Search

Emma Thompson’s mother Phyllida Law on why she can’t feel proud of OBE

17:00 18 June 2014

Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law receive honorary degrees at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Picture: PA Archive

Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law receive honorary degrees at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Picture: PA Archive

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Most people honoured by the Queen express shock or disbelief at receiving an award. But film and TV actress Phyllida Law, of West Hampstead, was so surprised about her OBE she was certain the letter was sent to the wrong person.

Ms Law, mother of actresses Sophie and Emma Thompson, spent days ringing theatre agents to make sure the award was not meant for film director Phyllida Lloyd, who was in fact made a CBE in the 2010 Honours List.

“I was so astonished I just assumed it belonged to another Phyllida,” the 81-year-old said.

“Why me? I haven’t done anything. Perhaps I had better start! I don’t know what it’s for really. I’ve survived, perhaps it’s that.”

She was given the nod in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to drama and for charitable services.

Born in Glasgow in 1932, Ms Law married Magic Roundabout creator Eric Thompson in 1957 and kicked off her acting career soon afterwards.

His death in 1982 after 25 years of marriage hit her and her two daughters very hard but the tight-knit family has remained close.

The veteran actress has performed alongside both her daughters, with Sophie in the 1996 Hollywood adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, and with Emma in children’s film Nanny McPhee, Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing and 1992 comedy Peter’s Friends.

Ms Law has also been an active charity campaigner as president of the Theatrical Guild, raising money for backstage theatre staff.

She is also vocal in support of glaucoma charity Fight for Sight, which she backed after watching her mother lose her sight to the hereditary condition.

Proud

Despite her achievements, the self-styled “ambulant witch” says she cannot feel any pride in what she does.

“If I mend a plug, I feel proud of myself,” she said. “I feel proud if I don’t fall off the edge of the stage. But I can’t say yes, I was so wonderful. It doesn’t come naturally.”

Ms Law is not the only star to receive plaudits in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Tufnell Park actor Damian Lewis, who opened Highgate’s Christmas Festival in November last year, was also made an OBE for services to drama.

Ms Law will be in discussion with Piers Plowright at Prom’s at St Jude’s at Henrietta Barnett School in Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, on Saturday, June 28.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

5 minutes ago
Raymond Simonson (third from left) and Paul Perkins (fourth from left) take part in the commemoration walk. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Community figures today walked to remember those who lost their lives in the 7/7 terrorist attacks exactly 10 years ago.

07:00
Raymond Simonson. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Community figures will today walk to remember those who lost their lives in the 7/7 terrorist attacks exactly 10 years ago.

10:00
Teachers dress up in school uniform for the Camden School For Girls fundraising 5k run in Regent's Park. Picture: Polly Hancock

Teachers squeezed into school uniform while pupils donned funny wigs to race in a 5k fun run raising money for whiteboards and computer equipment.

Yesterday, 17:30
The number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square which was blown up by a suicide bomber on 7/7. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/PA

Relatives of those who died in the July 7 bombings that brought terrorism to the streets of Camden will be returning to the borough tomorrow to mark its 10-year anniversary.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder