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Claire Skinner

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  Summary  

Claire L. Skinner is an English actress, who is well known in the United Kingdom for her television career.

  Biography  

Born and brought up in Hemel Hempstead, Skinner, the youngest daughter of a shopkeeper and an Irish-born secretary, was immensely shy as a child. Skinner's childhood dream was to become an actress and she completely immersed herself in achieving her ambition. She acted all the time, neglecting all of her school work, at Cavendish School in Hemel Hempstead, and "barely scraped through A-levels". She went on to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and then later on joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 Career
Her first role was in Hanky Park, by Walter Greenwood at the Oldham Repertory Theatre, which she describes as a "really traditional start."

Skinner is best known for her starring role as Clare in the British TV comedy Life Begins and more recently as Sue in the BBC's award-winning and critically acclaimed sitcom Outnumbered. For many years, Skinner has preferred theatre to screen roles because she's been disappointed with her TV projects ("apart from Mike Leigh's stuff"), "not just when you see the final thing, but also because it hasn't taken off."

Skinner has worked with directors that include Mike Leigh, Trevor Nunn, Tim Burton and Sam Mendes, but she remembers one particular director, Alan Ayckbourn, when she first started out: "He was a great influence for me as he pushed me so hard, but every director you work with has a big influence in some way, they really push you.”
She has also made small appearances in other TV shows such as Lark Rise to Candleford where for 2 episodes she plays Mrs Macey. She appeared in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".

 Personal life
She is married to director Charles Palmer, the son of actor Geoffrey Palmer, and they have two sons.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Claire Skinner", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.