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Brenda Blethyn on Secrets & Lies

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Published on Feb 18, 2009

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Star of the stage and the screen, the incredibly talented Brenda Blethyn was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Blethyn performs predominantly in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from comedies and dramas to historical films and crimes. She is best known for Secrets & Lies, Little Voice, Saving Grace, A River Runs Through It, and Pride & Prejudice. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee. She has also been nominated for an Oliver Award. Blethyn's breakthrough role came with Mike Leigh’s film Secrets & Lies. She portrayed Cynthia Rose Purley, a lower-class white woman, who after years once again comes in contact with her grown-up black daughter. For her improvised performance (Leigh favors improvisation, which he then works into scripts) Blethyn was praised with a variety of awards, including the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, the British Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a first Academy Award nomination. With her spry and feisty manner, she has shown a flair for outlandish comedy, but has also proven her versatility in a wide range of dramatic roles, many of which have allowed her to add her brand of humor to the most tragic situations.

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