1970 (age 46–47)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
|Spouse(s)||Justin Kurzel (m. 2002)|
Esther "Essie" Davis (born 1970) is an Australian actress. She is best known for her roles as Phryne Fisher in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Amelia Vanek in The Babadook. Other major work has included a recurring role in season six of the TV series Game of Thrones, and a role as Elizabeth Woodville in the TV series The White Princess, an adaptation of Philippa Gregory's historical novel.
Davis was brought up on the outskirts of Hobart, the daughter of local artist George Davis. She was educated at Clarence High School; Rosny College; the University of Tasmania, where she was a member of the Old Nick Company; and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, where she graduated in 1992.
Her acting career began with the Bell Shakespeare company when, straight out of NIDA, she was cast as Juliet in its 1993 production of Romeo and Juliet. She following this with performances for the company in Hamlet and Richard III in 1993, and Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew in 1994.
Davis' film career started with her role in the Australian 1995 film Dad and Dave: On Our Selection, which starred Geoffrey Rush, Leo McKern and Joan Sutherland. Film roles continued 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.
After further stage performances in Australia including Gwendolen Fairfax in a national tour of The Importance of Being Earnest in 2000 and The School for Scandal for the Sydney Theatre Company in 2001, in 2003 she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Stella Kowalski opposite Glenn Close in Trevor Nunn's production of Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire at the National Theatre in London. In 2004 she starred in a Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 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.
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. In 2011, she received a Logie Award nomination for her role as Anouk in the Australian miniseries 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.
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 and a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Leading Actress.
In 2016, she joined the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as Lady Crane; this role did not continue into Season 7. In June 2016 she started filming The White Princess, playing Dowager Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Woodville). In early January 2017, the producers released a video clip from the series as a brief trailer (teaser).
In late 2016, there were some plans for a movie, possibly a full trilogy, featuring the character Phryne Fisher. In May 2016, the actress said she would certainly consider appearing in a Miss Fisher film. "[We’re] just working out the ideas of how to make it bigger and better and more fabulous than the TV show." If the project proceeds, the producers would need to wait until the actress has completed filming The White Princess TV series in England.
|1993||Custodian, TheThe Custodian||Jilly|
|1995||Dad and Dave: On Our Selection||Kate Rudd|
|1996||River Street||Wendy Davis|
|1997||Two-Wheeled Time Machine, TheThe Two-Wheeled Time Machine||Young Alice||Short film|
|1998||Sound of One Hand Clapping, TheThe Sound of One Hand Clapping||Jean|
|2003||Matrix Reloaded, TheThe Matrix Reloaded||Maggie|
|2003||Pact, TheThe Pact||Helene Davis|
|2003||Girl with a Pearl Earring||Catharina|
|2003||Matrix Revolutions, TheThe Matrix Revolutions||Maggie|
|2006||Charlotte's Web||Mrs. Arable|
|2008||Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger||Grace Blueburger|
|2008||Australia||Catherine "Cath" Carney Fletcher|
|2010||South Solitary||Alma Stanley|
|2010||Wedding Party, TheThe Wedding Party||Jane|
|2010||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole||Marella (voice)|
|2011||Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg, TheThe Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg||Lottie||Video|
|2014||Babadook, TheThe Babadook||Amelia Vanek|
|2016||Assassin's Creed||Mary Lynch|
|1997||Water Rats||Senior Det. Nicola Bourke||"Blood Trail"
"Dead or Alive"
|1997||Ripper, TheThe Ripper||Evelyn Bookman||TV film|
|1998||Kings in Grass Castles||Mary Costello||TV miniseries|
|1998||Murder Call||Judy St. John||"Deadfall"|
|2000||Halifax f.p.||Alison Blount||"The Spider and the Fly"|
|2001||Corridors of Power||Sophie||"1.4"|
|2002||Young Lions||Julie Morgan||"1.2", "Mardi Gras"|
|2003||Enter the Matrix||Maggie (voice)||Video game|
|2003||After the Deluge||Beth||TV film|
|2006||Sweeney Todd||Mrs. Lovett||TV film|
|2006||Silence, TheThe Silence||Juliet Moore||TV film|
|2011||Cloudstreet||Dolly Pickles||TV miniseries|
|2011||Slap, TheThe Slap||Anouk||Main role|
|2012-15||Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries||Phryne Fisher||Lead role|
|2014||Poet in New York, AA Poet in New York||Caitlin Thomas||TV film|
|2014||Funny or Die||Amelia||"The Babadooks of Hazzard"|
|2016||Game of Thrones||Lady Crane||"The Door"
"Blood of My Blood"
Awards and nominations
Film and television
|2002||Helpmann Awards||Best Female Actor in a Play||The School for Scandal||Nominated|
|2003||Olivier Awards||Best Performance in a Supporting Role||A Streetcar Named Desire||Won|
|2004||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Play||Jumpers||Nominated|
- Robinson, Joanna (11 September 2015). "Game of Thrones Casts Babadook Star Essie Davis to Play Queen Cersei ... Kinda [Updated]". Vanity Fair Hollywood. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "True crime as a spectator sport" by Bryce Hallett, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 2009
- Essie Davis at the Internet Movie Database
- Peter Gotting,"Big screen dreaming", The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 2004.
- "Essie Davis". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
- "The Face: Essie Davies" by Michael Davis, The Australian, 6 September 2008
- Production details for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Melbourne Theatre Company; accessed 10 October 2014.
- About The Tasmanian Theatre Company, tastheatre.com; accessed 10 October 2014.
- Mr. Babadook Speaks!
- For Your Consideration: The 2015 Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Actress
- Bradley, Laura (13 June 2016). "Two More Game of Thrones Actors Just Joined Starz's The White Queen Follow-Up". Vanity fair. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
For those who already dearly miss Essie Davis as Lady Crane, who got assassinated in the show's most recent installment, great news: you’ll soon see her again in The White Princess.
- "White Princess, Starz". Coming Soon. Early Word. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
The trailer has just been released for the TV series adaptation of Philippa Gregory's White Queen, set to air on the STARZ channel some time in 2017.
- Bowden, Ebony (17 November 2016). "ABC's Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries set to become an action movie trilogy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- Spring, Alexandra (9 May 2016). "The thousand faces of Essie Davis: 'People don't realise I'm the same person'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- Karl Quinn,"Lunch with Essie Davis", The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 March 2012.