ANNA Friel is set to be honoured for her outstanding contribution to the film and television at The Irish Post Awards 2019 this week.
The International Emmy Award winner will be honoured on the night with live coverage of the Awards kicks commencing at 9:30pm on TG4 this Thursday, November 14.
Born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, Anna's father Desmond "Des" Friel was born in Belfast and raised in County Donegal, while her mother, Julie, worked as a special needs teacher.
Friel caught the acting bug from an early age, enjoying appearances on Coronation Street and Emmerdale in her formative years. But it was the role of Beth Jordache on Channel 4’s boundary-pushing soap Brookside, that put her on the map.
It was a role that saw Friel involved in arguably the series’ most famous storylines, which made national newspaper headlines for featuring the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss in British television history.
It was a ground-breaking moment, broadcast in as many as 76 countries where homosexuality was illegal. It also went on to feature as part of Danny Boyle’s widely celebrated opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Eager to forge ahead with her career after such a historic television moment, Friel starred in a string of thought-provoking film projects including The Land Girls, Rogue Trader and a big budget adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Her film and television work has continued apace in the years since, with Friel winning fans and plaudits for a diverse range of roles that have run the gamut from the criminally underrated US TV series Pushing Daisies to a role opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy Land of the Lost.
Recent years have seen her continue to push the envelope with lead roles in the controversial Steven Soderbergh TV drama series The Girlfriend Experience and in the British “Nordic” noir detective series Marcella, which earned her a much-coveted International Emmy for Best Actress in 2017.
2018 brought more success with the mini-series Butterfly, which saw Friel star as the parent of a transgender child – a role that earned her yet more acclaim.
An avid animal lover and ambassador for the WWF wildlife charity, Friel remains a popular fixture in the world of film and television in the UK and US thanks to a string of thought-provoking and consistently challenging roles. Long may it continue.
Tune into The Irish Post Awards 2019 this Thursday, November 14 at 9.30pm LIVE on TG4!