Rachael Atalanta Stirling (born 30 May 1977) is an English stage, film and television actor best known for her performance as Nancy Astley in the BBC drama Tipping the Velvet.
Stirling was born to Diana Rigg and Archibald Stirling on 30 May 1977; her parents later divorced. As the daughter of Archie Stirling, she has a long line of ancestry from the Scottish parish of Lecropt, near her namesake city of Stirling. She attended Wycombe Abbey School and Edinburgh University, where she gained a BA in the History of Art.
Stirling can also speak Russian and is a highly skilled equestrienne in horse-riding and jumping.
Stirling made her first major appearance on stage in 1996 as Desdemona in the National Youth Theatre revival of Othello at the Arts Theatre opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role. A year later, again at the Arts Theatre with the NYT, she played Olive in the female version of The Odd Couple; while in 1998, portraying Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa for NYT at the Arts, she gave what The Stage reviewer described as "a performance of exceptional promise and authority".
She continues to be active in the theatre, covering a diversity of roles in plays such as Dusty Hughes'