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ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

In 2004, IMELDA STAUNTON (Mrs. Santa) portrayed the title role in Mike Leigh's drama Vera Drake, delivering a performance that was heralded by both critics and audiences. For her work in the film, Staunton earned numerous Best Actress honors, including Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations. She also won a BAFTA Award, an Evening Standard British Film Award, a British Independent Film Award, a European Film Award and the 2004 Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress. In addition, Staunton was named the Best Actress of the year by many top critics groups, including the New York Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics, London Critics Circle, Toronto Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, among others.

Staunton's most recent film work includes reprising her role as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, a role she first played in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She will next appear in The Awakening, opposite Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. Other recent films include Mike Leigh's Another Year and Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, and she also lent her voice to Tim Burton's blockbuster Alice in Wonderland. Her additional film credits include Richard LaGravenese's Freedom Writers; Kirk Jones' Nanny McPhee, with Emma Thompson; Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things; John McKay's Crush; John Madden's Oscar®-winning Shakespeare in Love, for which she shared in a SAG Award® for Outstanding Cast Performance; Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night; Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility"; the Kenneth Branagh films Peter's Friends and Much Ado About Nothing; and Beeban Kidron's Antonia & Jane. Her voice has also been heard in several animated features, most notably the clay animation hit Chicken Run.

Recognized for her work on the London stage, Staunton received her seventh Olivier Award nomination this year for her role in "Entertaining Mr. Sloane." She has also won three Olivier Awards, for her performances in "A Chorus of Disapproval," "The Corn is Green" and "Into the Woods," and three more nominations for her work in "Uncle Vanya," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Guys and Dolls." Her theatre repertoire also includes "There Came a Gypsy Riding," "Calico," "The Beggar's Opera," "The Fair Maid of the West," "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," "Habeas Corpus," "Travesties," "Electra," "A Little Night Music," "Mack and Mabel" and "She Stoops to Conquer."

Staunton is also well-known to British television audiences for her roles in such projects as "Return to Cranford," "Big and Small," "The Wind in the Willows," "My Family and Other Animals," "Little Britain," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Fingersmith," "Cambridge Spies," "David Copperfield," "Citizen X," and "The Singing Detective."

In 2006, Staunton received an OBE on the Queen's New Year's honours list.

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