Merritt Wever

Merritt Carmen Wever[1] (born August 11, 1980) is an American actress. She is known for starring as a perennially upbeat young nurse in Nurse Jackie (2009–2015), an intrepid widow in the Netflix period miniseries Godless (2017), and a detective investigating a serial rapist in the Netflix crime miniseries Unbelievable (2019). For Nurse Jackie, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2013 and for Godless, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Merritt Wever
Wever in 2010
Merritt Carmen Wever

(1980-08-11) August 11, 1980
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Years active1995–present

Wever has also had supporting roles in other television series, including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007), New Girl (2013), and The Walking Dead (2015–2016). She has also played supporting roles in such films as Michael Clayton (2007), Tiny Furniture (2010), Birdman (2014), and Marriage Story (2019).

Early life

Wever was born in the New York City borough of Manhattan. She was conceived via a sperm donor and raised by her mother, Georgia.[2][3] Her mother is from Texas.[4] Wever graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and Sarah Lawrence College,[5] and she trained in acting in New York.


Wever began her career starring in low budget, independent short and feature films. She has also performed in theatre productions, including a performance in Brooke Berman's play, Smashing, and in Cavedweller with Deidre O'Connell, both off-Broadway.[3] Since she began her career, Wever has performed in numerous feature films, including: Into the Wild, Neal Cassady, Michael Clayton, Series 7: The Contenders, Signs, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Bringing Rain, Tiny Furniture and All I Wanna Do, among others.[6]

She has guest starred on a number of TV shows, including The Good Wife, Conviction, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Wire. She also starred in Ed Zwick's ill-fated ABC pilot, Quarterlife, with Rachel Blanchard, Austin Nichols, and Shiri Appleby. She also had a recurring role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as Suzanne.[6]

Wever is perhaps best known for her role as Zoey Barkow in the dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, which premiered on Showtime in June 2009.[7] Zoey is described as on the official Nurse Jackie website as "an irrepressibly bubbly trauma nurse, who serves as a comic foil to Edie Falco's hard-bitten (and prescription drug-addicted) titular character".[8] Wever received widespread critical acclaim for her role on the show.[9]

Wever was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012 and 2013 for her role in Nurse Jackie, winning the award in 2013 and delivering a memorable speech that consisted only of her stunned reaction: "Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye."[10]

In 2016, Wever had a recurring role on AMC's The Walking Dead as Denise Cloyd. Her character's death towards the end of the sixth season of the series was controversial and sparked outrage on social media with many fans, most notably members of the LGBT community.[11][12][13]

Wever played a lead role in 2017's Netflix miniseries Godless, as Mary Agnes McNue, a tough leader of a female-dominated town. She said in interviews that she had been intimidated by the role: "I spent so much of this shoot thinking I would come off as a fool, that nobody would buy me as this and it wouldn't be believable."[14] Many critics nonetheless noted her character as a highlight of the show. Entertainment Weekly titled its review of Godless "Merritt Wever rides tall in Netflix's Godless" and wrote that "no one is more electric than the always extraordinary Merritt Wever".[15] In 2018, she won an Emmy for the role.

In June of 2018, Wever was cast to play a main role in another Netflix miniseries, Unbelievable, which was released on September 13, 2019.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Alaska April Short film
1998 The Hairy Bird Maureen "Momo" Haines AKA All I Wanna Do
1998 Arresting Gena Tammy
1999 The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Susan
2001 Series 7: The Contenders Lindsay
2002 Signs Tracey Abernathy
2003 Season of Youth
2003 Bringing Rain Monica Greenfield
2004 A Hole in One Betty
2005 12 and Holding Debbie Poole
2007 Michael Clayton Anna
2007 Into the Wild Lori
2007 Neal Cassady Mountain Girl
2008 Righteous Kill Rape Victim
2009 Mr. Softie Gail
2009 The Missing Person Mabel Page
2009 The Messenger Lara
2010 Greenberg Gina
2010 Tiny Furniture Frankie Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance
2011 The Strange Ones Girl Short film
2014 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Annie Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2015 Meadowland Kelly
2016 The Last Face Marie
2018 Charlie Says Karlene Faith
2018 Welcome to Marwen Roberta
2019 Marriage Story Cassie


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Blue River Lottie Television movie
1997 Law & Order Myra Episode: "Mad Dog"
2002 Law & Order Jennifer Taylor Episode: "American Jihad"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Hannah Price Episode: "Tomorrow"
2003 The Wire Prissy 2 episodes: "Storm Warnings" and "Bad Dreams"
2004 Something the Lord Made Mrs. Saxon Television movie
2005 Quarterlife Bailey Television movie
2005 Law & Order Sunshine Porter Episode: "Sects"
2005 NCIS Wendy Smith Episode: "Switch"
2006 Conviction Bridget Kellner Episode: "Pilot"
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Suzanne 12 episodes
2009–2015 Nurse Jackie Zoey Barkow 80 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2013)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2014)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2012)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2013)
2012 The Good Wife Aubrey Gardner Episode: "After the Fall"
2013 New Girl Elizabeth 7 episodes
2013 Remember Sunday Lucy Television movie
2015–2016 The Walking Dead Dr. Denise Cloyd 9 episodes
2017 Godless Mary Agnes McNue 7 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2018)
2019 Unbelievable Det. Karen Duvall 8 episodes
Pending—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Pending—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries
2020 Run Ruby Dixie


  1. Blank, Matthew (June 21, 2011). "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: 'Nurse Jackie' and The Illusion Star Merritt Wever". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  2. Maerz, Melissa (March 29, 2011). "Merritt Wever brings undoctored flair to 'Nurse Jackie'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  3. "Merritt Wever: Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  5. "Merritt Wever". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  6. "Merritt Wever". IMDB. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  7. Maerz, Melissa (March 29, 2011). "Merritt Wever brings undoctored flair to 'Nurse Jackie'". Los Angeles Times.
  8. "Nurse Jackie: Official Site". Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  9. "'Nurse Jackie' sidekick Merritt Wever stays grounded". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  10. Chan, Robert (September 22, 2013). "Best. Emmys. Speech. EVER: An Underdog Takes Home an Emmy". Yahoo!.
  11. "The Walking Dead Actor Responds to Controversial Death on Last Night's Episode". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  12. "'The Walking Dead' Fans Outraged That Another Minority Character Has Died". The Inquisitr News. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  13. Robinson, Joanna. "The Walking Dead's Latest Gruesome Death Is Part of a Troubling TV Trend". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  14. McHenry, Jackson (November 30, 2017). "How Merritt Wever Found Vulnerability in Godless's Toughest Character". Vulture. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  15. Shaw, Jessica (November 16, 2017). "Merritt Wever rides tall in Netflix's Godless". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  16. Petski, Denise (September 16, 2019). "'Unbelievable': Toni Collette, Merritt Wever & Kaitlyn Dever To Star In Netflix Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
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