Rachael Stirling (Rigg)
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About Rachael Stirling
Rachael Atlanta Stirling (born 30 May 1977) is an English stage, film and television actress. She is a two-time Olivier nominee for her stage work, but is best known for her performance as Nancy Astley in the BBC drama Tipping the Velvet.
Stirling is the daughter of the actress Diana Rigg and theatre producer Archibald Stirling. Her parents subsequently married in 1982 and divorced in 1990. Through her father, she has a long line of ancestry from the Scottish parish of Lecropt, near her namesake city of Stirling.
Stirling attended Wycombe Abbey School. She earned a BA in art history from Edinburgh University.
Stirling can speak Russian and is a highly skilled equestrian in horse-riding and jumping.
She has been in a relationship with fellow actor Oliver Chris since 2007.
Stirling made her first major appearance on stage in 1996 as Desdemona in the National Youth Theatre revival of Othello at the Arts Theatre opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role. A year later, again at the Arts Theatre with the NYT, she played Olive in the female version of The Odd Couple; while in 1998, portraying Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa for NYT at the Arts, she gave what The Stage reviewer described as "a performance of exceptional promise and authority".
She continues to be active in the theatre, covering a diversity of roles in plays such as Dusty Hughes' Helpless (Donmar Warehouse, 2000); A Woman of No Importance (Theatre Royal Haymarket, 2003); Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre, 2004); Tamburlaine (Bristol Old Vic and Barbican, 2005); and she followed in her mother's footsteps, bringing an alluring erotic charge to her performance as Miranda Lionheart in the National Theatre stage version of Theatre of Blood (2005).
In 2006, for the Peter Hall Company at the Bath Theatre Royal, she played Helena in Peter Gill's revival of Look Back in Anger; while in 2007 at Wilton's Music Hall in London, she starred as Yelena in David Mamet's version of Uncle Vanya, and as Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew.
Stirling starred onstage in The Priory at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009 directed by Jeremy Herrin. Her role, as Rebecca, earned her a nomination for Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role. In 2010 she appeared as Helena in Peter Hall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, at The Rose Theatre, Kingston.
She starred as Lady Chiltern in a 2010 production of An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre, for which she received her second nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award. In 2012 she is to appear at the Donmar Warehouse in The Recruiting Officer.
Stirling's first screen appearance was in the 1998 British comedy film Still Crazy (starring Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall and Jimmy Nail).
Other film projects include Maybe Baby, Complicity (with her Tipping the Velvet co-star Keeley Hawes), Another Life (with Vanity Fair actress Natasha Little), The Triumph of Love (starring Mira Sorvino), and Redemption Road.
Stirling's first break in television was in the 2000 NBC miniseries In the Beginning, which was adapted from Genesis. Stirling played the young Rebeccah, with her mother, Diana Rigg, as the older Rebeccah.
In 2011, she starred in the BBC Four adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love, as Ursula Brangwen.
Stirling is an occasional interviewer on the Radio Four chat-show Loose Ends. She also wrote a restaurant column for Diplomat magazine.
She took part in Occupy London's reading of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' on the steps of St Paul's cathedral, London, in December 2011.