Geraldine James has kept a low profile to American audiences, but has had an active career in her native England, on stage and in film and television. She first won notice on the London stage as Dr. Von Zandt in the 1979 production of "The Passion of Dracula". She played Jessica in a heralded Coventry production of "The Merchant of Venice" a decade before playing Portia opposite Hoffman.
James' career was enhanced by playing opposite Dame Peggy Ashcroft in "She's Been Away" (1989), for which they were both cited as Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. More international notice has come with TV roles including the moderately successful comedy "Blott on the Landscape" (1986), in which she was a woman trying to save her family's estate, as the beloved teacher in the 1989 miniseries "Echoes" and as Nora's friend Kristina in "A Doll's House" (1992). James was also seen in the 1995 HBO miniseries "Band of Gold", a thriller in which prostitutes were being hunted by a serial killer. She also gained notice for her turn as a courtesan in Pen Densham's "Moll Flanders" (1996), starring Robin Wright.