Famous for: winning the hearts of period drama fans as sweet-natured Amy in Little Dorrit
Dorrit Landing the title role in a BBC adaptation of Dickens' Little Dorrit was a dream come true for Claire Foy. "I was utterly delighted, but I couldn't believe it. Even when we started filming, I kept thinking, 'They'll take this off me and name the series after another character'," she admits. Prior to landing the role Claire, who was born in Stockport and grew up in Manchester and Leeds before moving to Buckinghamshire, had only had small parts in daytime drama Doctors and Being Human. The Dickens classic brought her first big screen credit in fantasy thriller Season Of The Witch, starring Nicolas Cage. Initially Claire wanted to be a ballet dancer but began to think about acting aged 13 when she developed juvenile arthritis. She studied at the Oxford school of drama but, convinced she wasn't the prettiest or most talented student, says it was an uphill struggle. "I loved drama, but somehow I just thought everyone else was better than me. Then when I went to university, I realised you've just got to have the guts to go for it."