If you’ve seen the “Harry Potter” movie series, you probably remember the spiteful Aunt Marge. Despite a fairly brief appearance in the third episode, actor Pam Ferris left quite an impression on young fans. Do you know that she has been a well-known actress since the 1970s?
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Early life and education
Pamela E. Ferris was born on May 11, 1948 in Hanover, Lower Saxony, then Allied-occupied Germany. Her parents were Welsh – her father Fred Ferris was in the Royal Air Force, which is why she was born in Hanover. Her parents returned to Wales when she was a baby, so she spent most of her early years near Bridgend, Glamorgan.
After resigning from the RAF, her father became a police officer, while her mother, Ann Perkins, worked in the bakery owned by her family. Ferris has a sister named Barbara.
When Ferris was 13, her family emigrated to New Zealand, where she enrolled from high school. Little is known about her life from this period, but she revealed that she worked as a sales representative. Around this time, she saw the movie “London Assurance” starring Judi Dench, and it was then that she decided to pursue an acting career. She performed for a while at the Mercury Theater in Auckland, New Zealand, but when she was 22 she moved back to the UK to find more job opportunities.
Ferris continued her theater career in the UK. She worked for several regional companies before finally making her TV debut in 1972, in the feature film “To Love a Maori”. However, during this time, she took a break from her career so she could take care of her ailing mother. This is why she didn’t get new roles until 1983, when she appeared in the TV movie “Meantime”.
In 1985, Ferris landed her first recurring role in a TV series, when she was cast as Nesta in ‘Connie’, a drama series set in the fashion industry. Before the end of the 1980s, she appeared in several other titles such as ‘Ladies in Charge’, ‘Dramarama’, ‘Hardwicke House’ and ‘South of the Border’.
In 1991, she landed her breakthrough role as Ma Larkin in the ITV series “The Darling Buds of May”, maintaining her mother figure role until the show ended in 1993. In 1992 she portrayed Mrs White in “Cluedo”, and in 1994 she was in “Middlemarch”, alongside Juliet Aubrey and Robert Hardy. During this period, she also guest starred in numerous TV series including ‘The Rector’s Wife’, ‘The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends’ and ‘Screen Two’.
In 1996, Ferris Trunchbull starred in the famous family comedy film “Matilda”, starring such famous actors as Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and Mara Wilson, and she even earned a Saturn Award nomination for her contribution to this film.
The following year, she was cast as Peggy Snow in the TV series “Where the Heart Is”, remaining on the show for three years and earning three National Television Awards nominations in the Most Popular Actress category.
Before the end of the millennium, Ferris was often seen on TV in series such as ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’, ‘Our Mutual Friend’ and ‘Wycliffe’. She also starred in several TV movies, including ‘Death of a Salesman’, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and ‘Cows’.
In 2002, she played Marion Eustace in the drama TV series “Paradise Heights”, but the show was canceled after just one season.
In 2003, she starred in “Clocking Off” and “Doc Martin and the Legend of the Clouty”. She co-starred as Laura Thyme in “Rosemary and Thyme”, the crime series about two professional gardeners who became key to solving several crimes; the show ran for three seasons, with her on-screen best friend played by Felicity Kendal.
Ferris landed the role of the rather hated Aunt Marge in the third installment of the worldwide famous film series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, in 2004. That same year she also starred in the films “Gladiatress” and “Picadilly Jim”. Two years later, in 2006, she co-starred with Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi thriller “Children of Men”, and that same year played Grace Poole in the miniseries adaptation of “Jane Eyre”. .
In 2008, Pam appeared alongside Liam Neeson and Antonio Banderas in Richard Eyre’s thriller “The Other Man”, and later that year was cast as Mrs General in the drama TV series “Little Dorrit”. In 2009, she acted in several feature films, most notably “Within the Whirlwind” and “Malice in Wonderland”.
Ferris played Sister Evangelina in the main cast of Heidi Thomas’ history series Call the Midwife, about a group of East London midwives, for four seasons before leaving the show in 2016.
In 2018, she portrayed Queen Victoria in the comedy film “Holmes and Watson”. As of June 2020, her last big screen appearance was in 2019, playing Mrs. Faulkner in the biographical film “Tolkien”.
Ferris met Roger Frost in 1983 while working at the Royal Court Theater in London; Frost is known for appearing in films such as “The Wolfman”, “Time Bandits” and “The Bourne Identity”. The duo married in 1986 after a long relationship and lived for many years in Golders Greens, London, but currently live in Elham, Kent, England. They have no children, and when asked, Ferris once said, “I was obsessed with work in my youth. That’s why I didn’t get married until I was 38, and why I didn’t have children.’ She added that she’s not sad about this, not because she doesn’t think she would be a good mother, but simply because it happened that way and there’s nothing she can do about it.
She and her future husband gave up smoking in 1985.
Ferris is a staunch supporter of several charitable organizations that support people with disabilities.
She is known for being very professional. While filming the bed scene for “The Darling Buds of May,” her co-star David Jason smuggled a cucumber and kept it under the sheets. Ferris knew it was there, but that didn’t stop her from finishing the scene perfectly.
Ferris loves dogs, and as of June 2020 she has two: a Jack Russell named Elsie and a Lurcher named Stanley.
She even stated during the interview for the online magazine “Yours” that the reason she left the “Call the Midwife” series was because she couldn’t take her dogs to the new filming location in Surrey, England. She was rumored to be leaving the show because she had a stroke just like the character she portrayed, but the truth was far from it.
Ferris has one of the longest running acting careers in England. As of mid 2020, her successful endeavors have earned her a net worth estimated for about $6 million!
Ferris is 1.68 cm tall and weighs about 62 kg. Looking at her photos, we can conclude that she used to weigh more, but managed to lose a significant number of kilograms. When she was younger, she had auburn hair that later turned gray, and she has bright blue eyes.