Stephen Graham says he shares OBE with ‘incredible’ late mother

Stephen Graham has said he shares his OBE with his “incredible warrior” mother after she died recently.

The 49-year-old Merseyside-born actor, known for TV crime drama Line Of Duty, was named on the New Year Honours list for services to drama.

On Saturday, the This Is England star told his Instagram followers: “A few days ago… this incredible, inspirational, warrior woman With the purest heart… my mum passed away.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs in 2019, the mixed-race actor said his mother put a stop to the racist abuse he suffered on the streets of Liverpool.

“Her words as a child ‘no one is above you and no one is below you… all are equal’ have remained with me throughout my life.

“I feel so honoured and proud to share this with her…An OBE for both of us mum.”

Graham also credited his This Is England and Boiling Point co-star and wife Hannah Walters and his family for helping him after a suicide attempt in his early 20s.

The actor said he and Walters moved in together in south London after what was technically their first date following a period of talking.

He added: “This is kind of where Hannah came into my life properly.”

Boiling Point UK premiere – BFI London Film Festival 2021
Stephen Graham and his wife Hannah Walters (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Walters – who is executive producer along with Graham of an upcoming five-part series based on big-screen drama Boiling Point – also helps him choose his roles.

He told a Bafta session: “I’m dyslexic, so I struggle. My missus actually reads the script and says whether or not I’m doing it. She’s made some good choices.”

Over a three-decade career, Graham has won plaudits playing Irish, English and American criminals and police officers in blockbuster Hollywood films and hit TV dramas.

He starred in the 2000 crime comedy film Snatch alongside Brad Pitt and Jason Statham, and 2019 gangster epic The Irishman, in which he played real-life mobster Anthony Provenzano alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

Graham also played criminals Stephen Shang in Gangs Of New York in 2002, Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies in 2009, and Al Capone in period crime drama Boardwalk Empire.

HONOURS Main
(PA Graphics)

He is perhaps best known for his role of short-fused English nationalist Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in 2006 film This Is England.

Graham reprised the skinhead character in three Channel 4 series set in 1986, 1988 and 1990.

He also stunned viewers with DS John Corbett’s death in series five of Line Of Duty.

Corbett was killed off in the hit police drama as he tried to quit the group he was undercover with before getting his throat cut.

This year Graham starred in hard-hitting ITV drama The Walk In, musical film Matilda, police comedy series Code 404, and hit BBC show Peaky Blinders.

He also starred alongside Jodie Comer in Channel 4 film Help, set in a Liverpool care home, which won the International Emmy for TV movie/mini-series in November.

Hard-hitting prison drama Time, co-starring Sean Bean, also won best mini-series at the Bafta TV Awards this year.

Graham also had roles in Sir Sam Mendes’s war film 1917, the Pirates Of The Caribbean series, crime drama White House Farm, and espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

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