We may know her best as lady’s maid Anna in ITV’s smash-hit period drama Downton Abbey, but Joanne Froggatt’s roles have been many and varied.
Encompassing a traumatised soldier, a kidnapped backpacker and a member of the Royle Family, the talented star can turn her hand to anything and make it must-see viewing.
She’s about to have us glued to the sofa once again in her starring role in new psychological thriller Liar, so before it becomes the series everyone is talking about, let’s remember some of her best performances.
Downton Abbey – Anna Bates
As an original cast member in the hugely popular drama series, Froggatt was one of the core characters to appear in every one of its 52 episodes.
She entered the Abbey as Anna Smith, lady’s maid to Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), but eventually became Anna Bates when she married valet John Bates (Brendan Coyle).
Poor Anna suffered the most traumatic storyline that the usually cosy period drama ever aired when she was raped by the visiting valet of a guest at the house.
The rapist was later killed in a street accident, but Anna found herself accused of his murder and Bates, ever the devoted husband, wrote a false confession to secure his wife’s release – although luckily it was later proved that he couldn’t have committed the crime as he was in a different city at the time.
Appearing in Julian Fellowes’ programme made Froggatt a huge star both at home and in the US, where Downton Abbey was a roaring success.
The Royle Family – Saskia
Before she moved into one of the most exclusive addresses in British TV (albeit as a member of the staff), Froggatt joined a much more down-to-earth screen family.
She only actually appeared as Antony Royle’s (Ralf Little) girlfriend Saskia once, but was already legendary with the family, who were desperate to find out more about her and thought nothing of reading her diary or rifling through her clothes.
Having refused to spend Christmas with the Royles in 2009 because, according to Antony, she was offended by dad Jim’s (Ricky Tomlinson) behaviour on another occasion, Saskia eventually turned up on screen in the 2010 Christmas special Joe’s Crackers.
By this point, she was heavily pregnant and ended up going into labour a month early, securing her place in the Royle family.
Coronation Street – Zoe Tattersall
Like many a popular British actor, one of Froggatt’s earliest roles was in ITV soap Coronation Street.
She could be seen on the cobbles for around 18 months as Zoe Tattersall, a role that Jane Danson and Georgia Taylor both originally auditioned for before being cast as sisters Leanne and Toyah Battersby.
Zoe was a troubled teen tearaway who got pregnant and sold her baby into adoption, but later snatched the child back.
However, there was heartache in store for the young mum when her daughter later died of meningitis and she was sectioned as she struggled to deal with the grief.
She ended up joining a cult selling crystals and was last heard of living in America. That’s what 18 months living in Weatherfield will do to you.
In Our Name – Suzy
Froggatt’s starring role in the British film saw her play a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder who was struggling to fit back into civilian life after serving in Iraq.
Suzy became obsessed with her own daughter’s safety as she suffered guilt over her responsibility for the death of an Iraqi girl, and her portrayal of the troubled character won critical acclaim.
The actress was named most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2010 and her career since then has certainly not disappointed.
Murder in the Outback - Joanne Lees
In this controversial 2007 TV movie, Froggatt featured as real-life backpacker Joanne Lees who underwent a horrifying ordeal on a trip to Australia.
Lees had been travelling with her boyfriend Peter Falconio when the pair were attacked in the outback. He was killed, while she was kidnapped by his murderer.
The British tourist eventually managed to escape, but was subjected to a lengthy court case as Falconio’s body was never found, which ended with Bradley John Murdoch being convicted of his murder.
Froggatt’s portrayal of the victim and her terrifying time hiding out until she could get away from Murdoch also aired in Australia, and the actress has said she felt helpless during scenes where she was tied up and gagged with tape.
U Want Me 2 Kill Him? – DI Sarah Clayton
Thriller U Want Me 2 Kill Him? saw Froggatt feature as a detective trying to crack the case of why a young boy would have stabbed his friend.
It unravelled a twisted tale of manipulation via internet chat rooms where the victim reeled the attacker into a fantasy world of a made-up sister, her apparent murder by an abusive boyfriend, and MI5’s supposed involvement in the case.
Based on a true story, Froggatt took the lead role as the investigating officer who revealed the truth behind why two seeming friends turned on each other.
Filth – Mary
In this adaptation of the popular Irvine Welsh novel, Froggatt had a key role as Mary who influenced many of the decisions of lead character DS Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy).
The corrupt detective delighted in bullying his colleagues and friends as a side effect of struggling to deal with mental health issues and splitting from his wife.
Mary and her son, the bereaved family of a man Robertson failed to revive after he had a heart attack in the street, were the only people that he showed any consideration towards, and they acted as his sole moral compass throughout the film’s events.
In the end, even the calming effect of Mary couldn’t save Robertson, but the role was an edgy departure for Froggatt and went down well with both fans and critics.
Bob the Builder – Wendy
Proving that her acting talents span all genres, Froggatt has followed in the footsteps of many a screen star by voicing a kids’ cartoon character.
She can be heard playing Bob the Builder’s business partner Wendy in the latest version of the children’s hit alongside Neil Morrissey who voices the title character.
Froggatt took over the role from Kate Harbour in 2015 and stars as the office manager in both the UK and US versions of the animation.
Joanne Froggatt can be seen in ITV series Liar from Monday September 11 at 9pm.