Home > Categories > Art and Entertainment > Actors > Brenda Blethyn's Biography

Brenda Blethyn's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z
Brenda Blethyn was born Brenda Bottle on 20 February 1946 in Kent, the youngest of nine siblings.

She married Alan Blethyn when she was 18 years old and worked as a clerk with British Rail.

Her marriage to Alan failed, when he met someone else, and Brenda still taking the Blethyn name also changed tack vocationally.

At 27, she left her job to attend Guildford drama school, and then worked for the National Theatre.

She was also cast in a Mike Leigh play for the BBC, Grown-Ups, He would prove an important factor in her success as an actor.

Meanwhile, she started going out with Michael Mayhew, a graphic designer. After over 30 years together they married in 2010.

Her role as Cynthia in Mike Leigh's Secret & Lies led to an Oscar nomination for best actress.

She was also nominated for an Oscar for her role as Mari in Little Voice.

Latterly she became well-known for playing the title role of Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the ITV detective series Vera.

Brenda Blethyn has written a memoir, Mixed Fancies.

In 2024, it was revealed that Brenda Blethyn OBE was to play Vera for one, final series.

She was born with an extra finger, which the doctor removed when she was a baby.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: