Hannah Waddingham
Waddingham in 2023
Born (1974-07-28) 28 July 1974 (age 49)
Wandsworth, London, England
EducationAcademy of Live and Recorded Arts
Years active2000–present

Hannah Waddingham (born 28 July 1974) is an English actress.[1] She is known for playing Rebecca Welton in the comedy series Ted Lasso (2020–2023), for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2021 and the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2021 and 2022.[2] She has also appeared in a number of West End shows, including Spamalot, the 2010 Regent's Park revival of Into the Woods, and The Wizard of Oz as the Wicked Witch of the West, and has received three Olivier Award nominations for her work.

Waddingham's other work includes appearing as an ensemble member in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables, and joining the cast of the fifth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones as Septa Unella in 2015.[3] She co-starred in the 2018 British psychological thriller Winter Ridge directed by Dom Lenoir, and has had a supporting role on the series Sex Education since 2019. In 2023, she co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest.

Early life and education

Waddingham was born in Wandsworth in London.[citation needed] Her mother, Melodie Kelly, was an opera singer, as were both of her maternal grandparents.[4] Her mother joined the English National Opera when Waddingham was eight years old, and she grew up around the theatre.[4][5]

Waddingham is a graduate of the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.[6] She has a four-octave vocal range.[7] She started out in dinner theatre, performing in the interactive comedy Joni and Gina's Wedding.[4][8]


Stage career

Waddingham has been a stage actress on both London's West End and New York's Broadway.[4] She made her West End debut in Lautrec by Charles Aznavour in March 2000,[9] then created the role of Christine Warner in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s The Beautiful Game, staying with the show for the year-long run at the Cambridge Theatre from September 2000.[10] Further stage roles included Starbird in Space Family Robinson (Julian & Stephen Butler, 2002)[6] and Satan in Tonight's the Night: The Rod Stewart Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2003.[11]

Waddingham portrayed the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, both in the London production and then on Broadway. She received an Olivier Award nomination for the role.[4] She received outstanding reviews for her portrayal of Desirée Armfeldt in Trevor Nunn's revival of A Little Night Music, including being described by one critic as the "Joanna Lumley of musical theatre".[12] Waddingham subsequently received a further Olivier Award nomination in 2010 for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Night Music.[13]

In mid-2010, Waddingham played the Witch in the production of Into the Woods at London's Open Air Theatre.[14][15] She originated the role of The Wicked Witch of the West in the West End production of The Wizard of Oz, which opened on 1 March 2011 at the London Palladium[16] and was the first to perform the new Lloyd Webber and Rice song "Red Shoes Blues".[4][17] She left the production on 4 September 2011.[18] Waddingham won the whatsonstage.com Theatergoers Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance.[19]

Waddingham appeared in the concert premiere of Styles and Drew's Soho Cinders at the Queens Theatre, London in 2011, and was replaced by Jenna Russell for the show's first fully staged production in 2012.[citation needed]

In 2012, Waddingham starred in Chichester Festival Theatre's revival of Kiss Me, Kate.[20] The show transferred to the Old Vic Theatre on London's South Bank in November 2012.[21]

Screen career

Waddingham alongside co-host Graham Norton at the Saturday afternoon preview show for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

In 2011, Waddingham appeared in Season 4, Episode 3 of the hit BBC sitcom, Not Going Out. She played the role of Jane, an actress in an adult film being recorded in the show.[22]

She had a small role in the 2012 film Les Misérables,[4] and in 2014, starred on the ITV comedy Benidorm.[7]

Waddingham portrayed the "Shame Nun", Septa Unella, in season 5 and 6 of Game of Thrones. She started filming nine weeks after giving birth to her daughter, and did her own stunts for a scene in which she is waterboarded.[4][8][23] She was given the role's iconic "shame bell" as a parting gift.[4][24] She also has a recurring role on the Netflix series Sex Education as Jackson's overbearing mother, Sophia Marchetti.[4][25]

From 2020 to 2023, Waddingham portrayed Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, on the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso.[5] The show was praised for its "refreshing" portrayal of a supportive female friendship between Rebecca and Juno Temple's character, Keeley.[5][26][27][28] She did her own singing in the season one episode "Make Rebecca Great Again" and the season two episodes "Carol of the Bells" and "No Weddings and a Funeral".[29] In 2021, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role.[2]

Waddingham also appears as the character Mother Witch in Hocus Pocus 2, Disney's sequel to Hocus Pocus released on Disney+ on 30 September 2022.[30] The actor's time on screen has been described as an "Oscar-worthy performance" and "[F]rom the moment she enters, she commands the screen with unquestionable authority."[31]

She portrayed Lady Bellaston in the ITV drama miniseries Tom Jones, based on Henry Fielding's 1749 novel.[32][25]

In March 2023, Waddingham was announced as part of the cast for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two.[33]

In May 2023, Waddingham co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, alongside Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, with Graham Norton joining them for the final.[34] She gained widespread praise, with The Guardian dubbing her an "overnight national treasure".[35]


In 2000, Waddingham played the role of Christine in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton musical The Beautiful Game in London's West End. In October 2000, Waddingham (billed simply as "Hannah"), released a single of the song "Our Kind of Love" from the production. The single peaked at No. 41 in the UK charts.[36]

She later sang the role of Starbird on the soundtrack recording of Space Family Robinson (composers: Julian Butler[37] & Stephen Butler), released by Pop! Records in May 2002, coinciding with the stage production (also featuring Waddingham as Starbird) which ran for three weeks at London's Pleasance Theatre.[38]

Personal life

Waddingham keeps her Emmy award in her daughter's bedroom to remind her that "mummy will only ever be away when it's for a really, blooming good reason."[4]

Waddingham speaks fluent French and Italian and has stated her love for languages.[39]


Waddingham in 2010


Year Title Role Notes
2008 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Elizabeth Maddox
2012 Les Misérables Factory Worker
2018 Winter Ridge Joanne Hill
2019 The Hustle Shiraz
2022 Hocus Pocus 2 Mother Witch
2024 The Fall Guy TBA Post-production
Garfield TBA (voice) In production
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two TBA In production
Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Coupling Jenny Turbot
Brookside Georgina Savage 1 episode
2003, 2006 My Hero Lula / Miranda / Thermowoman
2005 William and Mary Penelope
Footballers' Wives Jools
Hollyoaks: Let Loose Mrs. Robertson
2006 The Only Boy for Me Melissa Television film
2008 Doctors Dixie Deadman
2009 M.I. High Alannah Sucrose 1 episode
2010 Marple Lola Brewster 1 episode
2010–2011 My Family Katie 3 episodes
2011 Agatha Christie's Marple Lola Brewster 1 episode
Not Going Out Jane 1 episode
2012 Bad Education Loretta 1 episode
2014 Our Gay Wedding: The Musical Herself
Benidorm Tonya Dyke Main role, 7 episodes (Season 6)
2015 Partners in Crime Blonde Assassin 3 episodes; miniseries
2015–2016 Game of Thrones Septa Unella 8 episodes
2016 The Entire Universe Herself
Josh Phillipa
2017 12 Monkeys Magdalena
2018–2019 Krypton Jax-Ur / Sela-Sonn Recurring (season 1); starring (season 2)
2019–present Sex Education Sofía Marchetti Recurring role, 11 episodes
2020–2023 Ted Lasso Rebecca Welton Main role
2021 Midsomer Murders Mimi Dagmar 1 episode
2022 RuPaul's Drag Race UK Guest judge Series 4
Willow Hubert 1 episode
2023 The Olivier Awards 2023 Host
Tom Jones Lady Bellaston 4 episodes
Eurovision Song Contest Co-presenter Presenter for semi-finals and grand final
Denotes television series that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Theatre Location
2000–2001 The Beautiful Game Christine Cambridge Theatre West End
2002 Space Family Robinson Starbird Pleasance Theatre Islington London
2003 Tonight's the Night Satan Victoria Palace Theatre West End
2006 Bad Girls: The Musical Nikki Wade West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds
Spamalot Lady of the Lake Palace Theatre
Shubert Theatre
West End
2009 A Little Night Music Desirée Armfeldt Menier Chocolate Factory
Garrick Theatre
West End
2010 Into the Woods The Witch Regent's Park Open Air Theatre London
2011 The Wizard of Oz Miss Gulch / Wicked Witch London Palladium West End
2011 Soho Cinders Gala Concert Marilyn Platt Queen's Theatre London
2012 Kiss Me, Kate Lilli Vanessi / Katharina Minola The Old Vic Off-West End

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Refs.
2007 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Musical Spamalot Nominated [40]
Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Musical Nominated [41]
2010 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Musical A Little Night Music Nominated [42]
Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Musical Nominated [43]
2013 Kiss Me, Kate Nominated [44]
WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actress in a Musical Nominated [45]
2018 International Film Festival of Wales Best Supporting Actress Winter Ridge Won [46]
2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ted Lasso Nominated [47]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [48]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy Won [49]
International Online Cinema Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [50]
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Nominated [51]
Golden Globes Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [52]
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [53]
2023 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Pending [54]


  1. ^ "Hannah Waddingham". The Times of India. Times of India.
  2. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (18 January 2021). "'Ozark,' 'The Crown' and Netflix Lead 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards TV Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  3. ^ "British actress cast as Septa Unella". Watchers on the Wall. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Girimonte, Melissa (11 November 2021). "Hannah Waddingham: Things Fans Might Not Know About The Ted Lasso Star". Looper. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Hallemann, Caroline (23 July 2021). "Hannah Waddingham on the Gift of Ted Lasso". Town & Country. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Space Family Robinson". London Theatre. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  7. ^ a b Bletchly, Rachael (8 January 2014). "I'd never been groped in my life - and then I joined the cast of Benidorm". Mirror. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b Kirkland, Justin (23 July 2021). "A Few Glasses of Airplane Champagne With Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham". Esquire. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Productions: Lautrec". thisistheatre.com. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  10. ^ "Productions: The Beautiful Game". thisistheatre.com. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Productions: Tonight's The Night". thisistheatre.com. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  12. ^ Bassett, Kate (7 December 2008). "A Little Night Music, Menier Chocolate Factory, London". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 9 May 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Olivier awards nominations". The Guardian. London. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Into the Woods wins Best Musical Revival". Olivier Awards. Archived 12 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Raven, Paul (11 February 2011). "Second Chance To See Into The Woods". Westendtheatre.com.
  16. ^ "Hannah Waddingham, Paul Keating and More Cast in London Palladium's New Wizard of Oz". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  17. ^ Peter, Thomas (4 March 2011). "Hannah Waddingham Sings "Red Shoes Blues," New Song from The Wizard of Oz (Video)". Playbill. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Marianne Benedict taking over from Hannah Waddingham in Wizard of Oz". Blog.musicaltheatrenews.com. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Full List: 2012 Whatsonstage.com Award winners". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  20. ^ Dominic Cavendish (28 June 2012). "Kiss Me Kate, Chichester Festival Theatre, review". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Kiss Me, Kate". Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  22. ^ Not Going Out: Season 4, Episode 3, retrieved 30 December 2022
  23. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee (4 May 2021). "Hannah Waddingham says she was 'waterboarded' for 10 hours filming Game of Thrones torture scene". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  24. ^ Ortiz, Andi (29 September 2021). "'Ted Lasso' Star Hannah Waddingham Kept Her 'Shame' Bell From 'Game of Thrones'". The Wrap. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  25. ^ a b Davies, Matilda (4 November 2021). "Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham joins Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie in ITV drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  26. ^ Amiet, Kristen (15 September 2021). "Rebecca And Keeley's Friendship Brings Another Unexpected Joy To 'Ted Lasso'". Junkee. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  27. ^ Weekes, Princess (14 December 2020). "The Refreshing Friendship Between Keeley and Rebecca in Ted Lasso". The Mary Sue. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  28. ^ Rodrigues, Lyndsey (16 July 2021). "Why Female Friendships Like the Ladies' From 'Ted Lasso' Need More Screentime". The Latch. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  29. ^ Aquilina, Tyler (1 September 2021). "Ted Lasso co-creator shares proof that star Hannah Waddingham does her own singing". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  30. ^ Stine, Alison (October 2022). "The power of Hannah Waddingham's character Mother Witch in "Hocus Pocus 2"". Salon.
  31. ^ Menta, Anna. "Hannah Waddingham Is a Hot Witch Mommy In 'Hocus Pocus 2' And I'm Living For It". Decider.
  32. ^ Goldbart, Max (3 November 2021). "Emmy-Winning 'Ted Lasso' Star Hannah Waddingham Joins ITV/Masterpiece's 'Tom Jones'". Deadline. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  33. ^ McPherson, Christopher (10 March 2023). "'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 2' Adds Hannah Waddingham". Collider. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  34. ^ "Meet our Eurovision 2023 family!". bbc.co.uk. BBC. 22 February 2023. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  35. ^ Halliday, Josh; correspondent, Josh Halliday North of England (12 May 2023). "Eurovision's Hannah Waddingham: from Ted Lasso to 'overnight national treasure'". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  36. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 242. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  37. ^ "Julian Butler | Theatre Composer". www.julianbutler.co.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  38. ^ "Space Family Robinson". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Hannah Waddingham: From Ted Lasso to a Eurovision Song Contest star". BBC News. 11 May 2023. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  40. ^ "Archive.ph".
  41. ^ "Olivier Winners 2007". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  42. ^ "Full List: 2010 Whatsonstage.com Award Winners". WhatsOnStage. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  43. ^ "Olivier Awards Winners 2010 – Official London Theatre". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  44. ^ "Olivier Winners 2013". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  45. ^ "Full list: Winners announced of the 2013 Whatsonstage.com Awards". WhatsOnStage. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  46. ^ "International Film Festival of Wales | 2018". Film Festival Guild. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  47. ^ "SAG Awards: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,' 'Minari' Top Film Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  48. ^ Davis, Clayton (7 March 2021). "Critics Choice Awards 2021 Full Winners: Chloe Zhao's 'Nomadland' Continues Its Reign on Awards Season". Variety. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  49. ^ "HCA TV Awards Nominations: 'Ted Lasso' Leads Programs For Inaugural Honors; NBC, HBO & Netflix Lead Nets". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  50. ^ Hipes, Patrick (13 July 2021). "Emmy Nominations: 'The Crown', 'The Mandalorian' Top List; HBO/HBO Max Edges Netflix For Top Spot – Full List Of Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  51. ^ Cordero, Rosy (15 July 2021). "'Ted Lasso,' 'WandaVision,' & 'I May Destroy You' Lead 2021 TCA Award Nominations". Deadline. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  52. ^ "SAG Awards: 'House of Gucci,' 'The Power of the Dog' Lead Film Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. 12 January 2022.
  53. ^ Lewis, Hilary; Nordyke, Kimberly (12 July 2022). "2022 Emmy Awards Nominations Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  54. ^ "Hannah Waddingham". Television Academy. Retrieved 4 August 2023.