Saffron Burrows

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Saffron Burrows
Saffron Burrows (Straighten Crop).jpg
Saffron Burrows in Karlovy Vary (2008)
BornSaffron Domini Burrows
(1972-10-22) 22 October 1972 (age 42)
London, England, UK
Years active1993–present
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Saffron Burrows
Saffron Burrows (Straighten Crop).jpg
Saffron Burrows in Karlovy Vary (2008)
BornSaffron Domini Burrows
(1972-10-22) 22 October 1972 (age 42)
London, England, UK
Years active1993–present

Saffron Domini Burrows (born 22 October 1972)[1][2] is an English actress who has appeared in such films as In the Name of the Father (1993), Circle of Friends (1995), Wing Commander (1999), Deep Blue Sea (1999), Enigma (2001), Troy (2004), Reign Over Me (2007) and The Bank Job (2008), as well as starring as Lorraine Weller on Boston Legal (2007–2008), Dr. Norah Skinner on My Own Worst Enemy (2008) and Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Early life[edit]

Burrows was born in London, England. An only child, both her parents are socialists.[3] Her father is an architect and teacher; her mother is a teacher and feminist.[1][4] She was discovered in Covent Garden by the fashion photographer Beth Boldt.[5] Burrows stands 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) and began a successful modelling career.[6][7]


Burrows made her film debut in 1993 with a small role in Jim Sheridan's In the Name of the Father. Her first significant acting roles came in 1995, as an ambitious young Irishwoman in Circle of Friends. She appeared in Ngozi Onwurah's Welcome II The Terrordome.[8] Following this, she starred in the BBC production of Dennis Potter's Karaoke (1996).[9] Subsequently, she appeared in Hotel de Love, Lovelife, Nevada, One Night Stand, and The Matchmaker.[10] In 1999, she appeared in Mike Figgis’ experimental film The Loss of Sexual Innocence, in which she played twins; one raised in England, the other in Italy.[11] Burrows appeared in the thriller film Deep Blue Sea and later played the title role in a production of Miss Julie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.[12]

In 1999 she appeared with Stellan Skarsgard in Timecode (2000), a split-screen digital experimental film shot in a single take with no edit. Burrows followed this film with Gangster No. 1, starring opposite Malcolm McDowell, Paul Bettany and David Thewlis.[10] She co-starred alongside Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott in Michael Apted's 1940s drama Enigma.[13][14] Tom Stoppard adapted the Robert Harris novel of the same name for the screen. Burrows would star in Tempted, an improvised thriller set in New Orleans, opposite Burt Reynolds and Peter Facinelli.[15]

Mike Figgis' ensemble feature Hotel followed, re-uniting Burrows with some colleagues from Timecode, including Salma Hayek and Danny Huston in Venice, where she played the Duchess of Malfi. In 2002, she had a cameo role in Hayek's produced biopic Frida. After that, she dedicated herself to stage work. She was directed by Deborah Warner at the Royal National Theatre in Jeanette Winterson's The Powerbook.[12] The play then toured, visiting the Theatre National Du Chaillot, Paris, and the Teatro Argentina, Rome. Burrows performed in Spanish in The Galindez File, a film written by Basque novelist Vazquez Montalban about a woman seeking the truth about the "disappearance" of a critic of the Dominican dictator Trujillo.[16]

In 2004, she played the part of Andromache in Troy. In January 2005, she created the role of Janey in the world premiere of Earthly Paradise at the Almeida Theatre.[17] The play of a love triangle between Janey Morris; her husband William Morris, the writer and proponent of the arts and crafts movement; and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite painter.[18] Noted theatre critic Nicholas De Jongh said of her performance in The Earthly Paradise that "Burrows takes to the stage like a swan to water ... She deserves no end of watching".[19]

On 30 October 2005, she appeared on stage at the Old Vic theatre in London in a rehearsed reading of the 24-hour play Night Sky, alongside Christopher Eccleston.[20][21] In 2006, Burrows was the female lead in the New Zealand thriller Perfect Creature. That same year, she worked with Chilean director Raoul Ruiz on KLIMT, his cinematic version of the life of Gustav Klimt, playing opposite John Malkovich, as the artist’s lover, a woman of many personalities, and nationalities.[10]

She performed in Hal Hartley's Fay Grim. Onstage in 2006, Burrows starred opposite David Schwimmer in Neil Labute’s world premiere of Some Girl(s) at the Gielgud theatre, London.[22] She then starred opposite Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler in Mike Binder's Reign Over Me. Burrows played the female lead roles in the Indian film thriller Broken Thread, and in Dangerous Parking, a drama directed by Peter Howitt.[10] On television, Burrows played attorney Lorraine Weller on ABC's Boston Legal (Season 4) from 2007–08. She starred on NBC's 2008 series, My Own Worst Enemy.

In 2008, Burrows starred in the independent film The Guitar, Amy Redford’s directorial debut, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; whilst there, Burrows performed live on guitar with the band The Everyothers, opening for Mos Def and Patti Smith.[citation needed] In 2008, she had a starring role as Martine Love in Roger Donaldson’s heist film The Bank Job.[23] She played opposite Kevin Spacey in Jonas Pate's Shrink. She has contributed to the Actors Come Clean for Congo video for the Raise Hope for Congo campaign, a campaign of the Enough Project, in support of the conflict mineral issue.[24]

In 2010, she starred as Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent,[25] departing at the end of the ninth season. In September 2010, she took part in the documentary feature film The People Speak, directed and produced by Colin Firth and Anthony Arnove, televised on the History Channel, linked with The People Speak (Film) - International. Burrows modeled for Marks & Spencer's autumn 2010 campaign for their Portfolio range.[26] In 2012, Burrows performed opposite Rob Lowe in the political comedy Knife Fight.[10] She has participated in the "24 Hour Plays" in London, New York, and Los Angeles.[27]

Burrows has contributed her writing in diaries, book reviews, and newspaper and magazine articles for The Guardian, The Independent, and The Times and The New Statesman.[28][29]

French is her second language; she lived in Paris for five years as a teenager. She has performed in French on stage in Paris in The Powerbook and on French television.[30] Burrows is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Burrows is a socialist and has spoken of her admiration for French Socialist politician Ségolène Royal.[31] She joined an anti-racism group when she was 11 years old and she went on to become the Vice President of the National Civil Rights Movement.[citation needed] Burrows is a campaigner for disabled rights and equality.[32]

For a number of years, Burrows was involved with film director Mike Figgis, and starred in some of his films, including Miss Julie. She was involved with bisexual actor Alan Cumming for several years, while Cumming was separated from his wife.[33] She was romantically linked with Irish actress Fiona Shaw.[7][34] The two appeared together in the National Theatre's production of The PowerBook, a play based on the novel of the same name by Jeanette Winterson, in which they played lovers.[35]

In 2006, the Independent on Sunday listed Burrows as the 90th most influential gay person in the UK.[36] In a 2003 interview, actor Alan Cumming said, "I was really lucky that the first relationship I had after [my divorce] was with Saffron, who's really... understanding and a broadminded person. And who's now, as I'm sure you know ... well, she bats for both teams too."[37][38]



1991Body Beautiful, TheThe Body BeautifulModelShort film
1993In the Name of the FatherGirl in commune
1995Circle of FriendsNan Mahon
1995Big One, TheThe Big OneJules
1995Welcome II the TerrordomeJodie
1996Hotel de LoveMelissa Morrison
1997One Night StandSupermodel
1997MatchMaker, TheThe MatchMakerMoira Kennedy Kelly
1999Wing CommanderLieutenant Commander "Angel" Deveraux
1999Loss of Sexual Innocence, TheThe Loss of Sexual InnocenceEnglish/Italian twin
1999Deep Blue SeaDr. Susan McCallister
1999Miss JulieMiss Julie
2000AssumptionsShort film
2000Gangster No. 1Karen
2001TemptedLilly LeBlanc
2001Seventh Stream, TheThe Seventh StreamMairead
2001HotelDuchess of Malfi
2002Hideous ManShort film
2003Galíndez File, TheThe Galíndez FileMuriel Colber
2003Peter PanNarrator/Adult WendyVoice
2004KrugGrace KrugShort film
2004Terrible KissesWomanShort film
2006Perfect CreatureLilly
2006KlimtLea de Castro
2006Fay GrimJuliet
2007Broken ThreadJenny
2007Reign Over MeDonna Remar
2007Marple: Towards ZeroAudrey Strange
2007Dangerous ParkingClaire
2008Guitar, TheThe GuitarMelody Wilder
2008Bank Job, TheThe Bank JobMartine Love
2009ShrinkKate Amberson
2009Eastmans, TheThe EastmansDr. Anna Eastman
2010LawyersAnneShort film
2012Small ApartmentsFrancine
2012Knife FightSophia


1992Les cinq dernières minutesDaisy SmithEpisode: "Meurtre en Ardèche"
1993Full StretchEpisode: "Family Affairs"
1996KaraokeSandra Sollars
1996Cold LazarusSandra Sollars
1996Crucial TalesSarah BrownEpisode: "I Bring You Frankincense"
2007–2008Boston LegalLorraine Weller20 episodes
2008Wainy DaysLucyEpisode: "Nan and Lucy"
2008Agatha Christie's MarpleAudrey StrangeEpisode: "Towards Zero"
2008My Own Worst EnemyDr. Norah Skinner9 episodes
2009KingsDeathEpisode: "The Sabbath Queen" (episode 8)
2010Law & Order: Criminal IntentDet. Serena Stevens15 episodes
2011BonesIke LatulippeEpisode: "The Finder" (season 6 episode 19)
2013-14The Crazy OnesHelenaSeason 1 Episode 5: "She's So European"
2013-14Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Victoria Hand4 episodes
2014Mozart in the JungleCynthiaSeries Regular

Awards and nominations[edit]

Blockbuster Entertainment Award

Screen Actors Guild Awards


  1. ^ a b "from". (subscription required). 
  2. ^ Burrows, Saffron, BFI (British Film Institute) Film & TV Database
  3. ^ A surprise called Saffron – British actress Saffron Burrows – CSIVTR, an interview from Find Articles[dead link]
  4. ^ Benn, Tony (24 September 2007). "Tony Benn's diaries: How dare the gossips say my 'friendship' with Natasha Kaplinsky is just platonic?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  5. ^ Walsh, John (1 August 2000), Not Just A Pretty Face, The Independent, retrieved 13 May 2012 
  6. ^ Maher, Kevin (23 February 2008), No Boring Bank Job for Saffron Burrows, The Sunday Times (Times Newspapers Ltd), retrieved 28 May 2011 
  7. ^ a b Cooper, Tim (5 May 2002), A Hint of Saffron, The Observer, retrieved 28 May 2011 
  8. ^ "Welcome II The Terrordome". IMDB. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  9. ^ "Burrows profile at". Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Saffron Burrows profile". IMDB. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Stephen Holden (28 May 1999). "Movie Review: The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999): The Story of Adam and Eve, Sort Of". New York Times. 
  12. ^ a b "UA falls in love with Figgis' 'Miss Julie'". Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  13. ^ James Mottram (22 August 2001). "Saffron Burrows: "Enigma"". BBC. 
  14. ^ Neil Smith (27 September 2001). "Enigma (2001)". BBC. 
  15. ^ Saffron Burrows (18 January 2001). "'Word comes through that another punch-up has taken place. Blimey. It's only day three...': Saffron Burrows' film diary of Tempted". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ "The Galindez File". IMDb. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Theater reviews: earthly Paradise
  18. ^ Billington, Michael (25 November 2004). "Earthly Paradise, Alameida Theatre". 
  19. ^ "The Road to Paradise Lost". 
  20. ^ Calvi, Nuala (30 May 2006), Old Vic Seeks Fresh Talent for 24 Hour Plays, The Stage (The Stage Newspaper Limited), retrieved 28 May 2011 
  21. ^ The Literator (28 October 2005), Cover Stories: Alwaleed: Businessman Billionaire Prince; Caroline Michel; Index on Censorship, The Independent (Independent Print Limited), retrieved 28 May 2011 
  22. ^ Taylor, Paul (25 May 2005). "Some Girl(s), Gielgud Theatre, Londont". 
  23. ^ "Burrows Becomes Latest Actress To Sing". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  24. ^ Actors Come Clean for Congo on YouTube
  25. ^ "Breaking News — USA Network Kicks Off Action-Packed Spring Lineup with New Seasons of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight —". Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  26. ^ Saffron Burrows interview with, marksandspencertv (official Marks & Spencer channel) (YouTube), 13 August 2010, retrieved 28 May 2011 
  27. ^ The 24 Hour Plays come to Los Angeles, Yahoo, 10 June 2011, retrieved 22 May 2012 
  28. ^ Saffron Burrows speaks about a lack of justice in Mexico – Amnesty's Write for Rights video, The Guardian, 26 November 2011, retrieved 22 May 2012 
  29. ^ Philby, Charlotte (31 May 2008), My Secret Life: Saffron Burrows, Actress, age 35, The Independent, retrieved 22 May 2012 
  30. ^ Saffron Burrows — Burrows Learns Spanish In Three Weeks, ContactMusic, 29 January 2004, retrieved 22 May 2012 
  31. ^ Frost over the World, YouTube, 28 March 2008.
  32. ^ "The 50 Hottest Women of the UK". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  33. ^ Higginbotham, Adam Cumming out on top, The Observer, 16 February 2003.
  34. ^ "Mad About Saffron", Sydney Morning Herald, 15 May 2004.
  35. ^ The PowerBook at the National Theatre
  36. ^ "Gay Power: The pink list". Independent on Sunday. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  37. ^ Higginbotham, Adam (16 February 2003), Cumming Out on Top, The Observer (Guardian Media Group), retrieved 28 May 2011 
  38. ^ "Saffron Burrows Embraces Lesbian Relationships On-Screen and Off". After Ellen. October 2003. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 

External links[edit]