Raised in the county of Surrey, Ormond is the second of five children of John Ormond, a designer of computer software, and his wife, Josephine, a former laboratory technician. "As a child, I was quite undisciplined," says Ormond, who got hooked on acting at Cranleigh, a mostly male private school. She went on to play Catherine in Wuthering Heights onstage in Sheffield in 1988 and later married Rory Edwards, her Heathcliff (also of Young Catherine). They are separated now, and Ormond says, "I'm taking a rain check on relying on someone else." She lives alone in a one-bedroom flat in the not-so-fashionable Hackney section of London.
Ormond next seduces a bishop's son in Peter Greenaway's film The Baby of Macon. "I'd like to get a good body of work behind me before I'm 35," she says. After that, she can always play Raisa Gorbachev.
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