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Lesley Nicol is the British actress who portrays Johanna on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Lesley Nicol was born in 1953 in Manchester, England[1] to a Welsh actress and Scottish doctor. She spent her time growing up in in the small town of Irlam. At seventeen, while studying French and English and working towards her last two years in college, Lesley discovered the Library Theatre Company. Immediately besotted, she worked for them and was given small parts in show productions. After two years of employment, Lesley was still too young to professionally join the theatre, and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for three years in the early seventies and has been acting ever since.[2]

She has enjoyed a hugely diverse career that has continued to flourish to this day. Her musical career began in the first British production of Jesus Christ Superstar, onto singing in various theatres of Great Britain, and later found herself in the West End theatre for three years playing Rosie in Mamma Mia! and Kath Case in Our House. Lesley's television career has encompassed mainly drama and comedy with one of her greatest acting strengths is the ability to move audiences with humor and emotion. She portrays Mrs. Patmore in ITV's hugely successful Downton Abbey written by Julian Fellowes and co-starring Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. Lesley's film career is small but beautifully formed in the multi-award wining United Kingdom feature East is East, and the sequel West is West, which was released in 2011.[2] Nicol began writing an original one-woman musical with pop songwriter Mark Mueller in 2016 and its first performance was given in 2017 at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, her alma mater.[3]

Lesley is married to spiritual practitioner Da'aboth Te'He'Ling, who was born David Keith Heald. They reside together in Chiswick, West London with their two dogs, Freddie and Bertie.[4]



Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

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