British actress, Samantha Bond has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northampton at this year’s Summer Graduation Ceremonies.
Samantha comes from a theatrical family and trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the early 1980s. She starred as Miss Moneypenny alongside Pierce Brosnan in four James Bond films; GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day. She has appeared in the feature film, Erik the Viking, starring Tim Robbins, Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney and appeared in many television series including Emma, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Ginger Tree, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Inspector Morse, Distant Shores, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Midsomer Murders.
From 2007 to 2011 she appeared as Auntie Angela in the BBC comedy Outnumbered alongside Hugh Dennis. In 2009, she portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in a series of television programmes for Channel 4. Currently she makes a number of guest appearances as Lady Rosamund Painswick in the ITV costume drama, Downton Abbey.
Samantha is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred opposite Dame Judi Dench on David Hare’s award-winning play, Amy’s View at the Royal National Theatre, then Broadway, receiving a Tony nomination. Samantha has worked extensively for a range of high profile charities and is a director of the Royal Theatrical Fund. In 2012, she helped raise £90,000 in one afternoon in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.
In 1983, she appeared in the original Southampton production of Daisy Pulls It Off before it moved to the West End. She has starred in over a dozen West End productions, including Donkey’s Years, Arcadia, An Ideal Husband andPassion Play with Zoe Wannamaker. Samantha is currently starring in the West End musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrelsat London’s Savoy Theatre.
Samantha said: “I loved coming to meet the students at the University of Northampton last year, having never been to university myself, there was something awesome about entering a building of such esteem. I found the students to be enthusiastic and energetic and these are attributes that are terribly important if you want to follow any sort of a career in any kind of drama, either onstage or off. My first thought when I discovered I was going to be given an Honorary Doctorate was to be utterly thrilled! I’ve never been to university and no-one in my house has ever been to university so it feels such an enormous honour and an enormous privilege and I’m over the moon!”
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, commented: “In addition to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of summer 2014, we are also recognising high profile individuals who have collectively impacted, directly or indirectly, many millions of people worldwide through their acting, music, charitable activities or the social enterprises they run. These recipients of honorary awards will, no doubt, motivate our graduates as they go out into the world and transform lives and inspire change amongst all those who come into contact with them.”