Michelle Fairley

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Michelle Fairley
Michelle Fairley by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Michelle Fairley, 2013
Born(1964-01-17) 17 January 1964 (age 50)
Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Years active1987–present
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Michelle Fairley
Michelle Fairley by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Michelle Fairley, 2013
Born(1964-01-17) 17 January 1964 (age 50)
Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Years active1987–present

Michelle Fairley (born 17 January 1964) is a Northern Irish actress, best known for her roles as Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones and Dr. Ava Hessington in multiple episodes of USA Network series Suits.

Early life[edit]

Fairley was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland to locally renowned publicans Theresa and Brian Fairley. She attended a Roman Catholic grammar school. As a teenager, she became a member of the Ulster Youth Theatre, where she fell in love with acting. Upon graduation, she moved to Belfast where she honed her skills with the repertory company Fringe Benefits, alongside a fellow alumnus of the Ulster Youth Theatre, Conleth Hill.[1]


She appeared in a range of British television shows, including The Bill, Holby City and Heartbeat. Some of her earlier roles were as Cathy Michaels on ITV1's Inspector Morse in the episode titled "The Way Through The Woods" and as Nancy Phelan in Lovejoy in the episode 9 of Season 3 titled "Smoke Your Nose".[citation needed]

She took over the role of Mrs. Granger from Heather Bleasdale (who had played Mrs. Granger in Chamber of Secrets) in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films. On 19 March 2010, it was announced that she would play the role of Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones replacing Jennifer Ehle who played the character in the original pilot episode.[2]

On 4 June 2013, E! news confirmed that she had joined the cast of the USA Network series Suits for its third season. Fairley will play the recurring role of Ava Hessington.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Fairley maintains a home in London when not working on acting.

Stage credits[edit]

2007Othello (Donmar Warehouse)EmiliaOlivier Award Nomination
2009Dancing at Lughnasa (Old Vic)Kate
2010Greta Garbo Came to DonegalPaulie Hennessy
2006The Wild Duck (Donmar Warehouse)Gina
2000The WeirValerie
2003Scenes From The Big Picture (on Broadway)Helan
2007MacbethLady Macbeth
2003Loyal Women, Neverland (Royal Court Theatre)Brenda
2006Gates Of Gold (Trafalgar Studios)Alma
1993Oleanna (Royal Court Theatre)Carol
2004Ashes To Ashes Pinter (Lyric Theatre)


1988Hidden CityCleaner
1989SaracenMaeveEpisode "Starcross"
19904 PlayMaureenEpisode "Valentine Falls"
1990Hidden AgendaTeresa Doyle
1990Theatre NightEpisode "Pentecost"
1991CasualtyKathy EmerickEpisode "Judgement Day"
1991Children of the NorthKate
1992Screen TwoSharonEpisode "Flea Bites"
1992LovejoyNancy PhelanEpisode "Smoke Your Nose"
1992ScreenplayJennyEpisode "Force of Duty"
1993Screen TwoFiona GibbonsEpisode "The Long Roads"
1993CasualtyKate MaguireEpisode "No Place to Hide'
1993ComicsNula O'Reilly
1994Cardiac ArrestCasualty Sister Karen TellerEpisode "Doctors and Nurses"
1995Life After LifeRoisin DonaghyTV movie
1995The BillBeth SpenceEpisode "No Choice"
1995Inspector MorseCathy MichaelsEpisode "The Way Through the Woods"
1996A Mug's GameKathy Cowan
1996Safe and SoundEleanor Delaney6 episodes
1996The Precious BrideJean McBrideTV movie
1997The Broker's ManGabby Rodwell6 Episodes
1997The History of Tom Jones, a FoundlingMrs. FitzpatrickEpisodes #1.2-1.5
1998A Soldier's Daughter Never CriesMiss O'Shaunessy
1998Hideous KinkyPatriciaKnown as Marrakech Express in France
1999Births, Marriages and DeathPatEpisodes #1.1-1.4
1999Vicious CircleFrancesTV movie
2000McCready and DaughterBernadetteTV movie
2000The Second DeathAislingShort
2001In DeepEva/PhoebeEpisode "Blue on Blue"
2001The OthersMrs. MarlishAlso known as Les autres (France) and Los otros (Spain)
2001Byw yn dy Groen (Living in your Skin)GinaWelsh language film, set primarily in Pembrokeshire
2001RebusJanice MeeEpisodes "Dead Souls" and "Mortal Causes"
2002ShearingYvonne2002 Cannes Film Festival premiere (directed by Eicke Bettinga)
2003Holby CityHeidi DruryEpisode "Keep it in the Family"
2003The ClinicShirleyEpisode #1.6
2005Ahead of the ClassSonia VenningTV movie
2005The Golden HourJulia HarperEpisode #1.4
2006The Catherine Tate Show: Series 3RosemarySketch character about a Northern Irish mother with a gay son
2007Trial and RetributionMrs. JenkinsEpisode "Mirror Image: Part 1"
2007The StreetPaul's momEpisode "The Promise"
2009A Short Stay in SwitzerlandMrs. SaveryTV Movie
2009Lark Rise to CandlefordMrs. Lizbeth PattersonEpisode #2.10
2009Suicide ManWoman on cliffshort
2009Best: His Mother's SonAnn Best
2009TaggartJoan RevieEpisode "So Long Baby"
2009MisfitsLouise YoungEpisodes #1.1 and #1.2
2010Cup CakeAnnie McNabb
2010Anton Chekhov's The DuelMarya
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Mrs. Granger
2010Midsomer MurdersIris HolmanEpisode "The Noble Art"
2011Silent WitnessDI Suzy HarteEpisode "First Casualty"
2011–2013Game of ThronesLady Catelyn Stark25 episodes
Irish Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Show
Scream Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2012Coming UpJenEpisode "Colour"
2013The Invisible WomanCaroline Graves
2013CommonShelaghpost-production TV movie
2013MontanaJonespost production
2013SuitsAva HessingtonSeason 3 Recurring Character
2013PhilomenaSally Mitchell
2014Ironclad: Battle for BloodJoan De Vescipost production
201424: Live Another DayMargot Al-Harazi


  1. ^ Fairley profile, m.cineplex.com
  2. ^ (22 March 2010). Showbiz people briefs, Reuters, 23 March 2010.
  3. ^ Michelle Fairley profile

External links[edit]