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Hannah Waddingham: Emmy-Winning Star of 'Ted Lasso'
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Hannah Waddingham is a British actress, singer, and television presenter renowned for her versatile performances across stage and screen. Best known for her Emmy-winning role as Rebecca Welton in the acclaimed series "Ted Lasso," Waddingham has also made significant contributions to West End musical theatre and appeared in popular shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Sex Education."

 

Waddingham's Early Life and Upbringing

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Hannah Waddingham was born on July 28, 1974, in Wandsworth, London, into a family with a strong performing arts background. Her mother, Melodie Kelly, was a member of the English National Opera for 27 years, and both her maternal grandparents were accomplished opera singers. Growing up in this musical environment, Waddingham initially resisted following in her family's operatic footsteps, despite her natural talent and impressive four-octave vocal range. She studied at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London, honing her skills as a performer. Waddingham's early life and education laid the foundation for her successful career in musical theatre, television, and film.
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From West End to Broadway: Hannah Waddingham's Musical Theatre Triumphs

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Hannah Waddingham has made significant contributions to musical theatre on both London's West End and New York's Broadway. She portrayed the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, receiving an Olivier Award nomination for the role in both the London production and on Broadway. Waddingham also received outstanding reviews and another Olivier nomination for her portrayal of Desirée Armfeldt in Trevor Nunn's revival of A Little Night Music. In mid-2010, Waddingham played the Witch in the acclaimed production of Into the Woods at London's Open Air Theatre. She originated the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in the West End production of The Wizard of Oz, which opened in 2011 at the London Palladium, and won the WhatsOnStage Theatergoers Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance. Other notable stage roles include Christine Warner in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Beautiful Game in 2000, Lilli Vanessi/Katharine in the 2012 revival of Kiss Me, Kate at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Old Vic, and Starbird in Space Family Robinson in 2002. Waddingham's powerhouse performances and impressive vocal range have solidified her status as a leading lady of the West End and Broadway stages, earning her critical acclaim and a devoted following.
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From Stage to Screen: Hannah Waddingham's Successful Transition to TV and Film

After establishing herself as a powerhouse in musical theatre, Hannah Waddingham successfully transitioned to television and film. She had a recurring role as Septa Unella in the fifth and sixth seasons of the HBO series Game of Thrones, where her intense performance as the "Shame Nun" during Cersei Lannister's walk of atonement left a lasting impact, despite the physical and emotional challenges of the role. Waddingham also plays the recurring character of Sofia Marchetti, Jackson's mother, in the Netflix comedy-drama Sex Education. However, her breakout television role came as Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, in the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. Her portrayal of the complex and multifaceted character earned her widespread critical acclaim, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2021, and two consecutive Critics' Choice Television Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2021 and 2022. On the big screen, Waddingham appeared in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables and co-starred in the 2018 British psychological thriller Winter Ridge. She also played Mother Witch in the 2022 Disney+ sequel Hocus Pocus 2. Waddingham's upcoming projects include the 2024 action-comedy film The Fall Guy, where she stars alongside Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt as producer Gail Meyer.
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Hannah Waddingham (Photos)

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Hannah Waddingham's Iconic Role as Rebecca Welton in 'Ted Lasso

Hannah Waddingham's portrayal of Rebecca Welton in "Ted Lasso" has been a defining role in her career, earning her critical acclaim and several awards. As the owner of AFC Richmond, Rebecca starts off with a vengeful agenda against her ex-husband but evolves into a beloved character who finds her own path and strength. Waddingham's performance was lauded for its depth and authenticity, capturing Rebecca's journey from bitterness to empowerment. Her role in "Ted Lasso" not only showcased her acting prowess but also her singing talent, with memorable performances in episodes like "Make Rebecca Great Again" and "Carol of the Bells". The series, which premiered on Apple TV+ in August 2020 and concluded in June 2023, won 13 Emmy awards, including Waddingham's win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2021.
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Hannah Waddingham's Ted Lasso Scene Read

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Waddingham's Iconic Role in Game of Thrones

Hannah Waddingham's portrayal of Septa Unella in "Game of Thrones" is one of her most iconic roles, despite its limited screen time. Known as the "Shame Nun," Unella is infamous for her role in Cersei Lannister's walk of atonement, where she repeatedly chants "Shame" as Cersei is paraded through the streets. Waddingham's commitment to the role was intense, involving physically demanding scenes, including being waterboarded for ten hours, which left her with chronic claustrophobia. Her performance, marked by its emotional and physical intensity, contributed significantly to the show's dramatic impact and showcased her dedication to her craft.
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Hannah Waddingham Interview

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Hannah Waddingham's Diverse Filmography

Hannah Waddingham has had an impressive career in film and television. Here is a table highlighting some of her notable roles:
YearTitleRole
2008How to Lose Friends & Alienate PeopleElizabeth Maddox
2012Les MisérablesFactory Worker
2015-2016Game of ThronesSepta Unella
2018Winter RidgeJoanne Hill
2019-presentSex EducationSofia Marchetti
2020-2023Ted LassoRebecca Welton
2022Hocus Pocus 2Mother Witch
2024The Fall GuyGail
2024GarfieldVoice role
Waddingham's filmography showcases her range as an actress, from supporting roles in major films like Les Misérables to her breakout performance as Rebecca Welton in the critically acclaimed series Ted Lasso, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her upcoming projects, including The Fall Guy and Garfield, demonstrate her continued success and versatility in the entertainment industry.
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Hannah Waddingham's Awards and Honors

Hannah Waddingham has received numerous accolades for her outstanding performances, particularly for her role as Rebecca Welton in Ted Lasso. Some of her most notable awards and nominations include:
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2021) - Waddingham won this prestigious award for her performance in Ted Lasso, beating out fellow nominees from Saturday Night Live, Hacks, and The Flight Attendant.
  • Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2021, 2022) - She won this award two years in a row for her role in Ted Lasso.
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2022) - Waddingham and the cast of Ted Lasso won this award, recognizing their collective performance.
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2022) - Nominated for her role in Ted Lasso.
  • Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical (2007, 2010) - Nominated for her roles in Spamalot and A Little Night Music.
Waddingham's Emmy win was a particularly emotional moment for her, as she thanked her co-star Jason Sudeikis for changing her life and her daughter's life with the opportunity to play Rebecca Welton. Her awards and nominations showcase her incredible talent and the impact she has made in both television and theatre.
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Waddingham's Personal Life and Motherhood

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Hannah Waddingham was in a long-term relationship with Italian businessman Gianluca Cugnetto for over a decade. Cugnetto, who studied Revenue Management at Cornell University, has held directorial positions at various hotels, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Antara Hotels in Bangkok, and Hotel Du Vin in the U.K. He currently serves as the Director of Château de Codignat, a luxury castle hotel in France. Waddingham and Cugnetto share a daughter named Kitty, born in 2016. Although the couple is no longer together, Cugnetto still visits his daughter. Waddingham has been a single mother for some time now and has expressed her dedication to being a "mama" first and foremost. Kitty was diagnosed with Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP), an autoimmune disease that causes blood vessel inflammation, bleeding under the skin, joint pain, and abdominal pain. The diagnosis came while Waddingham was filming scenes for the SyFy series Krypton in Belfast. Waddingham asked the universe for a role that would allow her to work while remaining close to her child, and the answer came in the form of Ted Lasso just two months later. Despite her rising stardom, Waddingham remains committed to her role as a single mother and prioritizes her daughter's well-being. She has stated, "My primary function is being a single mama... I keep saying to her that we are a team and that I have to do this. I have to strike while the iron is hot."
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Waddingham's Recent Highlights and Updates

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Here are some recent news updates about Hannah Waddingham:
  • In March 2023, Waddingham was announced as part of the cast for the untitled eighth Mission: Impossible film.
  • In May 2023, Waddingham co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, alongside Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, with Graham Norton joining them for the final.
  • Waddingham starred in the 2024 action-comedy film The Fall Guy alongside Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, playing producer 'Gail'.
  • On November 22, 2023, Waddingham's debut live album Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas was released. It was recorded at the show of the same name for Apple TV. The album debuted and peaked at numbers 51 and 43 on the UK Albums Downloads and Soundtrack Albums charts, respectively.
  • On August 25, 2023, Waddingham was announced as the host of the Fantasy, Myths and Legends Prom as part of that year's BBC Proms. However, on August 28, she pulled out just hours before the performance, in solidarity with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
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