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Fenella Justine Therese Woolgar is a British film, theatre and radio actress who played Sister Hilda from Series 8 to 11, she has also made an appearance on Doctor Who as novelist Agatha Christie and acted in Bright Young Things and Judy.

Overview[]

Woolgar was born in London. Her mother is of southern Irish descent and she has joint UK and Irish citizenship. Woolgar's early years were spent in New Canaan, Connecticut, USA. She was educated at Mayfield School, Durham University, and then Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

At university, along with acting she directed Murder in the Cathedral in Durham Cathedral and wrote and performed comedy in The Durham Revue.

Career[]

Following Woolgar's graduation from RADA in 1999 she worked in rep at The Royal Exchange, Manchester, York Theatre Royal, Sheffield Crucible and for the BBC in both television and radio. In 2002 she was cast as Agatha in Stephen Fry's film Bright Young Things for which she was nominated for several awards. She subsequently went on to work with Mike Leigh in Vera Drake and Mr. Turner, Conor McPherson in The Veil at the National Theatre and Woody Allen in Scoop and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. She played Agatha Christie in Doctor Who in 2008.

Woolgar has most recently worked in a new show for Apple TV (The Buccaneers) and in theatre at the Donmar, Royal Court, National Theatre; the Old Vic and in the West End. She won the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in the West End in 2013 and the Sunday Times Culture Award for Stage Performance of the Year 2014 for playing Margaret Thatcher in Handbagged. She is regularly heard on BBC radio and was nominated for Best Actress on the radio in 2013 for An American Rose in which she played Rosemary Kennedy. She played the title role in Mrs Dalloway for BBC Radio 4 and Edith Wharton in both The Jinx Element and Ethan Frome. She stars in the titular role in BBC Radio 4 comedy Dot, written by Ed Harris. She has narrated several audiobooks and was nominated for Audio Book of the Year 2013.

Woolgar's recent work includes an upcoming role in The Buccaneers for Apple TV and The Reckoning for the BBC. Between 2014 and 2016 she played Alison Scotlock in Home Fires. She joined the cast of Call the Midwife in 2018 for series 8 as Sister Hilda.She also paints portraits in oils and won Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019.

Personal Life[]

She has been married to Dr. Robert Harland since 2006 and they have 3 sons.

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