Ruth Wilson

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This article is about the English actress. For the alleged Soviet spy, see Ruth Wilson Epstein.
Ruth Wilson
Born (1982-01-13) 13 January 1982 (age 33)
Ashford, Surrey, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Ruth Wilson (born 13 January 1982) is an English actress. She is known for her performances in Suburban Shootout (2005), Jane Eyre (2006), and as Alice Morgan in the BBC TV psychological crime drama Luther since 2010. She has also appeared in Anna Karenina (2012), The Lone Ranger (2013), and Saving Mr. Banks (2013). In 2014, she had a voice role in Locke and a central role in the Showtime series The Affair.

Wilson is a two-time Olivier Award winner,[1] and was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Actress in a mini-series for her role in Jane Eyre, as well as a Satellite Award and won a Golden Globe for her role in The Affair.

Early life[edit]

Wilson was born in Ashford, Surrey, the daughter of Mary, a probation officer, and Nigel Wilson, an investment banker.[2][3] She has three older brothers, and is the granddaughter of novelist and MI6 officer Alexander Wilson and his third wife, Alison (McKelvie).[4][5] She grew up in Shepperton, Surrey,[6] and was raised Catholic.[7]

Wilson attended Notre Dame School and sixth form at Esher College.[8] As a teenager, she worked as a model, and went on to study history at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 2003. While at Nottingham, she was also involved in student drama at the New Theatre. She graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in July 2005. Afterwards, she co-founded Hush Productions.[9] During her time at Nottingham, she participated in the TV war strategy game Time Commanders, helping her teammates fight in the Battle of Pharsalus.[citation needed]


Prior to her role in Jane Eyre, Wilson had one professional screen credit, in Suburban Shootout, a situation comedy she starred in with Tom Hiddleston.[10]

In 2006–7, she filmed the second series of Suburban Shootout, a new Agatha Christie's Marple mystery (Nemesis) for ITV, and Stephen Poliakoff's BBC television drama Capturing Mary as the young Mary.

In 2007, she appeared in Gorky's Philistines, playing Tanya, at the National from May until August 2007.[11] She also narrated the audio book of Lauren St John's novel "The White Giraffe".[citation needed] In June 2007, Wilson presented the 2007 Lilian Baylis Awards.[12]

Other projects in 2007 included the narration of an audio book of the children's novel Dolphin Song by Lauren St John;[citation needed] a guest appearance in the sitcom Freezing as Alison Fennel (transmitted on BBC2, 21 February 2008); narration of the documentary The Polish Ambulance Murders (transmitted on BBC4, 5 February 2008); and the portrayal of a mentally ill doctor in the dramatised documentary The Doctor Who Hears Voices (transmitted on UK Channel 4, 21 April 2008).[13]

From 23 July to 3 October 2009, she appeared as Stella in the Donmar revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.[14] On 15 November 2009 AMC Television and ITV premiered the 2009 TV miniseries remake of The Prisoner, in which Wilson played the Village doctor, "Number 313."[15] She played "Queenie" in an adaptation of Andrea Levy's Small Island, which aired on BBC1 in December 2009[16] and also aired in the United States on PBS in 2010.

From 2010 to 2013, she appeared in the British psychological police drama Luther as recurring character Alice Morgan, a research scientist and highly intelligent sociopath. In September 2012, the series' creator, Neil Cross, announced that he was in the process of creating a spin-off of Luther centred on Wilson's character. Cross stated, "The BBC is very interested in the project. The only real question would be how many and how often we would do it - whether it would be a one-off miniseries or a returning miniseries, a co-production or not."[17]

From 4 August to 8 October 2011, Wilson starred in the title role of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Jude Law. Her performance prompted The Guardian to devote an editorial to Wilson's "courageous, edgy and compelling talent".[18]

In 2014, Wilson began starring as Alison Bailey on The Affair, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in January 2015.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Get Off My Land Woman Short film
2012 Anna Karenina Princess Betsy
2013 The Lone Ranger Rebecca Reid
2013 Saving Mr. Banks Margaret Goff Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2014 Locke Katrina Voice


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Time Commanders Herself Episode: "Pharsalus"
2006 Jane Eyre Jane Eyre 4 episodes
Nominated—BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2006–2007 Suburban Shootout Jewel Diamond 10 episodes
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Georgina Barrow Episode: "Nemesis"
2007 Capturing Mary Young Mary Television movie
2007 A Real Summer Mary / Geraldine Television movie[19]
2008 The Doctor Who Hears Voices Ruth Television movie
2008 Freezing Alison Fennel Episode: "#1.2"
2009 Small Island Queenie Television movie[20]
2009 The Prisoner[21] Sara / 313 6 episodes
2010–2013 Luther Alice Morgan 9 episodes
Nominated—Crime Thriller Award for Best Supporting Actress (2011, 2013)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2014–present The Affair Alison Bailey 10 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated— Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama


Year Title Role Venue
2005 Good Sound Theatre
2007 Philistines Tanya Lyttelton Theatre
Royal National Theatre[22]
2009 A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Donmar Warehouse[23]
2010 Through a Glass Darkly Karin Almeida Theatre[24]
2011 Anna Christie Anna Christie Donmar Warehouse
2015 Constellations Marianne Samuel J. Friedman Theatre


Year Title Role Venue
2008 The Mayor of Casterbridge Elizabeth-Janes
2009 The Promise[25] BBC Radio 3

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2007 British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Jane Eyre Nominated [26]
2007 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actress Jane Eyre Nominated [27]
2007 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film Jane Eyre Nominated [28]
2007 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Jane Eyre Nominated [29]
2010 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Luther Nominated [30]
2011 Crime Thriller Awards The Best Supporting Actress Luther Nominated [31]
2013 Crime Thriller Awards Best Supporting Actress Luther Nominated [32]
2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Ensemble Acting Saving Mr. Banks Nominated [33]
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Affair Won [34]
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Affair Nominated [35]


  1. ^ "Olivier Winners 2010". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Brockes, Emma (31 August 2012). "Ruth Wilson: acting up". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ ""Comparative Media Law & Ethics" by Tim Crook". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Eden, Richard (23 September 2012). "Lone Ranger star Ruth Wilson spies film about her bigamist grandfather". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Genower, Ellie Ruth is following footsteps of the famous, Manchester Evening News (20 October 2006)
  7. ^ EYRE, HERMIONE (21 July 2011). "Ruth Wilson on her sizzling summer with Jude Law". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Nichol, Patricia Something in the Eyre, Times Online (27 May 2007)
  9. ^ Hoggard, Liz Ruth Wilson, The Independent (7 October 2006)
  10. ^ Stephen Robb (10 August 2006). "Jane Eyre star's fast-rising fame". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  11. ^ Rock, Malcolm 20 Questions With… Ruth Wilson, What's on Stage (21 May 2007).
  12. ^ Calvi, Nuala Jane Eyre actress Wilson presents Lilian Baylis Awards, The Stage (12 June 2007).
  13. ^ The Doctor Who Hears Voices, Channel 4 website
  14. ^ Past Productions, Donmar Warehouse 
  15. ^ The Prisoner, Originals, AMC TV 
  16. ^ "BBC – Small Island". BBC Online. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  17. ^ 'Luther' Spin-Off Starring Ruth Wilson As Alice Morgan In The Works, The Huffington Post, 9 September 2012
  18. ^ "In praise of … Ruth Wilson". The Guardian (London). 15 August 2011. p. 30. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  19. ^ The Culture Show: Stephen Poliakoff, BBC (13 September 2007)
  20. ^ Small Island at BBC web site
  21. ^ The Prisoner at AMC TV web site
  22. ^ Philistines official web page at the National Theatre. Retrieved on 2012-02-20.
  23. ^ Billington, Michael (29 July 2009). "Theatre review: A Streetcar Named Desire". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  24. ^ Billington, Michael (17 June 2010). "Through a Glass Darkly". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Top British actors to appear in BBC Radio 3’s autumn drama" 30 August 2009, The Stage
  26. ^ "BAFTA TV Award 2007". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Nominations for Broadcasting Press Guild 33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  28. ^ "List: Nominations for the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Satellite Awards for 2007". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Satellite Awards for 2010". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  31. ^ "2011 Crime Thriller Awards". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ "2013 Crime Thriller Awards". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ "2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Nominations". HitFix. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  34. ^ Ellwood, Gregory (December 11, 2013). "2015 Golden Globe Awards nominations - complete list". HitFix. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  35. ^ "‘Birdman’ Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 

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