English stage and screen actor. A versatile performer, she has played a variety of roles including Cordelia in the 1982 BBC production of King Lear, a matriarch in the US feature film A River Runs Through It (1992), and a downtrodden working-class heroine in Mike Leigh's Secrets and Lies (1996), which earned her widespread acclaim. Her UK television credits include Chance in A Million (1986), The Buddha of Suburbia (1993), Between the Sheets (2003), and the detective series Vera (2011– ).
Blethyn was much lauded for her supporting role in the British drama Little Voice (1998) and popular adaptations of Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007). She has also featured in the films Night Train and Girl's Night (both 1998), Saving Grace (2000), Lovely and Amazing (2001), and Blizzard (2003). She was awarded the OBE in 2002.