After appearing in several comedy programmes, she first came to prominence in 1987 in two BBC TV series, Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War, winning the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work in both series.
Her first film role was in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy, and in the early 1990s, she frequently collaborated with her then husband, actor and director Kenneth Branagh.
' We got very nippy with each other in the airport scene. "I think working with anyone more than once is good because, apart from the obvious, you can be thoroughly rude to them and that gets ride of a lot of hoo-ha.
'" The star of "Sense and Sensibility" and "Primary Colors" then recalled how her director/father always said "direction is 90 percent in the casting." "And I think that is very true," said the actress.
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson are to play old flames in a television adaptation of a Christopher Reid poem.