Anne Boleyn in Film & Television

Clara Kimball Young, an American actress, portrayed Anne Boleyn in a 1912 short film about Cardinal Wolsey.

Clara Kimball Young

Henny Porten starred as Anne Boleyn in a 1920 German historical film directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

Henny Porter as Anne Boleyn

In the 1933 Oscar-winning film, The Private Life of Henry VIII, Merle Oberon portrayed Anne.

Merle Oberon

Elaine Stewart portrays Anne Boleyn in the 1953 film, Young Bess, about the early life of Elizabeth I. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards; for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.

Vanessa Redgrave makes a cameo appearance as Anne Boleyn in the 1966 film, A Man for All Seasons, about Thomas More.

Vanessa Redgrave as Anne Boleyn

In the 1969 costume drama, Anne of the Thousand Days, Genevieve Bujold takes on the role of Anne Boleyn and delivers a mighty performance! This is one of my favourite films!

Genevieve Bujold in Anne of a Thousand Days

In the 1970 mini-series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Dorothy Tutin takes on the role of Anne Boleyn and received a BAFTA TV award nomination.

Charlotte Rampling plays Anne Boleyn in the film version of the mini series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1972).

Henry VIII and his Six Wives 1972

Barbara Kellerman plays Anne Boleyn in the TV miniseries, The Famous Life of King Henry the Eight (1979), part of the BBC Television Shakespeare Project.

In David Starkey’s documentary series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (2001), Julia Marsen portrayed Anne.

In 2003, Jodhi May portrays Anne in the British TV movie version of Philippa Gregory’s novel, The Other Boleyn Girl.

Jodhi May as Anne Boleyn

In 2003, Helena Bonham Carter takes on the role of Anne, starring opposite Ray Winstone as Henry VIII in the TV movie, Henry VIII.

In the first two seasons (and a cameo in season 4) of the Showtime series The Tudors, Natalie Dormer delivers a powerful performance as Anne Boleyn.

Natalie Dormer as Queen Anne Boleyn

In 2008, Natalie Portman plays Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl, starring alongside Eric Bana as Henry VIII and Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn.

Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn

In David Starkey’s Mind of a Tyrant (2009), Anne Boleyn is played by Sophie Hunter.

Be sure to leave me a comment if you know of any other films that should be included in this list.

Who is your favourite Anne Boleyn?

The Internet Movie Database

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    Who is your favorite Anne Boleyn? NATALIE DORMER

  2. Hayley Simms says:

    Natalie Dormer is my favourite Anne, she portrays her so elegantly and beautifully, but at the same time she has the wild side, the passionate side and most of all that jealous and fiesty side of Anne that so many others fail to get right.

  3. Bonnie Malmat says:

    Hands down, Helena Bonham Carter. She did a fantastic Anne.

  4. Bonnie Trull says:

    Definitely Genevieve Bujold. She is the perfect Anne Boleyn. I saw Anne of the Thousand Days when it came out in 1969. Her performance was so powerful and it was because of her and the movie that started my interest in Anne Boleyn. Of all the portrayals I have seen of Anne, hers is still the best.

  5. elizabeth pegg says:

    Genevieve Bujold for me was the best,she had the french accent which made the role more convincing. I think the combination of her and Richard Burton made for a great portrayal of this unforgettable coupling .This was my first historical film I saw aged 9 years.It started my love of history and fasination about Anne. I still have the brochure from the film,although I have coloured bits in ! which is really bad !!

  6. Anne Bristow says:

    Genevieve Bujold is my favourite Anne but Natalie Dormer gave an excellent performance in the Tudors.

    • I must agree. I can watch Ann of a Thousand Days a hundred times and never tire of it. Natalie Dormer, however was superb. I love The Tudors, even though it is historically inaccurate on several issues. Jonathon Rhys Meyers and Richard Burton, delivered excellent performances.

    • Dawn Kiernan says:

      I completely agree with you Genevieve was the best but Natalie did a excellent portrayal of Anne as well so both of them are undoubtedly my favourites of all time!

  7. JoAnn Spears says:

    I am so old-school…loved Merle Oberon, with Genevieve Bujold a close second. Oberon has a barely-under-the-surface nervous tension about her that I always expected that Ann had too. And the perfect look. Bujold had a French air that Ann must also have had after her sojourn in France.

  8. So many actresses of calibre and note have portrayed Anne Boleyn. I would also love to suggest Oona Kirsch who made a very fetching and memorable Anne Boleyn in ‘God’s Outlaw’. Oona and French-Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold stand out but Charlotte Rampling was also very memorable and so too, Dorothy Tutin.

  9. Michel Marleau says:

    Genevieve Bujold is my favorite followed by Charlotte Rampling. Dorothy Tutin’s portrayal is very interesting but she doesn’t quite project the “special glamour” Anne was supposed to possess.

  10. Genevieve Bujold for me too, she captures how I imagine Anne to be, in her wit, intelligence, spirit and grace, and the costumes very very good too.
    I actually though Richard Burton made a very good Henry, even though I have read he did not like his performance in it, and his least favourite film.
    Natalie Dormer is a close second. And Natalie Portman the worst.
    There is another film, though it’s a tongue-in-cheek comedy, based on nothing but slap-stick humour full of innuendos, and that is….wait for it….Carry on Henry!!!! 🙂
    Can’t think who Anne was in that, (if she was at all), anyway thought I would mention it as a laugh….

  11. I would say Genevieve or Natalie Dormer in terms of characteristics and personality.
    I’d say Natalie Portman in terms of look alike. The gorgeous costumes, including the French hood, are exactly what I’d expect Anne to have worn 500 years ago. I’m sorry, but Natalie Dormer looked NOTHING like Anne Boleyn – not only is she a natural blonde with blue eyes but she didn’t wear a SINGLE Tudor dress – where was the French hood?! Helena’s costume was also quite awful.

    So personality – Genevieve/Natalie D.
    Lookalike – Natalie P.

  12. Rebecca Shaw says:

    Don’t forget “God’s Outlaw”

    • Oooh! thanks for that Rebecca, be into Tudor history for centuries 🙂 and have NEVER heard of this one before, it’s on You Tube, and I am going to watch it after I have posted this….Cheers.

      • For me, Oona Kirsch who played Anne Boleyn in God’s Outlaw is the actress who most resembles Anne in terms of stature and looks – the black eyes and olive skin and captivating personality. Oona is also a great actress and lovely woman. Next I would say – in terms of looks and spirit, Genevieve Bujold because this French-Canadian actress has that Gallic aspect that Anne would surely have had (and possibly a French accent when she spoke). And I like Charlotte Rampling who should have had more screen time for her sexy Anne Boleyn. But I don’tt think Natalie Dormer resembles Anne Boleyn and I would suggest that Barbara Kellerman probably looked more like Anne in a BBC Shakespeare production as with Natalie Portman. With Anne Boleyn, its important to point out that her allure was as much about her charm, wit and vivacity as it was (perhaps more so as her dark looks were not in vogue) about her appearance. Therefore, Dorothy Tutin seems to capture Anne’s intelligence and witty repartee excellently whilst Oona also has the look. These are my own views of course and everyone will see Anne Boleyn differently.

        • Have watched God’s Outlaw, and really enjoyed it. The costumes were great, as was the acting.
          I will definately be buying this to add to my historic film collection.
          You are right Alex, Oona does have Ann’s colouring, and played her well. Does anyone know the locations that were used to make this film, or was it film sets I didn’t catch the credits.

          • Hi Dawn,

            Not sure where it was shot, but can share that I am biased anyhow as Oona is a friend too. Of all the actresses that have portrayed her, she is the one who seems to be most like her particularly if the contemporary portrait by Lucas Cornelli turns out to the truest likeness. Catch my Blogs soon,too.

  13. Alex, how nice to have Oona as a friend, the next time you are in touch with her maybe you could ask her where it was filmed, because some of them seemed real, especially the manor house, rather than sets, to me anyway.
    Thanks for the reply, and what blogs are these you mentioned? I’m intrigued….

  14. Apocalyptic Queen says:

    I would say without a shadow of a doubt that the best portrayal of Anne Boleyn (in my opinion) is Dorothy Tutin. To me, she most closely resembles what is known of Anne’s character – her fiesty nature, her sharp intelligence, her wit and her charisma. We also get a sign of Anne’s hysteria when she is imprisoned in the Tower, her integrity and kindness. While Dormer and Bonham-Carter also give memorable performances, I don’t feel they compare with Tutin. Dorothy’s script was also aligned with the latest academic research of Anne of the day. For me, Genevieve Bujold comes a close second.

  15. Looks alike: Natalie Portman, Dorothy Tutin, Jodhi May.
    Personality and traits: Genevieve, Dorothy, Helena, for different reasons

    Natalie Dormer is beautiful and charismatic, but come on, she’s not Anne in any way, . Natalie Portman movie was awful, maybe if the script were better and if she was not the villain, she would be more realistic. I haven’t watched the Anne portrayed by Claire Foy yet, so i can’t include her in the “rating”.

  16. All the actresses who have played Anne Boleyn are notable. Genevieve Bujold seemed to really capture the spirit of Anne, for me. Looks, I have always admired Oona Kirsch in God’s Outlaw, with her lovely almond shaped eyes and distinctive voice. Neither Dormer, Portman or Foy work for me respectively. I’d love to see French actress Marion Cotillard play Anne Boleyn personally. I think she’d be excellent.

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