Keeley Hawes

Keeley Hawes

British actress Keeley Hawes was raised in a working class household in the Marylebone area of central London, England. She attended the Sylvia Home Theatre School after it opened across the screen from her home, and was trained in performance and elocution. Hawes struck out on her own at the age of 17, and after supporting herself through modeling for a period of time, began acting on television in 1989. Hawes established her career in the early 1990s, playing amorous young women in Dennis Potter's "Karaoke" (BBC One/Channel 4, 1996), "The Beggar Bride" (BBC One, 1997) and the four-part "Wives and Daughters" (BBC One, 1999). She earned a more diverse showcase for her dramatic talents on the espionage drama "MI-5" as Zoe Reynolds, a top British spy whose affections for a fellow operative (David Oyelowo) lead to her career downfall. The success of the series led to more character-driven work - a woman sought after by two prisoners on "The Canterbury Tales" (BBC One, 2003), a police officer mysteriously transported via an injury from 2008 to 1981 on "Ashes to Ashes," a woman of means overseeing a turbulent housebold in 1936 London on a revival of "Upstairs Downstairs" (BBC One, 2010-2012). During this period, Hawes also lent her voice to Lara Croft, the globe-trotting video game adventurer, for seven editions of the popular "Tomb Raider" franchise, beginning in 2006 with "Tomb Raider: Legend" (Eidos Interactive). In 2015, Hawes earned a BAFTA nomination as a police inspector suspected of collaborating on a prisoner escape that led to the deaths of several fellow officers, on "Line of Duty" (BBC Two, 2012-). Her performance earned a Leading Actress nomination from the British Academy Television awards, and led to more high-profile work, including turns as Queen Elizabeth in adaptations of Shakespeare's "Henry VI" and "Richard III" for "The Hollow Crown" (BBC Two, 2012), and the mother of a lost girl on the harrowing drama "The Missing" (BBC One, 2014-). In 2016, Hawes was cast on "The Durrells" as Louise Durrell, a single mother who relocates to the Greek island of Corfu with her four children, which include the future conservationist and author Gerald Durrell, whose novels served as the basis for the series. The program enjoyed the highest-rated debut of the year for ITV, and became one of the network's most popular series.