Ruth Wilson (actress)

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Ruth Wilson
Born(1982-01-13) 13 January 1982 (age 30)
Ashford, Surrey, England
Years active2005–present
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Ruth Wilson
Born(1982-01-13) 13 January 1982 (age 30)
Ashford, Surrey, England
Years active2005–present

Ruth Wilson (born 13 January 1982) is an English actress, perhaps best known for her performance in the title role of Jane Eyre and the character of Alice Morgan in the BBC TV psychological crime drama Luther. Wilson is a two-time Olivier Award winner.[1][2]


Early life and education

Wilson was born in Ashford, Surrey and raised with three older brothers in Shepperton, Surrey.[3] She attended Notre Dame School and sixth form at Esher College.[4] As a teenager, Wilson worked as a model, and went on to study history at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 2003. While at Nottingham, she was also involved in student drama at New Theatre (Nottingham). She graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in July 2005. Afterwards, she co-founded Hush Productions.[5]

She is a grand-daughter of the novelist and MI6 officer Alexander Wilson.[6]


Prior to her role in Jane Eyre, Wilson had one professional screen credit, in Suburban Shootout, a situation comedy.[7]

In 2006–7, she filmed the second series of Suburban Shootout, a new Agatha Christie's Marple mystery for ITV, and Stephen Poliakoff's BBC television drama Capturing Mary as the young Mary.

In 2007, she appeared in Gorky's Philistines, playing Tanya, at the National from May until August 2007.[8] She also narrated the audio book of Lauren St John's novel "The White Giraffe".[citation needed] In June 2007, Wilson presented the 2007 Lilian Baylis Awards.[9]

Other projects in 2007 included the narration of an audio book of the children's novel Dolphin Song by Lauren St John;[citation needed] a guest appearance in the sitcom Freezing as Alison Fennel (transmitted on BBC2, 21 February 2008); narration of the documentary The Polish Ambulance Murders (transmitted on BBC4, 5 February 2008); and the portrayal of a mentally ill doctor in the dramatised documentary The Doctor Who Hears Voices (transmitted on UK Channel 4, 21 April 2008).[10]

From 23 July to 3 October 2009, she appeared as Stella in the Donmar revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.[11] On 15 November 2009 AMC Television and ITV premiered the 2009 TV miniseries remake of The Prisoner, in which Wilson played the Village doctor, "Number 313."[12] She played "Queenie" in an adaptation of Andrea Levy's Small Island which aired on BBC1 in December 2009,[13] and also aired in the United States on PBS in 2010.

In 2010, she appeared in the UK psychological police drama Luther as Alice Morgan with Idris Elba

From 4 August to 8 October 2011, Wilson starred in the title role of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Jude Law. A performance which prompted The Guardian to devote an editorial to Wilson's "courageous, edgy and compelling talent".[14]

Awards and nominations

Wilson's performance in Jane Eyre earned her four nominations for Best Actress awards in 2007, from the Broadcasting Press Guild, BAFTA television awards[15][16] Satellite Awards and the 2008 Golden Globes. She also came second in a BBC viewers' poll for Best Actress of 2006.[citation needed] Wilson won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse and won the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance as the title character in Anna Christie, again at the Donmar Warehouse.

Selected credits

2005Television seriesSuburban ShootoutJewel Diamond
2006Television miniseriesJane EyreJane EyreNominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, Best Actress in a Series, Mini Series or TV Movie
2007StagePhilistinesTanyaLyttelton Theatre, RNT[17]
2007Television filmAgatha Christie's MarpleGeorgina Barrow
2007Television filmCapturing MaryYoung Mary
2007Television filmA Real SummerMary/Geraldine[18]
2008Television filmThe Doctor Who Hears VoicesRuth
2008Television seriesFreezingAlison Fennel
2008Radio dramaThe Mayor of CasterbridgeElizabeth-Janes
2009Radio dramaThe Promise[19]BBC Radio 3
2009StageA Streetcar Named DesireStellaDonmar Warehouse, London[20]
2009Television seriesSmall IslandQueenieAutumn 2009[21]
2009Television seriesThe Prisoner313/SaraNovember 2009[22]
2010 -Television seriesLutherAlice Morgan
2010StageThrough a Glass DarklyKarinAlmeida Theatre adaptation of the Ingmar Bergman film[23]
2011StageAnna ChristieAnna ChristieDonmar Warehouse, London
2011FilmAnna KareninaPrincess BetsyDir: Joe Wright
2013FilmThe Lone RangerRebecca ReidDir: Gore Verbinski

While at LAMDA she appeared in a student production of C.P. Taylor's Good, which transferred to the Sound Theatre for a short run in 2005.[citation needed]

Wilson has also appeared in the short films In The Dark and The Rounds as characters unknown.[24]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Genower, Ellie Ruth is following footsteps of the famous, Manchester Evening News (20 October 2006)
  4. ^ Nichol, Patricia Something in the Eyre, Times Online (27 May 2007)
  5. ^ Hoggard, Liz Ruth Wilson, The Independent (7 October 2006)
  6. ^ Comparative Media Law and Ethics – by Tim Crook. Retrieved on 2012-02-20.
  7. ^ Stephen Robb (10 August 2006). "Jane Eyre star's fast-rising fame". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  8. ^ Rock, Malcolm 20 Questions With… Ruth Wilson, What's on Stage (21 May 2007).
  9. ^ Calvi, Nuala Jane Eyre actress Wilson presents Lilian Baylis Awards, The Stage (12 June 2007).
  10. ^ The Doctor Who Hears Voices, Channel 4 website
  11. ^ Past Productions, Donmar Warehouse, 
  12. ^ The Prisoner, Originals, AMC TV, 
  13. ^ "BBC – Small Island". BBC Online. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "In praise of … Ruth Wilson". The Guardian (London): p. 30. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Nominations for Broadcasting Press Guild 33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guild. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  16. ^ "Actress 2006 -- Nominees". BAFTA. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  17. ^ Philistines official web page at the National Theatre. Retrieved on 2012-02-20.
  18. ^ The Culture Show: Stephen Poliakoff, BBC (13 September 2007)
  19. ^ "Top British actors to appear in BBC Radio 3’s autumn drama" 30 August 2009, The Stage
  20. ^ Billington, Michael (29 July 2009). "Theatre review: A Streetcar Named Desire". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Small Island at BBC web site
  22. ^ The Prisoner at AMC TV web site
  23. ^ Billington, Michael (17 June 2010). "Through a Glass Darkly". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  24. ^ Profile – Jane Eyre at BBC web site

External links