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Lauren Ambrose (born Lauren Anne D'Ambruoso,[1] February 20, 1978) is an American actress and singer.

Lauren Ambrose
BornLauren Anne D'Ambruoso
(1978-02-20) February 20, 1978 (age 41)
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1992–present
Sam Handel (m. 2001)
External image
Ambrose at The X-Files Premiere Event in 2016

Ambrose is most known for her television roles as Claire Fisher in Six Feet Under (2001–2005), for which she won two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and as Jilly Kitzinger in Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011). Her film credits include Can't Hardly Wait (1998), Psycho Beach Party (2000) and Where the Wild Things Are (2009). She is the lead singer of the ragtime band Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class.[2]

Ambrose portrayed the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of My Fair Lady on Broadway, a performance for which she was nominated for the 2018 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and won the 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.


Early lifeEdit

Ambrose in 2000

Ambrose was born in New Haven, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Frank D'Ambruoso, a caterer and Anne (née Wachtel), an interior designer. She is of Italian descent on her father's side[3] and German, English, and Irish on her mother's. Ambrose attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, Wilbur Cross High School, High School in the Community, and the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. She is also a trained opera singer who studied voice and opera at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.


Ambrose began her career in New York theater, mainly in Off-Broadway productions. Her early career also included television appearances, most notably playing supporting guest roles on Law & Order, and a feature guest role on the show in the 1998 episode "Damaged" as Valerie Maxwell, a mentally-challenged young woman raped by a group of popular high school students. Her first film role was In & Out (1997), which was followed by a more prominent role in the high school comedy Can't Hardly Wait (1998). She was the ingenue lead, Florence "Chicklet" Forrest, in the cult favorite Psycho Beach Party (2000). Ambrose began her role on Six Feet Under in early 2001. She was nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Emmy Award twice, following the 2002 and 2003 seasons of the critically acclaimed drama.

In 2006, Ambrose made her Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Awake and Sing!. In 2007, she appeared as Juliet in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, to great critical acclaim. She appeared as Ophelia in the 2008 performance of Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park.[4] Ambrose returned to Broadway in Exit the King (by Eugène Ionesco) at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway, opposite Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon. Ambrose provided the voice of the monster KW in Where the Wild Things Are, which was released in 2009.

In 2011, Ambrose appeared in seven of the ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. She played Jilly Kitzinger, a "sweet-talking PR genius with a heart of stone who's just cornered the most important client of her career and maybe of all time".[5] For her performance as Kitzinger, Ambrose received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress In Television.[6]

Ambrose is the lead singer of Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class, a ragtime dixieland jazz band formed in 2009. They have performed several times at Joe's Pub and charity events.[7]

Ambrose had been previously set to play Fanny Brice in a 2012 Broadway-bound revival of Funny Girl directed by Bartlett Sher, but the production was indefinitely postponed due to financial concerns.[8] In March 2018 Ambrose started appearing as Eliza Doolittle in a new Broadway revival of My Fair Lady directed by Sher,[9][10] a performance for which she was nominated for the 2018 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and won the 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.

In October 2018, Ambrose left the My Fair Lady[11] cast to take a role in the thriller series Servant produced by M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop for the Apple network.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Ambrose has been married to professional photographer Sam Handel[13] since September 2001. They have two children.[14][15][16]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 In & Out Vicky Rayburn
1998 Can't Hardly Wait Denise Fleming
1998 Summertime's Calling Me Tami
2000 Swimming Frankie Wheeler
2000 Psycho Beach Party Florence "Chicklet" Forrest
2004 Admissions Evie Brighton
2006 Diggers Zoey
2007 Starting Out in the Evening Heather Wolfe
2009 A Dog Year Emma
2009 Cold Souls Stephanie
2009 Where the Wild Things Are KW Voice
2009 Tonight at Noon Mae
2009 The Other Woman Mindy
2011 Grassroots Emily Bowen
2011 I'm Coming Over Greta Short film
2011 About Sunny Angela Also producer
2012 Sleepwalk with Me Abby
2012 Wanderlust Almond
2012 The River Maria Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Law & Order Jessica Episode: "Skin Deep"
1993 Law & Order Maureen McKinnon Episode: "Pride and Joy"
1995 The State Audience Member Episode: "3.10"
1998 Law & Order Valerie Maxwell Episode: "Damaged"
1999 Party of Five Myra Wringler 5 episodes
2001–2005 Six Feet Under Claire Fisher 63 episodes
2008 The Return of Jezebel James Coco Tompkins 6 episodes
2009 Loving Leah Leah Lever Television film
2011 Torchwood: Miracle Day Jilly Kitzinger 7 episodes
2011 Weekends at Bellevue Ellie Harlow Pilot
2012 Coma Susan Wheeler 2 episodes
2013 Robot Chicken Anita Radcliffe / Natasha Fatale (voices) Episode: "Papercut to Aorta"
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Vanessa Mayer 2 episodes
2014 Deliverance Creek Belle Gatlin Barlow Television film
2015 Dig Debbie Morgan 8 episodes
2015 Broad Squad Eileen Pilot
2016–2018 The X-Files Special Agent Liz Einstein 3 episodes
2016 The Interestings Jules Jacobson Pilot
TBA Servant Dorothy Turner Upcoming television series

Video gameEdit

Year Title Voice role
2007 The Darkness Jenny Romano


Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ JOHNSON, MALCOLM (June 26, 2007). "TIMELESS TRAGEDY OF LOVE". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  2. ^ "Can Lauren Ambrose Sing? A Look at the Future Funny Girl Star's Musical Background".
  3. ^ Windy City Times. "Windy City Times - Interview: Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose". Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Public Theater - Shakespeare in the Park Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Hibberd, James. "'Six Feet Under' star Lauren Ambrose joins 'Torchwood' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Matt (February 29, 2012). "Saturn Award Nominations Announced; HUGO and HARRY POTTER Lead with 10 Nominations Each". Collider. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Schulman, Michael (November 13, 2009). "Lauren Ambrose's Jazz Habit". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew (November 3, 2011). "Los Angeles and Broadway Engagements of Funny Girl Postponed". Playbill. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011.
  9. ^ Fierberg, Ruthie; Hetrick, Adam. "Read Reviews for Broadway's Latest Revival of 'My Fair Lady', Starring Lauren Ambrose" Playbill, April 19, 2018
  10. ^ Deb, Sopan (October 5, 2017). "Lauren Ambrose to Star in 'My Fair Lady' on Broadway". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Evans, Greg (August 23, 2018). "Laura Benanti To Replace Apple-Bound Lauren Ambrose In Broadway's 'My Fair Lady'".
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Andreeva, Nellie (August 22, 2018). "Lauren Ambrose & Nell Tiger Free To Star In M. Night Shyamalan's Apple Series".
  13. ^ "main". Archived from the original on December 30, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Alison Singh Gee. "Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose Has a Boy". People.
  15. ^ T.L. Stanley (August 25, 2012). "Lauren Ambrose in fully engaged in 'Coma' on A&E". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  16. ^ Nigel M. Smith (August 28, 2012). "'Sleepwalk With Me' star Lauren Ambrose on saying goodbye to 'Six Feet Under' and why she took on A&E medical thriller 'Coma'". Indiewire. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  17. ^ Desk, TV News. "THE BAND'S VISIT, CAROUSEL & More Nominated for 2019 GRAMMY AWARDS". Retrieved December 7, 2018.

External linksEdit