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Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston[1] (born 11 March 1963)[1] is a British actress, who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Active from the early 1980s, Kingston became noted for her television work in both Britain and America in the 1990s, including her portrayal of the title role in the British miniseries The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (1996) and her regular role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in the NBC medical drama ER (1997–2004).

Alex Kingston
Alex Kingston July 2017.jpg
Kingston in 2017
BornAlexandra Elizabeth Kingston
(1963-03-11) 11 March 1963 (age 55)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1980–present
  • Ralph Fiennes
    (m. 1993; div. 1997)
  • Florian Haertel
    (m. 1998; separated 2010)
  • Jonathan Stamp
    (m. 2015)
RelativesWalter Renneisen (maternal uncle)

Later credits include the recurring role of River Song in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (2008–2015), Mrs. Bennet in the ITV1 period-drama fantasy Lost in Austen (2008) and Dinah Lance in The CW's Superhero fiction drama series Arrow (2013–2016).


Early lifeEdit

Kingston was born and brought up in Epsom, Surrey, to Anthony Kingston, an English butcher and his German wife, Margarethe (née Renneisen).[2][3] Kingston's paternal great-great-grandmother was Jewish, an ancestry Kingston explored on the series Who Do You Think You Are?[4][5] Kingston's uncle, her mother's younger brother, is actor Walter Renneisen.[6] Her younger sisters are Susie, who is mentally and physically disabled as a result of being deprived of oxygen at birth, and Nicola, a former actress who appeared in the 1996 British TV production of The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, in which Kingston starred.

Kingston was inspired to pursue acting by one of her teachers at Rosebery School for Girls. Kingston auditioned and performed in the Surrey County Youth Theatre production of Tom Jones as Mrs Fitzpatrick, alongside Sean Pertwee as Captain Fitzpatrick and Thwackum played by Tom Davison. She later completed a three-year programme at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Kingston has appeared in a number of British-produced television dramas, including Grange Hill, Crocodile Shoes, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, The Knock and various guest roles on The Bill.

Kingston's film credits include The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), A Pin for the Butterfly (1994), The Infiltrator (1995), Croupier (1998), Essex Boys (2000), Boudica (Warrior Queen in the USA) (2003) in which she played the eponymous Boudica, Sweet Land (2005) and Crashing (2007).

In September 1997, Kingston gained North American television fame after being cast on the long-running medical drama ER. Her first appearance was in the premiere of the fourth season, the award-winning live episode "Ambush", as British surgeon Elizabeth Corday. Kingston played this role for just over seven seasons, leaving in October 2004 with the season 11 episode, "Fear", after her contract was not renewed. Kingston, who was 41 at the time, criticized the move as ageism, stating that "apparently, I, according to the producers and the writers, am part of the old fogies who are no longer interesting."[7]

In spring 2009, Kingston returned to ER during its 15th and final season for two episodes, "Dream Runner" and the two-hour series finale, "And in the End...".

In November 2005, Kingston guest-starred in the long-running mystery drama Without a Trace in the season 4 episode, "Viuda Negra". The episode was directed by Kingston's former ER castmate Paul McCrane. She played Lucy Costin, a wealthy vacationer from the U.S. whose husband is kidnapped by a Mexican street gang during their honeymoon.

In 2006, Kingston starred as Nurse Ratched, opposite Christian Slater as Randle Patrick McMurphy, in the Garrick Theatre's West End production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[8] Kingston revealed that she auditioned for role of Lynette Scavo on ABC's Desperate Housewives, but was turned away for being too curvy.[9]In a 2006 interview, she admitted to considering and nearly attempting suicide after her separation from her husband Ralph Fiennes.[10]

In 2008, Kingston guest-starred in the fourth series of the long-running science fiction television programme Doctor Who in the two-part story "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" as River Song. She reprised the role in fifteen episodes in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Kingston says she thought her role was simply a one-off, but was delighted that she would be a returning character.[11] Kingston returned as the character in the 2015 Christmas special, "The Husbands of River Song". It was her first appearance alongside Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor.[12]

In September 2008, Kingston took the part of Mrs. Bennet in ITV's acclaimed four-part production Lost in Austen which is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In October that same year, Kingston appeared in the police procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in the season 9 episode, "Art Imitates Life" as Patricia Alwick, a psychiatrist and grief counsellor who helps the team cope with the recent death of CSI member Warrick Brown.

In February 2009, Kingston portrayed Miranda Pond, a defence attorney in two episodes of the legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This guest spot reunited Kingston with her former castmate from ER, Mariska Hargitay. In June, Kingston starred as the lead character Ellie Lagden, one of four former convicts in the BBC One drama series Hope Springs until its cancellation in July. In September that year, she had a recurring role in FlashForward, playing Inspector Fiona Banks.

In 2010, Kingston returned to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the season 12 episode, "Trophy", which reunited Kingston with her former ER castmate Maria Bello.

In 2011, Kingston was a cast member on British supernatural series Marchlands, portraying Helen Maynard.[13] She also guest-starred in the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice as Marla Tompkins, a psychiatrist who writes book reviews for newspapers.[14] Kingston appeared in Friedrich Schiller's Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

In early 2013, Kingston appeared in Arrow, playing Professor Dinah Lance, the mother of Laurel and Sara Lance.[15]

In July 2013 Kingston played Lady Macbeth opposite Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth at Manchester International Festival. Her performance was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live.[16] She reprised the performance with Branagh at the Park Avenue Armory in June 2014. It was her New York stage debut.[17]

In September 2014, Kingston starred as Ruth Hattersley, an analyst working for the Missing Persons Bureau on the ITV mini-series drama Chasing Shadows.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Kingston met English actor Ralph Fiennes while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. They were together for ten years before marrying in 1993. In 1995, Fiennes began an affair with his Hamlet co-star, Francesca Annis, and left Kingston the following year; they were divorced in 1997.[19][20]

At the end of 1998,[19] Kingston married German writer and freelance journalist Florian Haertel, having met the previous year on a blind date arranged by friends;[21] they have a daughter together, Salome Violetta Haertel, born 28 March 2001.[22] Kingston and Haertel separated in 2010.[23][24] Kingston married television producer Jonathan Stamp in a ceremony in Rome on 18 July 2015.[25]

Kingston lives in the United States.[26]

Kingston appeared on the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in September 2012, investigating the lives of her great-grandfather Will Keevil and her four-times great-grandmother, Elizabeth Braham.


Year Film Role Notes
1980 The Wildcats of St. Trinian's Schoolgirl Uncredited
Grange Hill Jill Harcourt TV series (3 episodes)
1987 A Killing on the Exchange Ellen TV mini-series (2 episodes)
1988 The Bill Various TV series (4 episodes: 1988–1995)
1989 Hannay Kirsten Larssen TV series (1 episode: "The Terrors of the Earth")
The Play on One Daniella TV series (1 episode: "These Foolish Things")
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover Adela
1992 Covington Cross Helen TV series (1 episode: "Cedric Hits the Road")
1993 Foreign Affairs Actress TV film
Soldier Soldier Ursula Kröhling TV series (1 episode: "Camouflage")
1994 Woman of the Wolf Woman Voice only, TV film
A Pin for the Butterfly
Crocodile Shoes Caroline Carrison TV series (5 episodes)
1995 Carrington Frances Partidge
The Infiltrator Anna
1996 The Knock Katherine Roberts TV series (13 episodes)
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders Moll Flanders TV serial (4 episodes)
Saint-Ex Chic Party Guest
1997 Weapons of Mass Distraction Verity Graham TV film
1997–2004, 2009 ER Dr. Elizabeth Corday TV series (Series regular: 160 episodes)
1998 Croupier Jani de Villiers
1999 This Space Between Us Peternelle
2000 Essex Boys Lisa Locke
2003 Boudica Boudica Warrior Queen in the U.S.A.
2005 The Poseidon Adventure Suzanne Harrison TV film
Sweet Land Brownie
Without a Trace Lucy Costin TV series (1 episode: "Viuda Negra")
2006 Alpha Dog Tiffany Hartunian
2007 Crashing Diane Freed
2008 Freezing Serena Wilson TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.3")
Lost in Austen Mrs. Bennett TV mini-series (4 episodes)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dr. Patricia Alwick TV series (1 episode: "Art Imitates Life")
2008, 2010–2013, 2015 Doctor Who River Song TV series (15 episodes; Series 4, Series 5–7, 2015 Christmas Special[12])
2009 Sordid Things Eve Manchester
Hope Springs Ellie Lagden TV series: Lead role (8 episodes)
FlashForward Inspector Fiona Banks TV series (3 episodes)
2009–2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Miranda Pond TV series (4 episodes)
2010 Ben Hur Ruth TV series (2 episodes)
Callers Sheila
2011 Like Crazy Jackie
Private Practice Marla Thomkins TV series (2 episodes)
Marchlands Helen Maynard TV series (5 episodes)
Teaching awards 2011 As herself
2012 Upstairs Downstairs Dr Blanche Mottershead TV series (6 episodes)
Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock River Song (voice) Video game
Who Do You Think You Are? Herself TV series, season 9 episode 6: Alex Kingston
2013 NCIS Miranda Pennebaker TV series, season 10 episode 8: "Gone"
2013–2016 Arrow Dinah Lance TV series (7 episodes)
2014 Chasing Shadows[27] Ruth Hattersley TV mini-series (4 episodes)
2015 American Odyssey[28] Jennifer TV series (2 episodes)
2016 Blue Bloods Commander Sloane Thompson TV series (1 episode) Season 6, Episode 17 - "Friends in Need"
Happily Ever After Ria
Shoot the Messenger Mary Foster TV series (8 episodes)
Crushed Molly Belgrand TV film
Transformers: Rescue Bots Quickshadow (voice) TV series (5 episodes)
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Naomi Shropshire TV series (2 episodes)
2017 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Vlurgen (voice) TV series (1 episode)
TBA Bukowski[29] Katharina Bukowski
2018 A Discovery of Witches Sarah Bishop TV series (8 episodes)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award For Win
1997 BAFTA TV Award Best Actress in The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders Nominated
1998 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in ER Won
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in ER Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in ER Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in ER Nominated
2008 Doctor Who Magazine Award Best Guest Actress Won
2009 TV Land Icon Award ER Won
2010 Doctor Who Magazine Award Best Supporting Actress Won
2012 SFX Best Actress for Doctor Who Won
2013 Anglophenia's Fan Favorites Women's Tournament Woman of the Year (2013) Won
2016 Saturn Awards Best Guest Star on Television - "The Husbands of River Song" Nominated


  1. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl. "Person Page 18418". Retrieved 20 July 2009.[unreliable source]
  2. ^ Lee, Veronica (9 March 2006). "'I wouldn't say I was strong...'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Alex Kingston: Who Do You Think You Are?". Who Do You Think You Are?. BBC One. 19 September 2012. Event occurs at 29:53. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  4. ^ Dysch, Marcus (20 September 2012). "Alex Kingston discovers her Jewish Background". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  5. ^ Bauckham, Jon (18 September 2012). "Alex Kingston". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  6. ^ "(article in German)" (in German). Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  7. ^ Bridget Byrne (2004-06-07). "ER Can Dr. Corday". E News. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  8. ^ ""One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" returns with Christian Slater at Garrick from 21 March 2006". 15 February 2006.
  9. ^ Heather (23 May 2006). "Alex Kingston slams skinniness of the Desperate Housewives". Fametastic. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  10. ^ Walls, Jeannette (31 May 2006). "Dissing the desperately skinny 'Housewives'". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  11. ^ Duncan, Andrew (27 August 2011). "Doctor Who: Alex Kingston interviewed". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  12. ^ a b "The Doctor and River Song Reunite For A Spectacular Christmas". BBC. The Doctor Who Team. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  13. ^ Stephenson, David (30 January 2011). "Marchlands: Alex Kingston in haunting drama". The Daily Express. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  14. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (4 February 2011). "Private Practice Exclusive: Shrink Role Fits ER Alum Alex Kingston". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  15. ^ Hibberd, James (22 January 2013). "'Arrow' scoop: 'ER' actress is Laurel's mom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston "MACBETH"". Manchester International Festival. 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  17. ^ Mcdermon, Daniel (20 August 2013). "Branagh's 'Macbeth' Coming to New York's Park Avenue Armory in 2014". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Chasing Shadows on DVD - A Chat With Alex Kingston". The Huffington Post UK.
  19. ^ a b Sheldon, Michael (14 August 2003). "'I'm not afraid to take risks'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  20. ^ Smith, Martin (12 February 2007). "Stewardess faces sack after amorous in-flight encounter with Ralph Fiennes". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  21. ^ Freeman, Hilary (22 June 2004). "At my age, if we want to have another child, this is the time to do it". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  22. ^ "Salome Violetta Haertel". Variety. 5 June 2001. Retrieved 4 June 2012.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Curtis, Nick (1 June 2011). "Doctor Who is the closest thing to theatre on TV". thisislondon. Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  24. ^ Lipworth, Elaine (9 August 2014). "Alex Kingston: 'I've lived through some tough stuff - and survived'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Doctor Who star Alex Kingston can't hold back the tears as she ties the knot with third husband Jonathan Stamp in romantic Italian ceremony". Daily Mail. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  26. ^ "Alex Kingston". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Interview). Interviewed by Craig Ferguson. Los Angeles: CBS. 6 January 2011.
  27. ^ "Reece Shearsmith, Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke to star in Chasing Shadows". ITV Presscentre. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  28. ^ "American Odyssey". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  29. ^ "Bukowski (2014)". IMDb. 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.

External linksEdit