From King Charles to her favorite cats, the Harry Potter actor tells us what makes her feel optimistic about life — and what she’s learned

Miriam Margolis, also known as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films, was conceived during an air raid on Oxford in 1941, one of Britain’s best-loved and most outspoken actors.

She began acting while studying English at Cambridge University and has since gained international fame through roles on stage, television and film. She had been with her partner, the historian Heather Sutherland, since 1968. They divide their time between London, Kent, Italy and Australia.

She tells Positive News why the new King Charles makes her feel optimistic and shares the key lessons she’s learned in her 81 years.

My morning ritual…
Immediately turn to my cell phone for emails and messages. I’m in Australia so I need to turn the clock back.

I feel optimistic about…
King Charles, whom I have the utmost respect for.

What makes me angry…
Everything is political. Power, economy, America, general unkindness.

If I were not an actor, I would like to become…
Probation officer.

The habit that has served me best in life…
Funny expression.

A habit I successfully kicked…

My sources of joy…
My partner, chopped liver, my cats Abu and Tilly and my friends. And Charles Dickens.

Connecting with people motivates me the most

When things get tough, I…
Look for someone who can fix it – a doctor, a carpenter, an electrician or my loving friends.

A book I wish everyone would read…
Gloomy House, Charles Dickens.

The big thing I changed my mind about in life….
Israel. I started life as a Zionist. Not anymore.

What keeps me up at night…
Fear of having a stroke like my mother.

What motivates me the most is that…
Connects with people.

My parents taught me…
To do the right thing.

I have a theory that…
This will NOT be good.

I wish I could tell my younger self…
Wait until you’re 80.

Main image: Claire Sutton

This is true by Miriam Margolyes is forthcoming, published by Hachette. This interview was published for the latest issue Positive News magazinewhich was published before the coronation of King Charles.

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Life lessons: Miriam Margolyes on what life has taught her

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