Ruth Negga

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Ruth Negga
BornJane Ruth Negga
1982 (age 31–32)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Years active2004–present
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Ruth Negga
BornJane Ruth Negga
1982 (age 31–32)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Years active2004–present

Jane Ruth Negga (born 1982)[1] is an Irish-Ethiopian actress known for her appearances in films such as Capital Letters (2004) (also released as Trafficked in some countries), Isolation (2005) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005), in the BBC mini-series Criminal Justice, RTÉ's Love/Hate, E4's Misfits, and ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Early life and education[edit]

Ruth was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1982 to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father, and lived in the country until she was four. She is an only child, but has a large family on her mother's side. Her father died in a car accident when she was seven.[2] Raised in Limerick, she has lived in London since 2006.[3][4][5]

Ruth trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin,[6] graduating with a BA in Acting Studies.[2]


Ruth made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She went on to play the lead role of Mary in Isolation (2005). Prior to this she had been working mostly in theatre.[6]

After seeing Ruth act, director Neil Jordan changed the script to Breakfast on Pluto so that she could appear in the movie.[2] She has also starred in Colour Me Kubrick (2005), with John Malkovich, and the short films The Four Horsemen, 3-Minute 4-Play and Stars.

On television Ruth has appeared in Doctors, Criminal Justice and the Irish series Love Is the Drug. She also played the lead role of Doris "Sid" Siddiqi in the BBC Three series Personal Affairs, alongside Laura Aikman, Annabel Scholey and Maimie McCoy.[7] Negga also appeared as Dame Shirley Bassey in the BBC production Shirley in 2011, and won the IFTA Award for Best Actress (Television) for her performance.

Negga's theatre work includes roles in Duck, Titus Andronicus and Lay Me Down Softly.[8] As of 2007 she began working with the Irish theatrical group Pan Pan Theatre.[9] In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet.

Negga has also provided voice acting in the video game Dark Souls 2, playing Shanalotte, otherwise known as "the Emerald Herald". Shanalotte is a key character in the game, providing guidance to the player as well as permitting the player to develop their character in exchange for collected souls.

In 2013, it was announced that Negga had been booked for a recurring role as Raina on the American TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..[10][11] In 2013, she appeared in Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.[12]



Negga was nominated as 2003's Most Promising Newcomer at the Olivier Awards.[3] She was chosen as Ireland's Shooting Star for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.[6]


2004Capital LettersTaiwo
2005StarsSophieShort film
20053-Minute 4-PlayWomanShort film
2005Breakfast on PlutoCharlie
2005Colour Me KubrickLolita
2006The Four HorsemenWoman PriestShort film
2009CorduroyTessShort film
2010BleachAnneShort film
2011ShirleyShirley BasseyTV film
2011Hello CarterDoctorShort film
2013World War ZWHO doctor
201312 Years a SlaveCelesteUncredited
2013Jimi: All Is by My SideIda
2013Things He Never SaidRachelShort film
2014Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the MindJessica
2016WarcraftLady Taria
2004DoctorsWanda HarrisonEpisode: "The Replacement"
2004Love is the DrugLisa Sheerin4 episodes
2008Criminal JusticeMelanie Lloyd5 episodes
2009Personal AffairsDoris "Sid" Siddiqi5 episodes
2010Five DaughtersRochelle3 episodes
2010–2011Love/HateRosie8 episodes
2010MisfitsNikki6 episodes
2010The NativityLeah4 episodes
2012Secret StateAgnes Evans4 episodes
2013–presentMarvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.RainaRecurring role - 11 episodes


External links[edit]