Todays Birthday 18/5

Greta Stonehouse
Today's Birthday, May 18: Miriam Margolyes, British-Australian actor and voice artist (1941 - )

Today's Birthday, May 18: Miriam Margolyes, British-Australian actor and voice artist (1941 - ).

Acclaimed actor and voice artist Miriam Margolyes wants the elderly to acknowledge some hard truths about getting old.

"Nobody tells you that old age is going to be shitty. It's a kind of conspiracy" she told The Guardian in 2017.

But a sense of mortality has renewed her lust for life.

"I know that at 75, death can't be far away," she told them last year.

"I think it's made me busier. I try to pack a little bit too much into each day, because there might not be tomorrow."

Margolyes was born in Oxford, England in 1941.

She attended Newnham College in Cambridge where she started acting in the Cambridge Footlights comedy troupe.

In her 20s Margolyes came out as gay. She threw her support behind the Equality Campaign during the Australian gay marriage debate, telling voters "your participation is vital."

Her prolific career has produced numerous awards including a BAFTA for Best Actress for The Age of Innocence (1994), and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Drama (2002).

She followed her first major film role in Stand Up Virgin Soldiers (1977) with roles in the Black Adder BBC sitcom series opposite Rowan Atkinson in the 1980s.

A stalwart of British television her long list of roles include the HBO television film Stalin (1992) and BBC show Vanity Fair (1998).

But before her film and television work she was a voice actor. Her work includes 1970s soft porn audiocassette Sexy Sonia: Leaves from my Schoolgirl Notebook, and several characters in the Japanese action TV series Monkey. 90s kids will remember her fondly her as the loving but tough border collie Fly in Babe (1995).

In 2013 she was made an Australian citizen, saying she fell in love with the country, - and the women - back in 1960s. She's been with her Australian partner Heather Sutherland since 1968.

Well known for her role in the Harry Potter films as Professor Sprout, she's helped produce Puffs, a Harry Potter-inspired play which launched in Melbourne this year to critical acclaim.