Keeley Hawes — things you didn't know about the TV star

Keeley Hawes in ITV drama Finding Alice.
Keeley Hawes in ITV drama Finding Alice. (Image credit: ITV)

Keeley Hawes has become a household name thanks to role in TV shows like Spooks, Line of Duty, Bodyguard, The Durrells and Finding Alice to name but a few. 

Her very impressive CV spans everything from comedy and drama to theatre and music videos, and she is even an expert behind the camera, having created some of the biggest shows on TV with her production company Buddy Club.

But what else do we know about Keeley Hawes? Here are several things you probably don't know...

1. Keeley isn't her real name 

Keeley, as she is now known, was named Clare Julia Hawes when she was born in London in 1976. She grew up in a council flat in Marylebone and there weren't any actors in her family, in fact both her dad and her brother drive black cabs in the city. 

2. She was scouted by a modelling agent 

While Keeley was at sixth form college she was approached by a scout from Select Model Management while she was shopping on London's Oxford Street. She was soon signed up to their books, but it wasn't long before she swapped modelling fashion for writing about it when she landed a job on Cosmopolitan magazine. 

Keeley told The Big Issue that it was while she was in the shoe cupboard at Cosmo that she got the call inviting her to her first audition... "The audition turned out to be for Dennis Potter's last work, Karaoke. And I got it. There was a lot of publicity surrounding it and from there I got an agent and my career began. I was suddenly an adult with a proper job."

3. Her best friend from school is a Spice Girl 

Keeley explored her passion for acting after landing a grant for the Sylvia Young Theatre School. While she was there she became close friends with Emma Bunton - who went on to reach global fame with the Spice Girls. The pair even lived together and went travelling in their spare time.  

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4. She is the voice of Lara Croft 

Between 2006 and 2024 Keeley has voiced seven Tomb Raider video games as Lara Croft, including Tomb Raider: Legend, Tomb Raider: Underworld and she's even lent her voice to an arcade-style game called Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

5. She married her Spooks co-star

Keeley married Matthew Macfadyen 2004 in a small registry office ceremony after they met in 2002. The pair now have two children together called Ralph and Maggie, and Matthew is stepdad to Keeley's son, Myles, from her first marriage to Spencer McCallum. Speaking of her marriage, Keeley told The Telegraph: "I love being married to Matthew and I know Matthew loves being married, too. It ties everything up and is a statement to each other and the world. Marriage and being a mother are absolutely crucial to my happiness and my life."

6. She's only got one regret in life

While Keeley had admitted that she doesn't have any major life-long regrets, there is just one moment from her past that makes her cringe... "I wish I'd never worn my signed Vanilla Ice t-shirt," she once told the Independent. "I actually queued up to get his signature. It must have been in the early Nineties, when he was really big."

7. She gets recognised in the most unexpected places

Keeley once admitted during an appearance on This Morning that she was surprised when she got recognised at Thorpe Park... "Usually when The Durrells is on, people will recognise me from that or Line of Duty, but this was on another level. I made the terrible mistake of booking to go to Thorpe Park for my son's birthday, and so I walked straight into Thorpe Park at the height of Bodyguard, and I was trapped on rides with people videoing me."

Keeley Hawes' Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actress....

How old is she?

Keeley Hawes' age is 44. She was born on 10 February 1976.

Is she married? 

Keeley Hawes married husband Matthew Macfadyen in 2004. 

Does she have children?

Keeley Hawes has three children, Myles, Ralph and Maggie. 

Where was she born?

Keeley Hawes was born in Paddington, London.

How tall is she?

Keeley Hawes is 1.73 metres. 

Twitter: @Misskeeleyhawes

Instagram: @misskeeleyhawes

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.