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Olivia Colman | Success Story of the Academy Award-Winning Actress



Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman is a prominent English actress. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for over two decades. Olivia gained worldwide recognition in 2018 after starring in the black comedy The Favourite. For her memorable performance, she won three of the industry’s most prestigious awards: The Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe. In her long and successful career, Olivia has starred in significant projects like Mothering Sunday, The Lost Daughter, The Father, and Netflix’s The Crown. In 2019, Olivia earned the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)  for her contribution to drama.


Sarah Caroline Colman, professionally known as Olivia Colman, is recognized as one of the generation’s most talented artists. She began her acting journey in 2000 with BBC Two’s comedy sketch show Bruiser. Olivia is famous for her versatile and convincing acting skills. In her two-decade-long career, she has worked with iconic artists like Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and Paul Rudd. Besides films, Olivia also has a significant presence in the television world. She has been a part of over fifty TV projects. 

Early Life

On the 30th of January 1974, Sarah Caroline Colman was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Her father, Keith Colman, was a chartered surveyor. In contrast, her mother, Mary Leakey, worked as a nurse. Due to her father’s profession, Sarah and her family constantly had to move from one place to another. However, Sarah’s childhood was not affected by the constant relocating. She had a loving and caring upbringing. Young Sarah would often watch TV shows like Doctor Who and Knight Rider. She loved going to movie theatres with her grandma to watch movies. Sarah’s mother, Mary, was a ballet dancer. However, her career was interrupted, and she became a nurse. Mary’s discontinued career inspired Sarah to become an actor. 

For schooling, Sarah attended Norwich High School. Later, she joined Gersham’s school. From a young age, Sarah started participating in school plays. However, at the time, she did not decide to pursue acting professionally. Sarah portrayed Jean Brodie in her school’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie production at age sixteen. After schooling, Sarah enrolled at Homerton College, Cambridge, for further studies. At college, she began studying primary teaching. However, she changed her mind and dropped out of Homerton. After that, Sarah moved to Bristol to study drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. While in Cambridge, she played a small role in Channel 4’s The Word.

Beginning of Career

Olivia Colman with Marcus Canning

Sarah graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1999. The following year, she began her professional acting career. However, Sarah had to change her name because the UK Actors’ Equity Association already had an actress named Sarah Colman. As a result, she decided to go with the name Olivia. From her university days, Sarah loved the name. In 2000, she appeared on BBC Two’s Bruiser. Olivia continued to play supporting roles on TV during the early 2000s. However, she failed to gain recognition. While starring in television series, she also began a career as a voice-over artist for shows. During 2000-2005, Olivia was a part of more than 20 TV series. Some of them were successful shows like The Office, Holby City, and Black Books.

Pathway to Success

During the mid-2000s, Olivia continued to star in television shows. A few of them achieved critical and commercial success. Through appearances in Doctor Who, Beautiful People, Skins, and Rev., Olivia started gaining recognition in the television industry. In BBC’s Rev., she played the leading role alongside Tom Hollander. It went on to become a commercial and critical success. After these significant roles, there was no looking back for Olivia. In 2011, she landed a role in the biographical drama film The Iron Lady. In the movie, Meryl Streep portrayed the UK’s longest-serving PM, Margaret Thatcher. Olivia played Margaret’s daughter and English journalist, Carol Jane Thatcher. The film won two Academy Awards and two BAFTAs.

Worldwide Recognition

Olivia’s fame continued to grow during the 2010s. She starred in critically acclaimed movies like The Lobster, London Road, and the multistarrer mystery drama Murder on the Orient Express. However, her most considerable success came in 2018. Olivia portrayed Queen Anne in the period black comedy drama The Favourite. It went on the become one of the year’s greatest hits. For her outstanding performance, Olivia won the Oscar for Best Actress. Since 2017, she has played the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix and Sony’s The Crown. Her portrayal gained her broader recognition in the industry. The Telegraph has considered the show one of TV’s Best Soap Opera. Olivia Colman became the industry’s most prominent and respected star through these groundbreaking roles.

Also read: Cate Blanchett | Success Story of the Academy Award-Winning Actress

How old is Olivia Colman?

Olivia Colman is 48 years old as of 2022. She was born on the 30th of January 1974 in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Her father is a chartered surveyor, whereas her mother is a nurse. From a young age, Olivia loved watching movies and TV shows. She began acting during her high school years.

What is the net worth of Olivia Colman?

Olivia Colman’s net worth is estimated to be $8 million. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for over two decades. In her long and successful career, she has acted in significant projects like Mothering Sunday, The Lost Daughter, The Father, and Netflix’s The Crown.

Is Olivia Colman married?

Yes, Olivia Colman has been married to Ed Sinclair since 2001. The couple has been together for over two decades. They have two children together. Ed is a writer, producer, and actor by profession.

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