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Rachel Elizabeth Brosnahan (born December 15, 1990) is an American actress. She made her film debut in the horror film The Unborn (2009) and subsequently appeared in the films Beautiful Creatures (2013), Louder Than Bombs (2015), The Finest Hours (2016), and Patriots Day (2016). Brosnahan had a recurring role in the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.[4]

Rachel Brosnahan
Rachel Brosnahan July 9, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Brosnahan at the Paley Center for Media in 2014
Rachel Elizabeth Brosnahan[1]

(1990-12-15) December 15, 1990 (age 28)[2][3]
EducationHighland Park High School
Alma materNew York University
Years active2009–present
Jason Ralph (m. 2016)
RelativesKate Spade (aunt)

Brosnahan received wider recognition and acclaim for playing the title role of an aspiring stand-up comedian in the Amazon Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017–present). For her work, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2018 and two consecutive Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2018 and 2019.[5][6]


Early lifeEdit

Brosnahan was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Carol and Earl Brosnahan.[7][8] Her father worked in children's publishing. From the age of four, Brosnahan was raised in Highland Park, Illinois.[7][9] She has a younger brother and sister.[10] She is the niece of the late fashion designer Kate Spade.[11] Her mother is British, and her American father is of Irish descent.[12][13]

Brosnahan attended Wayne Thomas Elementary School, and then Northwood Junior High School.[10][7] She performed in musical theater during junior high school and high school.[10][7] At Highland Park High School, she was on the wrestling team for two years and was a snowboarding instructor.[10][12] When Brosnahan was 16, she took a class with Carole Dibo,[14] director of Wilmette's Actors Training Center and now Brosnahan's manager. She graduated from the center in 2008.


Brosnahan was cast in her first movie role as Lisa in the Michael Bay-produced horror movie The Unborn while she was still in high school. During college, she performed in single episodes of television series such as Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy,[10] and In Treatment. After college, she began landing recurring roles in series such as The Blacklist (2014), and the short-lived Black Box (2014).

She first appeared on stage in 2009 in Up at Steppenwolf Theatre[7] followed by her Broadway debut in The Big Knife with Roundabout Theatre Company in 2013.[15] In 2016 she played Desdemona in Othello at New York Theatre Workshop opposite David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig.[16]

Brosnahan in 2016

In 2013, she starred in the critically acclaimed Netflix political drama House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Her role brought her career prominence and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. She was initially booked for two episodes and five lines, she caught the eye of showrunner Beau Willimon,[17] and was soon developed into a major character.

In 2016, she appeared in Woody Allen's Amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes with Allen, Elaine May, and Miley Cyrus.[18]

In 2017, she appeared as the title character of the Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Brosnahan said that, while she is not Jewish, her exposure to Jewish culture growing up helped prepare her for the role of Midge Maisel, a 1950s Jewish housewife who pursues a career in stand-up comedy when her marriage falls apart.[19] Her performance earned her a Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Critics' Choice TV Award[20][21][22][23]

She was cast in the upcoming film Ironbark alongside Benedict Cumberbatch. The film is set to be released in 2019. [24]

After her Emmy win, Brosnahan stated that Maisel resonated with viewers because "the show is equal parts fantasy and reality. It has beautiful clothes, beautiful sets. I think in some ways it's aspirational too. It's about a woman who's reinventing herself after completing the dream she had laid out for herself. Everything falls apart; she finds herself anew. It's never too late to do that. And it's funny and, I think, filled with joy at its core, and that's something we need a lot more of in the world right now."[25]

Personal lifeEdit

It was reported in 2018 that Brosnahan had married actor Jason Ralph in 2018, but Brosnahan later revealed in January 2019 that they had been married for years before their relationship became public.[26][27] Both attended the Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 2019, where she thanked him during her acceptance speech.[28]


Brosnahan has twice completed the "Live Below the Line" challenge.[29]



Year Work Role Notes
2009 The Unborn Lisa
2009 The Truth About Average Guys Molly
2011 Coming Up Roses Alice
2012 Nor'easter Abby Green
2013 Beautiful Creatures Genevieve Duchannes
2013 A New York Heartbeat Tamara
2014 I'm Obsessed with You (But You've Got to Leave Me Alone) Nell Fitzpatrick
2015 James White Woman (Ellen)
2015 Louder Than Bombs Erin
2016 The Finest Hours Bea Hansen
2016 Burn Country Sandra
2016 Patriots Day Jessica Kensky
2017 Boomtown Jamie
2018 Change in the Air Wren
2019 Ironbark Emily Donovan Post-production

Short FilmEdit

Year Work Role Notes
2013 Care Drea
2013 Munchausen Girl
2013 Adrift Alex
2013 Basically Shandy
2014 The Smut Locker Jamie White


Year Work Role Notes
2010 Mercy Samantha Episode: "We're All Adults"
2010 Gossip Girl Girl Episode: It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
2010 The Good Wife Caitlin Fenton Episode: "Poisoned Pill"
2010 In Treatment Eating Disorder Girl Episode: "Jesse Week Six"
2011 CSI: Miami Melanie Garland Episode: "Countermeasures"
2013–15 House of Cards Rachel Posner 19 episodes
2013 Grey's Anatomy Brian Weston Episode: "The Face of Change"
2013 Orange Is the New Black Little Allie Episode: "Bora Bora Bora"
2014 Olive Kitteridge Patty Howe Episode: "Incoming Tide"
2014 The Blacklist Jolene Parker/Lucy Brooks 6 episodes
2014 Black Box Delilah 5 episodes
2014–15 Manhattan Abby Isaacs 23 episodes
2015 The Dovekeepers Yael Mini-series, 2 episodes
2016 Crisis in Six Scenes Ellie 4 episodes
2017–present The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Miriam "Midge" Maisel Lead role; 18 episodes
2019 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Rachel Brosnahan/Greta Van Fleet"

Stage productionsEdit

Year Title Theatre Role
2009 Up Steppenwolf Maria
2013 The Big Knife Roundabout Theater Company Dixie Evans
2016 Othello New York Theatre Workshop Desdemona


  1. ^ EdDc, Richard S. Baskas (February 12, 2010). "MY FAMILY'S IRISH AND SPANISH PIONEERS OF CUSTER COUNTY, MONTANA AND LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, KANSAS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS". Xlibris Corporation. Retrieved January 7, 2019 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Late Night with Seth Meyers Podcast". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  3. ^ @RachelBros (April 2, 2016). "Someone wanna change my internet birthday? Dec 15!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Rachel Brosnahan". Television Academy. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "Golden Globes: Full list of nominees". BBC News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Huff, Lauren (January 6, 2019). "Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan Praises "Matriarchy" on 'Mrs. Maisel' Set in Best Actress Speech". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e Crowder, Courtney (February 19, 2014). "Rachel Brosnahan, from Highland Park to 'House of Cards'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2014. Brosnahan, 23
  8. ^ "Kate Spade's father: 'She'd be delighted' if her death sheds light on mental illness". kansascity. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Handler, Rachel (July 19, 2013). "Rachel Brosnahan: Wild 'Card'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2014. Brosnahan, 23
  10. ^ a b c d e Doremus, Elaine (April 2, 2013). "Ingénue Rising". Modern Luxury (Spring 2013). Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Schmidt, Ingrid (October 13, 2015). "Rachel Brosnahan of 'Manhattan' undertakes her own special fashion project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Symenov, Rachel (November 28, 2017). "Rachel Brosnahan's Comic Timing". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  13. ^ "Irish American fashion designer Kate Spade dead of apparent suicide". The Times. June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Crowder, Courtney. "Rachel Brosnahan, from Highland Park to 'House of Cards'". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Big Knife's Rachel Brosnahan on Bobby Cannavale, House of Cards and Singing Lessons with Bernadette Peters". Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "'Othello': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  17. ^ Donnelly, Elisabeth. "Rachel Brosnahan Talks Channeling Joan Rivers in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". HWD. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  18. ^ Andrea Morabito (September 27, 2016). "'Crisis in Six Scenes' stars break secrecy around Woody Allen's first TV show".
  19. ^ Swartz, Tracy (November 27, 2017). "How Rachel Brosnahan's Highland Park roots influenced her 'Mrs. Maisel' role". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Smith, Nigel (January 8, 2018). "First-Time Winner Rachel Brosnahan Pauses Globes Acceptance Speech for a Good Reason: 'Hi, Oprah!'". People. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Plaugic, Lizzie (January 8, 2018). "Rachel Brosnahan wins 2018's Best Actress Golden Globe for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". The Verge. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Otterson, Joe (January 8, 2018). "'Mrs. Maisel' Star Rachel Brosnahan Advocates for More Women's Stories During Golden Globes Win". Variety. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  23. ^ Perez, Lexy (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan Wins Best Actress for 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  24. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (October 10, 2018). "Dominic Cooke's new feature, Ironbark, now in production".
  25. ^ Rachel Brosnahan (September 17, 2018). Rachel Brosnahan - Emmys 2018 - Full Backstage Speech. Los Angeles, California: Variety. Event occurs at 0:54-1:38. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Farley, Rebecca. "Rachel Brosnahan Reveals She's Secretly Been Married For "Years"". Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  27. ^ Talarico, Brittany (September 25, 2018). "Did The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Star Rachel Brosnahan Marry Jason Ralph?". People. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  28. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (January 6, 2019). "Rachel Brosnahan Thanks Husband Jason Ralph as She Wins Golden Globe: 'I Love You'". People. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  29. ^ "Stars,activists, and leaders at the Live Below the Line Launch". Global Citizen. Retrieved April 2, 2018.

External linksEdit