Longtime actress who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Margaret Schlegel in the 1992 film Howards End. She also won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for her script for the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, which she also starred in. Her other film credits include Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing, Nanny McPhee and Stranger than Fiction.
In 2004, she portrayed Professor Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
She co-starred with Hugh Grant and Kate WInslet in the Ang Lee film Sense and Sensibility.
She was the first female member of the Newnham College sketch comedy troupe Footlights and went on to become the group's vice president, co-directing the first all-female revue put on by the troupe, Women's Hour.
She was married to Much Ado About Nothing co-star Kenneth Branagh from 1989 to 1995, then married Greg Wise in 2003. She has a son named Tindyebwa and a daughter named Gaia.