Can I Say How Much I Love Miriam Margolyes!
I first fell in love with the Marvelous Miriam Margolyes in my freshman year when I went down tot he theater Thayer Street to see The Age of Innocence. Miriam played the wonderfully meddling Mrs. Mingott, the aunt to bride-to-be May Welland (Winona Ryder). Miriam was born to be a scene stealer, and she certainly stole some scenes from Ryder. Innocence is a perfect example of how the Hollywood machine works when it comes to award season. Margolyes for the decades since the release of the film has been very outspoken about her dislike for Ryder. The source of this enmity stems from the following award season following the release of the movie. The production team opted to focus the lead actor role nominations on Michelle Pfieffer & Daniel Day-Lewis and opted to list Ryder as a supporting actor. The critics lambasted this decision along with Margolyes.
Now I love The Age of Innocence with all my heart and its one of my top 10 films of all time. Sadly the critics were a little, or a lot more critical of the acting in the film minus Margolyes portrayal. Later I would realize that I had seen Margolyes when appeared in the cast of the “Take a Letter, Mr. Jones” which stared the amazing John Inman who gained stardom as Mr. Humphries in the UK tv hit Are You Being Served? Both shows were played on PBS here in the states during the 80s. The show was to be another vehicle for Inman and Margolyes had a small but repeating character. Sadly the show was canceled after six episodes.
If Margolyes name does not sound familiar, her bountiful career, spanning over four decades, might spark your memory. In the late 70s, she made the transition from voice acting in shorts and commercials in the UK to television. She made several appearances on the Blackadder tv show and even dabbled into a period voice dubbing Japanese films. While she had made a feature film in the UK during the ’70s, her first film in the states was a big jump with a walk-on extra in Reds. When 1990 hit, Margolyes career took off staring in such movies as The Butcher’s Wife, Dead Again and followed by The Age of Innocence. She was cast and stared in the main role of short-lived “Frannie’s Turn.”
In current day Margolyes has taken on some more memorable roles in like the Nurse in Romeo + Juliet or Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Deadly Hollows. Margolyes is not only a member of the LGBT community but a stark advocate for LGBT rights as far back as the 60s and has always considered herself a “dyke.” She and her partner Heather Sutherland have been together for over 50 years. Margolyes opinions on right and politics do not end with the LGBT community. A Scottish/Jewish UK citizens she’s been outspoken of not only UK politics but even American politics. She even produced and starred in BBC docu-series for TV. The show, titled Miriam’s Big American Adventure. The show is a riot, seeing Margolyes not only tour America but she is driving around and giving us her take on American and how it “needs to grow up.” It was not Margolyes first docu-series in America. In 2016 she joined three friends to film travel docu-series about the aged traveling the world and possibly living in retirement communities.
One the best ways to enjoy Miriam Margolyes in her best is to check out Youtube videos of Miriam on Graham Norton’s BBC talk show. She has appeared on Norton’s talk show since 2000. Her presence on each episode is pure hilarity. Margolyes sucks the air out of every guest that appears on the couch. From the time she told Matthew Perry she has never seen his show “Friends” and well you will have to see the second she thing she tells him in this clip. To Miriam’s personal opinions on actors, she’s worked with in films, for she refers to Richard Harris and Warren Betty as “Grumpy” while they were working. There is so much more to see in these fantastic guest spots on Norton’s show. And most certainly these hilarious and real visits are why I love Miriam to bits.