Produced in Didsbury, Manchester, England, on January 1, 1988, Holliday Grainger started appearing on British television shows as a kid. Since getting the lead character in 2009’s The Scouting Book for Boys, she’s had parts in movies like Bel Ami, Anna Karenina and Great Expectations. She’s also starred on the American TV series The Borgias and impersonated Bonnie Parker in 2013’s Bonnie and Clyde.
For a few time she believed she’d been named after blues singer Billie Holiday, but her mom later clarified the name Holliday was selected after considering two other similar names: Mollie and Billie.
When Grainger was quite young, her parents split up; she was raised by her mom, Jan, a graphic designer. Despite not having lots of money growing up, Grainger could take lessons in piano, ballet, gymnastics and martial arts.
Her early work frequently found her taking on wild child functions.
Though Grainger declared in a 2010 interview that playing had initially been something she just did “as a hobby,” her commitment to the profession rose as she grew old. She left her studies at Leeds University so that you can take a part on the BBC show Waterloo Road.
Grainger’s first large movie role came in 2009, when she starred as a young runaway in The Scouting Book for Boys. Just two years after, she shared the screen with Mia Wasikowska, Dame Judi Dench and Michael Fassbender in the 2011 version of Jane Eyre.
American audiences got to know Grainger when she started starring on Showtime’s The Borgias, a Renaissance-era historical drama inspired by the real life Borgia family. In 2013, the young performer took on among the title roles in the cable television miniseries Bonnie & Clyde. Grainger impersonated Bonnie Parker, 1 of 2 outlaws attempting to evade the authorities while on a crime spree.
“I do not have any huge aspirations to be a movie star,” she said ina 2012 interview with the Daily Mail. “Iwant to keep acting as long as I love it. I am glad to be where I ‘m, but perhaps at some point I Will prepare yourself for another phase in my life when there isn’t performing.”