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Monday, 31 December, 2001, 00:00 GMT
Margolyes: Voice of a movie star
Miriam Margolyes'
Miriam Margolyes' voice has landed her big roles
UK actress Miriam Margolyes has been recognised for her wide variety of film roles by being made an OBE.

The star made the leap from the Cambridge Footlights to become one of Hollywood's most prolific character actresses.

With more than 40 big screen credits to her name, Margolyes has remained in constant demand - a rare feat for any 60-year-old in the cut-throat industry.

Her biggest role was in the period drama Age of Innocence for which she received a Bafta for best supporting actress in 1994.

Vanity Fair
Margolyes starred in the period drama Vanity Fair
But it is her distinctive voice which keeps the star hard at work.

She has voiced some of the biggest animation films including Babe, Cats and Dogs, Mulan and James and the Giant Peach.

Margolyes has recently been seen on the West End stage in the Vagina Monologues.

Her next role could see her catapulted into an even bigger league as she is set to star as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

Cadbury's bunny

Born in Oxford to Jewish-Belarussian parents, Margolyes studied at Cambridge University, where she built on her passion for acting with the Footlights.

Her vocal skills landed her work doing voiceovers for radio and television, including the Cadbury's Caramel bunny.

During the 1980s she had parts in Blackadder, usually playing stern women characters.

Her film roles include the nurse in Romeo and Juliet and Flora Finching in the 1988 movie Little Dorrit, for which she was honoured by the LA Critics Circle as best supporting actress.

'Fat'

Blackadder
She played several feisty characters in Blackadder
Recent television appearances include Miss Crawley in the BBC adaptation of Vanity Fair.

She once said of her figure: "Fatness is not a state of mind and mustn't be allowed to become so.

"I've been fat all my life and I expect to die fat.

"But I'm not fat inside. I'm a little darting thing with quick movements to match my quick mind and when I realised I was fat, which was probably when I was 11, I decided to use it to my advantage."

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