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Born in Windsor in 1962, Janie Dee is a five-time Olivier Award-nominated actress, who has starred in West End productions for over three decades. In recent years, she’s perhaps best known for starring in Follies, Hand To God and The Boy Friend, as well as being vocal on the need for theatres to become environmentally friendly.
Training at ArtsEd in London, Dee immediately began her career, but rather than starring in British shows, she moved to Italy. Living in Rome, Dee taught dance and took singing lessons, later becoming fluent in Italian. Her West End debut came in 1986, cast in Cabaret at the Novello Theatre, then starring in musicals like Cats and Showboat.
Dee’s standout role came in 1993, playing Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel at the National Theatre. She won her first Olivier in the role, and her career was launched into stardom, appearing in Romeo and Juliet, The Sound of Music and South Pacific.
In 1998, Dee was cast in Comic Potential at Stephen Joseph Theatre, which later transferred to the Lyric Theatre. The Alan Ayckbourn play was a big hit in London, with Dee winning her second Olivier and making her Broadway debut for the show’s transfer.
In recent years, Dee has become one of the West End’s leading ladies, appearing in Noises Off at the Old Vic alongside Celia Imrie, Calendar Girls at the Noel Coward Theatre and Blithe Spirit opposite Angela Lansbury. In 2017 though, she played Phyllis Rogers Stone in the award-winning revival of Follies at the National Theatre, a performance that London Theatre's Mark Shenton declared “showstopping”.