Carol Drinkwater (born 22 April 1948) is an Anglo-Irish actress, author and film-maker, best known for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the television adaptation of the James Herriot books, All Creatures Great and Small (1978–85), which led to her receiving the Variety Club Television Personality of the Year award in 1985.
She was a member of the National Theatre Company under the leadership of Laurence Olivier and has acted in numerous television series and films including the highly successful Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Another Bouquet. Drinkwater won a Critics' Circle Best Screen Actress award for her role, Anne, in the feature film Father in which she starred opposite Max von Sydow. Amongst many other film and television series, she has appeared in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) and the film adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge's novel An Awfully Big Adventure, directed by Mike Newell.
She has written a number of children's books, including her first,The Haunted School, which was produced as a television mini-series and film. Bought by Disney, it won the Chicago Film Festival Gold Award for Children's Films. Her books for adults include commercial fiction and a series of best-selling memoirs about her experiences on her olive farm in Provence.Drinkwater is currently at work on a series of five documentary films inspired by her two Mediterranean travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree. They are due for completion in December 2012.
She is married to French TV producer Michel Noll.
- The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil in the South of France (Little, Brown and Company, 2001) ISBN 0142001309
- The Olive Season: Amour, a New Life and Olives Too (Little, Brown & Company, 2003) ISBN 978-0316861168
- The Olive Harvest: A Memoir of Love, Life and Olives in the South of France (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004) ISBN 978-0297847809
- A Celebration of Olives (Little, Brown and Company, 2004) 978-0316728034
- a compilation of The Olive Farm and The Olive Season
- The Illustrated Olive Farm (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005) ISBN 978-0297844044
- The Olive Route: A Personal Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006) ISBN 978-0297847892
- The Olive Tree: A Personal Journey Through Mediterranean Olive Groves (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008) ISBN 978-0297847748
- shortlisted for Travel Book of the Year, Travel Press Awards 2009
- Return To the Olive Farm (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010) ISBN 978-0297856948
- The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
- Suffragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter, London 1909-1913
- Twentieth Century Girl: Diary of Flora Bonnington London 1899-1900
- Nowhere to Run (the story of a World War II Jewish refugee), published 2 August 2012
- Cadogan Square
- a compilation of Suffragette and Twentieth-Century Girl August 2012
- An Abundance of Rain
- Akin to Love
- Because You're Mine
- Crossing the Line: Young Women Talk About Being in Trouble with the Law
- The Haunted School
- Mapping the Heart
- Molly on the Run