Lily Rabe

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Lily Rabe
Lily Rabe 2008.jpg
Rabe at the Metropolitan Opera opening, September 22, 2008
Born(1982-06-29) June 29, 1982 (age 31)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2001–present
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Lily Rabe
Lily Rabe 2008.jpg
Rabe at the Metropolitan Opera opening, September 22, 2008
Born(1982-06-29) June 29, 1982 (age 31)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2001–present

Lily Rabe (born June 29, 1982) is an American actress. She is well known for playing Portia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, and in her roles in each season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story.

Early life[edit]

Rabe was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of the late actress Jill Clayburgh, who was Jewish,[1][2] and playwright David Rabe. She attended Northwestern University and the Hotchkiss School.


Rabe's Broadway credits include a revival of Steel Magnolias, as well as An American Plan in 2008.[3] In the fall of 2005, she appeared in MCC's production of Colder Than Here. In 2006, her performance in George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House was praised by New York Times critic Charles Isherwood. Rabe has appeared in the films Never Again, Mona Lisa Smile, and as Bernadette in No Reservations and The Toe Tactic. She also appeared in two episodes of Medium in 2008, as a serial killer working under the guise of a victim. She was seen in the 2010 film All Good Things.

In June and July 2010, Rabe played Portia in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in Central Park in New York City, in the famed Shakespeare in the Park series of productions. She starred opposite Al Pacino as Shylock in a performance described as a "smashing break-out".[4] For this performance, Rabe was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in Play.[5] She continued in the role of Portia when the play opened at the Broadhurst Theater in November 2010, and continued in this role into 2011. On December 21, 2010, she discussed the role on Charlie Rose. Rabe took on the role of Nora in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at the 2011 Williamstown Theatre Festival.[6] She played Nora Montgomery on the first season of the FX show American Horror Story, Murder House, followed by Sister Mary Eunice McKee on the second season, Asylum, and most recently, Misty Day on the third season, Coven.

Rabe appeared at the Golden Theatre in the new Broadway play Seminar by Theresa Rebeck. It was directed by Sam Gold, and the cast included Alan Rickman, Jerry O'Connell, Hamish Linklater and Hettienne Park. It opened on November 20, 2011, and closed May 6, 2012. She finished work in the Public Theater's production of As You Like It, part of the 50th Season of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theatre. She played the role of Rosalind in the production that opened on June 11, 2012 and closed on June 30th, 2012.



2001Never AgainTess
2003Mona Lisa SmileArt History student
2006A CrimeSophie
2007No ReservationsBernadette
2008What Just HappenedDawn
2008The Toe TacticMona Peek
2010WeaknessKatharine Browne
2010All Good ThingsDeborah Lehrman
2011Letters from the Big ManSarah
2012Redemption TrailAnna Cole
2013The FirstMary Pickfordpre-production
2014The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1Commander Lymefilming
2015The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2Commander Lymefilming


2005Law & Order: Criminal IntentSiena BoatmanEpisode: "Scared Crazy"
2006Law & Order: Special Victims UnitNikkiEpisode: "Recall"
2008Nip/TuckLanie AingeEpisode: "Kyle Ainge"
2008MediumJoanna Wheeler2 episodes
2009Last of the NinthMary ByrneTV pilot
2010Saving GraceSarah CullenEpisode: "You Can't Save Them All, Grace"
2010Law & OrderAndrea WheatonEpisode: "Crashers"
2011–13The Good WifePetra Moritz2 episodes
2011Exit StrategyNatalie ClaytonTV pilot
2011American Horror Story: Murder HouseNora Montgomery7 episodes
2012–13American Horror Story: AsylumSister Mary Eunice McKee10 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress
2013–14American Horror Story: CovenMisty Day10 episodes


2005Steel MagnoliasAnnelleNominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
2006Heartbreak HouseEllie Dunn
2009The American PlanLili Adler
2010The Merchant of VenicePortiaNominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
2011A Doll's HouseNora
2012As You Like ItRosalind
2013Miss JulieJulie

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
2005Drama Desk AwardsOutstanding Featured Actress in a PlaySteel MagnoliasNominated
2011Drama Desk AwardsOutstanding Actress in a PlayThe Merchant of VeniceNominated
2011Tony AwardsBest Actress in a PlayThe Merchant of VeniceNominated
2013Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Movie/Miniseries Supporting ActressAmerican Horror Story: AsylumNominated


  1. ^ H.W. Wilson Company (1979). Current Biography. University of Michigan: H. W. Wilson Co. p. 76. 
  2. ^ White, James Terry (1967). The National cyclopaedia of American biography: being the history of the United States as illustrated in the lives of the founders, builders, and defenders of the republic, and of the men and women who are doing the work and moulding the thought of the present time. University Microfilms. p. 229. 
  3. ^ "Lily Rabe and Mercedes Ruehl Join Cast of 'The American Plan' at MTC". October 13, 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 30, 2010). "Railing at a Money-Mad World". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lily Rabe – Tony Awards 2013 Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Nominee". Key Brand Entertainment. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "A Doll's House". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]