Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special
One of England's most renowned stage actresses, Eileen Atkins has been a staple of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and London's West End since the 1960s. She has also popped up occasionally on film and television, and she has made numerous contributions to both mediums as a scriptwriter, most notably for the acclaimed series Upstairs Downstairs and House of Eliott and the well-received screen adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
A product of London's East End, where she was born in the Clapton Salvation Army Home on June 16, 1934, Atkins grew up in a council home as the third child of a homemaker and a gas meter reader. She began performing as a tap dancer in working men's clubs at the age of seven, and she had done professional pantomime by the time she was 13. Under the encouragement of a school instructor -- who gave Atkins voice lessons to remove her Cockney accent and introduced her to Shakespeare -- she went on to attend the Guildhall School of Drama, where she did a teaching course and took drama classes.