Keri Russell

Keri Lynn Russell (born March 23, 1976)[1] is an American actress and dancer. She came to fame for portraying the title role of Felicity Porter on the WB drama series Felicity (1998–2002), for which she won a Golden Globe Award. Russell also starred as KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings on the FX spy thriller series The Americans (2013–2018), for which she was nominated for Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

Keri Russell
Russell at the 2014 WonderCon
Keri Lynn Russell

(1976-03-23) March 23, 1976
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York, United States
  • Actress
  • dancer
Years active1991–present
Shane Deary
(m. 2007; sep. 2013)
Partner(s)Matthew Rhys (2014–present)

Russell has appeared in several films, including Mission: Impossible III (2006), Waitress (2007), August Rush (2007), Extraordinary Measures (2010), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and Free State of Jones (2016). In 2017, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[2]

Early life

Keri Lynn Russell was born on March 23, 1976, in Fountain Valley, California, the daughter of Stephanie (née Stephens), a homemaker, and David Russell, a Nissan Motors executive.[3] She has an older brother, Todd, and a younger sister, Julie. The family lived in Coppell, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; and Highlands Ranch, Colorado, moving frequently due to her father's work. Russell's dancing earned her a spot on The Mickey Mouse Club.[4]



Russell first appeared on television at age 15 as a cast member of the All-New Mickey Mouse Club variety show on the Disney Channel.[5] She was on the show from 1991 to 1994 (Seasons 4–6) and co-starred with future actor Ryan Gosling and future pop stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, and Tony Lucca.[6]

In 1992, Russell appeared in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid alongside Rick Moranis and in 1993, she had a role on the sitcom Boy Meets World as Mr. Feeny's niece. Russell appeared on Married... with Children in a 1995 episode ("Radio Free Trumaine", production 9.24). She subsequently starred in several film and television roles, including the 1996 made-for-television film The Babysitter's Seduction.[4] That year she also had a role on the short-lived soap opera series Malibu Shores.[4]

In 1994, Russell appeared as the "other woman" in Bon Jovi's music video "Always" with Jack Noseworthy, Carla Gugino, and Jason Wiles.[7] In 1997, she appeared in two episodes of Roar alongside Heath Ledger.[4]

From 1998 to 2002, Russell starred as the title character on the successful WB Network series Felicity. In 1999, she won a Golden Globe for the role. Russell's long curly hair was one of her character's defining characteristics, and her drastic hairstyle change at the beginning of the show's second season was thought to cause a significant drop in the show's ratings.[8]

During the show's run, Russell appeared in the films Eight Days a Week, The Curve, and Mad About Mambo, all of which received only limited releases in North America. Her next role was in the film We Were Soldiers (2002),[4] playing the wife of a United States serviceman during the Vietnam War. The film was released two months before the end of Felicity's run.


When Felicity ended, Russell moved to New York City and made her off-Broadway stage debut in 2004, appearing opposite Jeremy Piven, Andrew McCarthy, and Ashlie Atkinson in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig.[9] In 2005, she returned to television and film, beginning with an appearance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie The Magic of Ordinary Days, theatrical film The Upside of Anger (alongside Kevin Costner, Joan Allen and Evan Rachel Wood), and the television miniseries Into the West. Directing Mission: Impossible III in 2005, J. J. Abrams asked Russell to join the cast and she accepted. She was screen tested for the role of Lois Lane in Superman Returns but lost the role to Kate Bosworth.[10]

In the summer of 2006, Russell was chosen to be a celebrity spokeswoman for CoverGirl Cosmetics.[11] In the summer of 2007, Russell appeared in The Keri Kronicles, a reality show/sitcom sponsored by CoverGirl and airing on MySpace; the show was filmed at Russell's home in Manhattan and spotlighted her life.[12] Also in 2007, she played "Melody" on the NBC show Scrubs.

Russell next starred in the film Waitress, which marked the fourth time she played a pregnant woman.[13] Her performance—opposite Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith and the film's director Adrienne Shelley—was positively received by critics,[12] with Michael Sragow of The Baltimore Sun writing that Russell's performance had "aesthetic character" and "wields tenderness and fierceness with quiet heat".[14] In 2007, Russell also completed roles in Grimm Love (titled Rohtenburg for its German release), in which she played Katie Armstrong, a graduate student who writes a thesis paper on an infamous cannibal murder case, and the thriller The Girl in the Park, opposite Sigourney Weaver, Kate Bosworth and Alessandro Nivola.

Russell next appeared in August Rush, released in November 2007. She also appeared on the cover of the New York Post's Page Six magazine on November 11, 2007.[15] Russell later appeared in Bedtime Stories.[16] In an appearance on The View on December 15, 2008, Russell said she got the part because Adam Sandler's wife Jackie had seen her in Waitress and suggested her for the movie. Russell voiced Wonder Woman in a direct-to-video animated feature released March 3, 2009.[17]

Russell starred alongside Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in the Tom Vaughan-helmed Extraordinary Measures[18][19] for CBS Films. The drama, which started filming on April 6, 2009 and was released on January 22, 2010, was the first film to go into production for the new company.[4][20] Russell played Aileen Crowley, a mother who tries to build a normal home life for her sick children while her husband, John (Fraser), and an unconventional scientist (Ford) race against time to find a cure.[21]

Russell starred in the Fox series Running Wilde, from 2010 to 2011.[22]


From 2013 to 2018, she starred in the FX drama series The Americans, playing Elizabeth Jennings, a deep-undercover Russian KGB spy living as an American in the 1980s Cold War era. She appears opposite Matthew Rhys, who portrays her character's husband and spy partner. Russell and Rhys became partners in real life during this time. The series ended after six seasons.[23]

In 2013, Russell starred in the science fiction horror film Dark Skies and the romantic comedy film Austenland. In 2014, Russell starred in the science fiction action film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, alongside actors Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman.[24] She later starred as Serena Knight in the 2016 historical war film Free State of Jones.

In July 2018, it was announced Russell had joined the cast of the film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set for release on December 20, 2019. The film reunited her with former collaborator J.J. Abrams, whom she worked with on Felicity and Mission: Impossible III.[25]

In August 2018, it was announced that Russell would star as Anna in the first Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson's play Burn This. She starred opposite Adam Driver. Performances began in March 2019 at the Hudson Theatre.[26]

Personal life

In 2006, Russell became engaged to Shane Deary, a Brooklyn-based contractor she met through mutual friends.[13] The couple married in New York on February 14, 2007.[27] They have two children together: a son born in 2007 and a daughter born in 2011.[28][29] Russell and Deary separated in early summer 2013.[30][31]

Since 2014, Russell has been in a relationship with her co-star in The Americans, Matthew Rhys.[32] They have a son, born in 2016.[33][34]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Mandy Park
1997 Eight Days a Week Erica
1998 The Curve Emma AKA Dead Man's Curve
2000 Mad About Mambo Lucy McLoughlin
2002 We Were Soldiers Barbara Geoghegan
2005 The Upside of Anger Emily Wolfmeyer
2006 Mission: Impossible III Lindsey Farris
Grimm Love Katie
2007 Waitress Jenna Hunterson
The Girl in the Park Celeste
August Rush Lyla Novacek
2008 Bedtime Stories Jill
2009 Wonder Woman Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (voice) Direct-to-video
Leaves of Grass Janet
2010 Extraordinary Measures Aileen Crowley
2012 Goats Judy
2013 Austenland Jane Hayes
Dark Skies Lacy Barrett
2014 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Ellie
2016 Free State of Jones Serena Knight
2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Zorri Bliss[35]
2020 Antlers Julia Meadows Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1991–1993 Mickey Mouse Club Herself Main role
1993 Boy Meets World Jessica Episode: "Grandma Was a Rolling Stone"
1994 Daddy's Girls Phoebe Walker 3 episodes
1995 Married... with Children April Adams Episode: "Radio Free Trumaine"
Clerks. Sandra Television film
1996 The Babysitter's Seduction Michelle Winston Television film
The Lottery Felice Dunbar Television film
Malibu Shores Chloe Walker Main role
1997 7th Heaven Camille Episode: "Choices"
Roar Claire 2 episodes
When Innocence Is Lost Erica French Television film
1998–2002 Felicity Felicity Porter Main role
1999 CinderElmo Princess Television film
2005 Into the West Naomi Wheeler Episode: "Manifest Destiny"
The Magic of Ordinary Days Olivia "Livvy" Dunne Television film
2007 Scrubs Melody O'Harra 2 episodes
2010–2011 Running Wilde Emmy Kadubic Main role
2013–2018 The Americans Elizabeth Jennings Main role
2013 Arrested Development Widow Carr (voice) Episode: "Señoritis"
2018 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Herself Episode: "Canary Islands"

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1993 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Nominated
Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Youth Series or Variety Show The All New Mickey Mouse Club Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama Felicity Won
Teen Choice Awards TV – Breakout Performance Felicity Won
TV – Choice Actress Felicity Nominated
2000 Teen Choice Awards TV – Choice Actress Felicity Nominated
2001 Teen Choice Awards TV – Choice Actress Felicity Nominated
2002 Teen Choice Awards TV – Choice Actress, Drama Felicity Nominated
2005 Satellite Awards Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television The Magic of Ordinary Days Nominated
2006 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Drama/Action Adventure Mission: Impossible III Nominated
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Drama August Rush Nominated
2013 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress Drama Series The Americans Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television The Americans Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Americans Won
2016 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Nominated
2017 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress The Americans Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Won
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated [36]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated


  1. Keri Russell Biography. Retrieved 2013-12-05
  2. "Keri Russell gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". Agence France-Presse. May 31, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017 via CTV News.
  3. Myers, Chuck (2000-08-16). "1st Person: Keri Russell". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  4. "Keri Russell- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  5. "Six Massive Stars who Started out in the Mickey Mouse Club". 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  6. Wells, Rachel (2007-10-07). "Waiting game". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  7. "Keri Russell:Five Fun Facts". People. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  8. Walters, David (2008-12-01). "There's Something about Keri".
  9. King, Susan (2007-05-09). "Life follows fiction for Keri Russell". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  10. "Keri Russell: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  11. "Keri Russell takes a turn as Cover Girl". USA Today. 2006-07-11. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  12. Gould Keil, Jennifer (2007-05-13). "Covergirl Keri Russell Shoots Web". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  13. Bonnelli, Winnie (2007-05-16). "Waitress Serves Up Keri Russell". Archived from the original on 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  14. Sragow, Michael (2007-05-25). "Keri Russell is a delight in scrumptious 'Waitress'". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  15. Long, April (2007-11-11). "Breastfeeding is miraculous". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  16. "Keri Russell helps tell Bedtime Stories". 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  17. Ryan, Joan (December 5, 2013). "Meet the 9 Wonder Women of Yore". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  18. "Extraordinary Measures (2010)". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  19. "News and Culture: Brenden Fraser's Untitled Crowley Project Now Has (Another) Terrible Title". Willamette Week. 2009-09-24. Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  20. "Keri Russell's "Extraordinary" Role". CBS. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  21. Siegel, Tatiana (2009-02-12). "Keri Russell nurses CBS film role". Variety. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  22. 'Running Wilde' Races for an Audience
  23. "Keri Russell to Star in FX's 'The Americans'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  24. "Keri Russell, Andy Serkis talk "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"". Cbs news. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  25. Hipes, Patrick (July 27, 2018). "Keri Russell Is In 'Star Wars: Episode IX' After All". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  26. Rubin, Rebecca (August 15, 2018). "Keri Russell to Join Adam Driver in 'Burn This' on Broadway". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  27. Jordan, Julie (2007-02-15). "Keri Russell Marries in New York". People. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  28. "Keri Russell Gives Birth to a Boy". People. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  29. "Keri Russell Welcomes Daughter Willa Lou". People. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  30. Leonard, Elizabeth (2013-05-12). "Keri Russell and Shane Deary Separate". People.
  31. Velez, Natasha; Fasick, Kevin; Schram, Jamie (December 4, 2013). "'Awesome' NYPD cops return Keri Russell's stolen goods". Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  32. Rubenstein, Janine Rayford (2014-04-01). "Keri Russell Is Dating Matthew Rhys". People. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  33. "Keri Russell Gives Birth, Welcomes First Child With 'Americans' Costar Matthew Rhys!". Us Weekly. 2016-05-30. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  34. "Keri Russell Reveals Name and Sex of Her First Child with Matthew Rhys – and Says the Baby Is Doing 'So Good'". People. 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  35. Robnson, Joanna (May 22, 2019). "Star Wars: Keri Russell Is the Roguish Zorri Bliss". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  36. "2018 Awards Nominees". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
Preceded by
Lucy Lawless (2008)
Actress to voice Wonder Woman
Succeeded by
Vanessa Marshall
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