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Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer
File:Emily Mortimer 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Mortimer at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
Born Emily Kathleen Anne Mortimer[1]
(1971-12-01) 1 December 1971 (age 48)
Finsbury Park, London, England
Education St Paul's Girls' School
Alma mater Lincoln College, Oxford
Occupation Actress, screenwriter
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Alessandro Nivola (m. 2003)
Children 2

Emily Kathleen Anne Mortimer[2] (born 1 December 1971) is an English actress and screenwriter. She began acting in stage productions, and has since appeared in several film and television roles. In 2003, she won an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in Lovely and Amazing. She is also known for playing roles in Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Harry Brown (2009), Shutter Island (2010), and Hugo (2011).

Early life and education

Mortimer was born in Finsbury Park, London England,[citation needed] to Sir John Mortimer, QC (a lawyer and writer who created the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey) and his second wife, Penelope (née Gollop).[3] She has a younger sister, Rosie; two older half-siblings, Sally Silverman and Jeremy, by her father's first marriage, to author Penelope Fletcher; and a half-brother, Ross Bentley, by her father's liaison with actress Wendy Craig.[4]

Mortimer studied at St Paul's Girls' School in west London,[5] where she appeared in several pupil productions. She then went on to Oxford University, where she read Russian at Lincoln College and performed in several plays. Before becoming an actress, Mortimer wrote a column for the Daily Telegraph, and was also screenwriter for an adaptation of Lorna Sage's memoir, Bad Blood.


Mortimer performed in several plays while studying at Oxford University, and while acting in a student production she was spotted by a producer who later cast her in the lead in a television adaptation of Dame Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin (1995).[6] Subsequent television roles included Sharpe's Sword and Coming Home. She followed this with the 1996 television film, Lord of Misrule, which also featured Richard Wilson, Stephen Moyer and Prunella Scales. The television film was directed by Guy Jenkin and filmed in Fowey, Cornwall. Her first feature film role was opposite Val Kilmer in 1996's The Ghost and the Darkness. Mortimer was then in the Irish coming-of-age story The Last of the High Kings, released later the same year.

File:Emily Mortimer at 2007 TIFF cropped.jpg
Mortimer at a film premiere in September 2007
In the 1997 Midsomer Murders pilot episode The Killings at Badger's Drift, she appeared as Katherine Lacey.

In 1998 she appeared as Kat Ashley in Elizabeth, and played Miss Flynn in the TV mini-series Cider with Rosie, which was adapted for television by her father.

In 1999, she played three roles that raised her profile outside the UK: She was the "Perfect Girl" dropped by Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, appeared as Esther in the American TV mini-series Noah's Ark, and was Angelina, the star of the film-within-a-film, in the upscale slasher flick Scream 3.

In 2000, Mortimer was cast as Katherine in Kenneth Branagh's musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost, where she met actor and future husband Alessandro Nivola. She took on her biggest role in an American film to date, playing opposite Bruce Willis in Disney's The Kid. In 2002, she had a major role in The 51st State (also known as Formula 51), starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle.[6]

In 2003, Mortimer appeared in Stephen Fry's film Bright Young Things. In 2004, Mortimer played the female lead in the film Dear Frankie. In 2005, she played a major role as the oblivious spouse of an adulterous Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Woody Allen's Match Point, as well as voicing young Sophie in the English-dubbed version of Howl's Moving Castle. In 2007 she played a supporting role in Lars and the Real Girl as the supportive sister-in-law of Ryan Gosling's title character. She also appeared in The Pink Panther in 2006 and in its 2009 sequel, as the love interest of Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin). In the last three episodes of 30 Rock's first season, she played Phoebe, a love interest of Alec Baldwin's character, Jack Donaghy.

Mortimer played an aspiring actress opposite Andy García in City Island (2009) and as Rachel Solando in Martin Scorsese's 2010 film Shutter Island. She played Leonie Gilmour in the film Leonie, released in the autumn of 2010. In 2011, she had a role in Our Idiot Brother as Liz, the sister of Paul Rudd's character. In the same year, she also started work with the acclaimed screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin as Mackenzie McHale in HBO's The Newsroom.

In January 2013 it was announced that Mortimer would be co-creating and starring in the comedy series Doll & Em[7] for Sky Living, along with her long-term friend, actress and comedian Dolly Wells.[8][9]

Personal life

In 2000, Mortimer met American actor Alessandro Nivola, while both were starring in Love's Labour's Lost. The couple married in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire,[10] on 3 January 2003. A Mexican punk band performed at their wedding. Mortimer gave birth to their son, Samuel John, in Westminster, London,[10] on 23 September 2003. Their second child, May Rose, was born on 15 January 2010.[11] During the same year, Mortimer became an American citizen for "cynical reasons" in order to avoid paying inheritance tax in the event of anything happening to her husband.[12] Mortimer holds dual citizenship for both the U.S. and the U.K.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness Helana Patterson
1996 The Last of the High Kings Romy Thomas
1997 The Saint Woman on Plane
1998 Elizabeth Kat Ashley
1998 Killing Joe Short film
1999 Notting Hill Will's "Perfect Girl"
2000 Scream 3 Angelina Tyler
2000 Love's Labour's Lost Katherine
2000 The Miracle Maker Mary of Nazareth Voice role
2000 Disney's The Kid Amy
2001 Lovely and Amazing Elizabeth Marks
2001 The 51st State Dakota Parker
2003 A Foreign Affair Angela Beck
2003 Nobody Needs to Know Emily
2003 The Sleeping Dictionary Cecil
2003 Bright Young Things Nina Blount
2003 Young Adam Cathie Dimly
2004 Dear Frankie Lizzie
2004 Howl's Moving Castle Young Sophie (voice) English dub
2005 Match Point Chloe Hewett Wilton
2006 Paris, je t'aime Frances Segment: "Père-Lachaise"
2006 The Pink Panther Nicole Durant
2007 Lars and the Real Girl Karin
2007 Chaos Theory Susan Allen
2008 Transsiberian Jessie
2008 Redbelt Laura Black
2009 The Pink Panther 2 Nicole Durant
2009 Harry Brown Detective Inspector Alice Frampton
2009 City Island Molly Charlesworth
2010 Shutter Island Rachel Solando
2010 Leonie Leonie Gilmour
2011 Cars 2 Holley Shiftwell Voice role
2011 Our Idiot Brother Liz
2011 Hugo Lisette
2014 Rio, I Love You Dorothy Segment: "La Fortuna"
2015 Ten Thousand Saints Di
2016 Spectral In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Under the Hammer Angela Episode: "The Virgin of Vitebsk"
1994 Blue Heelers Kelly Episode: "Skin Deep"[14]
1995 Sharpe's Sword Lass Television movie
1995 The Glass Virgin Annabella Lagrange 3 episodes
1995 Screen Two Amanda Ellis Episode: "A Very Open Prison"
1996 Lord of Misrule Emma Movie
1996 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Elvira Episode: "Heartstones"
1996 Silent Witness Fran 2 episodes
1996 Jack and Jeremy's Real Lives Tilly Episode: "Aristocrats"
1996 No Bananas Una 6 episodes
1997 Midsomer Murders Katherine Lacey Episode: "The Killings at Badger's Drift"
1997 A Dance to the Music of Time Polly Duport Episode: "Post War"
1998 Cider with Rosie Miss Flynn Movie
1998 Coming Home Judith Dunbar Movie
1999 Noah's Ark Esther 3 episodes
2002 Jeffrey Archer: The Truth Diana, Princess of Wales Movie
2007 30 Rock Phoebe 3 episodes
2012–15 The Newsroom Mackenzie McHale 25 episodes
2013–14 Doll & Em Emily 6 episodes; also creator and writer

Video games

Year Title Role
2011 Cars 2: The Video Game Holley Shiftwell (voice)
2012 Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
2013 Disney Infinity
2014 Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2003 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Lovely & Amazing Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Won
Satellite Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical Nominated
DVD Exclusive Awards Best Supporting Actress in a DVD Premiere Movie[citation needed] The Sleeping Dictionary Nominated
2004 Empire Awards Best British Actress Young Adam Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle British Supporting Actress of the Year Nominated
2005 British Actress of the Year Dear Frankie Nominated
European Film Awards Best Actress[citation needed] Nominated
2007 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Supporting Actress[citation needed] Lars and the Real Girl Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical Nominated
2009 Saturn Awards Best Actress Transsiberian Nominated


  1. ^ A Voyage Round John Mortimer, Penguin Books, 2008, Valerie Grove
  2. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.
  3. ^ Rumpole creator Sir John Mortimer dies, aged 85" Daily Mail, 16 January 2009] says her maiden name is Gallop. In this Guardian obituary for the first wife, the maiden name of the second wife is Gollop. The Daily Mail article mentions that Sir John Mortimer had two children by his first marriage, which ended in 1972 (1971 per his Wikipedia article), and two by his second marriage.
  4. ^ Walker, Tim; Eden, Richard (13 September 2004). "Mortimer's joy at son with Wendy Craig". Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  5. ^ GQ magazine, September 2005, p212
  6. ^ a b Woman on the verge The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2012
  7. ^ "Doll & Em". Sky Living. 
  8. ^ Kemp, Stuart (2013-01-23). "Emily Mortimer to Write and Star in 'Doll & Em' for Sky Living". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ Sarah Jane Griffiths (18 February 2014). "Doll and Em: Friendship, family and film stars". BBC News. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1837–2006". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  11. ^ "Emily Mortimer Says Son 'Mocks' Her English Accent". Retrieved 23 February 2011. [dead link]
  12. ^ Barkham, Patrick (8 July 2010). "Emily Mortimer: 'Secrets are a part of all of our lives'". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Boyle, Louise (2012-06-24). "Actress Emily Mortimer, star of The Newsroom, says Americans are 'dangerously uninformed' | Mail Online". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  14. ^ "Blue Heelers" Skin Deep (TV Episode 1994) - IMDb

External links

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