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Ashley Jensen (born 11 August 1969) is a Scottish actress and narrator. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on the television series Extras, in which she appeared from 2005–2007. She was also a cast member of the ABC series Ugly Betty and the short-lived CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose. Jensen is currently the star of the comedy-drama detective television series Agatha Raisin.
Jensen at the 60th Annual Emmy Awards, 21 September 2008
(m. 2007; died 2017)
Jensen's first big television role was as Clare Donnelly, daughter of Glasgow criminal Jo-Jo Donnelly (played by Billy Connolly) in the 1993 BBC drama Down Among the Big Boys. In 1994, she played eccentric secretary Rosie McConnichy in the final series of BBC comedy May to December, as a replacement for the character of secretary Hilary (Rebecca Lacey), and Heather in Roughnecks, a BBC television series about workers on a North Sea Oil platform. Jensen had a small role in a Dangerfield episode "Contact" as the mother of a young girl with meningitis. She then appeared as Fiona Morris in EastEnders. She also appeared in the 2003 BBC drama Two Thousand Acres of Sky.
Jensen co-starred alongside Ricky Gervais in the BBC Two/HBO television programme Extras as the socially inept Maggie Jacobs. For her work on the first series, she received best television comedy actress and newcomer awards at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. In 2006, Jensen received two British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA nomination for her role in Extras. Her role in the 2007 Christmas Special earned her an Emmy Award nomination. In January 2006 she starred in the short-lived drama series Eleventh Hour on ITV. Later that year she played Steve Coogan's agent in A Cock and Bull Story. In 2007, she provided the narration for the film Taking Liberties.
In September 2006, Jensen's first major role on American television came when she took the role of regular character Christina McKinney on the ABC series Ugly Betty. Her character was originally an American, but when she met with the show's producers they liked Jensen's accent and changed the nationality of the character, keeping McKinney Scottish. Production of Ugly Betty moved to New York from Los Angeles in mid-2008, causing a conflict for Jensen, who was unable to relocate from Los Angeles and left the show in 2009 near the end of the third season but made a return guest appearance in 2010 during the fourth season.
In January 2009, Jensen starred in No Holds Bard, a BBC Scotland one-off special comedy shown on Burns Night as part of a line-up of special programming to mark the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns. She is the narrator of Channel 4's Embarrassing Illnesses and Embarrassing Bodies. She also narrated an advertising campaign for Bank of Scotland and Persil detergent adverts for both television and radio. From September 2009 to May 2010, she appeared in the sitcom Accidentally on Purpose as Olivia. Jensen starred in the 2009 BBC comedy Nativity as Jennifer Lore, a Hollywood producer's secretary and the love interest of Paul Maddens, played by Martin Freeman.
On 21 December 2010, she starred in the one-off/pilot BBC comedy drama Accidental Farmer, playing a London executive who buys a derelict farm with her philandering boyfriend's credit card. In 2011, she voiced Nanette the frog in the animated production Gnomeo and Juliet. She starred in the ITV drama The Reckoning in April of that year. In October 2012, she appeared as a guest on the BBC cookery programme Saturday Kitchen.
She also starred in the eight-part series that first aired on Sky 1 on 7 June 2016.
In 2017, she starred in a 6 part TV series for BBC TV - Love, Lies & Records, depicting the gritty life and entwined storylines working in Leeds Registry Office. In March 2019, Jensen reunited with Gervais in the Netflix black comedy series After Life. In April 2019 she played Debbie Dorell in the second series of BBC TV drama Trust Me. Where an injured soldier discovers patients in his hospital ward start dying, and he attempts to investigate the suspicious deaths.
Jensen has one son, Francis Jonathan Beesley (born 20 October 2009), from her marriage to actor Terence Beesley, whom she met in 1999 while working on a stage production of King Lear. Her husband took his own life at the family home in Somerset in November 2017.
|1991||Tickets for the Zoo|
|2005||A Cock and Bull Story||Lindsey|
|How to Train Your Dragon||Phlegma the Fierce||Voice|
|2011||Gnomeo & Juliet||Nanette|
|Arthur Christmas||Bryony||Nominated – Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production|
|2012||The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!||The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate|
|2015||The Lobster||Biscuit Woman|
|The Legend of Barney Thomson||Detective Inspector June Robertson|
|2019||Lady and the Tramp||Jackie||Voice; Post-production|
|1990||City Lights||1 episode|
|1992, 1993||Rab C. Nesbitt||2nd Girl / Sheena||2 episodes|
|1993||Screen One||Claire Donnelly||1 episode|
|1994||May to December||Rosie / Rosie McConnachy||6 episodes|
|The Tales of Para Handy||Catriona MacLean||1 episode|
|Takin' Over the Asylum||Kathleen|
|1994, 1997||The Bill||Diane Wyre / Kate Selby||2 episodes|
|1995||The Baldy Man||Hairdresser||1 episode|
|Capital Lives||Eileen||1 episode|
|1996||The Big Picnic||Nessie||TV film|
|Bad Boys||Morag||6 episodes|
|1996–2004||Casualty||Stella / Jess||3 episodes|
|1997||Dangerfield||Michelle Thomson||1 episode|
|1998–2000||City Central||PC Sue Chappell||31 episodes|
|1998||Mortimer's Law||Naomi Childs||1 episode|
|2000||EastEnders||Fiona Morris||2 episodes|
|2001||Rebus||Mhairi Henderson||1 episode|
|2001–03||Clocking Off||Babs Leach / Babs Fisher||5 episodes|
|2002||Outside the Rules||Dawn Deacon||TV film|
|Breeze Block||5 episodes|
|2003||Coming Up||Rachel||1 episode|
|Silent Witness||DI Becky Metcalf||"Fatal Error" 2 Episodes|
|Sweet Medicine||Faye Brooks||5 episodes|
|The Office||Interviewer||2 episodes (voice)|
|2005||Meet the Magoons||Policewoman No.1||1 episode|
|2005–07||Extras||Maggie Jacobs||13 episodes|
British Comedy Award for Best Newcomer
British Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress (2005)
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Comedy Performance
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
Nominated – British Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress (2008)
Nominated – Rose d'Or Award for Best Sitcom Performance (follower-up)
|2006||Eleventh Hour||Rachel Young||4 episodes|
|2006–2010||Ugly Betty||Christina McKinney||66 episodes (Series Regular; 1–3 / Guest Star; Season 4)|
Nominated – BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Acting Performance in Television
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007, 2008)
|2009||No Holds Bard||Isobel||TV film|
|2009–10||Accidentally on Purpose||Olivia||18 episodes|
|2010||Accidental Farmer||Erin Taylor||TV film|
|Love and Marriage||Sarah|
|The Escape Artist||Kate Burton|
|2014–present||Agatha Raisin||Agatha Raisin||TV series|
|2017||Love, Lies & Records||Kate Dickenson||6 Episodes BBC|
|2018||Ducktales (2017)||Downy McDuck||Voice, 1 episode|
|2019||After Life||Nurse Emma|
|2019||Trust Me||Debbie Dorrell|
- "Sky order crime comedy drama starring Ashley Jensen". British Comedy Guide. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Catastrophe a new C4 comedy created by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan". Channel 4. 30 May 2014.
- "Sisters". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- Sanusi, Victoria (8 March 2019). "After Life cast: who stars with Ricky Gervais in new Netflix series – and where else you've seen them". iNews. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
- "My next role? Being mum to my little boy, says Extras star Ashley". Evening Standard. 24 December 2013.
- Kelly, Emma (18 December 2017). "Ashley Jensen's husband Terence Beesley found dead aged 60". Metro.
- "Ugly Betty's Ashley Jensen Is Expecting". People magazine. 28 July 2009.
- "Ashley Jensen 'devastated' after husband Terence Beesley's sudden death". BBC News. 18 December 2017.
- Quinn, Michael (22 December 2017). "Obituary: Terence Beesley". the Stage. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
- Wiseman, Andreas (25 July 2018). "Disney's 'Lady And The Tramp' Reboot Sets First Cast With 'Extras' & 'Sherlock Gnomes' Actress Ashley Jensen". Deadline. Retrieved 25 July 2018.