Attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and at Old Vic Theatre. She is a ten-time BAFTA winner including Best Actress in a Comedy Series for "A Fine Romance" (1981) in which she appeared with her husband, Michael Williams, and Best Supporting Actress in A Handful of Dust (1988) and A Room with a View (1985) . She received an ACE award for her performance in the television series Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill (1985) (TV). She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1970, and was created Dame of Order of the British Empire in 1988.