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ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE

SAMANTHA MORTON (Mary Stuart) has been hailed as one of the foremost actresses of her generation. Her career to date has seen her work with some of the most respected directors in the world, including Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen. The diverse and often difficult choices of roles she has made are reflected in the list of accolades that she has received, including a Golden Globe and two Academy Award® nominations.

Morton grew up in Nottingham, England. At 13 she joined Central Television's Junior Workshop, where she was quickly spotted and cast in early television roles, including Cracker and Peak Practice. Acclaimed theatre work included two awardwinning plays at London's Royal Court Theatre: Ashes and Sand and Stargazy Pie and Sauerkraut.

Aged 17, Morton was cast as Tracy in the award-winning television drama Band of Gold. The television films Emma and Tom Jones quickly followed and led to her playing the title role in Robert Young's acclaimed telefilm Jane Eyre. Morton first came to the attention of International film audiences as Iris in Carine Adler's harrowing Under the Skin. It was a role that earned her unanimous critical acclaim and the Boston Film Critics Award for Best Actress.

In 1999, Woody Allen cast her as the mute Hattie in Sweet and Lowdown, for which she received both Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Notable roles in Alison Maclean's Jesus Son, Julien Temple's Pandemonium, Eric Style's Dreaming of Joseph Lees and Amos Gitais' Eden followed. In 2002, Morton starred as the title role in Lynne Ramsay's critically acclaimed Morvern Callar. She then went on to appear opposite Tom Cruise as the pre-cog Agatha in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, Maria Gonzales in Michael Winterbottom's Code 46, Sarah in Jim Sheridan's In America (for which she received her second Oscar® nomination for Best Actress) and Claire in Roger Michell's Enduring Love (for which she received a British Independent Film Award Best Actress nomination).

Films in 2005 and 2006 included the New Zealand epic River Queen, The Libertine, opposite Johnny Depp, and Lassie. She also received a half-lifetime achievement award from Dennis Hopper's Cinevegas Film Festival. This fall Morton will be seen in Control, playing Deborah Curtis in Anton Corbijn's film about the life of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, and as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator in Harmony Korine's highly anticipated Mister Lonely.

Earlier this year Morton played the part of Myra Hindley, opposite Jim Broadbent, in the NBC/Channel 4 film Longford (which aired in the States on HBO). Her performance earned her a BAFTA and, more recently, an Emmy nomination. Samantha is currently filming Synecdoche, New York with director Charlie Kaufman, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Williams, for release in 2008.

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