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Carol Drinkwater
Carol Drinkwater.JPG
Drinkwater in 2012
Born 22 April 1948 (1948-04-22) (age 74)
Nationality Anglo-Irish
  • Actress
  • Author
  • Filmmaker
Michel Noll (m. 1988)
Parent(s) Peter Drinkwater-Regan
Phyllis McCormack
Relatives Linda Regan (sister)
Awards Critics Circle Best Screen Actress, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award, Variety Club Television Personality of the Year Award

Carol Drinkwater (born 22 April 1948) is an Anglo-Irish actress, author and filmmaker. She portrayed Helen Herriot (née Alderson) in the television adaptation of the James Herriot books All Creatures Great and Small, which led to her receiving the Variety Club Television Personality of the Year award in 1985.


Drinkwater is the daughter of the bandleader and agent, Peter Regan (born Peter Albert Drinkwater) and Irish nurse, Phillis McCormack; her sister is actress Linda Regan.

She was a member of the National Theatre Company under the leadership of Laurence Olivier and has acted in numerous television series and films including the highly successful Chocky, Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Another Bouquet and Golden Pennies. Drinkwater won a Critics' Circle Best Screen Actress award for her role, Anne, in the feature film Father (1990) in which she starred opposite Max von Sydow. Amongst many other film and television series, she has appeared in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), Queen Kong (1976), The Shout (1978), Father (1990), and the film adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge's novel An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), directed by Mike Newell and starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman.

She has written a number of children's books, including her first, The Haunted School, which was produced as a television mini-series and film. Bought by Disney, it won the Chicago International Film Festival Gold Award for Children's Films.

Her books for adults include commercial fiction and a series of best-selling memoirs about her experiences on her olive farm in Provence. In 2013 Drinkwater worked on a series of five documentary films inspired by her two Mediterranean travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree. The OLIVE ROUTE films were completed in February 2013 and have since been broadcast on international networks worldwide.

In 2015 Penguin Books UK announced a deal signed with Drinkwater to write two epic novels. The first, The Forgotten Summer, was published in March 2016. The second, The Lost Girl, was published in June 2017.

In 2018 Penguin signed a second deal with Drinkwater for two further novels. The first, published in May 2019, is The House on The Edge of The Cliff. The second, An Act of Love, will be published on 29 April 2021.

She is married to French TV producer Michel Noll.

The Olive Series

  • The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil in the South of France (Little, Brown and Company, 2001)
  • The Olive Season: Amour, a New Life and Olives Too (Little, Brown & Company, 2003)
  • The Olive Harvest: A Memoir of Love, Life and Olives in the South of France (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004)
  • A Celebration of Olives (Little, Brown and Company, 2004) 978-0316728034
    • a compilation of The Olive Farm and The Olive Season
  • The Illustrated Olive Farm (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005)
  • The Olive Route: A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006)
  • The Olive Tree: A Personal Journey Through Mediterranean Olive Groves (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008)
    • shortlisted for Travel Book of the Year, Travel Press Awards 2009
  • Return To the Olive Farm (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010)

My Story Series

  • The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845–1847
  • Suffragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter, London 1909–1913
  • Twentieth Century Girl: Diary of Flora Bonnington London 1899–1900
  • Nowhere to Run (the story of a World War II Jewish refugee), published 2 August 2012
  • Cadogan Square – a compilation of Suffragette and Twentieth-Century Girl August 2012

Other works

  • An Act of Love (April 2021)
  • The House on the Edge of the Cliff (May 2019)
  • The Love of a Stranger (Kindle Single, September 2017)
  • The Lost Girl (2017)
  • The Forgotten Summer (2016)
  • A Simple Act of Kindness (Kindle Single, September 2015)
  • The Only Girl in the World (Young Adult novel, 2014 )
  • Hotel Paradise (Kindle Single, March 2014)
  • The Girl in Room Fourteen (Kindle Single 2013)
  • Because You're Mine (2001)
  • Crossing the Line: Young Women Talk About Being in Trouble with the Law (2000)
  • Molly on the Run (1996)
  • Molly (1996)
  • Mapping the Heart (1993)
  • Akin to Love (1992)
  • An Abundance of Rain (1989)
  • The Haunted School (1985)
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