why are they famous?: Amanda Donohoe

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Main Claim: Stripped naked, had a lesbian snog, developed fangs, and all in cut-glass accent. Amanda, 35, is famous for her, let us say, eccentric choice of roles. She is a pretty talented luvvie, but hers has not been the classical route to damehood and thespish immortality. But now she's playing Wallis Simpson in Snoo Wilson's new West End play, HRH, which exposes the underbelly of the most exciting love match of the century before Dodi Fayed hit the scene.

Appearance: Jennifer Ehle tangles with Marlene Dietrich. The Michelle Pfeiffer of Harpenden. Raven-haired intellectual, platinum-locked temptress: she changes her hair colour as easily as her accents.

Role Models: Like Liz Hurley, vaguely posh English with American overtones, she simply seemed to appear. She was suddenly there, swanning around starkers, writhing in mud on a desert island with Oliver Reed in lame Nic Roeg film Castaway. Two years later, she still had her clothes off as the seductive snake woman in Ken Russell's The Lair of the White Worm. Amanda then played a bisexual on LA Law for two years. Such role-play marked a career that might otherwise have fetched up in Stratford, Emmerdale or some other English actress stable. People "think I'm this sort of wild, go-for-anything creature," Amanda helpfully explains.

Boys On The Side: Our heroine does not seem to sport as big a love life as her choice of roles might suggest. No husband, no offspring. But she has dated Mr Adam Ant, as well as the fabulously vain filmmaker Nick Broomfield - the one who pursues the likes of Heidi Fleiss for his Nick- on-every-wall documentaries.

Fame Prospects: Amanda comes and goes in the public consciousness - an international success story whose profile is strangely vague. She will co-star with Kelsey Grammer in a comedy next year. Her Wallis is inspiring serious attention. She's Meryl Streep doing Babs Windsor, and her fame looks set to continue in its oddball, knickers-off, classy classic mode, dodging between obscurity and stardom. Amanda who? Oh, her.

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