In Spotlight: Anna Friel’s best movies and TV shows – from Brookside to Marcella

Anna Friel has been on our screens for 30 years – and she’s had some corking roles during her career. Here's our pick of her finest film and TV performances.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 25 January 2021 - 4.58pm
ITV/Getty Anna Friel starred in Marcella, Limitless and Brookside

Anna Friel has been acting since the age of 13, so despite only being in her 40s she’s had a rather long career already.

Her latest role in ITV crime drama Marcella will probably remain one of her most memorable roles, but what else has the Rochdale-born actor been in?

We take a look at some of her performances in both TV and on film.

Brookside

Anna Friel Tim Roney/Getty

Anna’s breakout role was in Brookside, in which she portrayed Beth Jordache. The family moved into Brookside Close to escape her violent father Trevor – only for him to return, and ultimately end up buried under the patio after he was stabbed by Beth’s mother Mandy.

However Anna’s biggest storyline in Brookside was Beth’s kiss with Margaret Clemence (Nicola Stephenson), which was the first gay kiss to be shown on television before the 9pm watershed.

Classic episodes of Brookside are available on All 4.

Pushing Daisies

Anna’s career went international with this quirky comedy-drama, in which pie-maker Ned has the ability to bring things back to life. Anna’s character Chuck was murdered but brought back to life by Ned.

The series was widely praised and received 17 Primetime Emmy nominations – and Anna was nominated for a Golden Globe. Although it only ran for two seasons between 2007 and 2009, the show remains popular to this day.

Pushing Daisies is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Deep Water

Set in the Lake District, Deep Water follows the lives of three vibrant women connected by similarly-aged children and meetings at the school gate.

Anna’s character, Lisa Kallisto, juggles a hectic family life with running a business while her husband is often out working as a taxi driver.

Deep Water is streaming on BritBox, Netflix, NOW TV and the ITV Hub.

Limitless

Anna is one of the stars in this sci-fi thriller starring Bradley Cooper. He plays Eddie, a struggling writer who is introduced to a drug that seemingly could drastically improve his lifestyle.

Anna plays Eddie’s ex-wife Melissa, who reveals to Eddie the struggles of coming off the drug.

Limitless is streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Marcella

Anna’s most devastating role is undoubtedly as Marcella Backland, the London detective who is brilliant but is troubled by violent blackouts and a mysterious past.

In 2017 she won an International Emmy award for her performances, which have been praised for their intensity – she recently even admitted that the high stress levels caused her to be physically sick in between takes during filming for season 3.

Marcella season 3 is streaming on BritBox from January 26. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on BritBox now.

Marcella season 3: Cast and plot recap for the twisted ITV drama

Get all the channels you love with flexible BT TV

Our VIP, Big Entertainment and Entertainment packages include Sky channels with a NOW Entertainment Membership.