Television and film career
Ziegler's first screen role was in her early twenties, during 1987–89; she appeared in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, playing Donna Ludlow, the illegitimate daughter of series regular Kathy Beale. Donna contended with prostitution, an attempted gang rape, heroin addiction and finally suicide (dying of a heroin overdose). The final death scenes of Ziegler's character, who had choked to death on her own vomit, have been hailed as one of the most powerful anti-drug images ever screened on the programme. She left EastEnders in April 1989.
In the early 1990s, Ziegler starred in the ITV comedy, Mr. Bean, where she played multiple characters, especially a three-episode stint as Irma Gobb, the title character's long-suffering girlfriend. She reprised her role as Irma Gobb, voicing her in Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, from 2002 to 2004, and in the revived series from 2015 to 2019.
Other television credits include: Lark Rise to Candleford (2008–2010) in which she played the part of Pearl Pratt, in the BBC adaptation of Flora Thompson's novel; Harbour Lights (1999); Where the Heart Is (2000); Holby City (2003); An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1998); The Bill (2003), and Home, alongside Anthony Sher in an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's novel.
Ziegler played Ruth, wife of car salesman Toni, in the BBC sitcom Swiss Toni (2003–04). She also appeared in the BAFTA Television Award winning drama, Sex Traffic (2004). In 2005, she played Christine Miller in the fourth series of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, and in 2007, she guest starred in the BBC One daytime medical drama Doctors. She also appeared in Outnumbered, Lewis (in the episode 'The Soul of Genius', 2012), Death in Paradise (2013), and Vera (in the episode "Young Gods", 2013).
In 2015, she appeared in an episode of Foyle's War, and in series 4 episode of Call the Midwife. In 2020 she appeared in a second season episode of The Alienist, and appeared in two episodes of The Girlfriend Experience in 2021.
Stage and radio career
Ziegler has appeared in many stage productions, including Twelfth Night for the Royal Shakespeare Company (2001); the theatrical version of Mr. Bean; Women Laughing at the Royal Court Theatre; Volpone, Inadmissible Evidence and Machinal, all at the National Theatre; Featuring Loretta and The Memory of Water – both at the Hampstead Theatre; The Lady from the Sea, Lyric Hammersmith/West Yorkshire Playhouse (1994: TMA Award, nomination for Laurence Olivier Award) and also starred as Sheila Birling in Stephen Daldry's award winning production of An Inspector Calls at the Aldwych Theatre and for the production's Australian tour, along with Lady Sneerwell in Deborah Warner's 2011 production of The School for Scandal at the Barbican Centre.
She most recently appeared in Downstate in Chicago and at the National Theatre, a co production with Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Her radio work has included playing Dr Ruth Anderson in BBC Radio 4, Rigor Mortis (2004–06). She also featured in Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off in 2010, and as Princess Theresa of Liechtenstein in the fourth series of Cabin Pressure in 2013, a role she reprised for the show's final episode in 2014. She had previously played an air traffic controller and a paramedic in the second episode of the first series.
In July 2004, Ziegler married actor Louis Hilyer; the couple have three children.
|2004||The Audition||Pompous Woman||Short film|
|2020||The Rhythm Section||Monica Patrick|
|1987-1989||EastEnders||Donna Ludlow||119 episodes|
|1990-1992||Mr. Bean||Irma Gobb / Various||4 episodes|
|1991||Police Station||Police Woman||TV short|
|The Bus Stop||Mother||TV short|
|1993-2003||The Bill||Monica Skinner / Helen Proctor||3 episodes - 2 episodes credited as Matilda Zeigler|
|1994||Against All Odds: Lost and Found||Amy Chadwick||TV film|
|1995||My Good Friend||Betty||7 episodes|
|1996||In Suspicious Circumstances||Beattie Pace||Series 5, episode 9: "Who's Sorry Now?"|
|Casualty||Nula Snape||Series 11, episode 16: "The Homecoming"|
|1997||Mr. White Goes to Westminster||Labour Fixer||TV movie|
|1998||An Unsuitable Job for a Woman||Hilary Hampson||Series 1, episode 2: "A Last Embrace"|
|1999||Harbour Lights||Jane Ford||10 episodes|
|2000||Where the Heart Is||Sally||Series 4, episode 2: "No Regrets"|
|Too Much Sun||Sandi||6 episodes|
|2001||Armadillo||Potts||Three-part TV film|
|2002-2019||Mr. Bean: The Animated Series||Irma / Additional voices||Voice|
|2003||Holby City||Andrea Rowlands||Series 5, episode 19: "A Kind of Loving"|
|Killing Hitler||Mrs. Holmes||TV movie/documentary|
|Home||Paul Goddard||TV movie|
|2003-2004||Swiss Toni||Ruth / Ruth Gordon||15 episodes|
|2004||Family Business||Carol Sullivan||Episode 3|
|15 Storeys High||Karin||Series 2, episode 6: "Errol's Women"|
|2005||The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||Christine Miller||2 episodes|
|2007||Outnumbered||Kate||Series 1, episode 4: "The Quiet Night In"|
|Lead Balloon||Fiona||Credited as Matilda Zeigler|
Series 2, episode 3: "Points"
|2007-2010||Doctors||Susan Oakley / Jess Butler||8 episodes|
|2008-2011||Lark Rise to Candleford||Pearl Pratt||36 episodes|
|2010||Summer in Transylvania||Ms. Kubilikilik||2 episodes|
|2012||Lewis||Helena Wright||Also known as Inspector Lewis|
Series 6, episode 1: "The Soul of Genius"
|The Poison Tree||Alison Larch||Miniseries|
|2013||Death in Paradise||Janice Palmer||Series 2, episode 6: "A Dash of Sunshine"|
|Vera||Mary Culvert||Series 3, episode 3: "Young Gods"|
|2015||Foyle's War||Lady Ava Woolf||Series 8, episode 2: "Trespass"|
|Call the Midwife||Dulcie Roland||Episode #4.6|
|2020||The Alienist||Mallory Hunter||Series 2, episode 7: "Angel of Darkness: The Last Exit to Brooklyn"|
|2021||The Girlfriend Experience||Dr. Lindbergh||2 episodes|
|2022||Miss Scarlet and The Duke||Mary Dawson||Series 2, episode 3: "A Pauper's Grave"|
- Researcha[permanent dead link]
- Brake, Colin (1995). EastEnders: The First 10 Years: A Celebration. BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-37057-2.
- "Matilda Ziegler's CV". PFD. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "Cabin Pressure: Boston". BBC Programmes. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
- "Bean, the Bard and babies". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 19 April 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2007.[dead link]