Essie Davis

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Essie Davis
Born 1969/1970
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Actress, singer
Spouse(s) Justin Kurzel (m. 2002)
Children 2

Esther "Essie" Davis (born 1969/1970) is an Australian actress.

Early life[edit]

Davis was raised on the outskirts of Hobart, Tasmania, the daughter of a local artist, George Davis. She emerged from the Old Nick Company at the University of Tasmania in the late 1980s. In 1992, she graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney.[1]


Her acting career began with the Bell Shakespeare company when, straight out of NIDA, she was cast as Juliet in the 1993 production of Romeo and Juliet.[2]

Her film career started with her role in the all-Australian 1995 movie Dad and Dave: On Our Selection, which starred Geoffrey Rush, Leo McKern, and Joan Sutherland. Her biggest movie roles are in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, director Richard Flanagan's 1998 Tasmanian film The Sound of One Hand Clapping, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.[1]

In 2003 she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her UK performance in the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire. In 2004 she starred in a Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. In 2005 she appeared as Mrs. Nellie Lovett in the BBC production of Sweeney Todd with Ray Winstone.

In the 2008 film Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger she plays Esther's controlling mother. Also in 2008, she appeared in the film Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The same year, Davis played Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Melbourne Theatre Company.[3]

Davis returned to Tasmania to launch the Tasmanian Theatre Company in 2008 and help support local theatre while encouraging youth to continue participating in the arts.[4] In 2011, she received a Logie Award nomination for her role as Anouk in The Slap. In 2012, 2013 and 2015, Davis played Phryne Fisher, the central character in ABC Television's high-rating costume drama, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.[1]

Davis starred in Jennifer Kent's 2014 debut feature The Babadook. For her work in the film Davis was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, an AACTA International Award for Best Actress[5] and an Fangoria Chainsaw Award as for Best Leading Actress.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Davis married Justin Kurzel in 2002; the couple have two children, [7] twin daughters, Stella and Ruby.[8]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Title Work
1995 Australian Film Institute Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Dad and Dave: On Our Selection Nominated
2000 Best Actress in a Telefeature or Mini-Series The Spider and The Fly Nominated
2003 Best Actress in a Supporting or Guest Role in a Television Drama or Comedy After The Deluge Won
2006 Screamfest Horror Film Festival Festival Trophy Isolation Won
2011 Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Supporting Actor- Female South Solitary Won
2012 AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Cloudstreet Nominated
ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Female Nominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Actress The Slap Nominated
Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Actress - Supporting Role Burning Man Nominated
2013 AACTA Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Nominated
2014 Logie Awards Most Popular Actress Nominated
Fright Meter Awards Best Actress The Babadook Won
North Carolina Film Critics Association Best Actress Won
Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival Best Actress Won
Sitges Film Festival Best Actress Won
Austin Fantastic Fest Best Actress Won
BloodGuts UK Horror Awards Best Actress Won
Toronto After Dark Film Festival Best Actress Won
AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Actress Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Village Voice Film Poll Best Actress 3rd place
2015 Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Actress Won
Saturn Awards Best Actress Nominated
YouReviewers Movie Awards Breakthrough Actress Pending
Best Actress Pending
Empire Awards Best Newcomer- Female Pending
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Leading Actress Won
AACTA International Awards Best Actress Nominated
Dorian Awards Film Performance of The Year- Female Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Breakthrough Performance- Female Nominated


External links[edit]