Jessica Brown Findlay

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

Jessica Rose Brown-Findlay[1] (born 14 September 1989),[2][3] known professionally as Jessica Brown Findlay, is an English actress, best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey and Emelia Conan-Doyle in the British comedy-drama film Albatross. In 2014, she starred as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale.[4] She will also co-star in Paul McGuigan's Frankenstein remake.

Early life[edit]

Findlay was born and raised in 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] 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]

Findlay attended Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead. At the end of her GCSEs, she 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; in her second year, she 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 moved on to a Fine Art course at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.[3][6]


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

Personal life[edit]

She was one of the victims of the 2014 celebrity pictures hack.[12][13]



Year Film Role Notes
2009 Man on a Motorcycle Girl in Bed Short film
2011 Albatross Emelia Conan-Doyle
2014 Winter's Tale Beverly Penn
2014 Lullaby Karen Lowenstein
2014 The Riot Club Rachel
2015 Victor Frankenstein Lorelei


Year Film Role Notes
2009–2011 Misfits Rachel 2 episodes
2010–2012 Downton Abbey Lady Sybil Branson née Crawley 20 episodes
2011 Black Mirror Abi Khan Episode: "15 Million Merits"
2012 Labyrinth Alais Pelletier Du Mas Miniseries
2014 Jamaica Inn Mary Yellan Miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[14] Albatross Nominated
2012 Evening Standard British Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[15] Albatross Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Kaleen Aftab (6 October 2011). "The Lady is a champ: Why everyone is talking about Jessica Brown Findlay". Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Mike Fleming (3 February 2013). "Star In ‘Winter’s Tale’". 
  5. ^ Downton Abbey's girls: On screen they play the Earl's daughters, each with a secret to hide, but what are the dramas that lie in their own family histories?. (30 September 2011). Retrieved on 10 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Downton Abbey Press Pack". ITV. 
  7. ^ a b Georgina Littlejohn (9 October 2011). "What would they say at Downton? Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay shakes off Lady Sybil in first 'shocking' film role". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jessica Brown Findlay to star in Not Another Happy Ending". 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Meet the young cast of Labyrinth". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Mike Fleming (21 March 2012). "Star In ‘Winter’s Tale’". 
  11. ^ Georgina Littlejohn (9 October 2011). "What would they say at Downton? Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay shakes off Lady Sybil in first 'shocking' film role". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Duncan, Amy (Sep 1, 2014). "'Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay is latest naked photos victim as her sex tapes emerge online'". 
  13. ^ Bucktin, Christopher (Sep 1, 2014). "Jessica Brown Findlay sex tape: Downton Abbey star embroiled in 4chan scandal". 
  14. ^ "British Independent Film Awards 2011: Nominations". 5 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations". 17 January 2012. 

External links[edit]