Alison Steadman, OBE (born 26 August 1946) is an English actress. She was made an OBE in the 2000 New Year Honours. In a 2007 Channel 4 poll, the "50 Greatest Actors" voted for by other actors, she was ranked No. 42. Steadman made her professional stage debut in 1968 at Lincoln's Theatre Royal. She established her career in the Mike Leigh directed TV plays Nuts in May in 1976 and Abigail's Party in 1977, a role she had originated on stage earlier the same year. She was married to Leigh for 28 years. She won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for the 1990 Mike Leigh film Life Is Sweet. In 1993, she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role as Mari in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. She has also twice been nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress, for the 1986 TV film The Singing Detective and in 2001 for the TV series Fat Friends (2000-2005). Other television roles include Pride and Prejudice (1995) and Gavin & Stacey (2007-2010). Her other films include A Private Function (1984), Clockwise (1986) Shirley Valentine (1989), Topsy Turvy (1999) and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004).