After nearly three decades of acting in plays, films and TV shows, Imelda Staunton starred in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake (2004) and suddenly became a front-runner in the Oscar race for Best Actress. On stage she has had starring roles in dramas and musicals, and she turned in award-winning performances in supporting roles in 1985's A Chorus of Disapproval and The Corn is a Green. On British television she has appeared in movies and the series The Singing Detective (1986), Up the Garden Path (1990) and Murder (2002). In the movies she's been a reliable character actress in such films as Peter's Friends (1992), Shakespeare in Love (1998, starring Gwyneth Paltrow) and Crush (2001), and in the 2007 movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Staunton nearly stole the show as pink-cheeked, iron-fisted headmistress Dolores Umbridge. Her other films include Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010, also starring Johnny Depp) and The Awakening (2011).
Staunton has also done voice work for animated features, including 2000’s Chicken Run (she was “Bunty”).