Jessica Brown Findlay

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Jessica Brown Findlay
Born Jessica Rose Brown Findlay
(1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 26)
Cookham, Berkshire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2009–present

Jessica Rose Brown Findlay (born 14 September 1989),[1] known professionally as Jessica Brown Findlay, is an English actress, best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey and Emelia Conan Doyle in the British comedy-drama film Albatross. In 2014, she starred as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale.[2] She also co-stars in Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein (2015).

Early life[edit]

Findlay lives in Cookham, Berkshire. Her mother is a teacher's assistant and her father is a financial adviser.[1] Findlay trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet. At age 15, she was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season.[3]

Findlay attended Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead. At the end of her GCSEs, she was accepted to a number of ballet schools but chose to go to the Arts Educational School, because of the A-level courses it provided and its pastoral care. She attended for two years; in her second year, she had three operations on her ankles, the last of which went wrong. After this, she was told that she would never dance again. She said that she always had acting in the back of her mind, but was never really able to go out and try it.[4] After encouragement from an art teacher, she finished her education at Arts Educational School, Tring Park[4] and then moved on to a Fine Art course at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.[1][3]


Findlay was cast in the lead role of Emelia in the film Albatross, directed by Niall MacCormick.[3] She was subsequently cast in two episodes of the E4 programme Misfits and in Downton Abbey, she played the youngest daughter of the Grantham household for three seasons before subsequently leaving the show to move forward in her career. She appeared in the second episode of Channel 4's Black Mirror. In 2012, she became the face of Dominic Jones' jewellery line, was cast in Not Another Happy Ending by John McKay,[5] and in the miniseries Labyrinth, based on the novel of the same name written by Kate Mosse, portraying Alaïs Pelletier.[6] In 2012, she was cast as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale (2014) with Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe.[7]

Tim Burton considered Findlay for the lead in his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately gave the role to Australian actress Mia Wasikowska.[4] In March 2015, it was confirmed that she will star in the remake of The Crow,[8] in which Findlay portrayed Shelly in a leading role.[9]

In July 2015, Findlay played the role of emotionally conflicted stepmother Alice Aldridge in The Outcast, the BBC’s two-part television adaptation of Sadie Jones’ novel.[10]

In May 2015, Findlay made her theatre debut as Electra in a new adaptation of The Oresteia to rave reviews. The production later transferred to the Trafalgar Theatre in London's West End.



Year Film Role Notes
2009 Man on a Motorcycle Girl in Bed Short film
2011 Albatross Emelia Conan Doyle
2014 Winter's Tale Beverly Penn
2014 Lullaby Karen Lowenstein
2014 The Riot Club Rachel
2015 Victor Frankenstein Lorelei
2016 This Beautiful Fantastic Bella Brown Post-production


Year Film Role Notes
2009–2011 Misfits Rachel 2 episodes
2010–2012 Downton Abbey Lady Sybil Branson née Crawley 20 episodes
2011 Black Mirror Abi Khan Episode: "Fifteen Million Merits"
2012 Labyrinth Alaïs Pelletier du Mas Miniseries
2014 Jamaica Inn Mary Yellan Miniseries
2015 The Outcast Alice Aldridge 2 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[11] Albatross Nominated
2012 Evening Standard British Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[12] Albatross Nominated


  1. ^ a b c Aftab, Kaleen (6 October 2011). "The Lady is a champ: Why everyone is talking about Jessica Brown Findlay". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Fleming, Mike (3 February 2013). "Star In ‘Winter’s Tale’". 
  3. ^ a b c "Downton Abbey Press Pack" (PDF). ITV. 
  4. ^ a b c Littlejohn, Georgina (9 October 2011). "What would they say at Downton? Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay shakes off Lady Sybil in first 'shocking' film role". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jessica Brown Findlay to star in Not Another Happy Ending". 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Meet the young cast of Labyrinth". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (21 March 2012). "Star In ‘Winter’s Tale’". 
  8. ^ "More News Confirmed For ‘The Crow’ Remake". 16 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Crow – Downton Abbey Star Joins Cast; More Details". 15 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "British Independent Film Awards 2011: Nominations". 5 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations". 17 January 2012. 

External links[edit]