Jessica Brown Findlay

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Jessica Brown Findlay
Born Jessica Rose Brown-Findlay[1]
(1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 24)
Cookham, Berkshire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2009–present

Jessica Rose Brown-Findlay (born 14 September 1989)[2][3] is an English actress, best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in ITV's Downton Abbey and Emelia Conan-Doyle in the British comedy-drama Albatross. In 2014, Brown Findlay starred as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of Mark Helprin's 1983 novel Winter's Tale.[4] She will also co-star in Paul McGuigan's Frankenstein remake.

Early life[edit]

Brown Findlay is from Cookham, Berkshire. Her mother, Beverley, is a teacher's assistant and former nurse, and her father, Christopher Brown-Findlay, is a financial adviser and former investment banker.[3] Her father's family is of Scottish descent, with roots in Glasgow; her great-grandfather, William Brown Findlay, incorporated his own middle name into his surname.[5] Brown Findlay trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet. At age 15, she was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season.[6]

She attended Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead. At the end of her GCSEs, Brown Findlay was accepted to a number of ballet schools but chose to go to the Arts Educational School, because of the A-level courses it provided and its pastoral care. She attended for two years and in her second year had three operations on her ankles, the last of which went wrong; after this she was told that she would never dance again. She said that she always had acting in the back of her mind, but was never really able to go out and try it.[7] After encouragement from an art teacher, she finished her education at Arts Educational School, Tring Park[7] and then onto a Fine Art course at St Martin’s.[3][6]


Brown Findlay was cast in the lead role of Emelia in the film Albatross, directed by Niall MacCormick.[6] She was subsequently cast in two episodes of the E4 programme Misfits and in Downton Abbey, she played the youngest daughter of the Grantham household for three seasons before subsequently leaving the show to move forward in her career. She appeared in the second episode of Channel 4's Black Mirror. In 2012, she became the face of Dominic Jones' jewellery line and was cast in Not Another Happy Ending by John McKay,[8] and in the miniseries Labyrinth, based on the novel of the same name written by Kate Mosse, portraying Alaïs Pelletier.[9] In 2012, she was cast as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale (2014).[10]

Tim Burton considered Brown Findlay for the lead in his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately gave the role to Australian actress Mia Wasikowska.[11]


Year Film Role Notes
2009, 2011 Misfits Rachel TV series (2 episodes)
2009 Man on a Motorcycle Girl in bed Short
2010–2012 Downton Abbey Lady Sybil Branson née Crawley TV series (20 episodes, series 1–3)
2011 Albatross Emelia Conan-Doyle
2011 Black Mirror Abi Khan TV series (Episode: "15 Million Merits")
2012 Labyrinth Alais Pelletier Du Mas TV mini-series
2014 Winter's Tale Beverly Penn
2014 Jamaica Inn Mary Yellan
2014 Lullaby Post-production
2014 The Riot Club Rachel Post-production
2015 Victor Frankenstein Lorelei Post-production

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[12] Albatross Nominated
2012 Evening Standard British Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[13] Albatross Nominated


External links[edit]