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Emma Thompson is one of the world’s most respected theatrical talents and she is the sole artist so far to have received an Academy Award for both acting and screen-writing. She made her début in feature films in 1988 with The Tall Guy and, since then, her films have included Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father which collectively have won her a BAFTA Award, Best Actress Award, New York and Los Angeles Film Critics’ Award, Golden Globe and Academy Awards. In 1995, her adaptation of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility won a string of prestigious awards before her performances in Love Actually and Saving Mr Banks were equally honoured. From 2004 Thompson wrote the screenplay and acted in Nanny McPhee and she has worked on other children’s classics including JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, while in 2014, she wrote for Penguin Press an extension of Beatrice Potter’s Peter Rabbit story. Her stage performances have included a portrayal of Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street while her television work has included her own series called Thompson.
Thompson is an active campaigner on human and environmental issues: she is President of the Helen Bamber Foundation, is an active supporter of Greenpeace and an ambassador for Action Aid, is a Patron of the Refugee Council and also of Edinburgh College’s Performing Arts Studio of Scotland. In 2018 she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire. She became patron of the HHT in January 2021.