Stephanie Cole trained at Bristol Old Vic School and made her debut at Bristol Old Vic at the age of 17 playing a 90 year old! She has a formidable list of theatre credits which include ROSE starring Glenda Jackson (Duke of Yorks); NOISES OFF (Savoy Theatre); STEEL MAGNOLIAS (Lyric Theatre); THE RELAPSE (Old Vic).
This year Stephanie will play the role of ‘The Fool’ opposite Timothy West’s King Lear in a new production as part of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary year, directed by Tom Morris.
Recent theatre includes: A CREAM CRACKER UNDER THE SETTEE as part of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads (Theatre Royal Bath and short tour) directed by Sarah Esdaile, THIS MAY HURT A BIT (tour/West End) directed by Max Stafford-Clark, Mrs Higgins in PYGMALION at Chichester directed by Philip Prowse. Previously appeared at Chichester as Mrs Railton-Bell in SEPARATE TABLES directed by Philip Franks, Angela Parson in the world premiere of Peter Schaffer's play WHOM DO I HAVE THE HONOUR OF ADDRESSING? (Minerva Theatre), DRIVING MISS DAISY and co-hosted with Philip Franks the 2009 CHRISTMAS CONCERTS (Festival Theatre).
She starred as Betty in A PASSIONATE WOMAN by Kay Mellor (nominated for an Evening Standard Award), following brilliant notices, played to packed houses, at the Comedy Theatre throughout an extended nine-month run also starred as Madame Arcati in BLITHE SPIRIT at The Savoy, co-starred with Donald Sinden, Angela Thorne and Alex McCowen in Ronald Harwood's play QUARTET which had a successful run at the Albery Theatre.
Touring roles have included BORN IN THE GARDENS directed by Peter Hall for Theatre Royal Bath, followed by a tour. Mrs Malaprop in THE RIVALS directed by Christopher Morahan, THE SHELL SEEKERS directed by David Taylor, EQUALLY DIVIDED by Ronald Harwood and she played the part of Alice in the tour of Peter Nichols' play SO LONG LIFE.
Stephanie’s television work has been equally diverse, although she is probably best known for her roles in the hugely popular series TENKO and WAITING FOR GOD, for which she won the British Comedy Award for Best Actress. She also played the redoubtable ‘Mrs Featherstone’ opposite Ronnie Barker’s ‘Arkwright’ in the BBC’s OPEN ALL HOURS, the tipsy ‘Betty Sillitoe’ in Yorkshire TV’s A BIT OF A DO and received great personal acclaim for her portrayal of ‘Muriel’ in Alan Bennett’s monologue SOLDIERING ON.
Recent work includes: INSIDE NO.9: DEAD LINE Live Episode for BBC2, Sally Wainwright’s new series GENTLEMEN JACK starring Suranne Jones for BBC1/HBO, SCARBOROUGH a new BBC comedy pilot by Derren Litten, full series will film in 2019, COMEDY PLAYHOUSE: BROKEN BISCUITS a comedy pilot by Craig Cash and Phil Mealey for BBC1. Co-stars as ‘Nesta’ in the Christmas Special and the second and third series of the comedy MAN DOWN, written by and starring Greg Davies for Channel 4. Stephanie reprised her role of 'Mrs Featherstone' in the BBC Christmas Special and the first and second series of STILL OPEN ALL HOURS with David Jason. In 2012 Stephanie won a British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance in CORONATION STREET playing series regular 'Sylvie Cropper'. Television work includes: a guest role in THE LADY VANISHES a feature length film for BBC1, the pilot GEORGE & BERNARD SHAW for Feelgood Fiction and a guest role in MIDSOMER MURDERS for ITV. Starred with Martin Clunes in four series of the successful ITV series DOC MARTIN playing ‘Auntie Joan’. She co-starred in BORN & BRED for BBC1 and the BAFTA award winning HOUSEWIFE 49 a film for ITV written by and starring Victoria Wood.
Further major TV roles include: ‘Peggy’ in two series of KEEPING MUM for BBC1, BACK HOME with Sarah Lancashire, the BBC1 series LIFE AS WE KNOW IT starring opposite Richard Wilson, MEMENTO MORI, GOING GENTLY, THE RETURN OF THE ANTELOPE, IN THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY.
Films include INTERNATIONAL VELVET, TORQUAY SUMMER, THAT WEEK IN NEMPNETT THRUBWELL, Richard Attenborough’s GREY OWL and MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY starring Frances McDormand.
Stephanie is also extremely well known to radio listeners. Her extensive radio drama credits include the award winning CABIN PRESSURE (4 series & Christmas Special), MARTHA’S METAMORPHOSIS, ED REARDON’S WEEK (12 series), POETRY PLEASE, BOOK OF THE WEEK, LATVIAN ANGEL/THE EVENING, two short stories for the 2007 Bath Festival for Radio 4, THE TANK MAN and THE PERFECT WOOD. Her numerous audio recordings include MISS MARPLE and many BOOK AT BEDTIME & WOMAN’S HOUR books.
Her autobiography entitled A Passionate Life was published in 1998.
In 2005 she was awarded the OBE for Services to Drama, Mental Health and the Elderly.