Eve Best at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Benefit, 2009
31 July 1971
Ladbroke Grove, London
Emily "Eve" Best (born 31 July 1971) is an English stage and screen actress and director, known for her television roles as Dr. Eleanor O'Hara in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie (2009–13), First Lady Dolley Madison in the American Experience television special (2011), and Monica Chatwin in the BBC miniseries The Honourable Woman (2014). She also played Wallis Simpson in the 2010 film The King's Speech.
Best won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Actress for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler. She made her Broadway debut in the 2007 revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, and receiving the first of two nominations for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play; the second was for the revival of The Homecoming in 2008. She returned to Broadway in the 2015 revival of Old Times.
Early life and education
Best grew up in Ladbroke Grove, London, daughter of a design journalist and an actress. She attended Wycombe Abbey Girls’ School before going on to Lincoln College, Oxford, where she read English. Some of her earliest public performances were with the W11 Opera children's opera company in London at the age of nine. After graduating from Oxford where she had appeared in Oxford University Dramatic Society productions, and toured to the Edinburgh Festival, she made her professional debut as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at the Southwark Playhouse.
After a period working on the London fringe, Best trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. After graduating in 1999 she appeared in a revival of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore at the Young Vic for which she won both the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle best newcomer awards; she adopted her grandmother's name as a stage name, as an Emily Best was already registered with British Actors' Equity Association.
Best won an Laurence Olivier Award for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler and was nominated for the same award the following year for her performance as Josie in Eugene O'Neill's play A Moon For The Misbegotten at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
In early 2007, she starred in a Sheffield Crucible production of As You Like It which played for a short time at the RSC's Swan Theatre in Stratford as part of their Complete Works season. In the same year she performed in the Broadway transfer of A Moon For The Misbegotten for which she was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Play.
Best appeared in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming at the Cort Theatre in New York, which co-starred Ian McShane, Raúl Esparza and Michael McKean. Daniel Sullivan directed the 20-week limited engagement, which ran until 13 April 2008. She once again appeared as Beatrice in a critically acclaimed production of Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2011, playing opposite Charles Edwards as Benedick and starred in the Old Vic production of The Duchess of Malfi in 2012. She made her directorial debut with a production of Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2013.
Best co-stars as Dr. Eleanor O'Hara in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, that premiered in June 2009. She played the Duchess of Windsor – Wallis Simpson – in The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.
Best also co-stars as Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, alongside William Hurt in The Challenger, a British made for TV dramatization of the Rogers Commission set up to investigate the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
In summer 2014 Best played Cleopatra, the leading role in the Shakespeare's Globe version of Antony and Cleopatra. She returned to Broadway in the 2015 revival of the Pinter play Old Times, opposite Clive Owen and Kelly Reilly.
Film, TV, stage
|2002||Shackleton||Eleanor Shackleton||TV Movie|
|2010||The King's Speech||Wallis Simpson|
|2014||Someone You Love||Kate|
|2000||The Bill||Anne||Episode: Beasts|
|2000||Casualty||Amber Hope||Episode: Seize the Night|
|2001||The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells||Ellen McGillvray||TV mini-series|
|2004||Waking the Dead||Natasha Bloom||Episode: Shadowplay: Part 1|
|2004||Lie With Me||Roselyn Tyler||TV mini-series|
|2005||The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||Amanda Gibson||Episode: In Divine Proportion|
|2006||Prime Suspect: The Final Act||Linda Philips|
|2006||Vital Signs||Sarah Cartwright||6 episodes|
|Nurse Jackie||Dr. Eleanor O'Hara||Main cast (season 1–5)|
Guest (season 7)
|2010||American Experience||Dolley Madison||Episode: Dolley Madison|
|2010||The Shadow Line||Petra Mayler||3 episodes|
|2012||Up All Night||Yvonne Encanto||Episode: New Boss|
|2013||The Challenger||Sally Ride|
|2014||New Worlds||Angelica Fanshawe||Episodes 1–3|
|2014||The Honourable Woman||Monica Chatwin||Episodes 1–8|
|2015||Life in Squares||Vanessa Bell|
|2016||Stan Lee's Lucky Man||Anna Clayton||Main cast|
Awards and nominations
|1999||Evening Standard Award||The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer||'Tis Pity She's a Whore||Won|
|1999||Critics' Circle Theatre Award||The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright)||'Tis Pity She's a Whore||Won|
|2003||Critics' Circle Theatre Award||Best Actress||Mourning Becomes Electra||Won|
|2005||Critics' Circle Theatre Award||Best Actress||Hedda Gabler||Won|
|2006||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actress||Hedda Gabler||Won|
|2007||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Play||A Moon for the Misbegotten||Won|
|2007||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actress||A Moon for the Misbegotten||Nominated|
|2007||Tony Award||Best Actress||A Moon for the Misbegotten||Nominated|
|2008||Tony Award||Best Actress||The Homecoming||Nominated|
- Sercher, Benjamin (2013-06-19). "Eve Best interview: on returning to the stage as a director". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company
- Matt Trueman (2012-08-11). "Forging a Direct Path to the Future: JMK Award". The Stage. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
- Paddock, Terri (18 August 2003). "20 Questions With...Eve Best". What's On Stage. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Henderson, Kathy. "Fresh Face: Eve Best". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "Hedda Gabler". almeida.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
- "A Moon for the Misbegotten". The Old Vic. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- Billington, Michael (2007-02-08). "As You Like It". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- "As You Like It". The British Universities Film & Video Council. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- Brantley, Ben (2007-04-10). "A Moonlit Night on the Farm, Graveyard Ready". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- Wolf, Matt (2007-05-16). "We should cheer, and weep, at the Tony Awards nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- Brantley, Ben (2007-12-17). "You Can Go Home Again, but You'll Pay the Consequences". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- "Much Ado About Nothing ". Shakespeare's Globe. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- "'Fair is foul, and foul is fair'". Shakespeare's Globe. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- "Nurse Jackie: Official Site". Sho.com. Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- Starr, Michael (30 June 2008). "Nurse Edie: First Look at Sopranos Star's Dark, New Hospital Comedy". New York Post. NYPost.com. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- "Two lovers are blown apart by love and war". Shakespeare's Globe. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
- "Brilliant!". British Council. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- Lawson, Mark (2004-11-15). "The cop stays in the picture". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- "'Phoebe Fox, Lydia Leonard, Sam Hoare and James Norton to star in Life In Squares for BBC Two'". BBC. 2014-08-18. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
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