Let's face it - most kids of the 90s and 00s are still obsessed with Harry Potter. We re-read the books, we re-watch the films, we buy all of the merchandise. Basically, we just can't get enough of anything Harry Potter related. And who could blame us? It's only the greatest series of all time!
The obsession runs deep. Though the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (also printed as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the USA) was released more than 20 years ago, we still seek out any information we can get, particularly when it comes to the eight Harry Potter films.
One standout feature of all the Harry Potter movies is the phenomenal cast. And today, we're focusing specifically on the ladies who managed to steal the show. You won't believe how grown up and successful some of them are today - we remember most of them when they were just little kids!
Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour)
Clémence Poésy was born to play the part of a veela; delicately beautiful and elegant, the producers of Harry Potter found her modeling in France. She had done some acting work before appearing in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", but it was her appearance in the franchise that really kick-started her career.
Poésy's character Fleur Delacour returned for the final two installments in the film series, and even married Ron's brother. Outside of Harry Potter she's still active in the modeling world and has the Instagram account to prove it. She's been the face of several perfume marketing campaigns and explored the world of music in a duet with British star Miles Kane, but you're still more likely to see her on the big screen than anywhere else. "In Bruges" and "127 Hours" are just two of her more prominent roles, but she also appears in a number of French language films.
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
My my, Ginny Weasley, how you've grown up! Bonnie Wright has blossomed in a way that mirrors her character's story. When we first meet her, she's just Ron's little sister who has major designs on Harry, although he doesn't feel the same way. Over time, she gains confidence and wins him over, eventually becoming his wife and the mother of his children.
Wright seems to have grown in exactly the same way. A shy, mousy girl when we first met her, she now oozes confidence and sophistication. Like many of the Potter girls, she found her way into modeling, but seems to have fallen in love with the creative side of the movie industry. As well as continuing to act, she also has credits as a director and screenwriter to her name and has achieved all this whilst still in her 20s.
Scarlett Byrne (Pansy Parkinson)
We think something must have gone wrong at the casting stage when someone found Scarlett Byrne to play Pansy Parkinson. The books clearly described her as having a face like a pug, which was obviously never going to be the case for Byrne, even at a young age.
Pansy was a constant irritant to Harry and his friends throughout their tales, even going so far as to team up with Draco Malfoy, but Byrne used the character as a platform for greater success in the entertainment world. She moved on to a starring role in the popular "Vampire Diaries" series, as well as spending some time in Canada making "Falling Skies." Her bold, striking looks have caught many an eye, and in 2015 she confirmed her engagement to Hugh Heffner's son. Who would have thought that a "pug faced" girl would marry the heir to the Playboy Mansion?
Julianne Hough (Hufflepuff Student)
Who blinked and missed her? That's right, Julianne Hough was in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". It was a tiny cameo performance - so small that her character didn't even have a name. We wonder if anyone who worked with her had any idea how big a star she'd go on to be?
Hough is everywhere these days. She's won "Dancing with the Stars" twice, she's tried her hand as a country music star and released two albums, and of course she's become one of the most famous and recognizable icons of Hollywood's new generation. A lead role in the remake of "Footloose" propelled her into the stratosphere, and she followed it up with the movie version of popular Broadway show "Rock of Ages". Hough's Instagram account shows us someone at the peak of their beauty and power, living life with a confident smile on her face.
Afshan Azad (Padma Patil)
One of the Patil twins in the Harry Potter story, Afshan Azad was actually the second actor to step into Padma's shoes. For the character's first appearance in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", Sharon Sandhu played the part, only to see the role recast and given to Azad for the next installment.
Azad hasn't stayed in the movies and has no acting credits to her name other than her Harry Potter appearances, but she found herself in the headlines in 2010 when she was attacked by her own family due to her relationship with a non-Muslim man. You'd never know she'd suffered such unhappiness looking at her online now, where she's grown into a breathtakingly stunning young woman. Even she laughs at her lack of fame these days - her Instagram account profile describes her as "That Indian girl who was in Harry Potter"!
Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown)
Lavender Brown was an interesting character. She was quirky, interesting and cool, and a lot of us wondered why Ron didn't just stay with her instead of running off with Hermione. Hermione may look more traditionally pretty, but Lavender had all the style!
It doesn't look like playing the part would have been a major problem for Jessie Cave. She seems to possess the same interesting fashion sense and sparkling individuality as Lavender, and she's channeled that into her chosen career path after the films ended. Instead of continuing down the line of traditional acting work, Cave has re-invented herself as a comedian. She's appeared on several television shows and comedy festivals with a character named 'Bookworm' whom she freely admits is partially based on obsessive Potter fans. Unsurprisingly, Cave has also moved into the world of fashion design.
Georgina Leonidas (Katie Bell)
The character of Katie takes us all by surprise in Harry Potter. She's just sort of there in the background most of the time, never really making a huge impression, and then she almost dies in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", nearly breaking our hearts in the process.
Georgina Leonidas does a great job of playing the role, particularly in that film, and someone must have noticed because she's currently a regular performer on the stage in London theaters, which are notoriously reserved for more "serious" actors. She's good friends with Jessie Cave from their Harry Potter days, and the two have been known to make the occasional YouTube video together. If you check her out on Instagram you'll find her all grown up with tattoos and attitude - and plenty of pictures of her dog, too!
Elarica Johnson (Waitress)
Remember that bit in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", where Harry and Dumbledore are meeting in a cafe, and Harry gets a little awestruck by the waitress? That's Elarica Johnson. She didn't have a major role in the films, but she made just as big an impression on some viewers as she did on Harry.
Johnson also sometimes works under the name "Elarica Gallacher", and is still pushing to get her TV career started. One of her bigger recent successes was landing a part in "Strike", which is based on J.K Rowling's novel "Cuckoo's Calling". We'd like to believe that J.K. herself made that casting decision. She's also appeared on long running British soap opera "Eastenders", but she may be just as well known for her smoldering hot Instagram account, which shows that she spends a lot of time on vacation and looking fabulous.
Katie Leung (Cho Chang)
Nobody forgets their first love, so it's probably safe to assume that Harry Potter will never forget Cho Chang, whom he enjoys a romantic relationship with that begins in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". As a couple they sadly weren't to last long, and Katie Leung's career nearly faded away just as quickly.
Leung was exposed to the darker side of life as a celebrity almost as soon as she was cast, including suffering racist abuse online, and the creation of an "I Hate Katie" website. She almost gave up acting completely when the film series ended, and considered pursuing her passion for photography full time, but she eventually decided to continue, and is a regular of both stage and screen. As you might expect of a photographer, her Instagram account is a great one to follow, containing almost as much artwork as pictures of herself.
Eleanor Columbus (Susan Bones)
You could argue that Eleanor Columbus wasn't even an actor when she made her first appearance in Harry Potter as Susan Bones. Very much a background character, she's only in the first two films and doesn't say a word, and as the daughter of Chris Columbus, who directed the movies, it's probably fair to assume she didn't have to work too hard to get the part.
She only has two credits to her name for films that weren't made by her father - and they came twenty years apart - so she may not consider acting to be her full-time career. She's definitely enjoying life though - her Instagram account shows us a confident young woman with a great sense of style (not everybody could pull off that hat look), and followers also get treated to the occasional celebrity guest appearance. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is one of the more recent names who's been happy to pose with her.
Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks)
Nymphadora Tonks, aside from having a strong contender for the greatest name in the entire Harry Potter franchise, is a "metamorphamagus", which basically means she can alter her appearance any time she likes. We think some of that must have rubbed off on actor Natalia Tena, who's changed so much down the years it might just be down to magic.
A performer with a flair for the epic, she's toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing a major role in "Othello", and gave a fearsome performance as Osha in Game of Thrones where she was almost unrecognizable from her Harry Potter days. Keep an eye on the British underground music scene, though, and you may find her singing and playing accordion with her band Molotov Jukebox in a venue near you. Her Instagram account shows us a stylish girl who changes her hair color as often as she changes her clothes, and a strong love of the unusual.
Ellie Darcey-Alden (Lily Evans)
If you're struggling to place Ellie Darcey-Alden here, she's the actor who played Harry Potter's mother Lily as a child during flashback scenes in the final film. Because of the limitations of such a role, she only made one appearance in the franchise, and is the youngest of the child stars featured on this list - not yet even 20 years old!
Darcey-Alden has been brought into showbiz the classic way, through dance and stage schools. Shortly after her Harry Potter appearance, she won a large role in a "Doctor Who" Christmas special, but in more recent years has taken a couple of steps away from acting. Dancing seems to bring her the most joy in life, and she competes all over the world as part of professional dance troupe. Her Instagram captures a young girl making her first steps into adulthood and finding her way in the world.
Tiana Benjamin (Angelina Johnson)
Tiana Benjamin made just one appearance in the Harry Potter series, as Quidditch team captain in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", but she made quite the impression. Fred Weasley invites her to be his date to the Yule Ball because... well, just look at her. She's stunning.
Benjamin has continued to find steady work as an actress on British television, including a four-year stint on the popular soap opera "Eastenders", and has another movie credit to her name with an appearance in "Fast Girls". She's currently taking some time out from her work, having stated that she left her soap role because she needed to "clear her head", but such a talented and good-looking performer is sure to find plenty of opportunities waiting for her as soon as she feels like dipping her toes back into the water.
Kelly MacDonald (Helena Ravenclaw)
Helena Ravenclaw is the resident Hogwarts ghost. Known better as "the Grey Lady", she has a pivotal role to play on Harry's side during the Battle of Hogwarts. Playing a ghostly character must be quite a thrill and a challenge to an actor, but it did mean that we never really got treated to the real-life radiance of Kelly MacDonald as a performer.
Fortunately, there are a great many other places we can see MacDonald, including the cult hit "Trainspotting", and her name was already made as an actor before she took the part. Recently separated after a long-term marriage to a Scottish rock star, she's next due to appear in film in "Holmes and Watson" as Mrs. Hudson. As we can see in the second picture, she's more than capable of lighting a screen up when she's shot in color!
Daphne de Beistegui (Lily Luna Potter)
Do you recognize her from the picture? If not, let us help you out. Lily Luna Potter is Harry's daughter, and you should know her from the very end of the final movie when we see all the regulars as adults, packing their own children off to start their own Hogwarts adventures.
The exotically named Daphne de Beistegui got the part, and Daniel Radcliffe speaks fondly of his time on set with her, during which she followed him around as if he really was her dad. She has no other acting credits to her name and doesn't seem to have stayed in the profession. Now eighteen years old, she retains her youthful looks from the film and is still easily recognizable. She's been a little quiet on social media recently, but hopefully she returns soon, and we can continue to follow her journey.
Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
Yes, we know Helena Bonham Carter was all grown up well before Harry Potter was a book series, let alone turned into a movie franchise, but how could we write an article about the women of Harry Potter and not include this absolute icon?
It's impossible to imagine anybody else playing Bellatrix Lestrange, and Bonham Carter made the role her own just as she has with the many, many parts she's entertained us with down the years. Seemingly the first phone call any director makes when looking to cast a sexy yet quirky woman, Bonham Carter formed a particularly popular working arrangement with ex-husband Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for a number of films. She works just as hard - and looks just as great - today. She's recently been cast to play the drink-and-party loving Princess Margaret in "The Crown" and honestly, who could do it better?
Charlotte Skeoch (Hannah Abbott)
Hannah Abbott featured more in the books than she ever did in the movies, where actor Charlotte Skeoch didn't really get too much screen time in the part. She probably wishes J.K. Rowling had carried on writing - the author has said in interviews that she envisions Hannah as having gone on to marry Neville Longbottom and run the Leaky Cauldron.
Elfin beauty Skeoch chose to walk away from acting not long after her time with Harry Potter finished, although like many of her co-stars she briefly appeared in "Eastenders". Not the easiest of people to track down online, she trained and worked as a professional dancer for a while, and then as a journalist for the Huffington Post. She's finally settled down in London, teaching English to 11-18-year-olds. We wonder how many of her students are even aware of what she did when she was their age?
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
If you've spent the past decade living somewhere with no television, radio, newspapers or internet, we may just be able to forgive you for not knowing what Emma Watson is up to now. It would take less time to tell you what she hasn't done than what she has - she's packed an unbelievable amount of work into the years since she was first cast as Hermione Granger.
Regularly listed as one of the most beautiful women in the world, it surprised nobody when Watson became a model when she entered her teens. What fewer people could have predicted was her developing a taste for art house cinema productions and political activism. She's now a UN Goodwill Ambassador promoting gender equality issues and has regularly spoken out in support of feminist causes, as well as being a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. She seems to have the world at her feet, and she's not yet even 30.
Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane)
Romilda comes into Harry's life at a moment many teenage boys dream of reaching but precious few ever do - the day you suddenly become very attractive to the opposite sex. Romilda takes it a little too far in that respect, trying to seduce Harry with a love potion which has some undesirable effects.
Anna Shaffer plays the role effortlessly, and with her looks it's a wonder Harry managed to turn her down! There's plenty of soap opera going around for attractive actors in Britain, and "Hollyoaks" in particular has a reputation for casting the young and the beautiful. Shaffer fit the description perfectly and has been appearing regularly on the show since 2011. A prominent role in "Doctor Who" spin-off "Class" boosted her star power further, and her legions of Instagram followers are kept entertained by her occasional work as a lingerie model.
Angelica Mandy (Gabrielle Delacour)
We're not sure if anyone on this list has gone through such a transformation between two photos as Angelica Mandy has here. On the left we see sweet, innocent Gabrielle Delacour, Harry's damsel in distress from the bottom of the ocean. On the right, Mandy is all grown up and rocking the vampire look with the spooky contact lenses.
Mandy has largely disappeared from the acting world since the end of her Harry Potter work, with no credits to her name since 2012, but a series of very sexy snaps on her social media accounts tell us that she might be working hard to throw off her Harry Potter past and reinvent herself as an adult. She seems to spend a lot of her time on the party circuit, with a fair share of modeling work on display too.
Julie Christie (Madam Rosmerta)
OK, as we get towards the halfway point of this list, let's play with the format a little and do this in reverse. On the left we see Julie Christie in her Harry Potter role as Madam Rosmerta, owner of the "Three Broomsticks" bar. Julie is a veteran and well-respected actress. However, how many of us that only know her for Harry Potter know what she looked like when she was younger?
Christie was a beauty and style icon of London's famous 1960s club scene and won the "Best Actress" Oscar as long ago as 1965. She was breaking hearts before even the parents of some of her Harry Potter co-stars were born! Now in her 70s, she's taken on less and less acting work in recent years but remains a constant supporter of charities and good causes, taking particular interest in nuclear disarmament, environmental protection and animal rights issues.
Lucy-Anne Brooks (Beauxbatons girl)
Lucy-Anne Brooks is definitely among the ranks of Harry Potter girls who went on to enjoy a longer career in front of the camera. She just does it in a different way to anyone else on this list - and it's a million miles away from what you'd believe if you look at the prim, proper and demure Beauxbatons girl seen here with her classmates on the left.
She had a couple of minor roles in other films - "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" being one of them, but as she grew up, Brooks made the transition from child star to adult star quite literally. We don't recommend going to look at any of her social media accounts if you're at work, but if you do, you'll find her in various states of undress, enticing you to join her on a number of premium subscription services.
Genevieve Gaunt (Original Pansy Parkinson)
If you read our description of Scarlett Byrne playing Pansy Parkinson earlier on and were screaming that she wasn't the first actress to do so at your screen - yes, we know. And here's Genevieve Gaunt, who was the original performer in the role. She only made one appearance in the part, and nobody seems to know why the role was recast. It certainly wasn't because Gaunt isn't a great actor.
Gaunt never fit the 'pug faced' description for the role either, although she did look more severe, and still retains a brooding quality in her pictures to this day. She's stayed in acting and has had a central role in "The Royals" since 2015. She's got the sultry pout look down perfectly on Instagram, and with a double first in English from the prestigious Cambridge University, she has the brains to go with her beauty.
Shefali Chowdhury (Parvati Patil)
Here's the other of the Patil sisters, played by Shefali Chowdhury. If you've always believed that the Patils were sisters in real life, we're sorry to shatter the illusion for you. They may look alike, but they have no family in common at all. Parvati's main role in the Harry Potter story was to get irritated with him when he ignored her at the Yule Ball.
Her three appearances in Harry Potter were pretty much it in terms of Chowdhury's acting career, although she has been back in front of the camera for a couple of low budget short films in more recent years. Stepping away from fame, she was known at one point to be studying photography back home in Birmingham, England, and her social media accounts indicate a strong interest in environmental concerns and animal rights issues.
Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall)
Let's do another back to front one! Everybody knows who Maggie Smith is. She's almost considered to be royalty in England, and we all loved Professor McGonogall even if she was a little bit grumpy from time to time. She was one of the greatest Quidditch players of all time, so she must have had a fun side at one point.
Smith has been in film and on television for longer than most of us have been alive and seems to specialize in 'ill-tempered woman' (ask any fan of "Downton Abbey" about that). Now in her 80s, we think most people will be surprised to see what a stunner she was in her youth. Actor Robert Stephens would have been the envy of many of his peers when he married her in 1967. With a list of credits and awards too long to count, Smith will be remembered as one of the all-time greats.
Julie Walters (Molly Weasley)
While we're on the subject of all-time greats, let's talk about Julie Walters. Her character Molly Weasley is a warm, motherly type who accepts Harry as one of her own from the day she meets him. Despite her kind nature, she has it in her to kill, eventually striking down Bellatrix Lestrange in order to protect her own daughter.
Like Maggie Smith, Walters has been made a Dame by the Queen of England in recognition of her services to the acting profession. Walters admits that she was a problem child at school, being kicked out before completing her education due to misbehavior. She trained as a nurse before accidentally finding fame through her partnership with comedian Victoria Wood during the 1970s. Charmingly, she married a man who'd been called out to repair her car in the 1980s, and they live together on an organic farm.
Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
Narcissa Malfoy is a difficult character to love. She spends most of the Harry Potter saga as a supporter of Voldemort, and even when she lies to him about Harry being dead she primarily does so in order to protect her own son. It's a testament to the great acting skills of Helen McCrory that she makes us feel any sympathy for her at all.
McCrory's ability to play noble, uptight and yet somehow sultry women has been noted for years, but she's also a versatile performer, able to take on the role of Cherie Blair in "The Queen" to great acclaim. A strikingly good-looking woman even as she moves into her 50s, she's married to former "Homeland" star Damien Lewis. As with her veteran peers in the Harry Potter franchise, she's been recognized at the highest level for her services to acting and was awarded with the Order of the British Empire in 2017.
Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney)
Professor Trelawney is one of the most fun characters in the film series, always there to bring some levity when the moment requires it. She taught Divination to Harry and his friends, and they rather cruelly believed her to be a fraud, which wasn't always the case.
Behind the character was the legendary Emma Thompson. An elegant, sophisticated British rose, Thompson has done it all in the world of entertainment. As skilled as a comedian as she is an actor, she's also shown her ability as a screenwriter and author, generally regarded as being one of the greatest female performers of her generation. She's also very highly outspoken on liberal political issues, being a keen supporter of Greenpeace and AIDS awareness campaigns, as well as a strong critic of organized religion. She's also received the impressive sounding title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Nina Young (Original Grey Lady)
We covered the character of Helena Ravenclaw earlier on, and the relevance of the Grey Lady to Harry Potter's ultimate fate. What we didn't mention was that there have actually been two actors cast in the role. Unfortunately for Nina Young, only one of them got a speaking part, and it wasn't her.
Playing the comparatively minor role of the Grey Lady in the earlier films, Young's main job was to look pretty and mysterious, which she managed effortlessly. She's been working on television and in film for the best part of thirty years, although almost always in minor roles. Her big screen credits include "Johnny English" and James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies", but the majority of her credits are for non-recurring roles on a variety of British TV shows. Other than the fact that she's Australian, very little is publicly known about her life away from her work.
Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle)
The Grey Lady wasn't the only ghost resident in the halls of Hogwarts, there was also Moaning Myrtle. There was a rather unkind rumor circulating around the internet at one point that Moaning Myrtle was actually played by Daniel Radcliffe in drag. We do admit that there's a resemblance- and we're putting it down to the glasses - but the role was actually taken by Shirley Henderson.
Henderson is much more recognizable in the picture on the right, and you may know the vastly experienced actor from a number of her roles across film and television. She's had a hugely varied career, with roles as unusual as playing a sentient paving slab in "Doctor Who", and Jude in three "Bridget Jones" movies. She seems to have a particular taste for eccentric characters, and her voice is every bit as distinctive as her appearance.
Hebe Beardsall (Ariana Dumbledore)
Ariana Dumbledore is another ghostly character in Harry Potter, although in her case she isn't so much a ghost as an apparition. The character died as a child, although she appears to Harry as a fully-grown woman in a moving portrait and has quite the mesmeric effect on the young wizard.
Being little more than a painting, the character didn't get any lines, which was a shame for actor Hebe Beardsall. She seemed to struggle to find work for a couple of years after her Harry Potter appearance, but a spate of British TV appearances during 2017 have nudged her career in the right direction, and she recently received a great deal of acclaim for her work in the movie "Funny Cow". A recent newspaper article noted that acting doesn't yet pay all the bills for her, and she has a day job as a children's entertainer.
Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter)
It seems like almost every celebrated British female actor turned up in the Harry Potter series at some point, and Miranda Richardson fits that bill perfectly. As Rita Skeeter, she played a journalist who was quite the thorn in Harry's side until Hermione found a way to permanently silence her.
British fans of a certain age know and love her for her various comedic roles in the popular historical sitcom "Blackadder", but the span of her work is far greater than that. Finding time to indulge her great love of the stage as well as being in front of a camera, Richardson has had starring roles in a number of movies including "Belle", "Churchill" and "Damage". Despite being famous, she's fiercely guarded about her private life, and although she's on Twitter she's sent a sum total of six Tweets in six years!
Petia Pavlova (Random Witch)
You'll need a very keen eye, and perhaps the use of freeze frame if you want to see Petia Pavlova's involvement in the Harry Potter world. She's little more than an extra - a nameless witch who drifts along the background in a Diagon Alley scene - but Pavlova continued to work hard at her chosen craft (if you'll excuse the pun), and fame came to her a few years later.
Now all grown up and utterly dazzling, Bulgarian-born Pavlova moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue a career in acting but has also released a number of records under her first name. She has enjoyed particular musical success in the dance and club scene, working with some famous producers. Her Instagram account follows her on her American adventures, which suggest she's also made a completely understandable move into modeling.
Greta Bellamacina (Slytherin Girl)
A simple role as a background Slytherin girl - who may or may not have been called "Stephanie", depending on which source you believe - was the first on-camera appearance of Greta Bellamacina's career. She must have got a taste for the film making process but decided to take another route staying involved in it. She got behind the camera instead and now works as a screenwriter and director.
A uniquely elegant and striking looking young woman, Greta's potential as a model was spotted at the age of sixteen, where she remains in heavy demand. She also describes herself as a 'library activist', campaigning passionately to keep libraries open and available in the modern world. A student of the written word, Bellamacina is also an internationally published poet. There is seemingly no limit to her talents in the field of artistry.
Kieri Kennedy (Girl At Reptile House)
If you go all the way back to the dawn of the Harry Potter movies, you'll catch a glimpse of Kieri Kennedy. Harry heads off on a trip to the zoo for Dudley's birthday, and on their way, they pass a group of schoolgirls, and one of them is Kennedy passing by as an extra.
She seemed to be destined to go on to big things following on from that appearance, with a starring role in British comedy drama "UGetMe" which ran for more than 50 episodes between 2003 and 2005. Since then she's disappeared off the radar a little, save for a couple of roles in short films. Her Instagram account shows her to be in incredible shape and not afraid to show it and charts her adventures as she indulges her love of travel, often accompanied by her beloved husky.
Sarah Rorbach (Hogwarts Student)
Sarah Rorbach is another actor who managed to go on and find a degree of success after an uncredited background appearance in an early Harry Potter film. Can you see her hidden away in the picture on the left? The producers didn't even see fit to give her character a name, which you could understand if it was a one-off appearance, but Rorbach actually made three separate Harry Potter film appearances without once getting a formal acknowledgment. She's in "Sorcerer's Stone", "Chamber of Secrets" and "Goblet of Fire", playing the same silent Hogwarts student!
Rorbach has a small clutch of other minor roles and short film appearances to her name, and recently launched a new website where she advertises herself as both an actor and a singer, with over 20 years of stage experience to her name. Her agency website states that she's trained in physical combat, so Rorbach is one Harry Potter alumni you wouldn't want to mess with.
Olivia Jewson (Past Slug Club Girl)
Slug Club, if you're not familiar with or have forgotten the term, is a members-only organization only available to Professor Slughorn's favorite students. Harry was invited once but got himself kicked out when he attempted to access one of the professor's memories. Had he stayed, he may have gotten to know Olivia Jewson's nameless character.
2014 was the best year of Jewson's acting life to date, picking up five roles, but she's only managed another five in the years that have come since. Her Instagram account suggests that might not be accurate though; she's posted several recent pictures of herself on stage, where she's been appearing in Rigoletto at the prestigious Royal Opera House. Things can't be going too badly, and she looks happy and full of life. There's even a short video of her playing and singing along to Bob Marley songs!
Amber Evans (Slug Club Twin #2)
Sticking with the Slug Club, do you remember seeing a pair of identical twins in the background? They don't really say or do very much, but they're always there, indulging in a bit of physical comedy. Some sources name the characters as Flora and Hestia Carrow. One of them is played Amber Evans, seen here as she was at the time, and all grown up today.
She never appeared in any medium without her sister, and indeed her only IMDB credit other than her Harry Potter work is for a movie called "Signs of Life", in which being an identical twin was also an essential part of getting the role. Amber didn't stay in the entertainment business for long after her time on Harry Potter ended, and she was last heard of studying to become a doctor. Aside from that, she seems to have vanished from the internet completely. A trick worthy of Harry himself!
Ruby Evans (Slug Club Twin #1)
It would be rude for us to cover one of the twins without mentioning the other, so here she is. Her name is Ruby Evans, and we can't say for sure which one of the girls played Flora Carrow and which one played Hestia.
Like her sister, Ruby disappeared off the map after Harry Potter, and the best clue we can find on the internet to her current whereabouts suggests she went to study History at Glasgow University, so it's a fair bet that neither one of the twins currently does any acting at all. She looks happy enough in this picture, so there's no reason not to believe that the Evans sisters are happy with their life choices, and content to stay away from the camera's glare, much like their other sisters Scarlet and Velvet.
Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
Luna Lovegood is a real "love her or hate her" character, and that debate still goes on within Harry Potter fandom to this day. Whatever you thought of her, Luna was very different as a character, managing to stand out as strange even in a film franchise packed full of strange people. We can credit Evanna Lynch with bringing that to the role with her performance.
Lynch was a huge Harry Potter fan long before the films were even made, and credits J.K. Rowling with helping to save her life. Hospitalized with anorexia at just eleven years old, Lynch wrote to the author as a fan, and received a response back that was handwritten from Rowling, in which she described the disease as "destructive, not creative", which she credits with kick-starting her recovery. After that, securing an acting role within the Harry Potter franchise and working with Rowling in the future must have been her destiny.
Geraldine Somerville (Lily Potter)
Earlier on we talked about Ellie Darcey-Alden appearing as the young version of Harry Potter's mother in the movies. Here's Geraldine Somerville, who played her as an adult. Her death at Voldemort's hands is arguably the pivotal moment in Harry's whole destiny, leading to his final avenging of the act at the climax of the series. She mostly appears in flashbacks, although as Harry heads to his final battle she appears to him directly as a vision in the forest.
Somerville is generally known for playing tougher roles, most notably in the dark British police drama "Cracker" and has worked steadily throughout her career without ever ascending to superstardom. She took particular delight in her Harry Potter role and says that all of her own real-life children have grown up to be huge fans of the stories.
Pam Ferris (Marge Dursley)
Marge Dursley wasn't really a beloved character within the world of Harry Potter. Obnoxious, outspoken and incredibly rude, and saved particular disdain for Harry and his parents. This all climaxed after a long night, one drink too many, and the wrong comment at the wrong time. Unable to help himself, Harry turned Marge into a large balloon and sent her floating off on a journey from which she never returned.
Pam Ferris couldn't be more different to the character in real life. A celebrated actor, she's been on screens big and small for over thirty years, and a whole generation knows her best as Ma Larkin in "The Darling Buds of May". She may never have been considered to play a cruel role at all had it not been for her star turn in "Matilda" some years earlier.
Michelle Fairley (Mrs. Granger)
Hermione's mother, Monica Granger, was very understanding of her daughter's calling to magic. That made it all the more heartbreaking when Hermione was forced to erase all memory of herself from her parents' lives for their own protection, in order to keep them safe from death eaters. Fortunately, the process could be reversed, so Hermione was spared from becoming essentially an orphan.
Michelle Fairley, who played the part, has appeared in a number of roles throughout her life but we think everybody in the world now recognizes her as Catelyn Stark from the phenomenally successful "Game of Thrones". If our mentioning that gave anybody Red Wedding flashbacks, we're truly sorry. She'd worked steadily in television long before getting her Harry Potter role, but the part gave her profile a lift, and as well as her "Game of Thrones" success she's also played a major part in "Suits".
Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley)
Petunia Dursley the sister of Lily Potter, and after her death she took on the responsibility of bringing Harry up. Unfortunately for the young wizard, she was no great fan of magic, and preferred to keep it out of her house. This left Harry feeling unwanted - a fact that wasn't helped by the extensive preferential treatment she gave to her own son, Dudley.
Behind the performance is Irish actor Fiona Shaw, once hailed as one of the stars of RADA's "new generation" as she first broke into the industry. Away from Harry Potter, she seems to think very differently of the paranormal than her character, having dallied with magical or ghostly goings on in both "True Blood" and "Dorian Grey". Her list of screen roles is impressive, but her reputation suggests that she really excels on the stage, where she's wowed Broadway with a number of fantastic performances and been recognized with Olivier awards on numerous occasions.
Sophie Thompson (Mafalda Hopkirk)
It's a dull job, but someone's got to do it. Mafalda Hopkirk worked for the Ministry of Magic, or "the fun police" as we like to call them. Basically, if you did something using your magic powers which you weren't really supposed to do, you'd be receiving a strongly worded letter from Mafalda. Harry can count himself among her list of recipients because of the aforementioned 'inflating Marge' accident.
The well-known and kind-hearted actor Sophie Thompson took on the part, which must have gone against her nature. An Olivier award winner, she first came to major prominence as Lydia in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" in the 1990s. Away from her work, she's a committed supporter of charities. She has run marathons in support of children suffering with disabilities and learning difficulties in London, and also for people suffering the long-term effects of serious burns. A gifted cook and author, she's released recipe books and children's books, too!
Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch)
Learning to fly a broom is a must for any aspiring witch or wizard at Hogwarts, and that's where Madam Hooch comes in, although she's also happy to lend herself to Quidditch refereeing duties. Harry Potter fans will fondly remember her in the scene where Harry first learns to ride his Firebolt broomstick. She put him on the Quidditch team immediately!
The instantly recognizable Zoe Wanamaker, who plays the role, is actually American by birth, but ended up in England after her father traveled for work and was then denied permission to return because he was a suspected communist. She may be best known for her eleven year long starring role in British sitcom "My Family", although she's also fond of Agatha Christie, having appeared several times in adaptations of the author's work in both "Miss Marple" and "Poirot".
Frances de la Tour (Madame Olympe Maxime)
There is a French equivalent of Hogwarts, called "Beauxbatons", and Madame Olympe Maxime is its headmistress, although her closest equivalent in Harry's school is actually Hagrid, given that they're both half-giant. She and Hagrid are forced to put school rivalries aside as the threat from Voldemort increases, and they head off into Europe in search of other giants they can recruit to the cause of fighting against him.
Yet another Olivier Award winning actor, Frances de la Tour can also count BAFTA and Tony awards among her collection. The veteran performer is still lovingly remembered in her home country for her performances in popular sitcom "Rising Damp". De la Tour is proud of her working-class roots and remains a committed socialist to this day, having once been a member of the Workers Revolutionary Party in her youth.
Amelda Brown (Mrs. Cole)
The character of Mrs. Cole, played by Amelda Brown, is an interesting one to debate. The head of the orphanage that once housed one Tom Riddle - the child who would grow up to become Voldemort - even admitted that she knew something was wrong with the boy. She sensed a darkness within him and noticed that when he took a disliking to something or someone, they tended to meet with misfortune shortly afterwards. Could she have done more to stop him? Should she? We'll let you decide.
Brown, a classically trained actor, has flitted from role to role throughout her career, seemingly choosing to work once or twice in a number of stage and television shows instead of committing to any single one for the long term. She holds the interesting distinction of appearing eight times in British police drama "The Bill" between 1990 and 2010, playing a different character each time!
Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey)
Magic can be a dangerous business, and the job of a school nurse at Hogwarts must be unlike working in any other school in the world. Only the best need apply, and Madam Pomfrey certainly fits that description. Being a little gifted in the ways of magic herself doesn't hurt; every school nurse should be able to attend to basic bumps and bruises, but Madam Pomfrey can fix bones like they'd never been broken to begin with.
Experienced performer Gemma Jones brings a lot of charm and a twinkle in her eye to the part. She has been a regular face on television screens in Britain since the 1960s, and she can count appearances in the "Bridget Jones" franchise as being among her major successes. Acting runs in her family; her father Griffith Jones was a much-celebrated performer who once shared a stage with Laurence Olivier.
Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge)
Nobody likes a bully, and Dolores Umbridge is as big a bully as they come. Played with some relish by Imelda Staunton, Umbridge's role should have been a helpful one; she was supposed to be teaching students how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. Instead she was cruel, manipulative and condescending, and her later turn at the Muggle-Born Registration Commission eventually saw her prosecuted and sentenced to imprisonment in Azkaban.
Staunton's name had been up in lights long before she was cast in Harry Potter, and her starring role as the title character in "Vera Drake" won her BAFTA awards and Oscar nominations. A stellar performance as the wife of Alfred Hitchcock in the TV movie "The Girl" earned similar plaudits, and it was no surprise when the Queen made her a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2016, in recognition of her services to drama.
Trending On BuzzFuse: