Jennifer Ehle

Jennifer Anne Ehle (/ˈli/; born December 29, 1969) is a British-American actress. She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice. For her work on Broadway, she won the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for The Real Thing, and the 2007 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Coast of Utopia. She is the daughter of English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle.

Jennifer Ehle
Ehle in 2016
Jennifer Anne Ehle[1][2]

(1969-12-29) December 29, 1969
Years active1991–present
Michael Ryan (m. 2001)
Parent(s)John Ehle
Rosemary Harris

Ehle made her West End debut in Peter Hall's 1991 production of Tartuffe, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1995. Other television credits include The Camomile Lawn (1992), A Gifted Man (2011–2012) and The Looming Tower (2018). She has also appeared in supporting roles in such films as Wilde (1997), Sunshine (1999), The King's Speech (2010), Contagion (2011), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), RoboCop (2014), and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).[3] Ehle also portrayed Lydia Marsh in The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018).

Early life

Ehle was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to English actress Rosemary Harris and American author John Ehle. Aside from English, her ancestry includes Romanian (from a maternal great-grandmother) and paternally, German.[4][5]

Ehle appeared as a toddler in a 1973 Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which her mother played Blanche DuBois.[6] She spent her childhood in both the UK and the US, attending several different schools, including Interlochen Arts Academy. She was raised largely in Asheville, North Carolina. Her drama training was split between the North Carolina School of the Arts[7] and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.[8]


One of Ehle's first notable roles was as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice co-starring Colin Firth.

Theatre career

Ehle made her West End debut as Orgon's wife in the 1991 Peter Hall Company production of Tartuffe, for which she won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards.[9][10] Hall then cast her as Calypso in The Camomile Lawn (1992), a television adaptation of Mary Wesley's book of the same name, in which she and her mother played the same character at different ages.[11]

After a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company,[12] she gained her first major feature film role in Paradise Road. She continued her career on both stage and screen.

In 2000, Ehle made her Broadway debut to great critical acclaim as Annie in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, winning the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Her mother, Rosemary Harris, was also nominated for the same award that year for Waiting in the Wings.[13] That following year, Ehle appeared again on Broadway in the revival of Noël Coward's Design for Living co-starring with Dominic West and Alan Cumming.[14]

After a hiatus, Ehle returned to the London stage in 2005 in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic opposite Kevin Spacey. The following year, she played Lady Macbeth in Macbeth with Liev Schreiber, as part of the Shakespeare in the Park.[14]

Ehle returned to Broadway and won her second Tony award for portraying three characters in Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia triptych, which ran from October 2006 until May 2007.[15]

In 2010, Ehle starred alongside John Lithgow in the production of Mr. & Mrs. Fitch presented by Second Stage Theatre in New York City.[16]

In 2017, in her most recent work on Broadway, she appeared in the critically acclaimed Oslo, which won the Tony Award for Best Play. She herself was nominated for Best Actress in a Play for her work.[17]

Film and television career

Since 2010 Ehle has appeared in a string of critically acclaimed films such as The King's Speech (where she reunited with her Pride and Prejudice co-star Colin Firth), Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (2011), George Clooney's The Ides of March (2011), Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos (2015), Ira Sach's Little Men (2016), and Terence Davies' A Quiet Passion (2016).

In August 2009, it was announced that Ehle would play the character of Catelyn Stark in the pilot of HBO's Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy book series. Ehle filmed the pilot episode, but decided it was too soon to return to work after the birth of her daughter. She was replaced by Northern Irish actress Michelle Fairley.[18][19]

Personal life

Ehle married writer Michael Ryan on November 29, 2001,[20] and they have two children.[21]



1992The Camomile LawnCalypsoMiniseries, 5 episodes
1993The MaitlandsPhyllisBBC TV production of Ronald Mackenzie's 1930s play
1993Rik Mayall Presents: Micky LoveTamsinMiniseries, 6 Episodes
1995Pride and PrejudiceElizabeth BennetMiniseries, 6 episodes
1997MelissaMelissaMiniseries, 5 episodes
2008The Russell GirlLorraine MorrisseyTV movie
2011A Gifted ManAnna Paul16 episodes
2013Low Winter SunSusanEpisode: "Ann Arbor"
2014, 2015The BlacklistMadeline Pratt2 episodes
2018The Looming TowerAmbassador Barbara Bodine3 episodes
TBAA Higher LoyaltyPatrice ComeyUpcoming miniseries


1994BackbeatCynthia Powell
1997Paradise RoadRosemary Leighton-Jones
1997WildeConstance Lloyd Wilde
1998Bedrooms and HallwaysSally
1999SunshineValerie Sonnenschein
1999This Year's LoveSophie
2002PossessionChristabel LaMotte
2006Alpha MaleAlice Ferris
2005The River KingBetsy Chase
2008Pride and GloryAbby Tierney
2008Before the RainsLauraMalayalam-language film
2009The GreatestJoan
2010The King's SpeechMyrtle Logue
2011The Ides of MarchCindy Morris
2011ContagionAlly Hextall
2011The Adjustment BureauBrooklyn Ice House Bartender
2012Zero Dark ThirtyJessica
2014RoboCopLiz Kline
2014Black or WhiteCarol Anderson
2014The ForgerKim Cutter
2014A Little ChaosMadame De Montespan
2015AdvantageousIsa Cryer
2015Fifty Shades of GreyCarla Wilks
2015Spooks: The Greater GoodGeraldine Maltby
2016Little MenKathy Jardine
2016The Fundamentals of CaringElsa
2016A Quiet PassionVinnie Dickinson
2017Fifty Shades DarkerCarla WilksUnrated edition
2017DetroitMorgue Doctor
2017I Kill GiantsMrs. Thorson
2018The Miseducation of Cameron PostDr. Lydia Marsh
2018All RiseKatherine O'Brien
2018Fifty Shades FreedCarla Wilks
2018Vox LuxJosie the Publicist
2018Take PointAgent MackenzieKorean film
2019The Wolf HourMargot
2019Run This TownJudith
2019The Professor and the MadmanAda Murray
2019Saint MaudAmanda


1959 Pink ThunderbirdEdinburgh Festival
Laundry and BourbonEdinburgh Festival
1991TartuffeElmirePeter Hall Company
1992Breaking the CodePat GreenTriumph Productions Tour
1995–1996Richard IIILady AnneRoyal Shakespeare Company
1995–1996Painter of DishonourSerafinaRoyal Shakespeare Company
1995–1996The RelapseAmandaRoyal Shakespeare Company
1999The Real ThingAnnieDonmar Warehouse
1999SummerfolkVarvara MikhailovnaNational Theatre
2000The Real ThingAnnieAlbery Theatre and Barrymore Theatre
2001Design for LivingGildaRoundabout Theatre CompanyAmerican Airlines Theater
2005The Philadelphia StoryTracy LordThe Old Vic, London
2006MacbethLady MacbethShakespeare in the ParkDelacorte Theater
2006The Coast of Utopia: VoyageLiubov BakuninVivian Beaumont Theater
2006The Coast of Utopia: ShipwreckedNatalie HerzenVivian Beaumont Theater
2007The Coast of Utopia: SalvageMalwida von MeysenbugVivian Beaumont Theater
2010Mr. and Mrs. FitchMrs. FitchSecond Stage Theatre
2017OsloMona JuulVivian Beaumont Theatre

Awards and nominations

Tony Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Actress in a Play The Real Thing Won
2007 Featured Actress in a Play The Coast of Utopia Won
2017 Actress in a Play Oslo Nominated

BAFTA Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
1996 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress Pride & Prejudice Won
1998 Best Supporting Actress Wilde Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2010 Best Cast in a Motion Picture The King's Speech Won

Laurence Olivier Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Actress The Real Thing Nominated

Outer Critics Circle Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Actress - Play The Real Thing Nominated
2007 Best Featured Actress - Play The Coast of Utopia Nominated

Other award wins:

Other award nominations:


  1. "World Authors, 1980–1985".
  2. "Performing Arts".
  3. Jennifer Ehle to play mum in 50 Shades of Grey. 3 News NZ. 9 October 2013.
  4. Rosemary Harris and the Picture: Madonna of the Slaughtered Jews. Retrieved on February 8, 2013. Archived July 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "ehle".
  6. "Jennifer Ehle".
  7. "Drama – Home Page".
  8. "High Profile Alumni".
  10. Lees, Caroline. "Classic recipes for success". Sunday Times. 9 February 1992
  11. Dave Kehr (June 16, 2000). "AT THE MOVIES; A Resemblance? It's Only Natural". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  12. "What Lizzie did next". The Age. Melbourne. April 23, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  13. Doug Feiden (June 5, 2000). "'Kiss Me Kate' is big Tony winner 'Copenhagen' and 'Contact' also honored". Daily News. New York. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  15. "Utopian win for Jennifer Ehle and Tom Stoppard at Tony Awards". Daily Mail. London. June 11, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  16. "Tony Winners Lithgow and Ehle Are 'MR. & MRS. FITCH' For Second Stage Theatre" August 19, 2009, Broadway World
  18. "Fairley to replace Ehle in HBO's 'Thrones'". The Hollywood Reporter. October 14, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  19. Jace Lacob (September 22, 2011). "A Gifted Man's Leading Lady". The Daily Beast.
  20. "Jennifer Ehle – Biography". Yahoo! Movies. January 15, 2014.
  21. Moore, Suzanne (December 20, 2011). "Celebrities' Christmas memories". The Guardian. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
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