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Motor-mouthed Mari, the wanton widow who talks a blue streak about her sexual exploits while her daughter remains silent is played in an unusual sharply comic turn by BRENDA BLETHYN. A veteran star of stage and television in England, Blethyn is best known to international audiences for her award-winning role in Mike Leigh's "Secrets and Lies." Blethyn received a 1997 Oscar nomination for Best Actress as well as winning the Golden Globe Award, the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award, the London Film Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award and the Evening Standard Best Actress Award.

Blethyn's other film credits include "Music From Another Room," '1Remember Me," "A River Runs Through It" and "Witches." Her extensive theatre credits include "Wildest Dreams" with the Royal Shakespeare company; "Dalliance," "A Midsummer's Night Dream," "Bedroom Farce," "Troilus and Cressida," "Tales From the Vienna Woods," "The Guardsman," "Fruits of Enlightenment," "The Double Dealer," "The Passion," "Madras House," "The Provok'd Wife," "Strife" and "Tamburlaine" at the National Theatre; and "A Doll's House," "Born Yesterday" and "An Ideal Husband" at the Royal Exchange. On the New York stage, she won a 1991 Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent in "Absent Friends." Her early award-winning work in the U.K. includes an Olivier Award nomination for "Benefactors" and the Best Supporting Actress Award for "Steaming."

Blethyn has appeared in several dozen high-profile British television productions including "Girls Night," "Mona," "Outside Edge" (for which she won a 1994 Best Comedy Actress Award), "All Good Things," "Buddah of Suburbia," "The Imitation Game," "Floating Off," "Yes Minister," "Alas Smith and Jones," "Henry VI," "Rumpole," "Bedroom Farce," "The Double Dealer" and "The Storyteller."


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