Nowadays, you will be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t like Harry Potter. As one of the largest movie franchises of all time, knowing your Harry Potter characters is like a rite of passage. Besides, who wouldn’t want to get to know the fabulous women of this magical world?
From the beautiful Hermione Granger to the mysterious Lily Potter, between then and now, you’re in for some major jaw-droppers.
Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley
Despite an awkward start, Ginny Weasley proved herself to be more than just another character in the Harry Potter franchise. Initially, Ginny started as Ron's shy and timid little sister. However, throughout the books, she proves herself to be so much more than that! Right from the start, we saw clues of her loyalty, bravery, and eagerness to take on a challenge. Over time, she even ended up becoming the love interest of none other than Harry Potter, himself! This eventually leads the fans to some very romantic and "awwwwing" moments (and some very weird and uncomfortable ones for Ron).
From the second book, and until the very end, Ginny faces and overcomes He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, over and over again, and beats him every time (with the help of her trusty knight in shining Gryffindor robes). There is no denying that she is an important and courageous character.
Bonnie Wright Now
Although Bonnie Wright had no prior acting experience before the Harry Potter movies, a small, yet motivating push from her older brother, Lewis, landed Bonnie at the Harry Potter auditions, which eventually became her first out of many more roles as an actress. While the adorable Ginny Weasley has definitely been her biggest and most memorable role yet, it was certainly not the last.
Ms. Wright grew into quite the accomplished actress, and appeared as a young Sarah Robinson and a young Agatha Christie, which were filmed at the same time as the Harry Potter movies. She is also accredited for some later films (the last being A Christmas Carol, in 2018), including a number of appearances in stage productions.
Katie Leung as Cho Chang
As a Ravenclaw, Cho Chang is one of the most clever pupils whom we meet throughout the franchise. Along with her introverted nature and brilliant mind, Cho also seems to have quite a fondness for powerful wizards. In the Goblet of Fire, she dates Cedric Diggory, and they do make such a gorgeous couple! That is, until his tragic and untimely death.
Just like the rest of us who have been watching him for years from afar, Cho Chang later shifts her attention towards Harry, and even manages to get a good kiss before the two part ways. So jealous. Cho also takes part in Dumbledore's Army and fights bravely in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Katie Leung Now
Along with many other young and talented actresses, Katie Leung made her acting debut on the Harry Potter set, and we think we speak for all of us when we say that we are glad she auditioned, got the part and accepted it. However, having a huge impact on the events of the wizarding world didn't seem quite enough for the budding actress. After her role in the franchise, Katie had a hard time deciding whether to continue her life as an actress or move on to something different.
She then spent the next few years studying art, photography, and design at the University of the Arts in London. Eventually, she made it back into the film world and landed roles in various film and TV shows, including T2 Trainspotting with her fellow Harry Potter cast member, Shirley Henderson.
Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle
Poor Moaning Myrtle! The oversensitive, moping, hysterical Moaning Myrtle has a reason to be sensitive (but not THAT sensitive), after all, she was killed in a very insulting way, and is living as a dead ghost. Later on, we learn that Myrtle was the first (and last - thanks to Harry and the gang) student who died the first time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, all those years ago.
Although we mostly meet Myrtle when she's crying in the girls' bathroom, or crushing on Harry and then yelling at him, she does prove to be pretty useful when she helps Harry solve the egg clue in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament.
Shirley Henderson Now
Potterheads know her as Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girl's lavatory. However, you may also know Shirley Henderson by her role in the romantic comedy, Bridget Jones' Diary (where, funnily enough, she also uses her stupendous crying talents way too much), as Meme in Anna Karenina, as Gail in T2 Trainspotting, or the most recent Stan and Ollie, where she plays, once again, a worried and sensitive Lucille Hardy.
In recent years, she has taken her acting talents and transformed her attention to the stage in various theater productions including an Olivier award-winning role as Elizabeth in the 2018's production of Girl from the North Country. And boy does she look great for a 53-year-old!
Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour
At the Triwizard Tournament of the fourth Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), we were introduced to the drop-dead gorgeous Beauxbatons contestant, Fleur Delacour. Yes, that Durmstrang guy was brave and all, but Fleur… it was hard to take our eyes off of her. As part-Veela, part-wizard, Fleur truly turns heads wherever she goes, regardless of the world she's in - real or fictional.
Throughout the book, she also proves that there is so much more to her than her appearance (as if that wasn't enough). With a strong head on her shoulders and a caring nature, Fleur eventually falls in love with Bill Weasley – Ron's eldest brother.
Clémence Poésy Now
Clémence Poésy (born as Clémence Guichard) is a French actress and fashion model. Pretty cool, huh? She always knew that she wanted to be an actress, so taking her mother's maiden name (who by the way, is also an actress), as her stage name, she did everything in her power to get there. After studying acting in France, Clémence quickly found professional acting work both in her home country and overseas in the US.
Her role in the Harry Potter film, while being one of her first English-speaking roles, was certainly not the only one. More recently, she has landed parts in quite a few American TV-shows, including a role in Gossip Girl, 127 Hours and The Tunnel. She even has a kid sister, Maelle, just like in the Harry Potter Movie. And what do you know - Maelle is also an actress.
Evanna Lynch As Luna Lovegood
If you're anything like us and love all things weird, wacky, misunderstood and brilliant, then you must have swooned over Luna Lovegood. Although she's not a Gryffindor, Luna exhorts many qualities that make her just as lovable as the rest of the gang. Through her wild imagination, creative ways, quirky fashion sense and extensive knowledge of magical creatures from around the world, Luna totally earned her place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and we're even willing to let the fact that she's a Ravenclaw totally pass us by.
Poor Luna is often misunderstood and teased by many of the students at Hogwarts. Having a crazy father putting eccentric ideas in her head can't possibly help. We feel better knowing that she will be OK once she befriends Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville, and proves to be a loyal friend, and one of the good guys.
Evanna Lynch Now
Evanna Lynch is just as creative in real life as her on-screen character. In fact, before landing her part in the Harry Potter franchise, Evanna had been corresponding with J.K. Rowling for quite a few years, writing her fan letters and ideas. Since her time on set in the last Harry Potter movie, Evanna has appeared in various films, including Houdini and My Name Is Emily, and has proven, throughout the years, to be a greatly talented individual.
Although she hasn't appeared on screens in the last few years, Evanna is still pursuing her acting career. She recently appeared on stage in a new adaptation of Disco Pigs, and was one of the celebrities competing on the last season (season 27) of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown
If you've read the Harry Potter books, then you'd know that Lavender Brown has a much bigger part in the books than she does on screen. But that's OK with us. She gives the books that extra human quality that is so very present when you're that age in school, what with the obsessive girly-gossip between herself and BFF Parvati Patil about the adorable Won-Won (We mean Ron, of course).
Showing her love in any way she can, poor hopeless romantic Lavender does everything possible to get Ron's attention (short of spray painting R + L = 4EVER on the Gryffindor common room wall). It's a real shame, but unfortunately, she ended up being a little too subtle for Won-Won's liking. (Let that be a lesson, Lavender!)
Jessie Cave Now
As opposed to the one track mind of Hogwarts Lavender, real-life Jessie seems to be a jack of many trades. Ex-swimming champion and Tennis player, Jessie Cave rerouted her life due to an early-on unfortunate sporting injury. Fortunately for us, that injury landed her on the Harry Potter set, right where she belonged. From a young age, Jessie has proved to be immensely talented in sports, arts, writing, acting and basically, anything she sets her mind on.
Jessie is still enjoying her acting career today, so when she's not appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival or at any West-End productions, she's starring in popular TV shows, like Black Mirror. When she's not acting, Cave is illustrating, cartooning and writing. Lately, she published a book which she called ‘Love Sick', based on her doodles. The future looks bright for Ms. Cave!
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
What else is there to say about Hermione Granger? As one of Harry's closest friends (along with Ron Weasley), Hermione is THE leading lady in the Harry Potter franchise, and boy, is she a girl to be proud of. She may come across as an intelligent know-it-all sometimes, but she is also pure at heart, a loyal friend and all-in-all, a true Gryffindor. It's not her fault nobody else completed the summer reading list - seriously! All jokes aside, Hermione seems super confident, but she actually had to go through quite a few hardships to get to where she is.
Being born to a muggle family, and after receiving her Hogwarts acceptance letter, Hermione entered and adapted to the wizardry world all on her own. Yet, she still proved to be there for Harry, time after time, and showed bravery like nobody's business. Hermione proved to everyone (and to herself) that you can be clever, and still be courageous, loyal but conscientious, and she wows everybody when she enters that ballroom in the fourth book, looking stunning!
Emma Watson Now
As incredible as Hermione is in the books and movies, she doesn't hold a torch to Emma Watson in real life. Born in Paris and raised in Oxfordshire, England, Watson always knew that she wanted to be an actress. Her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise was actually her first professional role. Can you believe it? Aside from becoming an internationally known face, the role also earned her roughly $60 million! After that, Watson also starred in one of our personal favorites - The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and made a stunning rendition of Belle, in Beauty and the Beast.
With all the fame she acquired, Emma continued her education and graduated from Brown University, with a BA in English literature. She still works as an actress, and has also expanded her career into the fashion world, becoming a model and fashion consultant. In 2014, she became the UN Women Goodwill ambassador, and continues to fight for gender equality. Yes, she's a pretty tough cookie.
Afshan Azad as Padma Patil
There were many changes when adapting J.K. Rowling's original characters to film, and Padma Patil is a perfect example. We all know that Padma is only one-half of the giggly Patil twins, but in the books, Padma is actually sorted into the Ravenclaw House (as opposed to her sister, Parvati Patil, whose fate lies among the Gryffindors).
However, in the movies, Padma is a Gryffindor, too, just like her sister Parvati. Either way, they both prove themselves to be on the good guy's team, and add to the overall picture of our bewitching middle school setting, as well as being vital members of Dumbledore's Army.
Afshan Azad Now
Just like Bonnie Wright (and unlike most of the other women on this list), Afshan Azad was not a professional actress before being cast as Padma Patil. She actually admitted to only having auditioned for the role just for the fun of it! Crazy, right? But that does explain why we haven't seen her since. Shortly after the end of the Harry Potter series, Afshan's father and brother were charged with threatening her life.
At the young age of 22, she became intensely entwined in a seemingly never-ending court battle for her livelihood. Not quite the fame and fortune we imagined for this star. But what a beautiful, strong woman she has turned into.
Geraldine Somerville As Lily Potter
Considering her role as the mother of our hero, Harry Potter, Lily Potter plays a rather minuscule character in the whole scheme of things. Her story, however, plays a major part in Harry's life and memories. Throughout the movies, we see only bits and pieces of Lily's younger years through Harry's memory, or his glances into others' memories of her.
After He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named finds the Potters in their home in Godric Hollow, Lily desperately attempts to save her baby boy's life by shielding him in her arms. Unbeknownst to Harry, this action would later end up saving his life multiple times. But in the long run, it's her backstory that ends up protecting him the most.
Geraldine Somerville Now
Geraldine Somerville made a name for herself long before the Harry Potter franchise. Before her role as Lily Potter, Geraldine was mostly known as Detective Sergeant Jane Penhaligon, from the once-popular crime show series, Cracker.
She then moved on to smaller roles, such as Louisa, Countess of Manton, in the Titanic mini-series, or Sarah Griffin in the BBC's mini-series, Quirke. Lately, Geraldine Somerville served as Lady O, in the 2017 blockbuster, Goodbye Christopher Robin.
Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks
Nymphadora Tonks has got to be one of the coolest characters of the entire franchise. As if she wasn't cool enough, she also has the coolest job ever: a dark wizard catcher. If we were a metamorphmagus, we would totally be a dark wizard catcher, too. It's just so dark and mysterious. But if you haven't fallen in love with her yet, wait until you see her babysit. She may not have thought about it at the time, but being a metamorphmagus comes with major babysitting points.
And luckily for Ginny, Hermione, and the gang, Tonks doesn't hold back when showing off her abilities at dinnertime, or when it's her turn to watch over them. As a vital member of The Order of the Phoenix, and the one with the most flourish, her untimely death was truly devastating to us. I cry watching it every time.
Natalia Tena Now
Even though I'm totally not over the whole tragic death thing at the Battle of Hogwarts, at least the real Tonks, AKA Natalia Tena, is still alive and kicking. After the Harry Potter movies, Tena landed herself a part in the insanely popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, as the sassy wildling - Osha, only to be murdered again in the hands of the Horrid and Hateful Ramsay Bolton.
She obviously has got it goin' on in the film world, but did you know? Natalia Tena is also the lead singer and musician in her band, Molotov Jukebox. Talent like that doesn't come around every day. We can't wait to see what she does next.
Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange
All death eaters are bad guys, but if you ask us about the evilest of them all, Bellatrix Lestrange beats them by a landslide. Bellatrix has got to be one of the most horrendous, torturous, ruthless dark witches of all time. No wonder she is Lord Voldemort's closest confidante.
We first meet her when she is imprisoned in Azkaban, at the beginning of the third book, but she soon escapes with the help of the Dementors, sent by you know who. Back in the Wizarding World, she makes it her mission to inflict pain on Harry, his friends, and his family (at least, the little he has left).
Helena Bonham Carter Now
As she proved in her time on the Harry Potter set, Helena Bonham Carter is always up for a challenge. During the course of the franchise, Helena became involved in a 13-year relationship with the weird, wacky and wonderful movie director, Tim Burton. This may be why she was cast in many of his films. Not that she wouldn't be able to score the roles by herself; after all, the woman is insanely talented. Some of these include Dark Shadows, Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland.
Her flawless bone structure along with those gorgeous locks of gleaming black curls often place her in the role of the powerful anti-hero, but it works. We get the heebie-jeebies just looking at her. After Carter's split with Tim Burton in 2015, she moved onto other projects. Recently appearing in Oceans 8.
Pam Ferris as Marge Dursley
Although she doesn't have a huge role in the films, you can immediately tell that Marge is a terrible person, and that we are going to hate her. After all, she is a Dursley. Marge Dursley made her first appearance in the third movie - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, appearing as Vernon Dursley's sister. You can't forget that incredibly satisfying scene when Harry blows her up like a balloon and she floats off.
Marge and all the other Dursleys have always been horrible to Harry. It's a shame he grew into his powers so late or Harry could have saved a little more of his childhood By making one large balloon bouquet out of the whole horrible bunch of them.
Pam Ferris Now
Most people now recognize Pam Ferris for her role on Harry Potter, but she had already proved her acting skills many years before. If you've ever seen the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda (1991), you'd be trembling right now, and with good reason. See, Pam Ferris is none other than retched, cruel, harsh, child-hating headmistress - the feared Miss Trunchbull herself. No one can bring across that evil power-driven smile quite the way she can.
Nonetheless, in recent years, Pam has expanded her horizons and tried her hand at a more caring character, in Call the Midwife, and she even played Queen Victoria in the latest Sherlock Holmes themed comedy - Holmes and Watson.
Michelle Fairley as Mrs. Granger
Ms. Granger, Hermione's mother, appears briefly in the films, but seeing as Ron's mother has such a large role, and Harry's isn't around, it's only fair that we at least meet Ms. Granger. It's a well-known fact that Hermione was born to a muggle family, and is an enigma as far as wizard families go. Hermione couldn't even tell her about her whereabouts and her Hogwarts experience. Who would believe her?
Later on, Mrs. Granger is utterly shocked to find out that her daughter is a real witch, but nevertheless, she supports her throughout her whole time in school.While her parents never really knew what was going on in the wizardry world, and towards the end, Hermione still makes the tough decision to erase their memory in order to protect them from dark magic. Sorry Mrs. Granger… it was for your own good!
Michelle Fairley Now
Michelle Fairley's role as Mrs. Granger in the Harry Potter franchise was actually one of her smallest roles ever. She is now far better known for her emotion-filled role in a different, yet just as popular fantasy drama. We're referring to none other than HBO's Game of Thrones. We can't think of anyone who would have made a more convincing Catelyn Stark, head of the stark family for most of the series, and mother to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon Stark.
Michelle Fairley really made a name for herself with GoT, and devastated millions of fans when she was brutally murdered at the Red Wedding. Throughout the years, Michelle has also appeared in popular TV shows, such as Suits and 24: Live Another Day.
Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy
Okay, so obviously we don't like the Malfoys. I mean, they're death eaters! Well, Lucius is. And Draco would join in a minute if he were old enough. Narcissa never actually joined the death eaters, but she and her whole Pure-Blood family still associated themselves with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named throughout the centuries. And that's a big no-no. Plus, she is so stuck up! Still, she doesn't seem as bad as the rest of her family.
She even lies to the Dark Lord during the Battle of Hogwarts, in order to save her son Draco's life, and by doing so, ultimately helps Harry survive and win the Battle. So should we like her? We wouldn't go as far as that.
Helen McCrory Now
Did you know, Helen McCrory was never meant to play Narcissa Malfoy? Originally, the English actress was cast in the role of Bellatrix Lestrange, but then she got pregnant and was forced to give up the role. Can you imagine a pregnant Bellatrix? Yeah... not quite as scary. Anyway, because the producers loved her so much, they weren't ready to give up on her completely and asked her to come back to the franchise after she gave birth, to fulfill the role of Narcissa. Which actually worked out perfectly!
The talented actress has since appeared in James Bond's Skyfall, The Woman In Black: Angel of Death and Peaky Blinders so it seems she too liked a good action film. Unfortunately, the actress passed too soon in 2021.
Genevieve Gaunt as Pansy Parkinson
As Harry Potter fans, we all have our preferred houses, and really, they all have their own strengths. Even Slytherin, which has a very strong side. Unfortunately, it's their evil side. They all seem to be selfish, ruthless and just plain mean. It's as if the Slytherin common room had a direct landline to Voldemort. Anyway, Pansy Parkinson is no different.
As a close friend to Draco Malfoy, she is a naturally big bully, and wouldn't pass up an opportunity to inflict pain on Harry (or any other student, for that matter). She even tries to hand over Harry to Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts. Well, we all know how that worked out for her.
Genevieve Gaunt Now
It was no surprise when Genevieve Gaunt made her career choice, what with an entire family of actors to back her up. In 2004, she made her debut into the professional acting world, with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Imagine that as the first line of your resume!
Genevieve's career only took flight after her days as a Hogwarts bully, and she managed to land a number of movie roles, such as Issie from Kids In Love, Chrissie from Dusty and Me, and her latest, Miss Teignmouth from The Mercy. She has also been portraying Wilhelmina in the popular TV-show, The Royals, since 2015!
Kathryn Hunter as Arabella Figg
Living on the same street as the Dursley's, in Little Whinging, no one really seems to notice Mrs. Figg at all throughout the first couple of movies. But that's because that was her job. Arabella Figg was given a task by the kind and powerful head of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore - to look after Harry Potter and make sure he is safe while he lives under the Dursley's roof. Was that the best task you can give a lady like Mrs. Figg? I mean, the woman has no magic powers, she's a total squib, and is obviously obsessed with her cats and living a quiet life.
Is this who you really want protecting the boy who lived? I guess that Dumbledore really knew what he was doing, but we only found that out during the fifth movie.
Kathryn Hunter Now
Kathryn Hunter (or by her given Greek name, Aikaterini Hadjipateras) is truly a theater geek, in the best possible way! She is known for her amazing ability to change her shape, stance, walk and voice in order to adapt to whomever or whatever she may be playing (yes, she even takes on animal or shape-shifting roles from time to time).
For the past 40 years or so, Kathryn has been growing her theatrical repertoire, but Shakespearean roles are by far her favorite. In fact, she had to take a break from her busy theater life to cameo as Arabella Figg in the Harry Potter franchise, but she seems to prefer the theater, as she quickly returned to an inspiring production of Fragments - a collection of plays by Samuel Beckett.
Georgina Leonidas as Katie Bell
As Harry Potter fans, we love our team's sport, and like anybody, can't wait for Quidditch to be an actual thing. Until then, we can watch our team play over and over again - Go Gryffindor! And cheer for them and their captain - Katie Bell. It's fair to say that we love all Gryffindors, so Katie Bell is no exception.
As the Gryffindor Quidditch Chaser, Harry and Katie become teammates and friends, and develop a respect for each other that ultimately leads Katie to join him as a member of Dumbledore's Army. Things don't go that great for her, though, after she falls victim to a cursed opal necklace she had taken from Malfoy, but in the end, she makes it out OK.
Georgina Leonidas Now
Georgina Leonidas is actually most famous for her role in the amazing Basil Brush Show, and not for her time as Gryffindor's Quidditch team captain in the Harry Potter movies. As the main character in the popular British TV show, Georgina starred alongside the fox for five incredible years before landing her role in the franchise.
Besides her obvious on-screen talents, Georgina's acting career began before any of her TV appearances, and her long list of theater productions begins from a 1990's production of Les Miserables - where she played a little Cosette - to a recent Awful Auntie production where the actress portrayed Lady Stella Saxby. However, if you enjoyed her time on the Harry Potter set, you can still catch her in the daily videos of her fellow film star, Jessie Cave.
Gemma Jones as Madam Pomfrey
Madam Pomfrey, or by her character name - Poppy Pomfrey - is a school nurse at Hogwarts. Her area of expertise is healing magic, and she seems to be quite good at it. In fact, her hospital wing always seems to be full of students, yet she stays on top of it all. Throughout the series, she has to deal with the mischievous likes of Harry and the gang, who prove to be quite prone to ‘accidents'.
From re-growing bones, to werewolf bites, to Quidditch maladies, to a full-blown battle, Madam Pomfrey is constantly kept on her toes. Perhaps that's what makes her so lovable and realistic to us. Who here hasn't heard the nurse's favorite line - ‘get out! Visiting hours are over!'?
Gemma Jones Now
It sure seems like Gemma was born to play the part of Madam Pomfrey, but this veteran actress has actually been in the professional acting world since 1962! In fact, her filmography is longer than almost any other woman's on this list. Gemma Jones began her career while at school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She quickly entered the film industry by landing herself major parts in Jane Eyre, Bridget Jones' Diary, God's Own Country, Sense and Sensibility and many more. In 2015, she even won herself a BAFTA Award for her role in Marvelous.
This year, she is already on the go, splitting her time between the movie set of Rocketman, and the TV show Gentleman Jack. Busy, Busy, Busy.
Zoe Wanamaker as Madam Hooch
"Up, up, up, up!" That was us practicing our magic abilities on the kitchen broom. Hey, Harry's first time didn't go so smoothly either. But once in the air, the boy really knew how to fly! OK, not at first. See? There is still hope for us all! All we need is a flying class with Madam Hooch. Unfortunately, the legendary flying instructor is employed elsewhere, at some school called Hogwarts, and we're still waiting for our acceptance letter.
Until then, we will have to make do with occasional screenings of our favorite sport - Quidditch. From the very first year at Hogwarts, Madam Hooch makes sure Harry and the others know how to mount a broom and learn to fly. She also discovered Harry's incredible snitch-catching abilities, and even refereed his first Quidditch game. Go, Gryffindor!
Zoe Wanamaker Now
From her 1970's performance as Hermia, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Zoe Wanamaker has come a long way. After moving to the UK from the United States when she was just 3-years-old, she knew she wanted to be on stage, on screen or just up there with the stars. As a starting actress, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and national theater, and before she knew it, the offers were just rolling in. The Harry Potter franchise is one of her few movie appearances, along with My Week With Marilyn, Babs, and a few others.
But her true talents lie in original theater work, and the extensive TV show appearances she's done, such as in Mr. Selfridge, My Family and more. She has even won an Olivier award for best actress, in the Broadway hit show - Electra.
Frances de la Tour as Madame Maxime
If you thought Hagrid, our friendly half-giant gatekeeper, was a surprisingly large sort of fellow, then lean back in your seats, because he is nothing compared to the size of Beauxbatons giant French headmistress - Madame Maxime. We were introduced to Olympe in the fourth book, just before the Triwizard Tournament, when the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons schools of magic sent their contestants to compete for the winning cup at Hogwarts.
At the time, Madame Maxime claimed that she was simply ‘big boned.' Yeah, okay. Although everybody knows you never ask a woman about her height...or her figure, for that matter. She later joined Hagrid on a mission through Europe, to persuade the giants from joining Voldemort. Romantic? Maybe...
Frances de la Tour Now
As many would believe, reasonably so, (due to her name and performance as Olympe Maxime), Frances de la Tour is not French. In fact, she's actually an English actress, born and raised. Over the course of her career, Frances de la Tour has won a Tony Award for her stage performance in The History Boys, and not one, but three Olivier awards for theater productions. Recently, de la Tour has taken part in the TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?, which allows celebrities to discover their extended family tree.
Through this show, she discovered that she was related to an old aristocratic family. She is also famous for her roles in Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Holmes, and others. Next year, she plans to do the voice-over for one of the animals in The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle.
Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter
The phony, fake and evil Rita Skeeter - ‘journalist' from the Daily Prophet - reminds us all of a fame-hungry paparazzi writer who will take our words and twist them as horribly as possible, just for the attention. She's not a very likable character. We first meet Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, when she "interviews" Harry and the other Triwizard Tournament champions while using her Quick-Quotes Quill.
We quickly discover that not only is she far less respectable than she comes across, but she is also an unregistered and illegal Animagus, breaking Wizarding Law and getting her stories by eavesdropping on everybody's private conversations. Thankfully, Hermione Granger put a stop to that.
Miranda Richardson Now
Miranda Richardson's off-screen appearance is strikingly similar to her Harry Potter character. But, fortunately, they are nothing alike, and the real-life Miranda wouldn't be caught dead wearing that awful green jacket that Rita adores so much. Like many others on this list, Miranda began her career on stage long before appearing on screen, and has since piled up quite the few memorable performances, including The King and I, The Hours, The Prince and Me, Belle, and recently, 2017's historical drama, Churchill.
Richardson has also lent her talents to various TV shows, such as The Crying Game, The Lost Prince, Merlin and more. Last year she took part in the short-lived show, Girlfriends, along with her fellow Harry Potter star, Zoe Wanamaker. We expect to see lots more of you soon, Miranda!
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge
To say that we hate Dolores Umbridge would be an understatement. If you ever had a teacher whom you felt was simply out to get you, then you may be able to understand the disappointment we feel towards this woman, who has the audacity to call herself an educator. We first met (and thankfully parted with) Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Umbridge was just an ordinary worker in the Ministry of Magic.
However, continuously losing trust in Albus Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, head of the Ministry of Magic, assigned Professor Umbridge to Hogwarts as the High Inquisitor, which later turned into Headmistress. Lucky for everyone, that didn't last too long, and the Centaurs took care of her.
Imelda Staunton Now
Even though it's hard to picture Imelda Staunton's face without confusing it with her Harry Potter character, she is by no means a one-trick pony. In fact, the English actress began her acting career in the ‘70s, as a musical theater actress, after making her acting debut at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Imelda took on various triple-threat acting roles in a number of award-winning musicals, including Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz, Guys and Dolls, and more.
Since then, she has appeared in a number of major motion pictures, such as Nanny McPhee, Gypsy, Pride, and of course, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the last two years, Mrs. Staunton appeared in three movies, including Paddington 2, Finding Your Feet and The Actor's Apprenticeship. She is also rumored to appear in next year's film opening of Maleficent 2.
Tiana Benjamin as Angelina Johnson
During her time at Hogwarts, Angelina Johnson befriended the energetic Weasley twins, Fred and George, and made sure that she got in on all the action. She even made it her mission to get invited to the Yule Ball, which she accomplished in a crude, yet very effective way.
We know she's one of the good guys because she did join Dumbledore's Army, and eventually went on to marry George Weasley. Aww! In her seventh year at Hogwarts, she became the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain. She really seemed to know exactly where the action was.
Tiana Benjamin Now
If you're not a fan of Harry Potter (which is utterly preposterous), those of you who are up to date on their British soap operas might know Tiana Benjamin for her role as Chelsea Fox, in EastEnders. In fact, she didn't reprise her Harry Potter roll in the later films partially due to the conflicting filming schedules between the show and the movie.
Benjamin spent four years on EastEnders after her time on the Harry Potter set, and has since built herself a slow, but steadily growing acting career. In recent years, she has landed roles in the TV shows Holby City and The Dumping Ground, and has played Jessica Morrison in the 2018 film - The Creatress.
Angelica Mandy as Gabrielle Delacour
Gabrielle Delacour plays an intricate part in unraveling the chain of events in the fourth book's Triwizard Tournament (which somehow ended up as a Quad-Wizard Tournament). As the dear ‘leeetle' sister of Beauxbatons contestant, Fleur Delacour, Gabrielle (on the left) is placed at the bottom of the Black Lake under a sleeping spell, to be rescued by her sister in the second task of the tournament. But when Fleur fails in saving her sister, Harry bravely rescues both her and Ron (despite being attacked by ‘ze Grindylows').
Later on, Gabrielle Delacour becomes an official Weasley, when her older sibling weds Bill Weasley. It's a small magical world after all.
Angelica Mandy Now
Angelica Mandy, a beginning English actress, is not even partly French, but she managed to perfect her French accent flawlessly just for the Harry Potter movies. Since her bewitching debut in the franchise, she has grown up into a beautiful young lady. But this is not in the least the only change we can expect from this actress. If you've ever seen any of Angelica Mandy's later work, you would definitely notice the changes and improvements of her talents and repertoire.
Since her time in the magical world of witches and wizards, Mandy has landed herself a role in a movie called The End. Unfortunately, that was back in 2012! Don't you think the world could use a little more Angelica? We've got our fingers crossed.
Sophie Thompson as Mafalda Hopkirk
Mafalda Hopkirk (top left) is one of those characters that you would recognize much more by her voice than her appearance. This is because she works for the Ministry of Magic and is a prominent employee within the Improper Use of Magic department. Any ideas? Yep, this is the voice we've heard in numerous Howlers that have been sent to Harry throughout his many endeavors in the Wizarding World. Some of which weren't even his fault (or so he claims).
We only see Mafalda Hopkirk in person when Hermione takes on her appearance through the use of Polyjuice Potion in The Deathly Hallows.
Sophie Thompson Now
For those of you who don't spend every day obsessing over Harry Potter (like we do), you would've had the time to see Sophie Thompson in many of her other roles, as she was already a hugely popular actress in England, even before the franchise. Eventually, she married the equally talented composer, Richard Lumsden. Through the course of her career, she has showcased her wide range of talents in movies like Jericho, Bounty Hunters, and Eat Pray Love.
She also starred in a number of TV shows, including Celebrity Master Chef – and won the title of the season! However, for Potterheads across the globe, Sophie Thompson will always be the voice of the Howlers.
Nina Young as The Grey Lady
The Harry Potter nerds among you will know that, although she is often referred to as The Grey Lady (on the right) throughout the franchise, this ghost is the after-death depiction of Helena Ravenclaw. If you don't know, we are talking of course, about the actual daughter of one of the four Hogwarts founders - Rowena Ravenclaw.
Having that kind of fame often takes its toll, and feeling pressured by the family name and her mother's great achievements, The Grey Lady ran away to Albania with her mother's priceless Diadem. Poor Helena, never to be heard of again.
Nina Young Now
You may have realized that Nina Young's portrayal of The Grey Lady only happens in the first movie. Sadly, once The Grey Lady became a much more vital character in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, she had already been replaced and played by someone else.
Nevertheless, Nina Young managed to make a name for herself on the big screen, both in and outside the Wizarding World. She has since become an accomplished actress and producer known for her work on Tomorrow Never Dies, Johnny English, clash of the Titans and James Bond. Not bad for a once-upon-a-time ghost.
Shefali Chowdhury as Parvati Patil
Well obviously you didn't think we would have Padma on this list without her twin sister Parvati, did you? Out of both of the Patil sisters, Parvati is the true Gryffindor in the movie. Her bravery and courage are clear to us, especially when she is asked to accompany Harry to the Yule Ball, only to have him ignore her completely while sulking over Cho Chang.
Through the entire evening, Parvati manages to keep her cool and not display her anger at the inconsiderate adolescent boys. She also proves her worth through her talents in Divination class, and during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Shefali Chowdhury Now
Just like her on-screen twin sister, Shefali Chowdhury landed her Harry Potter role while she was still at school. She, too, never thought she would be accepted for the part.
Soon after, she was all settled in on the Harry Potter set, and became lifelong friends with co-stars Afshan Azad, Bonnie Wright, and many others. Sadly though, Shefali hasn't appeared on the big screen since her debut in 2015.
Kelly Macdonald as Helena Ravenclaw
Yes, you're not hallucinating. We already saw The Grey Lady/Helena Ravenclaw on this list but summed up the fact that the old Helena never played it past Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Kelly Macdonald, brought the character back to death (because she's a ghost) for the returning appearance of The Gray Lady in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Although it's not exactly what she had planned, Helena Ravenclaw helped Harry take down the Dark Lord, by revealing the history behind the ‘lost Diadem' that she had taken from her mother when she ran away from home. The same Diadem that Voldemort had turned into a Horcrux.
Kelly Macdonald Now
It's fair to say that Kelly Macdonald's appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was not exactly the largest role ever. That being said, she did manage to use the, albeit small, platform given to her by the franchise in order to showcase her acting talents and make a name for herself. Since her time on the Harry Potter set, Kelly has landed roles in some major Hollywood movies.
In recent years, she starred as the nanny in Goodbye Christopher Robin, and appeared in No Country for Old Men and Holmes and Watson, along with another Harry Potter cast member - Pam Ferris.
Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley
Vernon and Petunia Dursley are the horrible distant relatives that Harry was forced to live with after losing his parents on that one fateful Halloween night. OK, maybe not so distant. While being the sister of Lily Potter, Petunia Dursley could not be more different from her sister. It seems that while Lily was a kind-hearted witch, her sister, Petunia, was a self-centered muggle who had little to no interest in the Wizarding World, and even less so towards her reluctantly adopted son, Harry.
Although Petunia does at least agree to take care of The Boy Who Lived after Lily and James Potter pass away, she spends most of her time using him for her various house chores, and as a punching bag for her spoiled son, Dudley.
Fiona Shaw Now
You'll be glad to know that, in real-life, Fiona Shaw is nothing like the irritating, selfish character that she plays in the Harry Potter movies. She does, however, seem to have a love and strange affinity for all things fictional and supernatural. Having trained in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Shaw began her career in the theater, and only later moved up to TV and film.
Since her time on the franchise, Fiona has starred in a number of magically fantastical movies and TV shows. You may have seen her playing Marnie Stonebrook on the hit show, True Blood, on Dorian Grey, or most recently, on the British television series, Killing Eve.
Kate Fleetwood as Mary Cattermole
Mary Cattermole (back row in the middle) is the wife of Reginald Cattermole, whom Ron disguises himself as when he drinks the Polyjuice and breaks into the Ministry of Magic with Harry and Hermione. As a Muggle-born, Mary is accused of stealing a wand, and was forced to attend a Ministry hearing, where she is interrogated by the abominable Mrs. Umbridge.
She would have been sent Azkaban too if it wasn't for Harry and the gang disguising themselves as Ministry workers, interfering with the trial, and freeing Mary and the other Muggle-borns to warn them to get out of the country before He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named attacked.
Kate Fleetwood Now
Kate Fleetwood's role as Mary Cattermole only appears in one of the Harry Potter movies, but that doesn't really matter, since it's safe to say that her true calling actually lies on the stage. This British actress has truly made a name for herself as a Shakespearean legend, known mostly for her work at The Globe Theater.
Her most notable role so far has been the Tony Award-nominated role of none other than Lady Macbeth herself, a role she perfected and performed both on Broadway and the West End, in London. Recently, she has again appeared on film in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Beirut.
Ellie Darcey-Alden as Young Lily Potter
Although we only met her through a peek at Snape's old memories, we still learned so much about the talented Lily Potter, mother to Harry, and the world she grew up in, in those brief but special moments. There was nothing more exciting to us fans than watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2, and learning about how everything from all the previous movies fits together and adds up to a perfect picture of the story of Harry's parents.
The young Lily Potter appears very briefly, if you consider the length of the entire franchise, but we see her just enough to afford us those much yearned for ‘a-haaaaaa' moments, and that's all we can ask for.
Ellie Darcey-Alden Now
Ellie Darcey-Alden could not have been more perfect for the part of the young Lily Potter, what with her kind face, her skills and them being the same age and all. If only she wasn't a muggle. I guess you can't have it all. However, this young actress seems to have a lot going for her. Having made her professional debut when appearing in a stage production of Aladdin, in 2007, Ellie Darcey-Alden immediately landed herself a part in the TV series, Tess of the D'urbervilles, and went right on to Robin Hood, and eventually Dr. Who. Wow.
Since her time in the Wizarding World, Ellie has been constantly busy in front of the cameras, as well behind them working as a voice-over actress. She has since expanded her repertoire and added professional dancing to her lengthy list of talents.
Carolyn Pickles as Charity Burbage
Unfortunately, we only met Charity Burbage at the end of her life – but we can tell that she was a kind and loving person. Hermione always spoke very highly of her classes, as she found her personally fascinating (but known to give way too much homework). Professor Burbage served as the Professor of Muggle Studies at Hogwarts for fours straight years, before being grabbed by the Dark Lord, and tortured and killed at Malfoy Manor by Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Charity was known for having quite a liberal stance concerning muggles, and believed that they were not so different from wizards at all. It was this opinion, however, that ended up getting her killed.
Carolyn Pickles Now
It's fair to say that Carolyn Pickles has built up a pretty steady acting career since her appearance on the Harry Potter franchise. Although her role as Charity Burbage is still known as one of her most prominent ones, she has also appeared in a number of British TV shows, such as Midsummer Murders, Foyle's War, Kingdom, and others.
In 2013, Carolyn played Maggie Radcliffe, a journalist in the ITV drama, Broadchurch, and later appeared again in Seasons 2 and 3. Unfortunately, she hasn't starred in anything since, but last year, Carolyn Pickles recorded an interview for The Bill Podcast, celebrating her life and career.
Julie Walters as Molly Weasley
It's fair to say that the Weasley family are like the family Harry never had (or wishes he didn't have with a family like the Dursley's), and what's more, is despite their many children, the Weasleys still accept Harry into their family, warmly and open-heartedly. From the very beginning, Molly Weasley treats Harry as one of her own, without a second thought about all the baggage that comes with caring for The Boy Who Lived.
Needless to say, they all become a very important part of Harry's life. Serving as Harry's adoptive mother, Molly Weasley is one of the most caring people in the entire franchise. But like a good mother, she always knows just when to put her foot down.
Julie Walters Now
Julie Walters' time as Molly Weasley on Harry Potter is just a line on her increasingly growing resume. After all, it is no secret that Walters is one of the most successful British actresses of all time. Julie Walters has decades of acting experience under her belt, and has appeared in some of the biggest blockbusters in history. Undoubtedly, you have seen her on your screen in countless roles and costume changes.
Most recently, she has appeared in Calendar Girls, Brave, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins Returns, and is scheduled to play a role in The Secret Garden, which is in production. She has also written a number of books, the latest of which is an autobiography. Now, you can know what it's like to be Julie for a day..
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall
You didn't think we could forget about her, did you? Minerva McGonagall has been a steadily strong and authoritative character since the very first Harry Potter book. Although Professor Dumbledore is known as one of the greatest Headmasters Hogwarts ever had, he could not have possibly done it without the help of this strong and independent deputy headmistress. Professor McGonagall is also the Head of the house of Gryffindor and is by far one of the strongest women in the entire Harry Potter franchise.
Over the course of the Harry Potter movies, Minerva McGonagall proves that she is strong of heart, strict in her beliefs, but is also kind when it comes down to it. This strong and independent nature, along with her healthy priorities, come in handy when she fights in the Battle of Hogwarts and takes down the Carrows.
Maggie Smith Now
We all know that Maggie Smith is a legend in the world of Hollywood. I mean, this talented woman has been acting her way up for six straight decades. It's fair to say that this British actress has proven that she is a true force to be reckoned with. If you don't believe us, just ask the trail of honors, Emmys, Golden Globes, Academy Awards and so many others that this actress already has to her name.
Even the very Queen of England holds Mrs. Smith in high esteem. When looking at the actresses resume, the Harry Potter franchise seems so small in comparison with her entire body of work. In recent years, Maggie Smith has spent her time wow-ing the fans with her performance on Downtown Abbey.
Emma Thompson as Sybill Trelawney
Sybill Trelawney, The Hogwarts Divination teacher makes some strange and baseless predictions. She also usually messes up and as far as her co-workers are concerned, she may as well be a fraud. That is until we learn In The Order of the Phoenix that it was Professor Trelawney who predicted that a boy would be born in July, with parents who had defied The Dark Lord three times before, and that that boy would possess the power to defeat him.
This prediction caused Lord Voldemort to hunt down Harry and his parents that fateful Halloween night. So, you may think she is a bit off and a tad wacky but Sybill Trelawney plays a huge part in the franchise. In fact, without her, there would be no story to tell of at all!
Emma Thompson Now
Emma Thompson is perhaps the most versatile of all the woman on this list and had built a name for herself long before her role in the Harry Potter movies. This British actress has been kept on her toes for the past three decades or so and has managed to obtain no less than brilliant roles on both stage and screen along with balancing her work as a screenwriter, activist, author, and comedian. She is widely known for her portrayal of energetic strong woman, often in periodic dramas or literary adaptations.
Some of her latest work includes roles in Beauty and The Beast, Johnny English Strikes Again and Men In Black. She is also scheduled to appear in next year's release of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. However, our favorite performance by the talented Ms. Thompson was her 1993 rendition of Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing.
Miriam Margolyes as Pomona Sprout
With a teacher like Professor Sprout, who wouldn't want to learn about Herbology? She must rank at least in the top 5 coolest teachers at Hogwarts. Over the course of her class, the pupils got to re-pot Mandrakes, ride hippogriffs, and just have a great time outdoors. Professor Sprout is also the acting headmistress of the Hufflepuff House.
Although she is described (and portrayed in the movie) as a short and stout witch, Pomona Sprout is full of magic, might, and humor. Admittedly, she is only a relatively small character in the entire series, but she does prove to be a vital one, as she is the only one who learned how to revive the petrified victims from The Chamber of Secrets.
Miriam Margolyes Now
Miriam Margolyes has a resume that reads longer than many of the others on this list, yet, if you're a real Potterhead like we are, you'll probably only recognize her from her role as the lovable Herbology teacher in the Harry Potter films. As an acting veteran who has been in the business for more than 50 years, Miriam has more than enough to show for her time as an actress. That may be the reason why she has chosen to take some weight off her workload and have a quieter life, splitting her time between Britain and Australia.
However, she can't seem to keep away from the screen altogether, and starred in The Guilt Trip, Romeo + Juliet and even made a cameo on Family Guy, over the past few years.
Julie Christie as Madam Rosmerta
Whenever Harry and the gang were in the mood for some Butterbeer, they would go down to Hogsmeade and Madam Rosmerta would greet them and make their wishes come true. You could always rely on her to sort out her landlady duties in the magical pub.
Well, except for that time when Draco Malfoy put her under the Imperius curse to smuggle poisoned items into Hogwarts, meeting Madam Rosmerta would most likely be a joyous occasion. We would be there right now if we hadn't just run out of Foo powder...
Julie Christie now
With only a minor role in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Julie Christie is actually a very famous British actress. After her breakthrough role in the film Billy Liar, in 1963, she has added to her resume almost yearly.
Over the course of her career, she has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award! You may have also recognized her from Finding Neverland, Away From Her and The Company You Keep. Most recently, at age 78, she has narrated the 2018 film, The Bookshop.