Open main menu

Matthew Rhys Evans (born 8 November 1974),[1] known professionally as Matthew Rhys (/rs/), is a Welsh actor. He is known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Philip Jennings on the FX drama series The Americans. He also starred as Kevin Walker on the ABC television drama Brothers & Sisters, and as Dylan Thomas in The Edge of Love.

Matthew Rhys
Matthew Rhys.jpg
Rhys in June 2011
BornMatthew Rhys Evans
(1974-11-08) 8 November 1974 (age 44)
Cardiff, Wales
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York, United States
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1997–present
Partner(s)Keri Russell (2013–present)


Early lifeEdit

Rhys was born in Cardiff, Wales, the son of Glyn, a headmaster, and Helen Evans, a teacher.[1] He grew up in Cardiff and attended Welsh-medium schools, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff) and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff North, Cardiff). In 1993, he was awarded the Patricia Rothermere Scholarship.[2]

At age 17, after playing Elvis Presley in a school musical, he applied to and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.[3] His older sister Rachel, now a BBC broadcast journalist, also attended.

During Rhys's time at RADA, Rhys appeared in the BBC police series Back-Up as well as in House of America. He returned to Cardiff to act in his own language in the Welsh film Bydd yn Wrol (Be Brave),[4] for which he won Best Actor at the Bafta Cymru (Welsh BAFTAs).


Rhys at the 2007 GLAAD Awards

In January 1998, Rhys went to New Zealand to star in Greenstone, a colonial costume drama for television. He then landed a role in Titus, Julie Taymor's adaptation of Titus Andronicus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Next he played Ray in Peter Hewitt's film comedy, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? After returning to Wales, he did two consecutive films with Jonathan Pryce: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, a film about a dysfunctional single-parent family in which he played the elder son, and Sara Sugarman's comedy Very Annie Mary, in which he played the role of Nob. Rhys would later reunite with Very Annie Mary star Rachel Griffiths on Brothers & Sisters.[5]

In 2000, Rhys played the lead role in Metropolis, a drama series for Granada TV about the lives of six twenty-somethings living in London.[3] Next he starred in Peaches, the film of the play written and directed by Nick Grosso.[6][7] Rhys starred as Benjamin in the 2000 world premiere of the stage adaptation of The Graduate, alongside Kathleen Turner at The Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.[8]

Rhys travelled to Ireland to star in the 18th century swashbuckling adventure, The Abduction Club.[9] He played the lead role of Darren Daniels in Tabloid, and then returned to New Zealand to shoot the epic drama Lost World for the BBC. His other film credits include the independent horror film Deathwatch in Prague and Fakers, a comic crime caper.

In 2003, he played Justin Price, the murderer in the final episode of the long-running television series Columbo.[10]

He appeared opposite Brittany Murphy in the independent feature Love and Other Disasters, in Virgin Territory opposite Hayden Christensen, Tim Roth and Mischa Barton, and playing poet Dylan Thomas in the love quadrangle biographical film The Edge of Love.[11]

He moved to Santa Monica after being cast in ABC's show Brothers & Sisters, as lawyer Kevin Walker. The show had a five-season run, coming to an end in 2011.[8]

In January 2012, Rhys appeared in a BBC Two two-part drama adaptation of Charles Dickens' last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, left unfinished at his death in 1870.[12] The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired it in the United States as one feature-length episode on 15 April 2012.

In 2012 Rhys was scheduled to reprise Sir Alec Guinness' 1959 double role of John Barratt/Jacques DeGué in a new adaptation of The Scapegoat.[13] That same year, Rhys was cast as "Jimmy" in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of John Osborne's play, Look Back in Anger, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The production played a limited engagement through 8 April 2012.[14]

He starred opposite Keri Russell in the FX series The Americans, a 1980s Cold War spy drama about Russian KGB sleeper agents (Rhys and Russell, who portray married KGB agents with two children, among other agents and handlers). Rhys and Russell are real-life partners off-screen as well. The sixth season airing in 2018 was the final season of The Americans.[15] The show debuted in January 2013.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Rhys was housemates for nearly 10 years with fellow Welshman and actor Ioan Gruffudd,[17] and served as best man at Gruffudd's wedding.[18] Both are patrons of Trust PA, a UK spinal injuries charity.[19]

On 15 July 2008, Rhys was honoured by Aberystwyth University as a Fellow.[20] On 8 August 2008, he was honoured at the Welsh National Eisteddfod by being accepted as a member to the druidic order of the Gorsedd of the Bards,[21] for his contributions to the Welsh language and Wales. His bardic name in the Gorsedd is Matthew Tâf. In August 2009, Rhys took to the stage with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales as part of the National Eisteddfod.[22]

Rhys has been in a relationship with his The Americans co-star Keri Russell since 2013.[23][24] They had their first child, a son named Sam, in late May 2016.[25][26]

He is a supporter of Plaid Cymru.[27][28]


  • Patron, Hijinx Theatre, based at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
  • Charity Champion, The Noah's Ark Appeal, a charity which raises funds for the development of the Children's Hospital of Wales.
  • Patron, Iris Prize, Cardiff's International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Prize.[29]
  • Ambassador, Bobath Children's Therapy Centre Wales, a charity that treats children who have cerebral palsy from all over Wales.



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Titus Demetrius
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Ray Smith
2000 Sorted Carl
2001 Very Annie Mary Nob
2002 Deathwatch Cpl. Doc Fairweather
2002 The Abduction Club James Strang
2002 Shooters Eddie
2003 Y Mabinogi Lleu Llaw Gyffes
2004 Fakers Nick Edwards
2006 Love and Other Disasters Peter Simon
2007 Virgin Territory Count Dzerzhinsky
2008 The Edge of Love Dylan Thomas
2009 The Think Tank Marc Short film
2010 Patagonia Mateo
2011 Everything Carries Me To You Damien Short film
2012 The Scapegoat John Standing/Johnny Spence
2015 En mai, fais ce qu'il te plait Percy
2015 Burnt Reece
2017 The Post Daniel Ellsberg
2018 Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle John Lockwood
2019 You Are My Friend Tom Junod Filming
TBA The Torture Report Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2000 A History of Britain N/A Unknown episodes
2001 The Lost World Edward Malone 2 episodes
2003 POW Alfie Harris Episode #1.5
2003 Columbo Justin Price Episode: "Columbo Likes the Nightlife"
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kevin Walker Main role
2006 Beau Brummell: This Charming Man Lord Byron Television film
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood John Jasper 2 episodes
2013–2018 The Americans Philip Jennings Main role
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Mr Darcy 3 episodes
2015 The Bastard Executioner Gruffudd y Blaidd 4 episodes
2015 Archer Lloyd Llewellyn (voice) Episode: "Achub y Morfilod"
2016 The Wine Show Himself (co-host) 13 episodes
2017 Girls Chuck Palmer Episode: "American Bitch"
2018 Death and Nightingales Billy 3 episodes


Year Play Role Writer/director Venue/company
2012 Look Back in Anger Jimmy John Osborne/Sam Gold Roundabout Theatre Company
2004 Macbeth Macduff William Shakespeare/Bill Alexander The Young Vic
2004 King Lear Edmund William Shakespeare/Bill Alexander Royal Shakespeare Company
2004 Romeo and Juliet Romeo William Shakespeare/Peter Gill Royal Shakespeare Company
2003 Under Milk Wood Mog Edwards Dylan Thomas/Michael Bogdanov New Theatre (Cardiff)
2002 The Associate Tiny Simon Bent Royal National Theatre
2000 The Graduate Benjamin Braddock Charles Webb/Terry Johnson Gielgud Theatre
1997 Stranger's House (Fremdes Haus) Yanne Dea Loher/Mary Peate Royal Court Theatre
1997 One More Wasted Year Pierre Christophe Pellet/Mary Peate Royal Court Theatre
1997 Grace Note Nick Samuel Adamson/Dominic Dromgoole The Old Vic
1997 Cardiff East Tommy Peter Gill Royal National Theatre

Other projects, contributionsEdit

  • Produced television documentary, Mr Hollywood, for S4C-TV (2010),[30] about the life of Griffith J. Griffith, Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist after whom Griffith Park is named.
  • Wrote Patagonia: Crossing the Plain (2010) – a photographic account of his month-long journey on horseback while filming a documentary on Patagonia, and the Welsh settlers who made it their home having journeyed from Wales in the late 19th century.
  • Set up his own production company, Patagonia (2011), which has two projects in development. One of them involves the adaptation of a book called Operation Julie, written by Lyn Ebenezer,[31] about the biggest LSD drugs bust (in Wales's history); Rhys bought the film rights in December 2010.[32][33][34]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b "Matthew Rhys Biography (1974–)". Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  2. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (13 October 2001). "Q & A Matthew Rhys". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b Kellaway, Kate (30 April 2000). "The new prince of Wales". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Bydd yn Wrol". Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  5. ^ mikejoe21 (7 October 2007). "Matthew Rhys - ABC News Interview December 5, 2006". Retrieved 22 May 2017 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (12 October 2001). "Peaches". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  7. ^ "PEACHES (2000)". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Gilbert, Gerard (8 September 2012). "Matthew Rhys:'We'd troll off to LA and try to nick jobs off the Americans". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  9. ^ Elley, Derek (18 July 2002). "The Abduction Club". Variety. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  10. ^ Erickson, Hal (30 January 2003). "Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003)". New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  11. ^ French, Philip (22 June 2008). "Review: The Edge of Love". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  12. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Cast announced for The Mystery Of Edwin Drood on BBC Two". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  13. ^ Island Pictures
  14. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2 February 2012). "The wounded and wounding in '50s Britain". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  15. ^ Ausiello, Michael (16 March 2012). "Brothers & Sisters alumn Matthew Rhys cast opposite Keri Russell in FX's The Americans". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  16. ^ Ausiello, Michael (31 January 2013). "Ratings: The Americans spies strong debut". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  17. ^ "". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  18. ^ "WalesOnline: News, sport, weather and events from across Wales". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Welsh actors help spinal charity". 26 October 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Graduation 2008 - Aberystwyth University". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  21. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Wales - Hollywood star Rhys joins druids". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Performing with National Youth Orchestra". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  23. ^ Gillian Telling (26 December 2013). "Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys: Are They Dating?". People. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  24. ^ John Ortved (30 April 2015). "Oliver Jeffers's Art of Bearing Witness". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  25. ^ "Keri Russell Gives Birth, Welcomes First Child With 'Americans' Costar Matthew Rhys!". 30 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  26. ^ "Keri Russell Reveals Name and Sex of Her First Child with Matthew Rhys – and Says the Baby Is Doing 'So Good'". 1 July 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  27. ^ "Matthew Rhys yn ymuno â Phlaid Cymru". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Leanne Wood". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Iris Prize patrons". Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Ffeithiol S4C". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  31. ^ Lyn Ebenezer – Cymru
  32. ^ "BBC - Error 404 : Not Found". Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  33. ^ "BBC - Matthew Rhys buys Operation Julie film rights". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  34. ^ Kelly, Jon (12 July 2011). "Operation Julie: How an LSD raid began the war on drugs". Retrieved 22 May 2017 – via

External linksEdit