Fiona Shaw

Fiona Shaw BAM 2011-01-16.jpg
Shaw in 2011
Fiona Mary Wilson

(1958-07-10) 10 July 1958 (age 64)
Cobh, County Cork, Ireland
  • Actress
  • theatre director
Years active1983–present
SpouseHugh Shaw (divorced)
(m. 2018)
PartnerSaffron Burrows (2002–2005)

Fiona Shaw CBE (born Fiona Mary Wilson; 10 July 1958) is an Irish film and theatre actress. She is known for her roles as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2010), Marnie Stonebrook in the fourth season of the HBO series True Blood (2011),[1][2] and Carolyn Martens in the BBC series Killing Eve (2018–22).

For her performance in Killing Eve, Shaw won the 2019 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress.[3] For her performances in the second seasons of Killing Eve and Fleabag, she received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series respectively.[4] For the third season of Killing Eve, she was again nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[5]

Shaw has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She won the 1990 Olivier Award for Best Actress for various roles, including Electra, the 1994 Olivier Award for Best Actress for Machinal, and the 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for The Waste Land. Her other stage work includes playing the title role in Medea in the West End and on Broadway (2001–2002). She was awarded an Honorary CBE in 2001.[6] In 2020, she was listed at No. 29 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.[7]

Early life

Shaw was born Fiona Mary Wilson on 10 July 1958 in Cobh,[8] County Cork, the daughter of physicist Mary T. (Flynn) Wilson[9] and ophthalmic surgeon Denis Joseph Wilson (1922–2011), who wed in 1952.[10] They maintained a home in Montenotte.[11][12] She attended secondary school at Scoil Mhuire in Cork, and received her degree in philosophy at University College Cork.

Shaw's father, Denis Wilson, studied medicine at University College Cork where he played rugby. He worked for a short time as a GP in London before training to be an ophthalmologist as the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1960. On his return to Cork he was appointed to the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, where he worked until his retirement, which coincided with the transfer of the eye unit to Cork University Hospital. He taught at UCC and the RCSI. After retiring he wrote De Iron Trote, a history of the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and continued his interest in the arts by studying for a Diploma in Art History at UCC.[13]


Shaw trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and was part of a "new wave" of actors to emerge from RADA. She received much acclaim as Julia in the National Theatre production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals (1983).[14] Her theatrical roles include Celia in As You Like It (1984), Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1985), Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew (1987), Lady Franjul in The New Inn (1987), Young Woman in Machinal (1993), for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, Winnie in Happy Days (2007), and the title roles in Electra (1988), The Good Person of Sechuan (1989), Hedda Gabler (1991), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1998) and Medea (2000). She performed T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land as a one-person show at the Liberty Theatre in New York to great acclaim in 1996, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for her performance.[15] She played Miss Morrison in the 1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes episode "The Adventure of the Crooked Man" and Catherine Greenshaw in Agatha Christie's Marple episode "Greenshaw's Folly" in 2013.

Shaw notably played the male lead in Richard II, directed by Deborah Warner in 1995. Shaw has collaborated with Warner on a number of occasions, on both stage and screen. Shaw has also worked in film and television, including My Left Foot (1989), Mountains of the Moon (1990), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Undercover Blues (1993), Persuasion (1995), Jane Eyre (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), The Avengers (1998), Gormenghast (2000), and five of the Harry Potter films in which she played Harry Potter's aunt. Shaw had a brief but key role in Brian DePalma's The Black Dahlia (2006).

In 2009, Shaw collaborated with Deborah Warner again, taking the lead role in Tony Kushner's translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. In a 2002 article for The Daily Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen described their professional relationship as "surely one of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history."[16] Other collaborations between the two women include productions of Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, the latter was adapted for television.[17]

Shaw appeared in The Waste Land at Wilton's Music Hall in January 2010 and in a National Theatre revival of London Assurance in March 2010.[18] In November 2010, Shaw starred in Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan.[19][20] The play was also staged in New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2011.[21] In 2012, Shaw appeared in the National Theatre revival of Scenes from an Execution by Howard Barker. The world's largest solo theatre festival, United Solo, recognised her performance in The Testament of Mary on Broadway with the 2013 United Solo Special Award.[22]

Shaw appeared in season four of the American TV show True Blood. Shaw's character, Marnie Stonebrook, has been described as an underachieving palm reader who is spiritually possessed by an actual witch.[23] In 2018, Shaw began portraying Carolyn Martens, the head of MI6's Russia-focused branch, in BBC America's Killing Eve. For her performance, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series. Later the same year, she played a senior MI6 officer in Mrs Wilson.[24] She currently stars in the Star Wars television series Andor, a prequel to the movie Rogue One, as the titular character's adoptive mother, Maarva Andor.[25]

Shaw is an award-winning audiobook narrator; in October 2022, Shaw was awarded an AudioFile Magazine Earphone Award for her performance of The Bullet That Missed, the third book in Richard Osman's The Thursday Murder Club series.[26]

Personal life

Shaw is a lesbian, although she had dated men for many years before realising her sexual orientation, stating "It was a shock. I was full of self-hatred and thought I would come back into the fold shortly. But I just didn't."[27]

A Catholic,[28] from 2002 to 2005, Shaw was the partner of English actress Saffron Burrows.[29] She met Sri Lankan economist Sonali Deraniyagala after reading Deraniyagala's memoir,[30] and they married in 2018.[31]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1984 The Man Who Shot Christmas Laura Short film
1985 Sacred Hearts Sister Felicity
1989 My Left Foot Dr. Eileen Cole
1990 Mountains of the Moon Isabel
Three Men and a Little Lady Miss Lomax
1991 London Kills Me Headley
1992 The Big Fish Unknown role Short film
Ridin' High: The Video Dancer Direct-to-Video
1993 Super Mario Bros. Lena
Undercover Blues Novacek
1995 Persuasion Mrs. Croft
The Waste Land Unknown role Short film
1996 Jane Eyre Mrs. Reede
1997 Anna Karenina Lydia
The Butcher Boy Mrs. Nugent
1998 The Avengers Father
1999 The Last September Marda Norton
2001 The Triumph of Love Leontine
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Petunia Dursley
2002 Close Your Eyes Catherine Lebourg
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Petunia Dursley
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Petunia Dursley
2005 Midsummer Dream The Witches Voice; English version
2006 The Black Dahlia Ramona Linscott
Catch and Release Mrs. Douglas
2007 Fracture Judge Robinson
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Petunia Dursley
2009 Dorian Gray Agatha
2010 National Theatre Live: London Assurance Lady Gay Spanker
We Believed Emilie Ashurst
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Petunia Dursley
Tell Me Martha Short film
2011 The Tree of Life Grandmother
2013 The English Teacher Narrator
The Daisy Chain Narrator Short film
2015 Pixels Prime Minister Uncredited
2016 The White King Kathrin Fitz
Out of Innocence Catherine Flynn
2017 The Hippopotamus Anne Logan
2018 Lizzie Abby Borden
Colette Sido
2020 Ammonite Elizabeth Philpot
Enola Holmes Miss Harrison
Kindred Margaret
2024 IF TBA Filming


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1983 All for Love Elspeth Episode: "Fireworks for Elspeth"
1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Miss Morrison Episode: "The Crooked Man"
1985 Love Song Young Deirdre TV movie
1990 Theatre Night Clytemnestra Episode: "Iphigenia at Aulis"
1991 For the Greater Good Gillian Savage 2 episodes
1992 Shakespeare: The Animated Tales Viola (voice) Episode: "Twelfth Night"
Screen Two Pauline Episode: "Maria's Child"
Mrs. Croft Episode: "Persuasion"
Performance Hedda Gabler Episode: "Hedda Gabler"
Richard II Episode: "Richard II"
1994 Seascape Unknown role TV movie
1999 RKO 281 Hedda Hopper TV movie
2000 Gormenghast Irma Prunesquallor Miniseries (4 episodes)
2001 Mind Games Frances O'Neil TV movie
The Seventh Stream Mrs. Gourdon TV movie
2005 Empire Fulvia Miniseries (3 episodes)
2007 Trial & Retribution Jo Wilson QC Episode: "Mirror Image: Part 2"
2009 Dido and Aeneas – Didon et Énée Comédienne dans le prologue TV movie
2011 True Blood Marnie Stonebrook Recurring role (12 episodes)
2013 Marple Miss Katherine Greenshaw Episode: "Greenshaw's Folly"
2014 Masterpiece Mystery Miss Katherine Greenshaw Episode: "Agatha Christie's Miss Marple VII: Greenshaw's Folly"
2015 Lumen D'Laria TV movie
2015–17 Sarah & Duck Music Lady 2 episodes
2016 Maigret Sets a Trap Madam Moncin TV movie
Channel Zero Marla Painter Series regular (6 episodes)
2017 Emerald City Mombi 2 episodes
Inside No. 9 Jean Episode: "Private View"
Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Hedwin Voice; Episode: "Mr. Rippen"
2018 Mrs. Wilson Coleman Miniseries (3 episodes)
3Below: Tales of Arcadia Birdie / Halcon (voice) Episode: "Flying the Coop"
2018–22 Killing Eve Carolyn Martens Series regular (31 episodes)
2019 Fleabag Counsellor Episode: "#2.2"
2021 Baptiste Emma Chambers Series regular (6 episodes) [32]
2022 Andor Maarva Andor Series regular (5 episodes) [25]

Other projects

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Category
1986 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role As You Like It / Mephisto Nominated
1990 Olivier Award for Best Actress Electra / As You Like It / The Good Person of Szechwan Won
1992 Olivier Award for Best Actress Hedda Gabler Nominated
1993 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Machinal Won
1994 Olivier Award for Best Actress Won
1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance The Waste Land Won
2001 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Medea Won
2003 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Happy Days Nominated
Olivier Award for Best Actress Nominated
2017 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best TV Supporting Actress Channel Zero Nominated
2019 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress Killing Eve Won
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Fleabag Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Killing Eve Nominated


  1. ^ "Fiona Shaw". London: Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Famous faces air their views". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Killing Eve takes top prizes in BAFTA TV awards 2019". The Guardian. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  4. ^ "71st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  5. ^ "72nd Emmy Awards Complete Nomination List" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Honorary CBE notice for Shaw". BBC News. 30 December 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  7. ^ Clarke, Donald; Brady, Tara. "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Fiona Shaw says she wanted to give her character in 'Killing Eve' an Irish accent". The Irish Independent. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Tim Teeman » Fiona Shaw: 'I have enormous sadness in me'". 10 December 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Ancestry Library Edition". Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Dedicated ophthalmic surgeon with a lifelong interest in all things artistic". The Irish Times.
  12. ^ Fiona Shaw Biography at Film
  13. ^ "IRISH COLLEGE OF OPHTHALMOLOGISTS YEARBOOK 2011-2012" (PDF). Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Fiona Shaw (NT 50th)". National Theatre Website. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015.
  15. ^ Ben Brantly, Memory and Desire: Hearing Eliot's Passion, New York Times 18 November 1996
  16. ^ Rupert Christiansen "Fiona Shaw's double life", Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2002
  17. ^ Lloynd, Ray (27 March 1993). "TV REVIEWS : Visually Exciting, Powerful 'Hedda Gabler'". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ Taylor, Paul (18 December 2009). "Mother courage: How Fiona Shaw became the leading actress of her generation". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  19. ^ Events Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Abbey Theatre web site
  20. ^ Brantley, Ben (13 January 2011). "Ibsen's Big Chill, With Soul Mates Frozen in Time". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Brantley, Ben (13 January 2011). "'John Gabriel Borkman' at BAM - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Fiona Shaw, Gordon Clapp, & Eric Roberts Among 2013 United Solo Festival Winners". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  23. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (8 November 2010). "Fiona Shaw joins 'True Blood' cast". Entertainment Weekly.
  24. ^ "Mrs Wilson". BBC Media Centre. 4 December 2018.
  25. ^ a b Hibberd, Jame (10 December 2020). "Rogue One prequel series gets title: Andor". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  26. ^ "THE BULLET THAT MISSED by Richard Osman Read by Fiona Shaw Richard Osman Steph McGovern Interview | Audiobook Review". AudioFile Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  27. ^ Brown, Steve (1 July 2019). "'Killing Eve' star Fiona Shaw was full of 'self-hatred' when she realised she was gay". Attitude. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Ancient Theater Today". Didaskalia. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  29. ^ Neligan, Orla (2 October 2016). "Fiona Shaw: We don't know who were are and the joy is in finding out". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  30. ^ Hogan, Michael (3 March 2019). "Fiona Shaw: 'I'm delighted to be in with the young crowd!'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  31. ^ "Fiona Shaw Married Status: Meet Her Wife, Dr Sonali Deraniyagala". LiveRampUp. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  32. ^ Saner, Emine (14 July 2021). "Fiona Shaw: 'I got to Hollywood at 28 and they said: You're very old'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  33. ^ Orr, Deborah (31 May 2009). "Simon Schama's John Donne, BBC2
    Armando Iannucci in Milton's Heaven and Hell, BBC2
    My Life in Verse: Sheila Hancock, BBC2"
    . The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  34. ^ "TV review: the BBC's poetry season". The Telegraph. 26 May 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2015.