Michelle Forbes

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Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes at the True Blood premiere party, June 2009.
BornMichelle Renee Forbes Guajardo
(1965-01-08) January 8, 1965 (age 47)
Austin, Texas, USA
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
SpouseRoss Kettle (1990–?; divorced)
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Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes at the True Blood premiere party, June 2009.
BornMichelle Renee Forbes Guajardo
(1965-01-08) January 8, 1965 (age 47)
Austin, Texas, USA
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
SpouseRoss Kettle (1990–?; divorced)

Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo (born January 8, 1965), known professionally as Michelle Forbes, is an American actress who has built a career of work in television and independent film and has acted in productions in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. Forbes first gained attention from her dual role in daytime soap opera Guiding Light, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. She has also been nominated for multiple Screen Actors Guild- and Saturn Awards during her career.

Although she has appeared in significant roles in movies such as Escape from L.A., Kalifornia and Swimming with Sharks, Forbes is known for her recurring appearances on genre and drama shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and her regular role as Dr. Julianna Cox on Homicide: Life on the Street during the 1990s, while building her career with recurring roles throughout the 2000s in Battlestar Galactica, 24, In Treatment, Durham County, Prison Break and her series regular role as Maryann Forrester on True Blood.

She recently starred in the 2011-2012 AMC television series The Killing, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination on July 14, 2011.[1]


Life and career

Born in Austin, Texas, Forbes hoped to become a ballet dancer. She began receiving formal acting training at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. While on vacation in New York City at the age of 16, she found herself auditioning for a film;[2] although she was not selected, she signed with the William Morris Agency and began her professional acting career. In 1987, at age 22, she landed the dual roles of Solita Carrera and Sonni Carrera Lewis on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light. She performed on the show for two years, receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for her performance in 1990.

After this role, she continued in theater, which was an early love of hers, and began appearing in small guest roles on television to raise her profile. She went on to make guest appearances on a few other TV shows (including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Father Dowling Mysteries) before landing the recurring role of Ro Laren, a fiery, yet reserved Bajoran, towards the end of the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her portrayal of disgraced Bajoran Starfleet officer Ensign Ro won her many fans among the genre community, and her character quickly became a favorite despite appearing in just eight episodes.

Rather than reprise the role of Ro for spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Forbes declined the offer for a primary role in that series and decided to focus on a career in films. She received praise, as well as a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for her performance as the photographer Carrie Laughlin in the 1993 thriller Kalifornia. This was followed with the lead female role in the acclaimed 1994 black comedy Swimming with Sharks, as well as supporting roles in such films as The Road Killers, Just Looking and John Carpenter's 1996 science fiction/action sequel Escape from L.A. She continued performing on television during this period, with guest spots on Seinfeld, The Outer Limits, as well as returning to Star Trek: The Next Generation to tie up the Ro Laren storyline in the series' penultimate episode.

Forbes returned to Guiding Light and reprise the role as Sonni Carrera from February 1994 until September of that same year. Forbes would not return until 2004.

In 1996, Forbes joined the cast of NBC's popular police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, playing chief medical examiner Julianna Cox. She remained with the show for two years, then was let go as part of a major cast overhaul (the series would be canceled after one more season). However, she would reprise the role in the 2000 TV special Homicide: The Movie. That same year, Forbes became a regular on Wonderland, an ABC series, but it was pulled from the air after only two episodes. Forbes was next seen in a recurring role on the police drama The District.

She was subsequently given roles in films such as 2001's Perfume and 2002's American Girl, as well as the 2001 British TV movie Messiah (for which she studied British sign language for a week) and its sequel installments: Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine in 2002 and Messiah III in 2003. During the 2002–2003 TV season, Forbes played the recurring character of Lynne Kresge, the aide to the President of the United States, on the second season of the action series 24. Actor Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer, reportedly was a big Star Trek fan and excited to work with her given her history with the show. She followed her role on 24 with a guest spot on Alias, then went on to play Admiral Helena Cain in three episodes of the re-imagining of the classic sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, as well as starring in the TV movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor. She followed this up with a recurring role as Agent Samantha Brinker on the drama Prison Break and guest starred on Boston Legal and Lost.

Michelle Forbes at Comic-Con 2009.

Forbes starred as the lead in the adaptation of the comic-book Global Frequency, the single produced episode of which infamously leaked online the following year, eight months after the series failed to be picked up by Warner Bros. networks.[3] This was the first instance of an unaired pilot episode leaking via P2P and BitTorrent clients.[citation needed]

Forbes returned to British television screens with guest roles in both Holby City and as a Mossad agent in Waking The Dead. In 2008, Forbes starred in two HBO drama series; In Treatment, portraying the wife of the central character, and in True Blood as a Maenad named Maryann Forrester.[4] She reprised her semi-regular roles in both series in their respective second seasons in 2009, as well as joining the cast of the Canadian psychological drama series Durham County for its second season as Dr. Penelope Verity.[5]

Forbes played the role of Mitch Larsen in the U.S. television series The Killing, a 2011 remake of the Danish crime series Forbrydelsen (The Crime).

Personal life

She was married to Ross Kettle; the marriage ended in divorce. Afterward she dated fellow Homicide: Life on the Street co-star Reed Diamond for a period.[4]

Credits and appearances


Year Title Role Notes (All works are U.S. productions unless stated)
1993 Loves Bites Nerissa
Kalifornia Carrie Laughlin Nomination for a Saturn Award for Best Actress
1994 Swimming with Sharks Dawn Lockhard
Roadflower Helen
1995 Just Looking Mary
The Chosen One The Mother
Black Day Blue Night Rinda Woolley
1996 Escape from L.A. Brazen
1998 Dry Martini Valeria
2000 Bullfighter Mary
2001 Perfume Francene
2002 Confessions of an American Girl Madge Grubb
2004 Dandelion Ms. Voss
Al Roach: Private Investigator Dede Dragonfly Voice-over, animated feature
2009 Diplomacy U.S. Secretary of State
2010 Highland Park Sylvia


Year Title Role Notes (All works are U.S. productions unless stated)
1987–1989, 1994, 2004, 2009 Guiding Light Dr. Sonni Carrera-Lewis Multiple episodes
1991 Father Dowling Mysteries Gym Instructor 1 episode
Shannon's Deal 1 episode
Star Trek: The Next Generation Dara 1 episode
1991–94 Ensign / Lt. Ro Laren 8 episodes
1993 Love Bites Nerissa film
1994 Seinfeld Julie 1 episode
1996 The Outer Limits Jamie Pratt 1 episode
The Prosecutors Dist. Atty. Rachel Simone TV movie
1996–98 Homicide: Life on the Street Dr. Julianna Cox 32 episodes
1998 Brimstone Assistant D.A. Julia Trent 1 episode
2000 Homicide: The Movie Dr. Julianna Cox TV movie
The District Helen York 7 episodes
Wonderland Dr. Lyla Garrity 8 episodes (cancelled by ABC after 2 shows, remaining episodes broadcast by DirecTV in 2008)
2001–04 Messiah Susan Metcalfe 3 serial stories shown in multiple parts (UK production)
2002 Johnson County War Rory Hammett TV movie
Strong Medicine Assistant District Attorney Jill Sorenson 2 episodes
Fastlane Lena 1 episode (uncredited)
2002–03 24Lynne Kresge 18 episodes
2004 Love is the Drug Reena 3 episodes (Irish production)
Global Frequency Miranda Zero 1 unaired pilot, leaked online in 2005
2005 Alias Dr. Maggie Sinclair 1 episode
The Inside Zoya Petikof 1 episode
2005–06 Battlestar Galactica Admiral Helena Cain 3 episodes
Prison BreakSamantha Brinker 7 episodes
2006 Holby City Rhetta Slattery 1 episode (UK production)
Boston Legal Juliette Monroe 1 episode
2007 Unthinkable Jamie McDowell TV movie
Battlestar Galactica: Razor Admiral Helena Cain TV movie
2007–08 Waking the Dead Sarah 3 episodes (UK production)
2008 Lost Karen Decker 1 episode
2008–09 In Treatment Kate 15 episodes (to date)
True BloodMaryann Forrester 15 episodes
2009 Durham County Dr. Pen Verrity 6 episodes (to date) (Canadian production)
2011-2012 The Killing Mitch Larsen 19 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Half-Life 2Dr. Judith MossmanVoice-over
2006 Half-Life 2: Episode One
2007 Half-Life 2: Episode Two
2009 The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Captain Gail Revas Voice-over
2011 DC Universe OnlineCirce Voice-over

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Production Result
1990 Daytime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesGuiding LightNominated
Soap Opera Digest AwardOutstanding Daytime VillainessNominated
1993 Saturn AwardBest ActressKaliforniaNominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series24Nominated (shared with co-stars of 24)
2010 Saturn Award Best Guest Starring Role in TelevisionTrue BloodNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesNominated (shared with co-stars of True Blood)
2011 Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series[6]The KillingNominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series[7]Nominated
38th Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress in Television[8]Won


External links