Claire Foy

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Claire Foy
Claire Foy in 2018.jpg
Foy in October 2018
Born (1984-04-16) 16 April 1984 (age 37)
Years active2008–present
(m. 2014; sep. 2018)

Claire Elizabeth Foy (born 16 April 1984) is a British actress. She has received various awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Foy studied drama at Liverpool John Moores University and the Oxford School of Drama, then made her screen debut in the pilot episode of the supernatural comedy series Being Human (2008). Following her professional stage debut at the Royal National Theatre, she played the title role in the BBC One miniseries Little Dorrit (2008) and made her film debut in the American historical fantasy drama Season of the Witch (2011). Following leading roles in the television series The Promise (2011) and Crossbones (2014), Foy received praise for portraying the ill-fated queen Anne Boleyn in the miniseries Wolf Hall (2015).

Foy rose to global prominence with her portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the Netflix series The Crown, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 2018, she starred in Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller Unsane and portrayed Janet Shearon, wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong, in Damien Chazelle's biopic First Man. For the latter she received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award, and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Early life[edit]

Claire Elizabeth Foy was born in Stockport on 16 April 1984,[1] the youngest of three children. She has said that her mother, Caroline, comes from a "massive" Irish family; her maternal grandparents are from Dublin and Kildare.[2][3][4] She grew up in Manchester and Leeds, and the family later moved to Longwick for her father's job as a Rank Xerox salesman. Her parents divorced when she was eight.[5] She has a younger half-sister through her father's second marriage. Foy was educated at Aylesbury High School from the age of 12 and later studied drama at Liverpool John Moores University. She also took a one-year course at the Oxford School of Drama,[6] graduating in 2007 and moving to the Peckham area of London to share a house with five friends from drama school.[7]


Foy in October 2017

While at the Oxford School of Drama, Foy appeared in the plays Top Girls, Watership Down, Easy Virtue, and Touched.[8] After appearing on television,[9] she made her professional stage debut in DNA and The Miracle, two of a trio of single acts directed by Paul Miller at the Royal National Theatre in London (the third was Baby Girl).[10]

Foy starred as the protagonist, Amy Dorrit, in the BBC series Little Dorrit.[11] She was nominated for an RTS Award. She went on to appear in the TV film Going Postal and the horror adventure film Season of the Witch. Foy also starred in the BBC revival of Upstairs Downstairs as Lady Persephone, and co-starred in the Channel 4 serial The Promise, broadcast in February 2011.

Foy played a lead role, Helen, in the TV movie The Night Watch, which was based on a Sarah Waters novel.[12] She returned to the stage in February 2013 as Lady Macbeth, alongside James McAvoy in the title role, in Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.[13]

In 2015, Foy played the English queen Anne Boleyn in the six-part drama serial Wolf Hall.[14] Her performance was met with critical praise and compared to Geneviève Bujold's iconic performance in Anne of the Thousand Days. Foy was subsequently nominated for the 2016 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress.[15]

In 2016, Foy portrayed the young Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's Netflix biographical drama series The Crown.[16] Her performance earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series twice, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She was also nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress. In 2017, she reprised the role in the second season, before the role passed to actress Olivia Colman, who would portray the Queen in middle age, beginning in the third season. Also in 2017, Foy starred as Diana Cavendish in the biographical drama film Breathe.

In 2018, Foy starred in Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller Unsane; portrayed the vigilante Lisbeth Salander in the action-thriller The Girl in the Spider's Web; and Janet Shearon, wife of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, in Damien Chazelle's biopic First Man. For the latter, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2020, Foy reprised the role of the young Queen Elizabeth II in the eighth episode of The Crown's fourth season.[17] Her performance earned her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.[18]

In October 2021, Foy was cast as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the drama series Doomsday Machine, based on the book Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Foy married actor Stephen Campbell Moore in 2014.[20] They have a daughter, Ivy Rose, born in March 2015.[21] They announced their separation in February 2018.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Season of the Witch Anna
Wreckers Dawn
2014 Vampire Academy Sonya Karp
Rosewater Paola Gourley
2015 The Lady in the Van Lois
2017 Breathe Diana Cavendish
2018 Unsane Sawyer Valentini
First Man Janet Armstrong
The Girl in the Spider's Web Lisbeth Salander
2021 The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Emily Richardson-Wain
My Son Joan Richmond [23]
TBA Women Talking Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Being Human Julia Beckett Episode: "Pilot"
Doctors Chloe Webster Episode: "The Party's Over"
Little Dorrit Amy Dorrit 14 episodes
2009 10 Minute Tales Woman Episode: "Through the Window"
2010 Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Adora Belle Dearheart 2 episodes
Pulse Hannah Carter Television film
2010–2012 Upstairs Downstairs Lady Persephone Towyn 9 episodes
2011 The Promise Erin Matthews 4 episodes
The Night Watch Helen Giniver Television film
2012 Hacks Kate Loy Television film
White Heat Charlotte Pew 6 episodes
2014 Crossbones Kate Balfour 9 episodes
The Great War: The People's Story Helen Bentwich 2 episodes
Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night Narrator Television film
2015 Wolf Hall Anne Boleyn 6 episodes
The Crown Queen Elizabeth II 21 episodes
2018 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Claire Foy/Anderson Paak"
2021 A Very British Scandal Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll Three-part mini-series[24]


Year Title Role Theatre
2008 DNA Jan National Theatre
2013 Macbeth Lady Macbeth Trafalgar Studios
2019 Lungs W The Old Vic

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Claire Foy age, husband, children and full Emmys 2018 acceptance speech". Metro. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  2. ^ Jamieson, Teddy (17 January 2015). "Claire Foy on playing Anne Boleyn and getting her head chopped off". The Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  3. ^ "The Queen of Wolf Hall". The Herald. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2017 – via
  4. ^ O'Shea, James (25 December 2017). "'The Crown's' Claire Foy has humble Irish roots". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (18 February 2012). "A class act: Claire Foy on criticism, tumours and embarrassing sex scenes". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Showcase Presentation 2007 – One and Three Year Students" (PDF). Oxford School of Drama. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  7. ^ Bearn, Emily (4 December 2008). "Little Claire Foy". Archived from the original on 16 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Claire Foy". Royal National Theatre. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Claire Foy". Screen Daily. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008.
  10. ^ Benedict, David (3 March 2008). "Baby Girl/DNA/The Miracle". Variety. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Little Dorrit cast announced". BBC Press Office. 6 May 2008.
  12. ^ "Interview: Claire Foy". Channel 4. 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  13. ^ Merrifield, Nicola (4 January 2013). "Claire Foy to play Lady Macbeth opposite James McAvoy". The Stage. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  14. ^ Plunkett, John (3 March 2016). "Poldark's topless scything fails to cut it with Royal Television Society judges". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  15. ^ "2016 Television Leading Actress – BAFTA Awards". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  16. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (18 June 2015). "'Doctor Who' Alum Matt Smith Cast in Netflix's 'The Crown' with John Lithgow, Claire Foy". Variety. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  17. ^ Lambe, Stacey (16 November 2020). "'The Crown' Star Claire Foy Returns as Queen Elizabeth in Season 4". ET Online. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  18. ^ Rosy Cordero (12 September 2021). "Claire Foy Wins Second Emmy For 'The Crown' In A Different Category". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ "Facebook Drama Series Starring Claire Foy As Sheryl Sandberg In Works From Anonymous Content & Wiip". Deadline Hollywood.
  20. ^ Radio Times, 29 January 2015, p. 16.
  21. ^ Pavia, Lucy (4 November 2016). "Claire Foy on playing The Queen: 'Being likeable all the time isn't real life'". Marie Claire. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  22. ^ Stone, Natalie (22 February 2018). "The Crown's Claire Foy Separates from Her Husband After 4 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  23. ^ James McAvoy & Claire Foy To Star In STXfilms ‘My Son’, English-Remake Of French Thriller
  24. ^ "A Very British Scandal". Retrieved 9 November 2021.

External links[edit]