Ruth Negga

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Ruth Negga
Born1982 (age 31–32)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
NationalityIrish / Ethiopian
Years active2004–present
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Ruth Negga
Born1982 (age 31–32)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
NationalityIrish / Ethiopian
Years active2004–present

Ruth Negga (born 1982)[1] is an Ethiopian-born Irish actress raised in Dublin who has starred in Irish films such as Capital Letters (2004) (also released as Trafficked in some countries), Isolation (2005) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). She has also appeared in the BBC mini-series Criminal Justice, RTÉ's Love/Hate and E4's Misfits.

Early life and education[edit]

Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1982, where she lived until she was four, to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father. She is an only child. She has a large family on her mother's side. Her father died in a car accident when she was seven.[2] Since 2006 she has lived in London.[3]

Negga trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin,[4] graduating with a BA in Acting Studies.[2]


Negga 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.[4]

After seeing Negga 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 Negga 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.[5] 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.[6] As of 2007 she began working with the Irish theatrical group Pan Pan Theatre.[7] In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet.

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..[8][9] In 2013, she appeared in Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.[10]



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.[4]


2004DoctorsWanda Harrison
-The Replacement (2004)
Soap opera
Capital LettersTaiwoFeature film
Love is the DrugLisa SheerinTV series
20053-Minute 4-PlayWomanShort film
StarsSophieShort film
Breakfast on PlutoCharlieFeature film
IsolationMaryFeature film
Colour Me KubrickLolitaFeature film
2006The Four HorsemenWoman PriestShort film
2008Criminal JusticeMelanie LloydTV series
2009Personal AffairsDoris 'Sid' SiddiqiTV series
2010MisfitsNikkiTV series
The NativityLeahTV series
2010–2011Love HateRosieTV miniseries
2011Five DaughtersRochelleTV series
ShirleyShirley BasseyTV drama
2012FuryIrisFeature film
201312 Years a SlaveCelesteFeature film
Secret StateAgnes EvansTV drama
World War ZWHO doctorFeature film
All Is by My SideIdaFeature film
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.RainaTV series


External links[edit]