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ROSAMUND PIKE (Miranda Frost) grew up in London, the only daughter of two professional opera singers. Her key formative years were spent on the European continent. At 16, Pike was accepted at the celebrated National Youth Theatre where she spent the following three summers, culminating in her playing the lead in Romeo and Juliet when she was 18. The play ran over the summer holidays prior to her taking a place at Oxford, where she was to study English Literature at Wadham College.

At Oxford, Pike continued to act and toured with the university production of The Taming of the Shrew. The tour, during summer recess, took her on a magical, six-week trip to Japan, performing in theatres in Osaka, Kyoto and the Tokyo Globe. Just prior to leaving, she spent two days shooting her role in the BBC TV film of A Rather English Marriage starring Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney.

Pike also spent evenings at the local repertory theatre, the famous Oxford Playhouse. She played the part of restoration actress Elisabeth Barry in Stephen Jeffries' play The Libertine about the life of the scandalous Earl of Rochester, as well as Ann in Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

Before she left for Oxford, Pike met with a casting director for a project she was keen to be part of. The project was delayed and nothing came of it, but a year later she received a call out of the blue and was subsequently cast as Lady Harriet in the BBC's lavish production of Wives and Daughters opposite Michael Gambon, Francesca Annis and Bill Paterson. Vanity Fair said she "stood out like a banner snapping in the wind."

Pike was away for nine months but returned to Oxford to finish her degree and do a final play at the Oxford Playhouse. She played the funny, bizarre Daisy in Ionesco's Rhinoceros.

During the following summer vacation she spent ten weeks filming Love in a Cold Climate, an adaptation of of the Nancy Mitford books. The extraordinary cast included Alan Bates, Sheila Gish, Celie Imrie, John Standing and Anthony Andrews. Returning to Oxford for the final three terms she took the role of Kyra in David Mare's Skylight, directed by young film director and fellow Oxford student James Rogan, who went on to direct Dead Bolt Dead.

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