Yorkshire born and twice divorced, Wilton is the niece of actor Bill Travers. She’s performed widely but truly came to fame when she appeared alongside Richard Briers in the BBC’s Ever Decreasing Circles in 1984. As Rosemary in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads 2 and as Mrs Bibby in his The History Boys, she was brilliant but it is as Isobel Crawley in Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey that she is now best known. Wilton has most definitely got playing middle-class down to a tee and once commented: “I find talking about acting very boring, having to come out with platitudes about how terribly nice everyone is… I would much rather just do it”.
Penelope Wilton OBE
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