Penelope Wilton is an English actress best known for her role as Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey.
She began her career on stage in 1969 playing at the Old Vic and made her Broadway debut in 1971. Her television career began playing opposite Robert Powell then followed several TV roles including two Shakespeare productions for BBC.
Her film career has included parts in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Cry Freedom, Calendar Girls, Pride and Prejudice and recently The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
She became a household name when she appeared in the BBC TV series, Ever Decreasing Circles, playing the long suffering wife of Martin, played by Richard Briers.
Penelope played Isobel Crawley in the period drama Downton Abbey, set in a Yorkshire Country Estate depicting the lives of the Crawley family and their servants between 1912 and 1925.
She was appointed an OBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours list and a DBE in 2016, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to drama.