeshop window for a new youth drama group, McKee and her friends decided to attend for a laugh. The group — set up and run by Ros and Graeme Rigby — managed to engage the sceptical teenagers, who reluctantly became enthusiastic.[2] It led to McKee's first professional appearance, working on Tyne Tees children's series, Quest of Eagles.[2]

From the age of 15, McKee spent three summers in London with the National Youth Theatre. A teacher had suggested it to her and she naively performed a speech from Shakespeare for her audition rather than the required "modern piece". The experience broadened her horizons, it "opened up options, not just in the business, but in a wider context."[2] Approaching the end of her A-levels, she decided, with her parents' blessing, to apply to drama schools rather than art college. Rejected by Bristol, Lamda and Central, McKee didn't give up on her chosen profession, despite not having the opportunity for any formal training.[2]


McKee began her career in TV with several small background roles including a part on the Lenny Henry Show. She made her film debut in 1988 when she had a small role in the Ken Russell film The Lair of the White Worm which co-starred Hugh Grant.

In 1996 she played Mary in the BBC drama Our Friends in the North, a role for which she won three Best Actress awards in 1997: the British Academy Television Award, the Royal Television Society Award and the Broadcasting Press Guild Award.[3] McKee appeared in several episodes of the Chris Morris spoof current affairs show, Brass Eye (1997, 2001), as reporter Libby Shuss.

McKee's theatre credits include Harold Pinter's The Lover and The Collection at the Comedy Theatre in London.

In 2008 she appeared in the BBC drama Fiona's Story and a West End revival of Chekhov's Ivanov.[4]

Personal life

McKee has been married to Kez Cary since 1989, they live in East Sussex, England. She has been a vegetarian since 1982.[5]

In 2002 McKee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland, receiving the honour alongside footballer Niall Quinn.[6][7]




  • Waking the Dead ... Jackie Cochran ("Endgame" part one and two); 27/28 September 2009[12]
  • The Street … Jan Parr in one episode (#2.4); 29 November 2007, BBC One (director: Terry McDonough)
  • Fiona's Story (2008) … Fiona; 31 August 2008, BBC One (director: Adrian Shergold)[13]
  • The Old Curiosity Shop … Sally Brass; 26 December 2007, Carnival Films for ITV (director: Brian Percival)
  • The Lavender List (2006) … Marcia Williams; 1 March 2006, BBC4 (director: Colin Barr)
  • Lewis … Diane Turnbull in "Old School Ties" (#1.2); 25 February 2007, Granada for ITV (director: Sarah Harding)
  • Tsunami: The Aftermath … Kim Peabody; 28 November – 5 December 2006, Kudos/BBC (director: Bharat Nalluri)
  • The Blackwater Lightship … Helen; 4 February 2004, Hallmark (director: John Erman)
  • The Lost Prince … Lalla; 19 January 2003, TalkBack/BBC (director: Stephen Poliakoff)
  • The Forsyte Saga … Irene; 7 April 2002–2003, Granada for ITV (directors: Chris Menual, David Moore, Andy Wilson)[14]
  • Dice … Angela Starck; 5 November 2001, Box TV (director: Rachel Talalay)
  • Brass Eye … three episodes:
  • The Chest … Fiona Croft; 12 April 1997, Granada/Limelight for ITV (director: Suri Krishnamma)
  • Our Friends in the North … Mary Cox; 15 January – 11 March 1996, BBC1 (directors: Simon Cellan Jones, Pedr James)
  • An Actor's Life For Me (1991) … Sue Bishop; 14 November – 19 December 1991, BBC (director: Bryan Izzard)
  • Drop the Dead Donkey … Lou in "Death, Disaster 'n Damien" (#1.9); 4 October 1990, BBC1 (director: Liddy Oldroyd)
  • The Lenny Henry Show … Julie in one episode (#2.2); 22 September 1988, BBC1 (director: Geoff Posner)
  • Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
  • Quest of Eagles … Jane; 11 November – 23 December 1979, Tyne Tees TV/ITV (director: Bob Hird)


References and notes

  1. ^ a b c Birth Registration Details (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lane, Harriet; "'I had nothing to lose'", 30 November 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  3. ^ Jones, Alice; "Who's that girl?", 16 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  4. ^ a b Taylor, Paul; "First Night: Ivanov, Wyndham's Theatre, London", 18 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  5. ^ Norman, Neil; "My favourite table: Actress Gina McKee at Rasa, London", 25 March 2007 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  6. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  7. ^ "Football veteran receives honorary degree", 15 July 2002 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  8. ^ Eyre, Hermione; "Ministry of offence: Armando Iannucci takes on the White House", 12 April 2009 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  9. ^ Eyre, Hermione; "Fiona's Story, BBC 1", 7 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  10. ^ Morrison, Blake; "This is your life", 29 September 2007 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  11. ^ Ellen, Barbara; "Pale and interesting", 27 August 2000 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  12. ^ "BBC Programme Information: Week 39". BBC Press Office. Retrieved on 10 September 2009.
  13. ^ Sutcliffe, Thomas; "The Weekend's TV: Fiona's Story", 1 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  14. ^ Thomas, David; "Up close and impersonal", 4 April 2002 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)

External links

Simple English

Gina McKee (born 14 April 1964) is an English actress that was in the television mini series The Forsyte Saga alongside Damian Lewis.

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