|Born||Jessica Dominique Marais
29 January 1985
Johannesburg, South Africa
Jessica Dominique Marais (born 29 January 1985) is a South African actress whose family emigrated to Perth, Western Australia when she was 9. She is best known for her roles as Rachel Rafter on the television series Packed to the Rafters and Lily Diamond on the television series Magic City.
Born in South Africa, Marais and her family lived in Canada and New Zealand before relocating to Perth, Western Australia, when she was nine.
Six months after arriving in Australia, Marais' father Tony died from a heart attack while returning from a family picnic. Marais and her younger sister Clara were raised by her mother Karen. She attended John XXIII College for a year and then went to St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls from 1995 until her graduation in 2002.
Jessica attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art where she graduated in 2007. NIDA appearances included Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Charity in Sweet Charity. While still completing her final year she won the role in Packed to the Rafters, along with co-star and fellow NIDA graduate Hugh Sheridan.
Marais was attending NIDA when she was cast in the role of Rachel Rafter on the television series Packed to the Rafters. The series became a success and was instantly renewed. On Sunday 3 May 2009, Marais won the Logie for "Most Popular New Female Talent" and the prestigious Graham Kennedy Award for "Most Outstanding New Talent" at the Logie Awards of 2009. In February 2011 it was announced that Marais had left the show, with her final episode airing on 23 August 2011. Marais starred in the series from Season One until Season Four from 2008-2012. Marais made cameo appearances in the final episode of season 4 on 20 March 2012 and in the series finale on 2 July 2013.
Marais also starred in Rai Fazio's film Two Fists, One Heart with fellow Perth actor Tim Minchin and Daniel Amalm which was released in March 2009. Marais guest-starred in the American series, Legend of the Seeker filmed in Auckland New Zealand, playing the role of the Mord'Sith Denna.
After re-locating back to Australia, it was announced that Marais' next project will be portraying Australian transgendered entertainer and activist Carlotta in an upcoming biographic telefilm for ABC, which is scheduled to air in 2014.
Marais and Stewart have a daughter together, born in May 2012. Marais was reported as saying she would return to work filming the second series of Magic City while Stewart would be the baby's full-time caregiver.
|2008||Two Fists, One Heart||Kate|
|2008–2012, 2013||Packed to the Rafters||Rachel Rafter||Main seasons 1-4, guest season 6; 76 episodes|
|2009–2010||Legend of the Seeker||Denna||4 episodes|
|2010||Fish Lips||Audrey - adult||Short film|
|2012–2013||Magic City||Lily Diamond||Main cast; 16 episodes|
|2014||Love Child||Joan Miller||Main Cast|
- 28 October 2011 12:00AM (28 October 2011). "Packed To the Rafters star Jessica Marais still haunted by seeing father die". News.com.au. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "More About Jessica Marais - Jessica Marais". Zimbio. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- [dead link]
- Harris, Amy (15 February 2011). "Packed to the Rafters losing Jessica Marais, its brightest young star | thetelegraph.com.au". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- Two Fists, One Heart
- "Jessica Marais steps into Carlotta's big shoes" from News.com.au (9 May 2013)
- "Jessica Marais and James Stewart are engaged! - New Idea Magazine - Yahoo!7 Lifestyle". Au.lifestyle.yahoo.com. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Celeb news: Look who's had a baby. Mamamia". Mamamia.com.au. Retrieved 13 December 2012.