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Jennifer Anne Ehle (/ˈli/; born December 29, 1969) is a British-American actress. She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice. For her work on Broadway, she won the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for The Real Thing, and the 2007 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Coast of Utopia. She is the daughter of English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle.

Jennifer Ehle
Jennifer Ehle (30443863926).jpg
Ehle in 2016
Jennifer Anne Ehle[1][2]

(1969-12-29) December 29, 1969 (age 49)
Years active1991–present
Michael Ryan (m. 2001)
Parent(s)John Ehle
Rosemary Harris

Ehle made her West End debut in Peter Hall's 1991 production of Tartuffe, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1995. Other television credits include The Camomile Lawn (1992), A Gifted Man (2011–2012) and The Looming Tower (2018). She has also appeared in supporting roles in such films as Wilde (1997), Sunshine (1999), The King's Speech (2010), Contagion (2011), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), RoboCop (2014), and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).[3] Ehle also portrayed Lydia Marsh in The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018).

Early lifeEdit

Ehle was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle. Aside from English, her ancestry includes Romanian (from a maternal great-grandmother) and paternally, German.[4][5]

Ehle appeared as a toddler in a 1973 Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which her mother played Blanche DuBois.[6] She spent her childhood in both the UK and the US, attending several different schools, including Interlochen Arts Academy. She was raised largely in Asheville, North Carolina. Her drama training was split between the North Carolina School of the Arts[7] and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.[8]


One of Ehle's first notable roles was as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice co-starring Colin Firth.

Theatre careerEdit

Ehle made her West End debut as Orgon's wife in the 1991 Peter Hall Company production of Tartuffe, for which she won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards.[9][10] Hall then cast her as Calypso in The Camomile Lawn (1992), a television adaptation of Mary Wesley's book of the same name, in which she and her mother played the same character at different ages.[11]

After a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company,[12] she gained her first major feature film role in Paradise Road. She continued her career on both stage and screen.

In 2000, Ehle made her Broadway debut to great critical acclaim as Annie in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, winning the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Her mother, Rosemary Harris, was also nominated for the same award that year for Waiting in the Wings.[13] That following year, Ehle appeared again on Broadway in the revival of Noël Coward's Design for Living co-starring with Dominic West and Alan Cumming.[14]

After a hiatus, Ehle returned to the London stage in 2005 in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic opposite Kevin Spacey. The following year, she played Lady Macbeth in Macbeth with Liev Schreiber, as part of the Shakespeare in the Park.[14]

Ehle returned to Broadway and won her second Tony award for portraying three characters in Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia triptych, which ran from October 2006 until May 2007.[15]

In 2010, Ehle starred alongside John Lithgow in the production of Mr. & Mrs. Fitch presented by Second Stage Theatre in New York City.[16]

In 2017, in her most recent work on Broadway, she appeared in the critically acclaimed Oslo, which won the Tony Award for Best Play. She herself was nominated for Best Actress in a Play for her work.[17]

Film and television careerEdit

Since 2010 Ehle has appeared in a string of critically acclaimed films such as The King's Speech (where she reunited with her Pride and Prejudice co-star Colin Firth), Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (2011), George Clooney's The Ides of March (2011), Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos (2015), Ira Sach's Little Men (2016), and Terence Davies' A Quiet Passion (2016).

In August 2009, it was announced that Ehle would play the character of Catelyn Stark in the pilot of HBO's Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy book series. Ehle filmed the pilot episode, but decided it was too soon to return to work after the birth of her daughter. She was replaced by Northern Irish actress Michelle Fairley.[18][19]

Personal lifeEdit

Ehle married writer Michael Ryan on November 29, 2001,[20] and they have two children.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Camomile Lawn Calypso Miniseries, 5 episodes
1993 The Maitlands Phyllis BBC TV production of Ronald Mackenzie's 1930s play
1993 Rik Mayall Presents: Micky Love Tamsin Miniseries, 6 Episodes
1995 Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet Miniseries, 6 episodes
1997 Melissa Melissa Miniseries, 5 episodes
2008 The Russell Girl Lorraine Morrissey TV movie
2011 A Gifted Man Anna Paul 16 episodes
2013 Low Winter Sun Susan Episode: "Ann Arbor"
2014, 2015 The Blacklist Madeline Pratt 2 episodes
2018 The Looming Tower Ambassador Barbara Bodine 3 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Backbeat Cynthia Powell
1997 Paradise Road Rosemary Leighton-Jones
1997 Wilde Constance Lloyd Wilde
1998 Bedrooms and Hallways Sally
1999 Sunshine Valerie Sonnenschein
1999 This Year's Love Sophie
2002 Possession Christabel LaMotte
2006 Alpha Male Alice Ferris
2005 The River King Betsy Chase
2008 Pride and Glory Abby Tierney
2008 Before the Rains Laura Malayalam-language film
2009 The Greatest Joan
2010 The King's Speech Myrtle Logue
2011 The Ides of March Cindy Morris
2011 Contagion Ally Hextall
2011 The Adjustment Bureau Brooklyn Ice House Bartender
2012 Zero Dark Thirty Jessica
2014 RoboCop Liz Kline
2014 Black or White Carol Anderson
2014 The Forger Kim Cutter
2014 A Little Chaos Madame De Montespan
2015 Advantageous Isa Cryer
2015 Fifty Shades of Grey Carla Wilks
2015 Spooks: The Greater Good Geraldine Maltby
2016 Little Men Kathy Jardine
2016 The Fundamentals of Caring Elsa
2016 A Quiet Passion Vinnie Dickinson
2017 Fifty Shades Darker Carla Wilks Unrated edition
2017 Detroit Morgue Doctor
2017 I Kill Giants Mrs. Thorson
2018 The Miseducation of Cameron Post Dr. Lydia Marsh
2018 All Rise Katherine O'Brien
2018 Fifty Shades Freed Carla Wilks
2018 Vox Lux Josie the Publicist
2018 Take Point Agent Mackenzie Korean film
2019 The Wolf Hour Margot
2019 Run This Town Judith
2019 The Professor and the Madman Ada Murray
2019 Saint Maud Amanda


Year Title Role Company Venue
1959 Pink Thunderbird Edinburgh Festival
Laundry and Bourbon Edinburgh Festival
1991 Tartuffe Elmire Peter Hall Company
1992 Breaking the Code Pat Green Triumph Productions Tour
1995–1996 Richard III Lady Anne Royal Shakespeare Company
1995–1996 Painter of Dishonour Serafina Royal Shakespeare Company
1995–1996 The Relapse Amanda Royal Shakespeare Company
1999 The Real Thing Annie Donmar Warehouse
1999 Summerfolk Varvara Mikhailovna National Theatre
2000 The Real Thing Annie Albery Theatre and Barrymore Theatre
2001 Design for Living Gilda Roundabout Theatre Company American Airlines Theater
2005 The Philadelphia Story Tracy Lord The Old Vic, London
2006 Macbeth Lady Macbeth Shakespeare in the Park Delacorte Theater
2006 The Coast of Utopia: Voyage Liubov Bakunin Vivian Beaumont Theater
2006 The Coast of Utopia: Shipwrecked Natalie Herzen Vivian Beaumont Theater
2007 The Coast of Utopia: Salvage Malwida von Meysenbug Vivian Beaumont Theater
2010 Mr. and Mrs. Fitch Mrs. Fitch Second Stage Theatre
2017 Oslo Mona Juul Vivian Beaumont Theatre

Awards and nominationsEdit

Tony Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Actress in a Play The Real Thing Won
2007 Featured Actress in a Play The Coast of Utopia Won
2017 Actress in a Play Oslo Nominated

BAFTA Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
1996 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress Pride & Prejudice Won
1998 Best Supporting Actress Wilde Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2010 Best Cast in a Motion Picture The King's Speech Won

Laurence Olivier Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Actress The Real Thing Nominated

Outer Critics Circle Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Actress - Play The Real Thing Nominated
2007 Best Featured Actress - Play The Coast of Utopia Nominated

Other award wins:

Other award nominations:


  1. ^ "World Authors, 1980–1985".
  2. ^ "Performing Arts".
  3. ^ Jennifer Ehle to play mum in 50 Shades of Grey. 3 News NZ. 9 October 2013.
  4. ^ Rosemary Harris and the Picture: Madonna of the Slaughtered Jews. Retrieved on February 8, 2013. Archived July 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "ehle".
  6. ^ "Jennifer Ehle".
  7. ^ "Drama – Home Page".
  8. ^ "High Profile Alumni".
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b Lees, Caroline. "Classic recipes for success". Sunday Times. 9 February 1992
  11. ^ Dave Kehr (June 16, 2000). "AT THE MOVIES; A Resemblance? It's Only Natural". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  12. ^ "What Lizzie did next". The Age. Melbourne. April 23, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  13. ^ Doug Feiden (June 5, 2000). "'Kiss Me Kate' is big Tony winner 'Copenhagen' and 'Contact' also honored". Daily News. New York. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ "Utopian win for Jennifer Ehle and Tom Stoppard at Tony Awards". Daily Mail. London. June 11, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  16. ^ "Tony Winners Lithgow and Ehle Are 'MR. & MRS. FITCH' For Second Stage Theatre" August 19, 2009, Broadway World
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Fairley to replace Ehle in HBO's 'Thrones'". The Hollywood Reporter. October 14, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  19. ^ Jace Lacob (September 22, 2011). "A Gifted Man's Leading Lady". The Daily Beast.
  20. ^ "Jennifer Ehle – Biography". Yahoo! Movies. January 15, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Moore, Suzanne (December 20, 2011). "Celebrities' Christmas memories". The Guardian. Retrieved January 15, 2014.

External linksEdit