Lia Williams (born 26 November 1964) is an English actress, known for stage, film, and television appearances. She has also worked as a director.
Williams’s breakthrough performance came in 1991 when she appeared in The Revengers' Comedies. In 1993, she created the role of Carol in the London production of David Mamet's Oleanna. In 1997, Williams appeared in London's West End and on Broadway in David Hare's Skylight. In 2001, Williams appeared again in the West End and on Broadway in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.
Other theatre performances include Mappa Mundi for the National Theatre (2002), Rosalind in As You Like It for the RSC (2005), The Hothouse for the English National Theatre (2007), Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular (2007), the role of Ellida Wangel in Henryk Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea (2008), and alternating in the roles of Anna and Kate in Pinter's Old Times in 2013.
Williams appeared at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 2013 as Blanche du Bois in a production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.
Film and television
In 1993, Williams made her film debut in Michael Winner's Dirty Weekend. Winner chose her after seeing her in an Alan Ayckbourn play. Subsequent film appearances have included supporting roles in Firelight (1997), Shot Through the Heart (1998), The King Is Alive (2000), Girl from Rio (2001), and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (2007).
In 2001, Williams appeared opposite Sheila Hancock in the TV serial The Russian Bride.
Other recent television appearances include supporting roles in the Agatha Christie adaptations Sparkling Cyanide (2003) and By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2006), and guest roles in series such as Casualty (1989), Silent Witness (2002), Heartbeat (2002), The Last Detective (2005), A Touch of Frost (2005), and Midsomer Murders (2015).
In September 2009, Williams joined the cast of the ITV comedy drama series Doc Martin.
In 2016, she appeared in the second series of The Missing as Nadia Herz.
In 2016, she played the part of Wallis Simpson in the Netflix series The Crown.
Williams has been directing short films since 2002, her debut being Feathers (2002), which was based on a short story by Raymond Carver. In 2008, her short film The Stronger (2007) was nominated for the Best Short Film Award at the BAFTA Film Awards. In 2009, Williams directed Dog Alone, a dialogue-free short film which was broadcast as part of British Sky Broadcasting's Ten Minute Tales season.
She has also directed for the stage.
Williams lives in West Hampstead with her second husband, writer/producer Guy Hibbert, and her son from a former marriage, Joshua James. She and her husband also run their own production company, Tilting Ground Productions.