7 Roles That Made Us Appreciate Joely Richardson: From 'Lady Chatterley' to 'Nip/Tuck'

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Joely Richardson returns this week in The Sandman, an all-star adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic comic book series. It's another high-profile role for the prolific British actress who comes from a true acting dynasty: her mother is Dame Vanessa Redgrave, her late sister Natasha Richardson was also an actress, and her father was Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson. Here are seven of her performances that we've especially enjoyed. 
1. Lady Chatterley (1994)
Richardson plays the title character in this BBC miniseries from pioneering director Ken Russell. When her husband returns home from the war injured, Richardson's Lady Chatterley begins a scandalous affair with their groundskeeper (Sean Bean). Some costume dramas can be a bit prim and proper, but this one definitely isn't. You can watch it on Acorn TV.

2. 101 Dalmatians (1996)
This classic family movie is probably best known for Glenn Close's vampy performance as Cruella de Vil. But, Richardson shines too in a supporting role as Anita, a fashion designer who works for Close's baddie and has the puppies she's desperate to get her hands on. She also has a sweet romantic storyline with Jeff Daniels' Roger, a fellow dog lover.

3. Maybe Baby (2000)
Richardson stars opposite Hugh Laurie in this British comedy movie about a couple struggling to get pregnant. Written and directed by Ben Elton, it wasn't a big hit at the time, but Maybe Baby is worth seeking out for its cast of Anglophenia favorites, which includes Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Dawn French, and Matthew Macfadyen.

4. Nip/Tuck (2004-2010)
If Richardson has a signature role, it's surely her Golden Globe-nominated performance in Nip/Tuck. She appears in all six seasons as Julia, the long-suffering (and eventual ex) wife of Dylan Walsh's brilliant plastic surgeon Sean McNamara. The plots of this Ryan Murphy series could be surreal and even freaky, but Richardson's character was a kind and grounded presence throughout.

5. The Tudors (2010)
Richardson definitely has a certain regal quality, so she's well cast in The Tudors' final season as Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Richardson's Queen is smart, patient, and more capable of placating Henry's temper than some of her ill-fated predecessors.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The Hollywood adaptation of Stieg Larsson's hugely popular novel follows disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy man's grand-niece. Richardson has a key supporting role as a shifty family member who may know more than she's letting on. 

7. The Aspern Papers (2018)
Richardson doesn't just reunite with Rhys Meyers in this period drama movie; she also co-stars opposite her mother Vanessa Redgrave. Adapted from a Henry James novel, it centers on a scheming editor (Rhys Meyers) who is determined to uncover love letters written by his favorite poet decades earlier. Redgrave plays the recipient of those letters, with Richardson on fine form as the niece she essentially treats as a servant.

Do you have a favorite Joely Richardson role to add to the list?