Born in Hampshire, and raised in Fleet, Hants, Juliet is half-English and half-Welsh and the youngest of three children of a doctor and a retired nurse. Between the ages of four and six, Aubrey got her kicks out of pretending to be a dog.
She would run around the house on all fours, and insist supper be served to her on a plate on the floor. A later, more elevated ambition to be a horse was scuppered when she got a nail in her hoof while attempting to cleat a fence.
After that debacle, Aubrey turned her attention to more human roles, starring in productions at schoo and making up plays at home.
Despite these thespian ambitions, Aubrey studied archaeology and classic at London's King College, but caught the acting bug again while excavating a site near Pompeii.
While studying in Naples, Italy, she joined a touring theatre company, and for a while even did some singing jobs in bars.
Upon return home, she was accepted at the Central School of Speech and Drama and reverted back to her childhood habits: as part of training, the students went to the zoo every week to study an animal and feed it into their performances.
In 1993, she won a David di Donatello prize for Best Actress in her breakthrough role in Roberto Faenza's Jonah Who Lived in the Whale. She won a Best Actress BAFTA (British equivalent to the Emmy's), and a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress as Dorthea in BBC's production of Middlemarch. Finding herself at the centre of media attention, she fled to India and stayed away from acting for two years.
She is engaged to Steve Richie, an art director.