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The incredible life and work of Mrs Keeley Hawes. Most popular TV actor in history.

Keeley Hawes is an amazing British actress, best known for her role as MI5 agent Zoe Reynolds in the BBC television drama series Spooks / MI5, and now for her role as Alex Drake in another BBC drama Ashes 2 Ashes. Visit Giftery today.

Keeley grew up in Marylebone across the road from the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School. Frequently hearing the students sing there, she decided to attend for the fun of it and entered on a free grant. Her amazing voice can be attributed to the elocution lessons she took as part of the school curriculum.

Keeley Hawes Biography

Keeley Hawes Biography & Statistics

Born 10 February, 1976 in London, England *

Birth Name Clare Julia Hawes

Home London, England

Education Sylvia Young Theatre School

Hair Colour She has naturally dark colouring, but has been known to dye her hair blonde

Eye Colour Gray-green

Height 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)

Husband Actor Matthew Macfadyen (October 2004 to present). Divorced cartoonist Spencer McCallum in 2004 (Together for 4 years but married December 2001, for only a few months).

Children Son Ralph (2006), Daughter Maggie Liberty (2004), Son Myles (2000 with Spencer McCallum).

Family Father is a London cabbie as are her two brothers. She also has one sister. She is the youngest of four children and the only actor.

Agent Troika Agency (Michael Duff)

Voiceover agency Earache

Favorite Charity Breast Cancer (at the age of 19 she discovered a lump in her breast. Fortunately it was not cancer)

Keeley Hawes is an amazing British actress, best known for her role as MI5 agent Zoe Reynolds in the BBC television drama series Spooks / MI5, and now for her role as Alex Drake in another BBC drama Ashes 2 Ashes.

Keeley grew up in Marylebone across the road from the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School. Frequently hearing the students sing there, she decided to attend for the fun of it and entered on a free grant. Her amazing voice can be attributed to the elocution lessons she took as part of the school curriculum.

Keeley’s career after stage school began when she was spotted at the age of 16, on Oxford Street in London, by a modelling agent. Her modelling career developed for nearly eighteen months, but Keeley did not enjoy modelling, referring to it “as a bit scummy”. She instead became a fashion assistant for Cosmopolitan. But her passion was always acting, and when a TV exec saw a picture from her modelling days, she was cast in the penultimate Dennis Potter TV adaptation Karaoke (1996) with Albert Finney.

Roles in The Beggar Bride (1997), and the movie The Avengers (1998), followed. But she rose to prominence when she portrayed Diana Dors in The Blonde Bombshell (1999). For the role she had to gain 15 pounds, but this was no problem since as a model, Keeley had already learned to be comfortable with her body. Roles in more films The Last September (1999), Complicity (2000) and Chaos and Cadavers (2003) kept Keeley constantly in work, but accepting the controversial role of a lesbian in a television adaptation of Tipping the Velvet (2002) raised Keeley’s public profile the most.

Keeley played her most memorable role as undercover MI5 agent Zoe Reynolds, in Spooks/MI5 during series one to three (2002 – 2004). It was here that she met and married her husband, Matthew Macfadyen. Leaving Spooks was a wrench, but she wasn’t away from our screens long, as she was immediately cast in number of high profile television dramas and films, including Marple, Macbeth, Under The Greenwood Tree and The Best Man, which all aired in 2006 and 2007.

Keeley’s voice training gained her the role as the voice of Lara Croft in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend in 2006. She has reprised this voice portrayal for the 2007 release of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary, a remake of the original Tomb Raider game. She has also provided the voice of Maid Marion in the computer game Robin Hood’s Quest and Quest For Aladdin’s Teasure, also released in 2007.

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In 2006, a pregnant Keeley played the on-screen wife of real-life husband, Matthew Macfadyen, in Death at a Funeral, which was released in the United States in August 2007. They both auditioned seperately for their roles sharing the child care to do so. “I played his wife. It was lovely… we’d go in and come home together. But I think everyone hoped we’d have a row on set.: She also filmed After Thomas while pregnant, playing the mother of an autistic child, in an emotionally exhausting ITV drama. “There isn’t a scene which wasn’t difficult if I’m totally honest”

Yet it is these challenges which make Keeley one of Britain’s busiest and most versatile actresses, tackling everyone from an MI5 agent (in three series of Spooks) to Victorian heroines (Under The Greenwood Tree, Tipping the Velvet) to modern day versions of Shakespearean characters Lady Macbeth and Desdemona. ‘I’ve been really lucky with my career so far. I haven’t been pigeon-holed, which sometimes happens to actors. The exciting thing is having something that you’d have never thought of drop on your mat and thinking ‘Oh God, I’d love to do this’. But I can’t complain…I’m even lucky enough to have done my pocket version of Lady Macbeth!’

Both 2007 and 2008 were busy years professionally, for Keeley. A film based on real life events, The Bank Job with Jason Steatham, opened in the spring of 2008. Indie film, Flashbacks of a Fool, with Daniel Craig, was released on 18 April 2008 in the UK. In the movie, Keeley plays Craigs adult sister.

BBC TV drama Mutual Friends, began filming in April 2008 and aired later in 2008, while the much anticipated BBC TV series Ashes to Ashes premiered on 7 February. Keeley plays the female lead, DI Alex Drake in this time travelling crime drama, a sequel to Life On Mars. Keeley was awarded the “Best UK Television Actress Award” in 2008 by the Glamour Awards for her role. The series has been picked up for a second season. Filming for series 2 of Ashes to Ashes began in September 2008 and is expected to show on BBC in early 2009.

For full details of Keeley’s filmography and further links please see the website menu.

*Radio Times 23 Feb 2008, Keeley states she is 32 years of age, which would mean she was born in 1976.

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For full details of Keeley’s filmography, please see the website menu.

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