Liz Carr

Liz Carr

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Updated On January 31, 2021
Birthplace
Port Sunlight, England
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Liz Carr is a British Actress, Comedian, and disability rights activist. Liz Carr is best known for her role as Clarissa Mullery in the BBC’s long-running drama, “Silent Witness”. She joined the cast in 2012 and left the show in February 2020, after 8 years on the show.

Relationship status

In the year 2010, Liz Carr entered into a civil partnership with longtime partner Jo Church in what Carr called “A Wheelie Special Wedding”. Her father gave a speech in which he was prohibited from using words like “brave”. Carr and her partner danced to the Dirty Dancing theme and the local fire brigade held her, and her chair, aloft.

After months of preparation, on November 1st, 2010, Liz became a married woman or rather civil partnership. However, Liz prefers to say married because the legal term, Civil Partnership, is often abbreviated to CP. As a crip, whenever Liz hears “CP”, she thinks Cerebral Palsy.

Her wedding with Jo Church – or CP – was fun, the decorations and food were inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. The festival isis believed that the spirits of those who’ve died return to party with the living. Since the couple both lost so many family and disabled friends along the way, they chose this date so that they could celebrate with those from past and present.

As proceedings got underway, all around the couple, they could hear the sniffling of noses, the rustle of tissue packets and the click of cameras. But there were no accompanying flashes because some of the guests had light-sensitive epilepsy. And the only solution was to ban flash photography or have the St John’s Ambulance in attendance, as Liz humorously writes in her blog.

Liz Carr

Caption: Liz Carr with wife Jo Church on their wedding on 1st November 2010. Source: Celebs Blurb

More details

Her dad had been told to avoid using the word special at all costs. Instead, he crammed 38 years of being Liz’s dad into his twelve-minute father of the bride speech. He spoke about Liz becoming disabled without dwelling on it and talked proudly about her disability activism, Liz’s comedy, and her new wife. He joked about how Liz had banned him from saying things like brave, inspirational and special.

There were 170 guests present, at least half of whom were disabled. The room was like a health and safety time bomb and the seating plan a logistical nightmare. The wheelies and blinkies had to have enough space to move about freely. Their deaf friends had to sit near the front so they could lip read. The agoraphobics needed to sit at the back so they could escape. Assistance dogs had their own pen and so did the personal assistants. There isn’t a wedding planning book in existence that could have prepared them for this.

After all the traditional formalities, the couple dreaded the traditionally awkward wedding dance. People would be wondering how exactly they dance together. Liz writes,

“Would Jo get down on her knees and hold me close or perhaps scoop me up in her arms and whisk me around the floor? We decided to really give them something to talk about. So we signed up for dance classes and filmed the result, negating the need to perform on the day. We chose Time of my Life from Dirty Dancing.”

Early Life and childhood

Liz Carr’s full name is Elizabeth Ann Carr and she was born in Port Sunlight, England. Later, she grew up in Bebington. She came to the world in April 1972, but her exact date of birth is not available and her current age is 48 years. Her mother’s name is Patricia Carr but her father’s name is not mentioned.

Similarly, talking about Liz’s educational journey, she attended Upton Hall School FCJ in Upton, Merseyside. She later enrolled in Birkenhead High School in Birkenhead. Liz lived and grew up in Bebington, England until she went to Nottingham University in 1990 to study law. She graduated with an LLB in Law and volunteered in a law center. Later, she became a campaigner for civil rights for disabled people in the UK and internationally.

In 2000, Liz began to tread the boards when she co-founded the comedy group, Nasty Girls. Then in 2003, she studied performing arts with Graeae Theatre Company and London Met University. She also played ‘Mother Courage’ in the final touring production.

After this, Liz was part of the first-ever Disabled women’s reading of ‘The Vagina Monologues‘. Liz took to the main stage at The Young Vic Theatre, London in another Brecht, ‘The Exception and the Rule‘. In the following year, she also toured with the Graeae production of Moliere’s ‘George Dandin’.

Liz Carr

Caption: Liz Carr with her parents and wife Jo. Source: Celebs Fan Club

Professional Life

Moving on to Liz Carr’s profession, she is a British actress, comedian, broadcaster, and an international disability rights activist. Her first job with the BBC was as a columnist for the website Ouch!. It was before becoming the co-host with American Horror Story (2011) actor, Mat Fraser, of the infamous Ouch podcast.

In the year 2005, Liz joined the comedy group Abnormally Funny People. Also, Sky TV documented her stand up debut with the group for a documentary on its channel. She was a finalist in the Funny Women competition in 2006. Then in 2007, she was runner up in the Hackney Empire New Act competition.

Liz has taken 6 shows to Edinburgh Fringe, 2 shows to Melbourne Comedy Festival, toured all over the world with her comedy, her cabaret, and with her one-woman show, ‘It Hasn’t Happened Yet’. Additionally, Liz wrote the book and lyrics for her show, ‘Assisted Suicide The Musical’ which she performed to sell-out audiences at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2016 and 2017.

Comedy

Carr has used a wheelchair since the age of seven owing to arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) and frequently refers to her condition in her stand-up as “meus thronus kaputus”. Liz is frank about her life as a disabled person and the inherent comedy that brings. She says:

“I’ve had some tuts, which is fantastic… I look quite frail to some people, so it’s like, ‘She’s talking about sex, she’s swearing.’ Every stereotype you didn’t expect. People generally look terrified. ‘Oh my God, is she going to be funny? Can we laugh at this?'”.

Moreover, Liz Carr has been part of a number of comedy groups. One of them is Abnormally Funny People with Tanyalee Davis, Steve Day, Steve Best, Simon Minty, and Chris McCausland. Additionally, Liz Carr also co-hosted the BBC’s Royal Television Society award-winning Ouch! Podcast with Mat Fraser from 2006 to 2013, and in 2011, she worked as a researcher for the BBC comedy panel show Have I Got News for You.

Acting

Talking about Liz Carr’s acting career, she was in her thirties when she took on her first professional acting role. She played the role of Mother Courage, before heading to the Young Vic with another Bertolt Brecht play, The Exception and the Rule.

On the screen, Liz is best known for her role as forensic examiner Clarissa Mullery in the BBC’s long-running drama, Silent Witness (1996) alongside Emilia Fox, David Caves and Richard Lintern. She joined the series in 2012 but almost missed out on the role when she got stuck in traffic and turned up too late for the audition.

This was Liz’s first TV acting role and over the next seven series, her character Clarissa has grown from a sidekick to a main part of the regular cast. However, on 5 February 2020, they announced that Liz Carr had departed Silent Witness after 8 years.

Moreover, in 2019, Liz Carr starred in The OA as Dr. Marlow Rhodes. Then in 2020, she appeared as a university lecturer in the miniseries Devs. 

Liz Carr

Caption: Liz Carr alongside her wife Jo and co-stars. Source: Celebs Fan Club

Activism

For the last 20 years, Liz Carr has been a disability rights campaigner in the UK and has spoken at many rallies. Also, in May 2008, she joined with ADAPT, a prominent disability rights group in the United States. It was to raise money for ADAPT and to protest against presidential candidate John McCain’s refusal to support the right of people with disabilities to live in their own homes.

Similarly, in the year 2011, she was part of a Newsnight debate on assisted suicide, following the screening on the BBC of Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die, which included Jeremy Paxman and David Aaronovitch. She also opposed Lord Faulkner’s Assisted Dying Bill, stating:

“I fear we’ve so devalued certain groups of people – ill people, disabled people, older people – that I don’t think it’s in their best interests to enshrine in law the right of doctors to kill certain people.”

Near-Death Encounter

Liz’s mother, Patricia Carr, described how the then 45-year-old star, who uses a wheelchair, managed to flee as her personal assistant took on the attacker. The PA tried to force him (the attacker) off, and she shouted to Liz “just go, go, go, go” ‎and Liz was shouting to people for help. She was stabbed in the head by a man wielding scissors

Liz, who recovered at home with her wife, said that the experience was very frightening but she was relatively unscathed. Her carer and PA saved her life because she fought him off as Liz’s mother mentioned. The PA warned Liz that there was somebody and said: “Liz, you need to go across the road”. By this time, Liz could already tell by the tone of her PA’s voice that this was something serious.

A brave public followed the attacker who was then arrested by the police. Liz’s mother also said that Liz was very traumatized but used her humor to help herself get through.

The incident in detail

Talking in detail about the attacker, a man in his 20s lunged Liz, who was 45 years old at the time of the incident. It was in a London street as her carer tried to keep him at bay. A friend said about the incident:

It was a terrifying experience for Liz. He followed the two and began lashing out and stabbed Liz in the head. There was blood everywhere. But she was very lucky that the wound grazed her head and she was not more seriously injured. She was being pushed in her wheelchair when this young man, armed with two pairs of scissors, suddenly headed towards her. Typically, Liz is putting a brave face on it, joking that it was like being attacked by Edward Scissorhands. She has no idea who he was and has never seen him before.

Both Liz and her carer, who broke a finger and suffered minor cuts, went to a hospital. The incident occurred in London’s busy Euston Road near Euston Station just before 8.30 pm on Thursday. Both Liz and her carer screamed for help as the man headed for them brandishing the scissors. A suspect in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of GBH.

A police doctor ruled he was unfit to be interviewed and he has since been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called to a report of a man attacking two women with scissors.” Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended the incident scene.

Social Media and Net Worth

Liz Carr

Caption: Liz Carr photographed in an event. Source: The Sun

Liz Carr is active on Twitter but she doesn’t seem available on other social media platforms. She joined Twitter in December 2016 and at present has 44.5k followers.

Moving on to her earnings, Liz’s net worth estimation is approximately $5 million dollars. Her involvement in TV shows and theaters heavily influence her earnings.