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Zoe Wanamaker

Despite her many years acting on Broadway and with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, Zoe Wanamaker may be best known to younger audiences for her role as Madame Hooch in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Wanamaker’s family moved to London when she was three due to her father (also an actor) coming under scrutiny of the House UN-American Activities Committee. She studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama and spent several years perfecting her craft in regional repertory theater before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1976–1984. Her performance in Sophocles’s Electra from 1997–1999 in the UK and on Broadway earned her an Olivier Award and a Tony nomination. She was nominated for a BAFTA for her role in Prime Suspect in 1991, and achieved popularity throughout the UK for playing Tessa Piggott in Love Hurts in 1992. She has played numerous guest roles on BBC favorites such as Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Doctor Who, and Mr. Selfridge, and played Susan Harper on the sitcom My Family from 2000–2011. After becoming a UK citizen in 2000, she was honored as a Commander of the British Empire in 2001.

More on Zoe Wanamaker
Zoe Wanamaker
Full image
Zoe Wanamaker in 2013, image courtesy of Ed Ednayat via Wikimedia Commons.
Date of Birth
May 13, 1949
Place of Birth
New York, New York

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Zoe Wanamaker." (Viewed on December 10, 2018) <>.


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