Jennifer Ehle

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Jennifer Ehle
BornJennifer Anne Ehle[1][2]
(1969-12-29) December 29, 1969 (age 44)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Spouse(s)Michael Ryan (m. 2001)
ParentsJohn Ehle
Rosemary Harris
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Jennifer Ehle
BornJennifer Anne Ehle[1][2]
(1969-12-29) December 29, 1969 (age 44)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Spouse(s)Michael Ryan (m. 2001)
ParentsJohn Ehle
Rosemary Harris

Jennifer Anne Ehle (/ˈl/; born December 29, 1969) is an American-English actress of stage and screen. She is perhaps best known for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in the successful 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice, which won her the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress.

She made her West End debut in 1991 in Peter Hall's production of Tartuffe, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1995. She has won two Tony Awards for her work on Broadway, Best Actress in a Play for The Real Thing in 1999 and Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Coast of Utopia in 2007. She has 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 the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).[3] She also starred in the short-lived American television series A Gifted Man (2011–2012).

She is the daughter of English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle.

Early life[edit]

Ehle was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle. Her ancestry includes Romanian (from a maternal great-grandmother), English, and 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.[citation needed] She spent her childhood in both the UK and the US, attending 18 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[6] and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.[7]


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.[8][9] Hall then cast her as Calypso in a 1992 television adaptation of Mary Wesley's novel The Camomile Lawn, in which she and her mother played the same character at different ages.[10] This story, produced by UK's Channel 4, was a five part miniseries about the lives and loves of a family of cousins from 1939 to the present. The two would later reprise this different age portrayal of a character as Valerie in István Szabó's 1999 movie Sunshine.

Her performance as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice earned her a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award. After a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company,[11] she gained her first major feature film role in Paradise Road. She continued her career on both stage and screen. In 2000, she received further critical acclaim for her Broadway debut as Annie in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, winning both a Theatre World Award and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Her mother was also nominated for the same award that year for Waiting in the Wings.[12] After a hiatus, Ehle returned to the stage in 2005 in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic opposite Kevin Spacey. The following year, she played Lady Macbeth in Macbeth as part of the Shakespeare in the Park, 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.[13]

Her more recent film work includes Before the Rains, an Indian-US co-production directed by Santosh Sivan, and Pride and Glory with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell. In 2008, she was featured in the CBS telefilm The Russell Girl.

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 when HBO ordered the series, it was announced that she would be replaced by Northern Irish actress Michelle Fairley.[14] Much of the pilot was reshot, with Fairley replacing Ehle in all scenes involving Catelyn Stark. Ehle gave up the role for personal reasons, but remains an avid fan of the series.[15]

In 2010, Ehle starred alongside John Lithgow in the production of Mr. & Mrs. Fitch presented by Second Stage Theatre.[16] She played Myrtle Logue, wife of King George VI's speech therapist Lionel Logue, in The King's Speech. George was played by her Pride and Prejudice costar Colin Firth.

In 2011, Ehle played Dr. Ally Hextall in Steven Soderbergh's critically acclaimed Contagion. In the autumn of 2011, Ehle began a costarring role in the American television series A Gifted Man. Her character is a ghost who visits with her ex-husband and asks him to assist with her low-income clinic.

In 2012, Ehle played CIA officer Jessica in Zero Dark Thirty. In 2014, Ehle played Liz Kline in the remake, Robocop. She will play Anastasia Steele's mother in the Fifty Shades of Grey film,[3] and was also cast in Spooks: The Greater Good.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Ehle married writer Michael Ryan on November 29, 2001,[18] and they have two children: a son, George, born February 6, 2003, and a daughter, Talulah, born March 4 2009.[19]


Film and television[edit]

1992Camomile Lawn, TheThe Camomile LawnYoung CalypsoMini-series, 5 episodes
1994BackbeatCynthia Powell
1995Pride and PrejudiceElizabeth BennetMini-series, 6 episodes
1997Paradise RoadRosemary Leighton-Jones
1997WildeConstance Lloyd Wilde
1997MelissaMelissaMini-series, 5 episodes
1998Bedrooms and HallwaysSally
1999SunshineValerie Sonnenschein
1999This Year's LoveSophie
2002PossessionChristabel LaMotte
2005River King, TheThe River KingBetsy Chase
2006Alpha MaleAlice Ferris
2008Pride and GloryAbby Tierney
2008Russell Girl, TheThe Russell GirlLorraine Morrissey
2008Before the RainsLauraMalayalam-language film
2009The GreatestJoan
2010King's Speech, TheThe King's SpeechMyrtle Logue
2011Ides of March, TheThe Ides of MarchCindy Morris
2011ContagionAlly Hextall
2011Adjustment Bureau, TheThe Adjustment BureauBrooklyn Ice House Bartender
2011Gifted Man, AA Gifted ManAnna PaulTelevision series, 16 episodes
2012Zero Dark ThirtyJessica
2013Low Winter SunSusanTelevision series, 1 episodes
2014RoboCopLiz Kline
2014A Little ChaosMasdame De Montespan
2014Black and WhiteElliot's late wife
2014AdvantageousIsa Cryer
2014The ForgerKim Cutter
2014The BlacklistMadeline PrattEpisode: "Madeline Pratt"[20]
2014Spooks: The Greater GoodGeraldine MaltbyPost Production
2015Fifty Shades of GreyCarla WilkesPost Production


1959 Pink ThunderbirdEdinburgh Festival
Laundry and BourbonEdinburgh Festival
1991TartuffeElmirePeter Hall Company
1992Breaking the CodePat GreenTriumph Productions Tour
1995–96Richard IIILady AnneRoyal Shakespeare Company
1995–96Painter of DishonourSerafinaRoyal Shakespeare Company
1995–96Relapse, TheThe RelapseAmandaRoyal Shakespeare Company
1999Real Thing, TheThe Real ThingAnnieDonmar Warehouse
1999SummerfolkVarvara MikhailovnaNational Theatre
2000Real Thing, TheThe Real ThingAnnieAlbery Theatre and Barrymore Theatre
2001Design for LivingGildaRoundabout Theatre CompanyAmerican Airlines Theater
2005Philadelphia Story, TheThe Philadelphia StoryTracy LordThe Old Vic, London
2006MacbethLady MacbethShakespeare in the ParkDelacorte Theater
2006Coast of Utopia, TheThe Coast of Utopia: VoyageLiubov BakuninVivian Beaumont Theater
2006Coast of Utopia, TheThe Coast of Utopia: ShipwreckedNatalie HerzenVivian Beaumont Theater
2007Coast of Utopia, TheThe Coast of Utopia: SalvageMalwida von MeysenbugVivian Beaumont Theater
2010Mr. and Mrs. FitchMrs. FitchSecond Stage Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]



  1. ^ World authors, 1980–1985 - Vineta Colby - Google Books
  2. ^ Performing Arts - Google Books
  3. ^ a b 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[dead link]. Retrieved on February 8, 2013.
  5. ^ ehle
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Lees, Caroline. "Classic recipes for success". Sunday Times. 9 February 1992
  10. ^ Dave Kehr (June 16, 2000). "AT THE MOVIES; A Resemblance? It's Only Natural". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ "What Lizzie did next". The Age (Melbourne). April 23, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ 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. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Utopian win for Jennifer Ehle and Tom Stoppard at Tony Awards". Daily Mail (London). June 11, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Fairley to replace Ehle in HBO's 'Thrones'". The Hollywood Reporter. October 14, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ "A Gifted Man's Leading Lady". The Daily Beast. September 22, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Tony Winners Lithgow and Ehle Are 'MR. & MRS. FITCH' For Second Stage Theatre" August 19, 2009, Broadway World
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Jennifer Ehle - Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 15 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Moore, Suzanne (20 December 2011). "Celebrities' Christmas memories". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  20. ^ The Blacklist: 1.14 Madeline Pratt – Official Episode Guide

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