November 25,2013
Tania   /   0 Comments   /  

Holliday Clark Grainger (also credited as Holly Grainger; born 27 March 1988) is an English screen and stage actress. Some of her prominent roles include Lucrezia Borgia in the Showtime series The Borgias and Estella in Mike Newell’s adaptation Great Expectations. In May 2010, Grainger was named one of the 55 faces of the future in Nylon magazine’s Young Hollywood Issue.

Early life

Grainger was born in Didsbury. She is of partial Italian descent through a grandfather. Growing up in Manchester, Grainger’s first taste of acting came aged 6 when she was scouted for a BBC TV series. From then on, she appeared in multiple TV shows and independent films as a child actor.

She attended Parrs Wood High School from 1999 to 2006, then she started in 2007 a degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds. However, with her passion for acting, she eventually opted for an Open University where she recently gained a First Class Honours Degree


Grainger’s first acting role was at six years old in the BBC comedy drama series All Quiet on the Preston Front. A stream of roles followed in series such as Casualty, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe. Among her television roles at young age, Grainger is perhaps most recognisable for playing Megan Boothe in Where the Heart Is, Stacey Appleyard in Waterloo Road and Sophia in Merlin.

In 2011 Grainger became popular with the Showtime television series The Borgias, where she plays Lucrezia Borgia alongside Jeremy Irons in the role of Pope Alexander VI. The series, created by Oscar-winning Neil Jordan and shot in Hungary, ran for three seasons.

In addition to television she also performed on stage and on the big-screen. After her role as Emily in The Scouting Book for Boys she appears in a pair of 2011 feature productions – Jane Eyre, playing one of the Rivers sisters opposite Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, and Bel Ami alongside Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman. In 2012, she appeared in the film Anna Karenina, playing a minor role, Baroness Shilton.

In June 2011, Grainger landed a lead big screen role as Estella in Mike Newell’s film adaptation of Great Expectations, opposite Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter. The movie, screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012, had its European premiere as the closing night film of the BFI London Film Festival. She recently finished filming the third series of The Borgias, starred in Disassociation, a play by Luke Bailey, at the Lowry, is due to start filming the British vampire film Hello Darkness this autumn, and has been cast as Bonnie Parker in a new mini-series about Bonnie & Clyde. She has recently been in talks to play the female lead in the film version of the play Posh, alongside Max Irons, and will also be part of the cast of Kenneth Brannagh’s new cinematic retelling of Cinderella as Cinderella’s step-sister, Anastasia Tremaine.

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