Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson (born 18 February 1959) is a British-American actress who has worked in film, theatre, and television. She is perhaps best known for the role of Karen Hayes on 24, as well as her Tony Award–nominated roles in The Rainmaker and Enchanted April. She has also appeared in the CBS drama Criminal Minds as BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss, the CBS drama Madam Secretary as United States Vice President Teresa Hurst, and in the Netflix political drama House of Cards as U.S. Secretary of State Catherine Durant.[1][2][3][4]

Jayne Atkinson
Atkinson at the 73rd Peabody Awards, May 2014
Born (1959-02-18) 18 February 1959
EducationNorthwestern University (BS)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active1985–present
Michel Gill (m. 1998)
Official Blog: Jayne Sez

Early life

Jayne Atkinson was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, but her family moved to the United States in 1968 when she was 9 years old. She grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida, and graduated from Pine Crest School, where she was elected Homecoming Queen in 1977. She attended Northwestern University (BS Communications, 1981), where she was initiated as a member of Alpha Chi Omega and a sorority sister of Laura Innes; and graduated with an MFA from the Yale Drama School in 1985.[1]


After working in regional theatres, Atkinson appeared off-Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Bloody Poetry in 1987. She made her Broadway debut the same year in a revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Subsequently, she landed title roles in more stage productions, which include Henry VIII, Tru, and The Art of Success. She earned a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in The Skriker in 1996. Atkinson's work in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 1999 production of The Rainmaker earned her a Tony Award nomination, and her performance in the 2003 play Enchanted April earned her an Outer Critics Circle Award, another Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk nomination. In 2009, she starred as Ruth Condomine in a Broadway revival of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit,[1] which co-starred Rupert Everett, Christine Ebersole, and Angela Lansbury, who won her record-breaking 5th Tony Award for her role as Madame Arcati.

She has appeared in such films as Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, 12 and Holding, Blank Check, The Village and Syriana.

Her television acting credits include A Year in the Life, Parenthood, The X-Files, Law & Order, The Practice, Criminal Minds, 24, Gossip Girl and House of Cards, opposite Kevin Spacey and husband Michel Gill. Her performance in the made-for-TV movie Our Town garnered her a Satellite Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Personal life

Atkinson is married to actor Michel Gill, with whom she has one son. Atkinson and Gill met when they appeared together in a 1989 production of The Heiress at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut. They both appeared in House of Cards (though not as a couple: Gill played President Garrett Walker and Atkinson played Secretary of State Catherine Durant).



1993Free WillyAnnie Greenwood
1994Blank CheckSandra Waters
1995Free Willy 2: The Adventure HomeAnnie Greenwood
2003Our TownMrs. GibbsTelevision movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2004The VillageTabitha Walker
2005SyrianaDivision Chief
200612 and HoldingAshley Carges
2008RecountTheresa LePoreTelevision movie
2009Handsome HarryKelly's wife


1986A Year in the LifeLindley Gardner Eisenberg3 episodes
1987–1988A Year in the LifeLindley Gardner Eisenberg22 episodes
1989MoonlightingRobin FullerEpisode: "Shirts and Skins"
1990–1991ParenthoodKaren Buckman12 episodes
1995The X-FilesWilla AmbroseEpisode: "Fearful Symmetry"
1997The PracticeRuth GibsonEpisode: "Part 1"
2001–2002The Education of Max BickfordLyla Ortiz7 episodes
2002Law & OrderDr. Claire SnyderEpisode: "Dazzled"
2004Joan of ArcadiaFran MontgomeryEpisode: "Friday Night"
2006–200724Karen Hayes30 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2007–2014Criminal MindsErin Strauss23 episodes
2008Law & Order: Special Victims UnitMarion SpringerEpisode: "Savant"
2008Law & OrderSenator Melanie CarverEpisode: "Political Animal"
2010Gossip GirlDean Reuther4 episodes
2011White CollarHelen AndersonEpisode: "Deadline"
2012Blue BloodsSharon HarrisEpisode: "Reagan V. Reagan"
2012PerceptionHelen Paulson2 episodes
2013The FollowingJacob's mother2 episodes
2013–2018House of CardsSecretary of State Catherine Durant35 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2015ZooAmelia Sage2 episodes
2016The Good WifeNora ValentineEpisode: "Landing" [5]
2016Chicago MedLaura ClayEpisode: "Disorder" [5]
2018Madam SecretaryVice President Teresa Hurst4 episodes
2018The Walking DeadGeorgieEpisode: "The Key"
2018Castle RockDaria Reese2 episodes
2019-presentBluff City LawDella BedfordSeries Regular


1987All My SonsSue Bayliss
1997–1998IvanovAnna Petrovna
1999–2000The RainmakerLizzie CurryNominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
2002–2003Our TownMrs. Gibbs
2003Enchanted AprilLotty WiltonNominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
2009Blithe SpiritRuth
2019Ann [6]Ann RichardsArena Stage, Washington D.C.


  1. "Jayne Atkinson". tv.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  2. "Noel Coward's 'BLITHE SPIRIT' Goes On Sale 12/20/08". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  3. "'I became obsessed with Beethoven's obsession'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. signonsandiego.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  4. "A getaway that takes us nowhere near their souls - The Record (Bergen County, NJ)". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2010 via HighBeam Research.
  5. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0040739/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t11
  6. https://www.arenastage.org/tickets/1920-season/Ann/
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