She’s become popular across the globe due to her spectacular performance as the no-nonsense but kind hearted cook, Mrs Patmore in phenomenon, Downton Abbey. It has recently been announced that she will play a substantial role in ABC’s The Catch, which is fantastic news. The versatile actress that is Lesley Nicol has achieved much in her long career, though and here are five of her best characters:
1. Mrs Beaver in BBC television series, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - This was where I first spotted Lesley, she portrayed the character exactly as I imagined when I read the book and captured my imagination immediately. It didn’t look like the easiest costume to manoeuvre in, so full marks for mobility and agility!
2. Johanna in Once Upon a Time - Lesley appeared in one episode of the American series, the episode was called The Queen is Dead, and Lesley played vulnerable soul. A last link to Snow’s mother, the hapless friend met a grisly end, but not before Lesley showed us another side to her acting talents!
3. Katja in Supernatural - Lesley played a character who was essentially the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Only scarier and more of a cannibal than I ever imagined in Hansel and Gretel really was. This was no fairy tale character and Lesley certainly didn’t play her in gimmicky fashion. Very frightening and probably loving it(!) in this episode, called About A Boy.
4. Fairy Godmother in Goldie and Bear - as a voice actor, this is one of my personal favourites from Lesley’s credits. I claim to watch it for my young son, but in reality, who doesn’t love Disney Junior? The Fairy Godmother is a bit whacky and Lesley really does put some amazing nuances into the character’s voice.
5. Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey - I’d have been lynched if I hadn’t mentioned this feisty lady, Beryl Patmore is undoubtedly one of Lesley’s triumphs. From her bust ups with Mary Queen of Scots aka Mrs Hughes played by Phyllis Logan, to her mother/daughter relationship with young assistant cook, Daisy, to her match-making services for her old nemesis, Mrs Hughes and the butler, Mr Carson. A character to be proud of, Ms Nicol!