Rachael Atlanta Stirling (born 30 May 1977) is an English stage, film and television actress best known for her performance as Nancy Astley in the BBC drama Tipping the Velvet. She is the daughter of actress Dame Diana Rigg and Archie Stirling.
Rachael Stirling was born to Dame Diana Rigg and Archie Stirling on 30 May 1977. As the daughter of Archie Stirling, she has a long line of ancestry from the Scottish parish of Lecropt, near her namesake city of Stirling. She attended Wycombe Abbey School and Edinburgh University, where she gained a BA in the History of Art.
Stirling can also speak Russian and is highly skilled at horse-riding and jumping
Her first screen appearance was in the 1998 British comedy film Still Crazy (starring Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall and Jimmy Nail).
Other film projects have included Maybe Baby, Complicity (with her Tipping the Velvet co-star Keeley Hawes), Another Life (with Vanity Fair actress Natasha Little), The Triumph of Love (starring Mira Sorvino), and Redemption Road.
Her first TV break was in 2000 when she played the young Rebeccah in the American made-for-television movie In the Beginning, which charted God's creation of the universe and mankind, opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Art Malik.
She continues to be active in the theatre, covering a diversity of roles in plays such as Dusty Hughes' Helpless (Donmar Warehouse, 2000); A Woman of No Importance (Theatre Royal Haymarket, 2003); Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre, 2004); Tamburlaine (Bristol Old Vic and Barbican, 2005); and she followed in her mother's footsteps, bringing an alluring erotic charge to her performance as Miranda Lionheart in the National Theatre stage version of Theatre of Blood (2005).
In 2006, for the Peter Hall Company at the Bath Theatre Royal, she played Helena in Peter Gill's revival of Look Back in Anger; while in 2007 at Wilton's Music Hall in London, she starred as Yelena in David Mamet's version of Uncle Vanya , and as a fiercely intelligent Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew
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