A Voyage Round My Father West End 2006 (with Christopher Benjamin)
The Importance of Being Earnest Manchester 2004 Miss Prism
Copenhagen Salisbury 2003 Margarethe Bohr
The Ghost Train Tattoo Manchester 2001 Marjorie
The Deep Blue Sea Northampton 1997 Hester
Stages National 1992 Marion
Twelfth Night Ludlow 1988 Olivia
Breaking the Code West End 1986 Pat
The Cherry Orchard West End 1983 Varya
The Innocents Northampton
Uncle Vanya Manchester 1977
The Family Reunion Chichester 1971
The Rivals Chichester 1971
Dear Antoine Chichester
The Heiress Northampton
The Importance of Being Earnest 1968 Cecily
Bleak House 2005 Mrs. Badger
Falling 2005 Lady Carteret
Heartbeat, ep. “Duty of Care” 2005 Caroline
Monarch of the Glen 2004 Celia Ford
Rosemary and Thyme, ep. "Orpheus in the Undergrowth" 2004 Julia Moore
Belonging 2004 Averil
The Last Morse herself
He Knew He Was Right 2004 Mrs. Stanbury (with Lynn Farleigh and Neville Phillips)
Beloved Clara 2004 Clara Schumann
Foyle’s War, ep. “The Funk Hole” 2003 Wendy Powell (with Adrian Lukis)
The Brides in the Bath 2003 Elizabeth Burnham (with Anthony Calf)
The Forsyte Saga 2002 Mrs. Heron
The John Thaw Story 2002 herself
The Way We Live Now 2001 Lady Pomona Longstaffe (with Rupert Vansittart)
The Glass 2001 Mary Duggan
Heartbeat, ep. “Gabriel’s Last Stand” 2000 Diana Firth (with Rupert Vansittart)
Reputations: Sir Anthony Eden narrator
Dalziel and Pascoe, “On Beulah Height” 1999 Chloe Wulfstan
The Dark Room 1999 Caroline Harris (with Marlene Sidaway)
Berkeley Square 1998 Victoria St. John
Midsomer Murders, ep. “Written in Blood” 1998 Amy Lyddiard (with Marlene Sidaway)
A Dance to the Music of Time 1997 Isabel Tolland in later life (with Tim Wylton and Rupert Vansittart)
The Mill on the Floss 1997 Sophy Dean
Bramwell II 1996 Elizabeth Quail
A Touch of Frost, ep. “Fun Times for Swingers,” 1996 Prue Hastings
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, ep. “The Cardboard Box,” 1994 Susan Cushing
The Darling Buds of May, eps. “The Happiest Days of Your Lives, Pts. I and II” 1993 Miss Jimson (with Tim Wylton)
Rumpole of the Bailey, eps. “Rumpole and the Children of the Devil” 1992 Mirabelle Jones; “Rumpole and the Sporting Life” 1983 Jennifer Postern (with Tim Wylton)
The Good Guys 1992
Maigret, ep. “Maigret Goes to School,” 1992 Mme. Gastin (with Adrian Lukis)
Secret Friends 1991 Kate
Inspector Morse, ep. “Dead on Time” 1991 Susan Fallon
Cluedo, ep. “Politician’s Funeral” 1990 panelist
Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader 1989 voice of Trufflehunter
Hannay, ep. “Coup de Grace” 1988 or 1989 Sybil Verney
Miss Marple, ep. “4:50 from Paddington,” 1987 Emma Crackenthorpe
Unexplained Laughter 1988
Thompson, eps. 1 & 5 1988
First Among Equals 1986 Elizabeth Kerslake
The Lady’s Maid’s Bell 1985 Miss Hartley
Tender is the Night 1985 Hannah
Anna Karenina 1985 Dolly
Time for Murder: Murders at Lynch Cross 1985
Brass 1983 Prudence Makepeace
Fame is the Spur 1982 Ann Artingstall (with Julia Sawalha)
The Agatha Christie Hour, ep. “The Red Signal” 1982 Claire Trent
Alexa 1982 Christine
Ladykillers, ep. “Killing Mice” 1980 Mary Eleanor Pearcy
Lillie, eps. “Sunset and Evening Star” and “Ten Cents a Dance,” 1978 elder Jeanne Marie
The Duchess of Duke Street, eps. “A Test of Love,” “Poor Catullus,” “Winter Lament,” 1978 Margaret Jane Haslemere
The Dancing Princesses 1978 Alice
Rebecca 1978 Mrs. de Winter
Within These Walls, eps. “Raft” 1978 Marian Pearce and “Vacuum” 1976 Marian Pearce
Two’s Company, ep. “The Freezer” 1978 Jane
Just William, ep. “William—The Great Actor” 1977 Miss Gladwyn
Ballet Shoes 1975 Theo Danes
The Edwardians 1972
War and Peace 1972 Sonia
The Last of the Mohicans 1971 Alice Munroe
Sense and Sensibility 1971 Elinor Dashwood
School for Unclaimed Girls 1969 schoolgirl
Blind Date
Children of the North
Play for Today: Dear Brutus Mable Purdy
No Need to Lie Dora Carrington
The Good Guys
Treasure Houses Queen Victoria
Unexplained Laughter
Paying Guests (with Benjamin Whitrow)
These Foolish Things Mrs. Bannock
The Soul Keeper 2003 Sabina’s mother (with Emilia Fox)
The Blind Date 2000 Diana Kennedy
Cotton Mary 1999 Mrs. Smythe
Rogue Trader 1999 Mrs. Peter Baring
In the Name of the Pharoah 1998
Secret Friends 1991 Kate
Comrades 1987 Mrs. Frampton
Sleepwalker 1984 Angela Paradise
The Tulse Hill Suitcase
Sympathy for the Devil 1968
Mapp and Lucia 2007 Daisy
The Making of a Marchioness 2007 narrator (with Lucy Briers)
Loving 2007 Mrs. Tennant
Heifers and Bulls 2007 Honeysuckle Briggs
From Sydney With Love 2007 reader
Agatha Christie's Dumb Witness 2006 Miss Lawson
Moving Day 2006 Cherry
Rumpole and the Primrose Path 2006 Nurse Dotty Albright
Columbus, the Bones of the Story 2006 Queen Isabella
Feathers Is for Diamonds 2006 reader
Blowing Out Candles 2006 Sue
Honey and Dust 2006 Helen
The Grey Lady 2006
Constance 2005 Constance Spry
Dangerous Calm: Stories by Elizabeth Taylor “Hotel du Commerce,” “The Benefactress,” “The Letter Writers” 2003
Twenty Minutes “The Concert Interval by Michele Roberts 2003
Mother and Son 2002
Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces 2001
The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve 2000
The Pound—A Biography by David Sinclair 2000
The Summer of a Dormouse 1999
Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1999
Jane Eyre, the Sequel 1996
4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
By Sun and Candelight by Susan Sallis
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Classic Love Stories 2
Class Reunion by Nicola Thorne
Crow Hollow by Dorothy Eden
Dangerous to Know by Margaret York
Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories by Rosamund Pilcher
A Friend of the Family by Nicola Thorne
Gaudy Night Harriet Vane
The Good Samaritan by Nicola Thorne
The Handmade’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A Lasting Spring by Jean Stubbs
Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Midnight Blue by Pauline Fiske
Old Money by Nicola Thorne
Out of the Night by Margaret Graham
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
Robert & Elizabeth Barrett Browning: How Do I Love Thee? Their Story and Poetry
A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
The Rules of Engagement by Anita Brookner
Silk by Nicola Thorne
Summer Visitors by Susan Sallis
Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl
Trophy Wife by Nicola Thorne
The Ugly One by Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly
White Boots by Noel Streatfield
Worlds Apart by Marian Babson
The National Trust’s Finest Country Houses Brought to Life narrator
Joanna David in 2006
Joanna David
Mrs. Gardiner

Joanna David is a well-known figure to television audiences through her thirty-five years of appearances in a wide variety of programs: costume drama (The Duchess of Duke Street, Lillie, Anna Karenina, The Mill on the Floss, The Way We Live Now), detective stories (Rumpole of the Bailey, Maigret, A Touch of Frost, Dalziel and Pascoe), and contemporary series (Monarch of the Glen, First Among Equals, Fame is the Spur). She often plays characters who are mousy (Sonia the poor relation in War and Peace), put-upon (Emma the dutiful daughter in Miss Marple: 4:50 From Paddington), or chronically sad (Susan the bereaved mother in Inspector Morse). Her fair good looks, clear diction and upper-class manners mark her as the quintessential English rose.

Rebecca, with Jeremy Brett

Her life, however, has not been as serene and privileged as those of many of the characters she plays. She was born, on January 17, 1947, in Lancaster, the second of three children. Her father, John Hacking, was a businessman who prospered during Joanna’s childhood, and the family lived a comfortable life in a suburb of Manchester. But one day when Joanna was ten she came home from school to find the house occupied by bailiffs. Her father declared bankruptcy and her mother bailed him out for fraud. The family lost all its possessions. Hacking moved them to London and then disappeared.

Ballet Shoes, with Mary Morris

The Hackings managed to escape their shabby bedsitter for a church-owned flat in the tough East End, in return for which Joanna’s mother ran a boys’ boxing club. “My mother had the guts of a lion,” David remembered years later. But the years of hardship took their toll, and when all of her children were on their own she suffered a breakdown. Her doctors treated her by performing an operation similar to a lobotomy, which made her very docile.

Fortunately for Joanna, she had talent as a dancer and won a scholarship to the Elmhurst Ballet School and later to the Royal Ballet School. “I was disappointed when I didn't make it into the Royal Ballet. I trained as a ballet teacher, but I didn’t enjoy that at all. It was fortunate that I met someone from RADA, who put me on the path of acting.” She enrolled in the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. The Swinging Sixties were not as heady a time for Joanna as for many of her peers—“I couldn't let my hair down. In the holidays I always had to take jobs. There was always a worry about money.” She adopted the stage name David (probably taken from her mother’s first name, Davida) and within a few years was working on stage and television.

Miss Marple: 4:50 From Paddington, with Joan Hickson,
John Hallam, and Robert East

In 1971, while appearing in The Rivals at the Chichester Festival, she met the actor Edward Fox, and the two became a couple. Eleven years her senior, Fox came from a theatrical family—his father had been an actors’ agent, his mother (an “extraordinary matriarch,” says David) was the illegitimate daughter of the playwright Frederic Lonsdale, his younger brother James was already a film star and his youngest brother, Robert, a producer. The Fox family embraced her, and she and Edward have lived together ever since. They have two children—Emilia, born in 1974, and Frederick, born 1989.

Inspector Morse, with John Thaw

With Fox, David found the stability that had been lacking in her childhood. Nonetheless, the relationship has not been without its difficulties. Although David wanted to marry him, Fox refused for many years. (She got some of her own back, however, by legally changing her name to Fox.) He has also spoken publicly about having affairs. “In relationships, everyone has to compromise,” David told an interviewer in 2001. “'We've grown up together over 30 years, and have an immense amount of understanding for each other. We are both independent, and like our own space. We never wanted to merge into one. But a long relationship is not easy, it's bloody hard work—a lot of it is uphill and down the other side, and you find out how good a climber you are.” But in October 2004, the couple were finally married.


David has also overcome a serious health problem. In the late 1980s she began having searing pains in the back of her head, and at first she feared it was a brain tumor. But MRI scans indicated a congenital abnormality known as Chiari I malformation, a condition in which the brain becomes too large for the skull and a blockage forms between the brain stem and the spine. In June 1993 she underwent a three-hour operation to correct the condition, and by November she was back at work.

The Forsyte Saga, with Gina McKee

It was too soon. “I rushed around, as you do with a house and family to look after, and felt physically below par,” she admitted later. She was also plagued with anxiety, which turned into depression. A month in the hospital, under the supervision of a psychiatrist, helped cure her insomnia, and not long afterwards she began filming Pride and Prejudice.

The series was notable for David because it marked the professional debut of her daughter, who had just finished her first year at Oxford. “I didn’t hugely enjoy that,” she told an interviewer in 2004. “I stayed very much out of her way because I didn’t want to put her off. I think I was in one scene with her, but the rest of time I stayed completely out the way.”

The Darling Buds of May, with David Jason

Now that Emilia is well established as an actress, however, David says she’d love to work with her again. They have played mother and daughter in a radio drama and in the film The Soul Keeper, and David hopes that some day they can act together on television. She has also done audio books and staged readings with Edward Fox, and the future holds the promise of working with another family member. Son Freddie, now a teenager, has decided that he too wants to go into the family business. It looks like there will be plenty of Foxes on our screens in years to come.

With Edward and Emilia Fox in 2003
The Way We Live Now, with Oliver Ford Davies and Anne Marie Duff
Foyle's War
Photo credits: portrait—Andrew Crowley; Forsyte Saga—BBC; family picture—Rune Hellestad/Corbis