Nominated twice for the Laurence Olivier Award for her stage work, Rachael Atlanta Stirling was born on 30 May 1977 in London, England.

Acting is in Stirling’s blood. She is the daughter of actress Diana Rigg and theatre producer Archibald Stirling. Through her father, she has a long line of ancestry from the Scottish parish of Lecropt, near her namesake city of Stirling.

Rachael Stirling (30 May 1977-)

Like many British actresses, Stirling is every bit as comfortable treading the boards as she is acting for cameras. She played Nancy Astley in the BBC drama “Tipping the Velvet,” and Millie in the ITV series “The Bletchley Circle.”

After attending Wycombe Abbey School, Stirling obtained a BA in art history from Edinburgh University. It was while Stirling was a student at Edinburgh University that she performed with the Edinburgh University Theatre Company.

Relative to her professional thespian career, in 1996, Stirling made her first major appearance on stage as Desdemona in the National Youth Theatre revival of “Othello” at the Arts Theatre opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role.

Since her first professional stage performance, Sterling has appeared in many theatrical productions. The staged productions Stirling appeared in includes but is not limited to “Anna in the Tropics” (2004), “Tamburlaine” (2005), and “Theatre of Blood” (2005).

Like many talented thespians, Stirling is highly adept at performing Shakespearian characters. Illustrating this point, the actress played Katharina in a staging of “The Taming of the Shrew.”

In 2000, Stirling appeared in the NBC miniseries “In the Beginning.” A year later, she portrayed Nan Astley in the 2002 BBC drama series “Tipping the Velvet.”

Three years following her television debut, Stirling appeared in the Charlie Palmer directed episode of “Agatha Christie’s Marple” titled ‘The Murder at the Vicarage.’ Relative to her television career, this was the first time I had seen her perform.

In playing Rev. Leonard Clement’s (Tim McInnerny) wife, Griselda Clement, she was magnificent. Among the cast members was Mark Gatiss. Gatiss played Rev. Ronald Hawes. This would not be the last time the London born actress would work with Gatiss.

Stirling appeared in a 2013 episode of “Doctor Who” titled ‘The Crimson Horror’ alongside her mother. The episode had been specially written for Stirling and her mother by Gatiss and was aired 4 May 2013 as part of Series 7.

One of the most recent production Stirling has worked on is “Their Finest.” The film revolves around a former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joining the cast and crew of a major film production while the Blitz rages around them.

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Shain E. Thomas, a contributor to the Handbook of Texas Online, is a University of North Texas graduate student majoring in Library Information Science.