Reiko Aylesworth

Reiko M. Aylesworth (born December 9, 1972) is an American film, television and stage actress, best known for her role on the television series 24 as Michelle Dessler.

Reiko Aylesworth
Reiko aylesworth.jpeg
Aylesworth at the 55th Primetime Emmy Awards
Reiko M. Aylesworth[1]

(1972-12-09) December 9, 1972 (age 47)
Alma materUniversity of Washington
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Rob Clare

Early life, career startEdit

Aylesworth was born December 9, 1972, in Evanston, Illinois,[2][3] and is of Dutch, Welsh, and Japanese ancestry. Her given name Reiko (礼子) is Japanese; her surname Aylesworth is Anglo-Saxon. [4] She lived in Springfield, Illinois, from 1987 to 1988, where she first became interested in acting. After understudying in several productions at the Springfield Theatre Centre, Aylesworth was cast in the role of Consuelo in West Side Story, while her family was preparing to move to Seattle, Washington. When her family left for Seattle, she remained in Springfield with family friends for the duration of the play's run.[5]

After joining her family in Seattle, Aylesworth attended the University of Washington and studied neuroscience. While attending the University of Washington, Aylesworth participated in several local theatre productions including Invisible Friends at the Seattle Children's Theatre[6] and the Intiman Theatre Company's production of Peter Pan where she played Wendy.[7]

Aylesworth's performance in Peter Pan brought her to the attention of talent scouts at ABC, leading to the beginning of her television and film career as Rebecca Lewis on the soap opera One Life to Live.[8] After her character was written out of One Life to Live, she appeared in the independent film Childhood's End and the final episode of the HBO series Lifestories: Families in Crisis. During this time Aylesworth also appeared in at least three Off Broadway productions.

Following a guest appearance on Law & Order and a supporting role in the miniseries A Will of Their Own, Aylesworth had minor appearances in the movies Random Hearts and You've Got Mail followed by a guest star role in the CBS series Now and Again. Soon after NBC cast Aylesworth as Becca Coltrane in the pilot for the series Sherman's March, however, it was not picked up and aired as a standalone television movie.

Aylesworth continued her work on television with guest appearances in The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Ed[9] as well as being cast in a lead role in the supernatural hospital drama All Souls. When All Souls was cancelled after its sixth episode, Aylesworth joined the cast of the new series The American Embassy, which was quickly cancelled after its fourth episode.



Following the cancellation of The American Embassy, Aylesworth auditioned for the part of Nina Myers on Fox Network's 24 but the role went to Sarah Clarke. When casting began for 24's second season, Aylesworth again auditioned, this time for the part of Kate Warner, but the role went to Sarah Wynter. However, the producers were impressed with her and asked her to join the cast for a ten episode recurring role as Michelle Dessler, a CTU agent.[10] Despite being credited as a guest star for the entire season, she appeared in all 24 episodes.[11]

Director Jon Cassar quickly noticed the "chemistry" between Aylesworth and her costar Carlos Bernard, in the role of Tony Almeida. which led to a decision to develop the characters' onscreen relationship.[12] The relationship between Michelle and Tony quickly became popular with fans[13] and later would resurface as one of the driving forces in 24's seventh season.

While on hiatus from 24 after season two, Aylesworth filmed an episode for the second season of The Dead Zone, playing a love interest for Anthony Michael Hall's Johnny Smith.[14] By 24's third season (2003–2004), Aylesworth had become a main cast member with Tony and Michelle now married and holding leadership positions at CTU. However, when the season concluded, the writers announced that most of the characters were being dropped, with those actors not being retained for season 4.[15] Upon being released from 24, Aylesworth was cast as Chandra Moore, a DNA analyst, in the fifth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; while the role was intended to be recurring, it was dropped after the September 2004 season opener.[16]

As season 4 of 24 progressed, some of the characters from previous seasons returned mid-season, including Aylesworth as Michelle Dessler. The character returns in the twelfth episode, now a high level bureaucrat within the CTU hierarchy, serving as CTU Director for the remainder of the season. Her character resigns at the end in order to remarry Tony Almeida,[17] then is killed by a car bomb in the opening episode of season 5.[18]

Initial post-24 rolesEdit

Following her departure from 24, Aylesworth has remained active in both television and movies as well as theatre. Her first leading role in a feature film was in the independent, romantic drama Crazylove where she worked alongside Bruno Campos and former 24 costar Paul Schulze. Crazylove tells the story of Letty Mayer, a school teacher who suffers a nervous breakdown and while institutionalized, meets Michael (Campos) and the two begin a dangerous and unpredictable romance.[19] She partnered with her former 24 costar Xander Berkeley in the Sci Fi Channel made-for-television movie, Magma: Volcanic Disaster.[20] In a guest start role on the short-lived series Conviction, she played a renowned attorney who killed her husband and then defended herself at the murder trial.[21] When the cast was selected for the series 3 lbs, Aylesworth was chosen for the role of Dr. Adrienne Holland, but the pilot was rejected by CBS.[22] The following season, CBS decided to buy the series for a late fall 2006 premiere, but the lead roles were recast, including Aylesworth's. It is unknown whether she declined the 3 lbs role or she was not offered it again.

Soon after the conclusion of 24's fifth season, Aylesworth and her 24 costar D. B. Woodside filmed the short, First which was also written, produced, and directed by Woodside. Aylesworth's character, Angelina Marveau, was "a fallen French nun" who was fighting to choose between her religious beliefs and first love, a nihilistic, American professor, who was portrayed by Woodside.[23]


In 2006, Aylesworth filmed roles for two feature movie along with an independent production. In the Kevin Costner movie, Mr. Brooks, Aylesworth portrayed a divorce lawyer, Sheila, who was representing the husband of Demi Moore's character, Detective Tracy Atwood. Departing from her previous type of characters, Aylesworth played the femme fatale Audrey Levine in the Gideon Raff independent thriller, The Killing Floor.[24]

Aylesworth played one of the two lead roles in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).[25] Her character, Kelly O'Brien, an Army pilot and soldier returning home after being deployed overseas, arrives in Gunnison, Colorado the day before the Aliens and Predator invade the town.

In January 2007, Aylesworth had a guest role in two episodes of the ABC comedy, The Knights of Prosperity, where she played the head of Mick Jagger's security company, Simone Cashwell. The Knights attempt to seduce her character in order to obtain the necessary security codes to access Mick Jagger's apartment and later trick Simone in order to get her thumbprint which is also needed to open the door.[26] Soon after she filmed a supporting role in Hannah Davis and David Conolly's The Understudy where she played Police Chief Kinsky. While it has appeared at numerous film festivals, a DVD release date for The Understudy has not been announced.[27]

Aylesworth continued her work in independent productions, filming a small part for Steven Kampmann's independent movie, Buzzkill.[28] It was given a limited release in January 2012. In April 2008, Aylesworth was cast in a recurring role on ER, playing hospital chaplain Julia Dupree. Originally, Dupree was to appear in 5 episodes[29] with the purpose of attracting the lecherous attention of Dr. Gates (John Stamos). Her role was extended for two additional episodes, but concluded due to the suspension of filming resulting from the 2007-2008 WGA Strike. A month later Aylesworth filmed a supporting role in the Steve Morris independent comedy The Assistants,[30] which tells the story of a group of Hollywood assistants who are scheming to have their script turned into a feature film. Aylesworth has often said independent productions like these and past films such as No Deposit, No Return, are her preferred types of film.[31]

Ongoing television workEdit

Aylesworth has continued with one-off guest roles on episodes of various television dramas. She has also appeared in recurring roles, including five episodes in season three of Damages,[32] as Dr. Malia Waincroft on seven episodes over three seasons of CBS's Hawaii Five-0, and nine episodes as Allie Jones over two seasons of Scorpion in 2016 and 2017.[33][34]

Theatre workEdit

Aylesworth has appeared in off-Broadway productions. She performed in the 2006 production of Etan Frankel's The Fearless at the Summer Play Festival[35] and The New Group (naked)'s 2007 production of Heather Lynn MacDonald's Expats.[36]

Personal lifeEdit

As of February 2007, Aylesworth had resided in New York City since 1993.[37] Aylesworth is married to Rob Clare, a scholar and expert on Shakespearean theatre.[38]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Childhood's End Laurie Cannon
1998 You've Got Mail Thanksgiving Guest
1999 Random Hearts Mary Claire Clark
1999 Man on the Moon Mimi
2000 No Deposit, No Return Sue
2005 Shooting Vegetarians Daisy Filmed 1999–2000, released direct-to-video in 2005[citation needed]
2005 Crazylove Letty Mayer
2007 The Killing Floor Audrey Levine
2007 Mr. Brooks Sheila
2007 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Kelly O'Brien
2008 The Understudy Chief Kinsky
2008 The Assistants Cassie Levine
2012 Buzzkill Sara
2012 Bad Parents Laurie
2017 Oh Lucy! Kei
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1993–1994 One Life to Live Rebecca Lewis [unknown episodes]
1996 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Rita Episode: "Someone Had to Be Benny"
1997 Law & Order Tiffany Sherman Episode: "We Like Mike"
1998 A Will of Their Own Annie Jermaine Television miniseries
1999 Now and Again Dr. Taylor Episode: "By the Light of the Moon"
2000 Sherman's March' Becca Coltrane Television film
2000 The West Wing Janine Episode: "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"
2000 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit A.D.A. Erica Alden Episodes: "Contact", "Remorse", and "Slaves"
2001 All Souls Dr. Philomena Cullen Main role
2002 Ed Kate Harrison Episode: "Ends and Means"
2002 The American Embassy Liz Shoop Main role
2002–2006 24 Michelle Dessler Recurring role (seasons 2, 4–5); main role (season 3); 62 episodes
2003 The Dead Zone Natalie Connor Episode: "Deja Voodoo"
2004 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Chandra Moore Episode: "Viva Las Vegas"
2005 Fathers and Sons Business Woman Television film
2006 3 lbs Dr. Adrienne Holland Unaired television pilot
2006 Magma: Volcanic Disaster Natalie Sheppard Television film
2006 24: The Game Michelle Dessler Video game voice-over
2006 Conviction Julie Phelps Episode: "Deliverance"
2007 The Knights of Prosperity Simone Cashwell Episodes: "Operation: Seduce Simone", "Operation: Fighting Shape"
2007 ER Julia Dupree Recurring role (season 14), 7 episodes
2009 Lost Amy Goodspeed Recurring role (season 5)[39][40]
2009 The Forgotten Linda Manning Unaired television pilot[41][42]
2009–2010 Stargate Universe Sharon Episodes: "Home", "Sabotage", "Pathogen"
2010 Damages Rachel Tobin Recurring role (season 3), 5 episodes
2010 The Good Wife Nora Vashley Episode: "On Tap"
2011–2014 Hawaii Five-0 Dr. Malia Waincroft Recurring role, 7 episodes
2011 Lights Out Jennifer 3 episodes
2012 Elementary Miranda Molinari Episode: "Flight Risk"
2012 Person of Interest Agent Vickers Episode: "C.O.D."
2013 King & Maxwell Liz Allen Episode: "King's Ransom"
2013 Drop Dead Diva June Fraizer Episode: "Fool for Love"
2014 Revolution Marion Kelly 4 episodes
2016 NCIS Mrs. Marshall Episode: "Homefront"
2016–2017 Scorpion Allie Jones Recurring role, 9 episodes
2017 SEAL Team Dr. Julie Kruger Episode: "Tip of the Spear"
2018 The Good Doctor Sam DeLeon Episode: "Carrots"


Year Theater/Festival Location Production Role
1992–93 Intiman Theatre Company Seattle Peter Pan Wendy[43]
1996 Philadelphia Festival Theater
George Street Playhouse
New Brunswick, N.J.
Cheap Sentiment Meg Van Dyke[44]
1996 Primary Stages Theater New York City Missing / Kissing: Missing Marisa / Kissing Christine Server in "Kissing"[45]
1997 American Place Theatre New York City Robbers Lucinda[46]
2002 McCarter Theatre Center Princeton, N.J. Humpty Dumpty Spoon[47]
2005 Williamstown Theatre Festival Williamstown, Mass. Top Girls Lady Nijo/Win[48]
2017 Antaeus Theatre Los Angeles Les Liason Dangereuses Marquise de Merteuil
2019 The Geffen Playhouse Los Angeles Black Super Hero Magic Mamma Connie/ Lady Vulture


  1. ^ Genzlinger, Neil. "Reiko Aylesworth". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Carlos Bernard: Biography". TV Guide. born in the same [Evanston] hospital as Reiko Aylesworth
  3. ^ Dahl, Steve (May 24, 2005). "Episode: "May 24, 2005"". She was born in the same hospital as her "24" co-star Carlos Bernard[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Jonathan Reiner, "Reiko & Famous," Soap Opera Weekly, (June 21, 1994).
  5. ^ Nick Rogers, "All in a Day's Work; '24' Actress Landed Her First Role in Springfield," State Journal-Register, February 6, 2003, Entertainment Section.
  6. ^ Misha Berson, "Invisible Friends is All too Transparent," The Seattle Times, September 18, 1992, Tempo Section.
  7. ^ Joe Adcock, Intiman Saves "Peter Pan" from Excessive Sweetness, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 13, 1992, What's Happening Section.
  8. ^ Marla Hart, "Midwest Roots - Shows Subvert Values Even as They Maintain Them," Chicago Tribune, September 2, 1993, Tempo Section.
  9. ^ "Reiko Aylesworth". Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  10. ^ Terry Armour, "Armour & Co." Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2004, Arts & Entertainment Section.
  11. ^ Tara Dilullo, 24: The Official Companion: Seasons 1 & 2, (London: Titan Books, 2006), 91.
  12. ^ Tara Dilullo, 24: The Official Companion: Seasons 1 & 2, (London: Titan Books, 2006), 107.
  13. ^ Reiko Aylesworth, "Meeting Michelle," Interview by Tara DuLullio, (Titan Magazines), 24: The Official Magazine, (January/February 2007), 49.
  14. ^ "'Zone' Star Foresees Success". Daily News. New York. July 5, 2003.[dead link]
  15. ^ Adalian, Josef (July 18, 2004). "New faces for '24'". Variety.
  16. ^ Gail Pennington, "TV Dramas Use Conflict -- Lots of Conflict to Gain an Edge," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 2004, Everyday Magazine Section.
  17. ^ Kevin McDonough, "The Bodies Pile up as '24' Intensifies - Only Half the Series' 24-hour 'Day' Remains; Who Will be Left Alive? The Grand Rapids Press, March 14, 2005, Your Life Section.
  18. ^ Virginia Rohan, "More Shows Kill Off Prime-Time Players," The Free Lance-Star, May 5, 2006.
  19. ^ Bucks County Courier Times, "Game Shows go for Big Money, " February 14, 2006, Sunday Life Section.
  20. ^ USA Today, "The Attack of the Popular 'B' Horror Films, " April 20, 2005, Life Section.
  21. ^ Gail Pennington, "Critic's Pick, " St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 5, 2006, Everyday Section.
  22. ^ D. Mason, "Studio Backs ' 3 Lbs.' Creator", Ventura County Star, July 14, 2005, Life, Arts and Living Section.
  23. ^ "FIRST. by DB Woodside & Nick Sivakumaran - Short Film @ Brooklyn Film Festival". June 11, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  24. ^ Daniel Pike, "'24' Questions," The State Journal-Register, February 1, 2007, Entertainment Section.
  25. ^ LaPorte, Nicole (September 24, 2006). "Duo boards 'Alien' ship". Variety.
  26. ^ David Bianculli, "ABC Heist Sitcom's Stealing the Show", New York Daily News, January 3, 2007, Television Section.
  27. ^ Mansion Pictures. "Mansion Pictures". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  28. ^ Karen Keller, "Clifton Pizzeria Enjoys Slice of Stardom in Indie Film," The Record, August 1, 2007, Local Section.
  29. ^ Dodd, Stacy (September 5, 2007). "Reiko Aylesworth". Variety.
  30. ^ "The Assistants Wraps Principal Photography". Archived from the original on June 6, 2008. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
  31. ^ Reiko Aylesworth, "An Evening with Reiko Aylesworth," (Hoogland Center for the Arts. Springfield, Illinois, February 4, 2007).
  32. ^ Adam Bryant (1 October 2009). "Damages Books Reiko Aylesworth for Recurring Role". Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  33. ^ Roffman, Marissa (October 6, 2016). "TVLine Items: Frasier Vet on Scorpion, Another Hotel Guest and More". TV Insider. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  34. ^ Avalos, Regina (October 10, 2016). "Scorpion: Lea Thompson & Reiko Aylesworth to Guest in Season Three". TV Series Finale. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  35. ^ "SPF Announces Final Week Schedule, July 24–30". July 18, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  36. ^ Ernio Hernandez (April 30, 2007). "Halston, Pankow, Aylesworth and Dale Cast in New Group (naked)'s Strangers Knocking and Expats". Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  37. ^ Daniel Pike, "'24' Questions / Hollywood Actress Returning to Springfield for Q&A" The State Journal-Register, February 1, 2007, Entertainment Section.
  38. ^ Testa, Adam (May 19, 2014). "'24' actress, husband to share theater knowledge with local actors". The Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  39. ^ 24 Alum Reiko Aylesworth Clocks in at Lost" TV Guide. November 7, 2008. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
  40. ^ Lost, 24 beefing up casts" The Hollywood Reporter. November 7, 2008. Retrieved on April 11, 2017.
  41. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 27, 2009). "Nets begin recasting series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 6, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  42. ^ "Breaking News - 2009 ABC Program Development Guide - Drama Series". April 29, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  43. ^ Steven Samuels, editor, Theatre Profiles 11: The Illustrated Guide to America's Nonprofit Professional Theatre, (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1994), 73.
  44. ^ Alvin Klein, "A Grudge Match With Hollywood," New York Times, March 3, 1996, Section 13NJ.
  45. ^ Aileen Jacobson, "Shanley Tries, Misses in 'Missing / Kissing,'" Newsday, October 18, 1996 Weekend Section.
  46. ^ Greg Evans, "Robbers," Variety, February 14, 1997, Reviews Section.
  47. ^ Bruce Weber, "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?," New York Times, April 3, 2002, Arts/Cultural Section.
  48. ^ Louise Kennedy, "Top Girls is Dressed for Success," The Boston Globe, July 26, 2005, Arts Section.

External linksEdit