Shirley Henderson (born 24 November 1965) is a Scottish actress. She is perhaps best known for her film roles as Gail in Trainspotting (1996), Jude in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). Her other films include Topsy-Turvy (1999), Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Frozen (2005), Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) and Anna Karenina (2012). On television from 1995-1997, she starred opposite Robert Carlyle in the BBC series Hamish Macbeth. In 2014, she received a BAFTA TV Award nomination for the Channel 4 miniseries Southcliffe (2013). She has also featured most recently as Frances Drummond in the BBC drama Happy Valley (2016).

Early life

Henderson was born in Forres, Moray, but grew up in Kincardine, Fife. As a child, she began singing in local clubs, at charity events, holiday camps and even a boxing contest. Having joined an after-school drama club, Henderson attended Fife College at the age of 16, where she completed a one-year course resulting in a National Certificate in Theatre Arts. She moved to London at 17 where she spent three years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1986.


Henderson got her first big break when Leonard White cast her as the lead in the children's television drama Shadow of the Stone on ITV. After this, she spent the majority of her twenties concentrating on performing a wide variety of roles in the theatre. Early 1990 saw her return to television screens when she appeared in the third series of the wartime drama series Wish Me Luck and in Clarissa (1991). More stage work followed before she landed the key role of Isobel in the popular BBC series Hamish Macbeth in 1995.

Henderson then moved into films, playing Morag in Rob Roy (1995) and Spud's girlfriend Gail in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996). She continued her work in the theatre, including many productions at the National Theatre in London. 1999 saw critically acclaimed performances in Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy — which also provided an opportunity for her to show off her singing skills – and Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland.

She played Jude in both Bridget Jones films and Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). She was the oldest actress to portray a child's character in the films. She co-starred in the British film "Close Your Eyes" (2002) along with Goran Višnjić and Miranda Otto and also played French princess Sophie-Philippine in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006).

She played the school matron in Nick Moore's 2008 film Wild Child.

Small-screen appearances have included playing Marie Melmotte in The Way We Live Now (2001); Catherine of Braganza in Charles II: The Power and The Passion (2003); Charlotte in Dirty Filthy Love (2004); Ursula Blake in the Doctor Who episode "Love & Monsters" (2006); Emmeline Fox in The Crimson Petal and the White (2011); DS Angela Young in Death in Paradise (2011); and Meg Hawkins in Treasure Island (2012). She played Karen, the lead role, opposite John Simm in Channel 4's Everyday and Meme Kartosov in Anna Karenina.



1991Advocates IAndreaaka The Advocates
1994Salt on Our SkinMary
1995Rob RoyMorag
1998Speak Like a ChildWoman in Dreamuncredited
1999Topsy-TurvyLeonora BrahamNominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
2000The ClaimAnnie
2001Bridget Jones's DiaryJude
2002The Girl in the Red DressGaynor
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsMoaning Myrtle
Doctor SleepDetective Janet Losey
Once Upon a Time in the MidlandsShirley
24 Hour Party PeopleLindsay WilsonNominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Wilbur Wants to Kill HimselfAliceBordeaux International Festival of Women in Cinema: Best Actress
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor/Actress
Villa des rosesEllaNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
2003American CousinsAliceCherbourg-Octeville Festival of Irish & British Film: Best Actress
Newport Beach Film Festival: Feature Film – Best Actress – Comedy
IntermissionSallyNominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
FishyGlenda Sands
Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonJude
2005A Cock and Bull StorySusannahaka Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
The Girl in the Red DressGaynorshort
Angers European First Film Festival: Mademoiselle Ladubay Award
FrozenKathBAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actress in a Scottish Film
Cherbourg-Octeville Festival of Irish & British Film: Best Actress
Créteil International Women's Film Festival: Special Mention
Marrakech International Film Festival: Best Actress
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireMoaning Myrtle
2006Marie AntoinetteAunt Sophie
Ma BoyAli
2007I Really Hate My JobAlice
2008Wild ChildMatron
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a DayEdythe Dubarry
2009Life During WartimeJoyNominated – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2010Meek's CutoffGlory White
The Nutcracker in 3DThe Nutcrackervoice only
Anna KareninaMeme Kartasov
2013The Look of LoveRustie Humphries
In SecretSuzanne
2015Tale of TalesImma
2016Bridget Jones's BabyJude


1987Shadow of the StoneElizabeth Findlay
1990Wish Me LuckSylvie5 episodes
CasualtyDenise1 episode
1991DreamingPaulineTV movie
ClarissaSallyTV movie
1994The BillKelly Rogers1 episode
1995Hamish MacbethIsobel Sutherland19 episodes (1995–1997)
1997Bumping the OddsLynetteTV movie
2000Animated Tales of the WorldMalmhin
2001The Way We Live NowMarie Melmotte4 episodes
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
In a Land of PlentyAnne Marie1 episode
2003Charles II: The Power and The PassionCatherine of Braganza4 episodes
2004Dirty Filthy LoveCharlotteTV movie
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
2005ShakespeaRe-ToldKatherine MinolaThe Taming of the Shrew
Einstein's Big IdeaMileva Maric1 episode
2006Doctor WhoUrsula Blake1 episode: "Love & Monsters"
2007Wedding BellesKellyTV movie
2008Marple: Murder Is EasyHonoria WaynfleteTV movie
2009May Contain NutsAliceTV movie
2011The Crimson Petal and the WhiteEmmeline Fox
Death in ParadiseDS Angela Young
The Gruffalo's ChildThe Gruffalo's Child
2012Treasure IslandMeg HawkinsTV movie
2013SouthcliffeClaire SalterNominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress
2014Jamaica InnHannah
2016Happy ValleyFrances DrummondSeries 2