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Date of Birth : May 13th 1949

Award-winning American-English actress best known for her role as Susan Harper in the British television series My Family.

Wanamaker was born in New York City, the daughter of Charlotte Holland, an actress and radio performer, and actor/director/producer Sam Wanamaker, who left the United States for England after being blacklisted in 1952. She has a sister, Abby. Wanamaker is Jewish, with her family having originated in Odessa and Russia. She holds both American and British citizenship, having become a British citizen in 2000, specifically so that she would receive a CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace rather than an honorary decoration from the British Foreign Secretary. In November 1994, she married the Irish actor and dramatist Gawn Grainger.

 

While she may be best known by a world-wide audience for her role as Madam Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Wanamaker is best known in the UK for playing Susan Harper in the sitcom My Family.

 

She played Clarice, one of the dimwitted twin sisters of Lord Groan in Gormenghast, a BBC television adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s trilogy. She has also appeared in a variety of films, programmes, and plays. Successful television series have included Love Hurts with Adam Faith.

Her stage performance in Sophocles’ Electra, for which she won an Olivier Award, was widely acclaimed. Wanamaker voiced a CGI character named Lady Cassandra in the Doctor Who episode “The End of the World” (2005), and reprised the role (also appearing in the flesh this time) in the episode “New Earth”.

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