She portrayed Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love and played M in several James Bond films. She has received over six Laurence Olivier Awards for her contributions to the stage.
She initially trained to become a set designer.
She is a Shakespearean actress who played Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.
She married Michael Williams in 1971, and the couple had a daughter in 1972. The couple remained married until his death in 2001.
She has acted in many of Shakespeare's plays, including Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet. She appeared in Notes on a Scandal with Cate Blanchett.