Betty Gabriel

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Betty Gabriel
Human Capital 02 (48816747746).jpg
Gabriel in 2019
Born (1981-01-06) January 6, 1981 (age 42)
EducationIowa State University (BS)
Juilliard School (MFA)
Years active2004–present

Betty Gabriel (born January 6, 1981) is an American actress. She began her career in musical theater and made her screen debut with the short film In Memoriam (2011). She subsequently played Laney Rucker in the action film The Purge: Election Year (2016) and Denise in the period drama series Good Girls Revolt (2016).

Gabriel had her breakthrough starring as Georgina in the horror film Get Out (2017), which The New York Times cited as one of the best performances of 2017. She earned numerous accolades for the role, including nominations for two Black Reel Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She has since become recognized for her work in Blumhouse films,[1] which include starring as Nari Jemisin in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), Detective Cortez in Upgrade (2018) and Deeks in Adopt a Highway (2019). She has also portrayed Pam Duffy in the miniseries Defending Jacob (2020) and headlines as Sophie Brewer in the Netflix drama series Clickbait (2021).

Life and career[edit]

Early life and early roles[edit]

Gabriel was born January 6, 1981, in Washington D.C. and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Hyattsville, Maryland.[2] In 2002, Gabriel received a BSc in animal science from Iowa State University.[3] After college, Gabriel relocated to Chicago, studying modern dance and working as an actress in the Chicago theater community.[4][5] In 2014, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in drama from Juilliard.[6]

After doing a bit of theater at Iowa State University,[7] Gabriel got her start working as an actress and dancer in Chicago theater, first as part of her further studies, and then in various productions.[4][8] Gabriel's first film role was in the 2011 drama In Memoriam.[1] She began her career as a television actress with minor recurring roles in Good Girls Revolt and Westworld before landing her first major film role in the 2016 horror sequel The Purge: Election Year.[2][9]

The Purge: Election Year, featuring Gabriel's character Laney Rucker, takes place in Washington D.C., twenty years after the first Purge event. Gabriel's character is a notorious former gang member who patrols the streets on Purge Night armed and in an armored "triage van," giving aid to the injured and taking them to makeshift aid stations sponsored by the resistance movement. Gabriel's character allows the consideration to questioning "The American Nightmare," much like in the film Get Out.[10][11]

2017–present: Get Out and breakthrough with Blumhouse films[edit]

Gabriel was on vacation when she was invited to audition for Get Out. To prepare for the role, Gabriel watched the TED talk of Martin Pistorius to get insight into the feeling of being trapped inside one's own body.[12] She also watched Bride of Frankenstein and talked to her own grandmother, who was raised in Alabama, about racial tensions from her era.[13] The film was a critical and commercial success, and Gabriel earned critical acclaim for her performance. Her role was discussed as a contender for Best Supporting Actress for the 2018 Academy Awards by Variety and The New York Times.[14][15] The New York Times cited her role as Georgina as one of the best performances of 2017.[16]

Gabriel starred opposite Logan Marshall-Green in the sci-fi action horror film Upgrade (2018), written and directed by Leigh Whannell, and shot on location in Melbourne, Australia.[17][18][19] Gabriel has been in six projects by Blumhouse Productions, The Purge: Election Year, 12 Deadly Days, Get Out, Upgrade, Unfriended: Dark Web, and Adopt A Highway.[1] In 2017, Gabriel joined the cast of Westworld as the character Maling.[20] In February 2018, it was announced she would join the second season of Counterpart playing an FBI agent.[21]

In March 2021, Gabriel had a role in the animated horror film The Spine of Night, written and directed by Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King.[22] Later in August 2021, she continued her career in the horror genre by playing the role of Sophie Brewer in the Netflix miniseries Clickbait (2021), co-written by Christian White and Tony Ayres,[23] and despite the miniseries receiving a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes,[24] it received 1.46 billion views in one week following its debut.[25]

Gabriel also appeared in the Apple TV+ limited series Manhunt,[26][27] as well as having a recurring role in the TV series Jack Ryan for its third season [28] in 2022.



Year Film Role Notes
2009 Maidenhead Isabeau Short
2011 In Memoriam Kayla
2013 He's Way More Famous Than You Hairstylist
The Story of Your Life Houston
2015 Experimenter Sally
2016 The Purge: Election Year Laney Rucker
2017 Get Out Georgina/Marianne Armitage
Beyond Skyline Jones
2018 Diverted Eden Shirley
Unfriended: Dark Web Nari Jemisin
Upgrade Det. Cortez
2019 Adopt a Highway Deeks
Human Capital Ronnie Manning
2021 The Spine of Night Phae-Agura


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Good Girls Revolt Denise Recurring role
12 Deadly Days Willow Russell 1 episode
2018 Westworld Maling 4 episodes
2018-19 Counterpart Naya Temple Main role, 8 episodes
2019 The Twilight Zone Herself 1 episode
2020 Defending Jacob Pam Duffy Miniseries, 8 episodes
2021 Clickbait Sophie Brewer Miniseries, 8 episodes
2022 Jack Ryan Elizabeth Wright 8 episodes
2022 Manhunt Elizabeth Keckley 1 episode


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result Ref.
2017 Get Out 11th Fright Meter Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [32]
14th Women Film Critics Circle Awards Invisible Woman Award Won [33]
2018 16th Gold Derby Awards Best Ensemble Cast Nominated [34]
18th Black Reel Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [35]
Best Breakthrough Female Performance Nominated
24th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated [36]
2022 Clickbait 53rd NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Nominated [37]


  1. ^ a b c Puchko, Kristy (6 April 2018). "Meet Get Out's Betty Gabriel, the fabulous queen of Blumhouse horror". SyfyWire. Syfy.
  2. ^ a b O'Donnell, S.C. (22 February 2018). "Get To Know Westworld Season 2 Newcomer Betty Gabriel". Beyond Westworld. Fansided.
  3. ^ "Inside Get Out: Betty Gabriel, Chicago, IL". Iowa State University Alumni. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b Carroll, Rebecca (2 March 2018). "Don't Sleep on Betty Gabriel, the Housekeeper From 'Get Out'". Shondaland.
  5. ^ Manaa-Hoppenworth, Leni (10 September 2006). "Chicago Dancers Share Their Views on College". Chicago Dance Supply. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018.
  6. ^ "Juilliard Drama Announces 2013-2014 Season". Juilliard School. 15 July 2013. Archived from the original (Press release) on 29 November 2013.
  7. ^ "College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Music, ISU Theatre: Betty Gabriel". Iowa State University. 2000. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  8. ^ "Steppenwolf Theatre Presents The Brother/Sister Plays". Steppenwolf Theatre Company. 21 January 2010. pp. 13, 17. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  9. ^ Adlakha, Siddhant (11 August 2017). "Betty Gabriel Gets In Westworld With A Viking And A Tryant". Birth. Movies. Death.
  10. ^ McKenna, Mark; Proctor, William (2021-09-30). Horror Franchise Cinema. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-59384-0.
  11. ^ Kendi, Ibram X. (June 1, 2020). "The American Nightmare: To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction" (PDF). Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  12. ^ Rosen, Lisa (21 December 2017). "They don't have big roles but these three actresses come through with scene-stealing moments". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Forero, Camilo (24 February 2018). "Betty Gabriel interviewed at The Wrap's 2018 Women, Whiskey & Wisdom Oscar Nominee Party" (Video interview). Red Carpet Report. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  14. ^ Tapley, Kristopher; Riley, Jenelle (22 June 2017). "Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far". Variety.
  15. ^ Dargis, Manohla; Scott, A.O. (5 January 2018). "And the 2018 Oscar Nominees Should Be…". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Morris, Wesley (6 December 2017). "The Best Performances of 2017". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Hope, Clover (14 April 2017). "A Chat With Actor Betty Gabriel About Get Out, White Colonization and the Allure of Horror Films". Jezebel.
  18. ^ Hamman, Cody (24 January 2017). "Betty Gabriel is Leigh Whannell's Stem female lead".
  19. ^ Kit, Borys (23 January 2017). "'Purge: Election Year' Actress Joins Blumhouse Sci-Fi Thriller 'Stem' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (9 August 2017). "'Westworld': Gustaf Skarsgård & Fares Fares Cast As Regulars For Season 2, Betty Gabriel To Recur In HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (26 February 2018). "'Counterpart': Betty Gabriel Joins Season 2 Cast Of Starz Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  22. ^ The Spine of Night, retrieved 2022-12-02
  23. ^ Robinson, Jacob (2021-08-05). "Netflix Miniseries 'Clickbait': Everything We Know So Far". What's on Netflix. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  24. ^ Clickbait, retrieved 2022-12-02
  25. ^ Porter, Rick (2021-09-30). "'Clickbait' Shoots to No. 1 on Streaming Rankings". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  26. ^ Petski, Denise (2022-05-10). "Apple Limited Series 'Manhunt' Adds Seven To Cast". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  27. ^ Manhunt (TV Series 2022– ) - IMDb, retrieved 2022-12-02
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2021-05-18). "'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan': Betty Gabriel Joins Amazon Series In Recasting; Four Others Added For Season 3". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  29. ^ "Pluto Was a Planet". ArtSlant. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  30. ^ Morgan, Scott C. (30 July 2008). "Theater Review: Pluto Was a Planet" (PDF). Windy City Times. p. 12.
  31. ^ "The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare Directed by Karen Fort". Chase Park Theater. November 2009.
  32. ^ "2017 Fright Meter Award Winners". Fright Meter Awards. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  33. ^ Neglia, Matt. "The 2017 Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) Winners". NextBestPicture. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  34. ^ Montgomery, Daniel; Eng, Joyce; Beachum, Chris. "2018 Gold Derby Film Awards winners: 'Call Me by Your Name' wins Best Picture, but voters spread the wealth". GoldDerby. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  35. ^ "Get Out Dominates the Black Reel Awards". The Black Reel Awards. 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  36. ^ "2018 SAG Award Nominations: See the Full List". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  37. ^ "'Insecure,' H.E.R. lead 2022 NAACP Image Awards nominations". Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-11-28.

External links[edit]