Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameEmily “Eve” BEST
Birth1971
OccupationActress
EducationWycombe Abbey, Lincoln College Oxford and RADA
MotherSusanna PULFORD (1943-)
Unmarried
Notes for Emily “Eve” BEST
Successful actress. She grew up in Ladbroke Grove and attended Wycombe Abbey Girls’ School before going on to Lincoln College, Oxford where she read english. She then attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

She won an Olivier award for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler and is currently (Sept 2006) playing opposite Kevin Spacey and Colm Meaney in Eugene O'Neill's play A Moon For The Misbegotten at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

From Wikipedia:

Eve Best (born Emily Best; 31 July 1971) is an English actress, best known for her roles as Dr. O'Hara in the Showtime television series Nurse Jackie, as Wallis Simpson in the 2010 film The King's Speech, and Dolley Madison in the 2011 American Experience television special about that First Lady.

Early life and education

Best grew up in Ladbroke Grove, London and attended Wycombe Abbey Girls’ School before going on to Lincoln College, Oxford, where she read English. Among her earliest public performances were with the W11 Opera children's opera company in London at the age of nine. After graduating from Oxford where she had appeared in OUDS productions, and toured to the Edinburgh Festival, she made her professional debut as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at the Southwark Playhouse.

Career

After a period working on the London fringe, Best trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. After graduating in 1999 she appeared in a revival of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore at the Young Vic for which she won both the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle best newcomer awards;[1] she adopted her grandmother's name as a stage name, as an Emily Best was already registered with British Actors' Equity Association.

Best won an Olivier Award for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler and was nominated for the same award the following year for her performance as Josie in Eugene O'Neill's play A Moon For The Misbegotten at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

In early 2007, she starred in a Sheffield Crucible production of As You Like It which played for a short time at the RSC's Swan Theatre in Stratford as part of their Complete Works season. In the same year she performed in the Broadway transfer of A Moon For The Misbegotten for which she was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Play.

Best appeared in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming at the Cort Theatre in New York, which co-starred Ian McShane, Raúl Esparza and Michael McKean. Daniel Sullivan directed the 20-week limited engagement, which ran through April 13, 2008.

Television appearances include Prime Suspect: The Final Act (2006), Waking the Dead (2004), Shackleton (2002), and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2005).

She appears as Lucrece in the Naxos audiobook version of Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece. She also starred in a 2000 BBC Radio 4 production of Emma.

Best costars as Dr. Elenor O'Hara in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, that premiered in June 2009. She played the Duchess of Windsor - Wallis Simpson - in The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

Evening Standard 16th Octopber 2017

Eve Best: 'I thought Wilde was a misogynist — now I slap my own wrists for having that thought'
Torn between the US and the UK, Eve Best is returning to the London stage as a feminist heroine.


Earlier this year, Eve Best, one of our greatest and most mercurial stage actresses, who has also added brio and ballast to the onscreen likes of Nurse Jackie, The Honourable Woman and The King’s Speech, was contemplating moving to the US.

“God yes, that was the plan,” says Best, 46. “I didn’t know if I was necessarily going to move there but I was on my way to Australia to see my sister and her family and I stopped off in LA to ‘have meetings’, in inverted commas. It was the time of the [Trump] inauguration and there was just a very, very unhappy feeling there. The atmosphere felt incredibly toxic and I thought, I have to get out of here.”

The next day Trevor Nunn emailed to ask her to appear in the “lost” Rattigan play Love in Idleness, in London, and in the middle of that show’s successful run, Dominic Dromgoole asked her to star in A Woman of No Importance in October.

The play launches his year-long season of Oscar Wilde plays at the Vaudeville Theatre with his new company Classic Spring, and allows Best to add another iconic stage role to her Cleopatra, Hedda Gabler and Duchess of Malfi, and the Eugene O’Neill and Harold Pinter heroines she has played here and on Broadway. So, lucky us: London has something to thank Trump for. And lucky me to be sitting under a tree with Best, alternately strafed by rain and showers, she having vetoed the dingy interview room.

Best had appeared in Much Ado About Nothing and directed Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe when Dromgoole was running it, “so I have a huge amount of trust and massive faith in him and love for him, and was very inspired by the Wilde project as a whole. As he says, we have this idea that these plays are always on, but they are not. To take a proscenium arch theatre and simply present the plays as they are written is a breathtakingly simple idea but feels completely unique in terms of what’s going on in London at the moment.”

Dromgoole was adamant he wanted her. “Eve is unique, a wonderful match of heart and fancy, bridged by a sharp intellect,” he says. “She can take any text, whether Shakespeare or Nurse Jackie, and make it seem equally fresh and like it just spilled into the world. Add to that an easy physicality, and a lively sense of the absurd, and you have a unique package which should at some point become a national treasure.”

She initially had reservations: eight shows a week is exhausting, plus she had misconceptions about Wilde. “I thought — unfairly — that he was a misogynist,” she says, “and that his writing was two-dimensional, filled with witty epigrams and cardboard- cut-out characters saying things that were too clever by half. Now I slap my own wrists for having that thought.” Her character in the play, Mrs Arbuthnot, is the mother of a secretly illegitimate son and faces a moral dilemma, as well as the double standards of Victorian England, when the boy’s louche, aristocratic father reappears in their lives. “The psychological accuracy of it is extraordinary,” she says. “It feels so modern: it’s like coming across a new play that is the love child of Ibsen and Chekhov.”

Rachel is an “extraordinarily resilient, intelligent, strong, brave, rebellious, good woman”, part of a proto-feminist sisterhood in late 19th-century fiction that includes Hardy’s Bathsheba Everdene and Ibsen’s Nora and Hedda. She is also the least witty character in a play that is, for all its depth, also laced with clever epigrams. “I’m not thinking about it in those terms because I am just being inside her,” Best ripostes. “But she has the wit — the literal wit — to survive as a single mother, which I know from the experiences of friends and family is difficult beyond imagination. A woman who has committed the “sin” of having a child out of wedlock was in Victorian eyes almost as much of a criminal as a man who slept with other men... she sets herself free at the end of the play in the way Wilde clearly yearned to do for himself.”

Best was born in Ladbroke Grove, her father a design journalist who is now a painter and her mother a director who worked on the English Stage Company’s famous Wars of the Roses cycle, which gave Best and her younger sister early exposure to Shakespeare. Her parents split when she was 18 — “old enough to understand but still young”.

She boarded at Wycombe Abbey, acted during her studies at Oxford and got into Rada on her second attempt, changing her name from Emily to Eve as there was already an Emily Best in Equity. Shortly after graduating she won the Outstanding Newcomer award (as it was then called) at the Evening Standard’s 1999 Theatre Awards for her role as Annabella in ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore opposite Jude Law.
Last Modified 22 Oct 2017Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh