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Amanda Donohoe

  • English actress
  • Born June 29, 1962

Amanda Donohoe (born 29 June 1962) is an English actress. She first came to attention as a 16-year-old living with pop singer Adam Ant, appearing in the music videos for the Adam and the Ants singles "Antmusic" (1980) and "Stand and Deliver" (1981) during their four-year relationship. She later moved to the United States, where she appeared in films and on television series, including a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress-winning performance during her two years (1990–92) as C.J. Lamb on the NBC drama series L.A. Law.


I have always been a huge fan of reggae music. I remember going to see Bob Marley And The Wailers at the Hammersmith Odeon when I was 13. I went with my big sister, Cordelia, and it remains the most wonderful concert I've ever been to.




Soaps are one of the few areas on TV that really embrace older women. In drama, there's this ridiculous invisibility for women between the ages of 40 and 60. Unless you're old enough to play a grandmother, there just aren't the roles.




I loved living in Hollywood - and the weather there was just fantastic - but there is something about rural England, and especially Suffolk and Norfolk, that pulls at my heartstrings.




The worst hotels are any with a bad bed. I stayed in a hotel where they left cards telling me my enjoyment was of paramount importance. I should have written, 'Nice rooms, crap beds.'




I read, go for walks and I love to garden. My hands are such a mess. People think I should have movie star hands, but they're just gardening ones. Always slightly grubby and with a bit of dirt under the fingernails.




I think the joy of any soap opera is it is always there. You are allowed into this world for a little while and it's safe in that you are watching other people go through some troubles rather than yourself. It's there every night, and there is something special about that sort of terrestrial television experience for a mass audience.




If all you're doing is making money, you have a luxurious but empty life.




I've always loved my red wine, and when I'm not working I can open a bottle too many. I love to cook, so it's one for me and one for the casserole. I would consume a bottle of wine on my own of an evening and then literally pass out.




I don't think atheism means one does not believe in a spiritual life. I think it means one does not follow the tenets of the established religions.




Of course, like any woman, I look in the mirror and think, 'Oh, wouldn't I look better with a bit of Botox?' But you've got to find comfort in your own skin. I've watched women stretch themselves year after year until their faces are no longer recognisable.




At 50 you're more confident, more comfortable in your skin and you don't put up with nonsense, especially from men.




I don't like posh hotels. I like small, eclectic hotels, and luxury for me would mean really good company with good food in a really funky, beautiful house in the middle of a field where someone came and serviced the place for us.




I watch an awful lot of old Hollywood movies - I'll devour anything with Bette Davis or Joan Crawford. My absolute favourite is 'Sunset Boulevard' starring Gloria Swanson.




Your roots, your family, your friends all become so much more important to you as you get older, especially if you are a wandering minstrel like me.




That's the problem with soaps, of course. The stories never end. They can go on and on and on.




I had no idea 'L.A. Law' would be so mega. I knew it was a big show, but I was just one actress in a group of many good, award-winning actresses.




I have no regrets about not having children. I still wait for the pang of guilt, but I have none. I tune into the television show 'Nanny 911' occasionally which reminds me how much patience and love it take to be a good parent.




People say to me 'You're a big Hollywood star', and I find it so funny. I still feel as though I'm the girl from Golders Green. I lead such a boring, normal life. I still go shopping in Sainsbury's. If the ability to do that was taken away from me, I'd go barmy. You lose your freedom. Be careful what you wish for.




If you build a career on being a beautiful young woman, that's going to be a short career. I have to establish I can act. I don't want to have to visit the plastic surgeon every two years.




My preferred environment is by the sea or somewhere rural. I don't want to be in a city, I don't want to visit New York and I don't want to go shopping.




It's either feast or famine, and that's the way it's been for as long as I can remember. I've spent my whole career thinking I'll never work again. Every actor lives with that insecurity. You just have to negotiate the rapids as they come.




My sister is older than me and would often go off, so I grew up alone in a sense. I had to amuse myself and developed a wonderful fantasy world and quite happily lived in it. I think, in adulthood, that helped me. I love pottering on my own.




'Downton Abbey' is one of my favourite shows ever - it's just beautifully filmed, and the stories and characters are so wonderful.




Women's lives get more interesting the older they get. For some reason, when you hit 35, it turns into a grey area filmically. There's not much more until you start playing grannies. I'm not ready for that. I'm just naffed off that, between 35 and 50, there aren't better things about.




I love my work - it's what I know how to do best.




My father worked for the Foreign Office, so he was away a lot of the time. We were a very volatile family. There was a lot of love and a lot of conflict. The conflict kicked in mostly during my adolescence.



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