Lara Pulver (born 1 September 1980) is an English actress. She has played Erin Watts in the British BBC spy drama Spooks, and Irene Adler on BBC's TV adaptation Sherlock. She won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical in the West End's revival of the hit Broadway musical Gypsy.

Early life

Pulver was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Her father is from a Jewish family and her mother converted to Judaism.[1][2] Her parents separated when she was eleven.[1] Pulver attended the National Youth Music Theatre between 1994 and 1998, as well as The Liz Burville Dance Centre, Bexley.[3] In 1997, she began studying at the Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts, and graduated in 2000. She has since worked as an actress, singer and dancer in West End musicals.


Pulver was nominated for the 2008 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role of Lucille Frank in the first West End production of the musical Parade at the Donmar Warehouse. She reprised the role in the Los Angeles production at the Mark Taper Forum opposite T.R. Knight.

In 2008, Pulver recorded a song for the CD Act One – Songs from the Musicals of Alexander S. Bermange. Pulver joined the cast of the BBC's Robin Hood in 2009 as Isabella, the sister of Guy of Gisbourne.[4]

In 2010, Pulver joined the cast of the third series of HBO's True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse's fairy godmother, Claudine Crane.

Pulver played Erin Watts, the new chief of Section D, in the tenth and final series of BBC spy drama Spooks, a role she reprised in the 2015 feature film Spooks: The Greater Good

Pulver played Irene Adler in "A Scandal in Belgravia", the first episode of the second series of Sherlock.[5]

In 2012 she joined the cast of Da Vinci's Demons as the "seductive and Template:Sicminded" Clarice Orsini, a series regular and wife of Lorenzo Medici.[6]

In 2014, she played Louise in a revival of Gypsy at the Chichester Festival Theatre.[7] The production transferred to the West End in April 2015.[8] Miss Pulver won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for the same role in the Savoy Theatre production of Gypsy. Louise is actually the title role, as "Louise" becomes the real-life early 20th century American strip-tease sensation Gypsy Rose Lee, on whose memoirs the musical is based. Pulver's co-star in the Savoy production, Imelda Staunton, won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as the larger-than-life Mama Rose.

Personal life

In 2003, Pulver met American actor Josh Dallas while he was in the UK studying at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. They married over Christmas 2007 in a 16th-century barn in Devon.[9] The couple honeymooned in the Maldives.[10] Dallas confirmed their divorce in an interview on Bob Rivers' radio show on 2 December 2011.

Pulver began dating actor Raza Jaffrey in 2012 and the two were married on 27 December 2014.[11] The couple had a child in 2017.


Year Film Role Notes
2009 Robin Hood Isabella TV series (8 episodes in Series 3)
2010 Legacy Diane Shaw
2010 The Special Relationship Intern TV movie
2010 True Blood Claudine Crane TV series (5 episodes)
2011 Spooks Erin Watts TV series (main cast in Series 10)
2011 Language of a Broken Heart Violet
2012, 2014 Sherlock Irene Adler "A Scandal in Belgravia" and "The Sign of Three"
2012 Coming Up Annette "Camouflage"
2013–2015 Da Vinci's Demons Clarice Orsini TV series; main character
2013 Skins: Fire Victoria TV series; minor role
2014 Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Ann O'Neill TV series (4 episodes); Main character
2014 Edge of Tomorrow Karen Lord Non-speaking cameo
2014 Game of Thrones Lady Elissa Forrester Video game
2015 Spooks: The Greater Good Erin Watts Reprising her role from the series
2015 A Patch of Fog Lucy
2016 Underworld: Blood Wars Semira
2016–2017 Quantico Charlotte Bishop Episodes: "ODENVY" and "EPICSHELTER"
2017 Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Paula Episode: "Real Life"
2018 The City and the City Katrynia TV series

Stage credits

Awards and nominations

Year Award Title Result
2008 Laurence Olivier AwardBest Actress in a Musical Parade Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Movie/Miniseries Actress Sherlock – "A Scandal in Belgravia" Nominated
2016 Laurence Olivier AwardBest Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Gypsy Won


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