Marianne Jean-Baptiste

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Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Jean-Baptiste in 2009
Marianne Raigipcien Jean-Baptiste

(1967-04-26) 26 April 1967 (age 56)
EducationRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Barking and Dagenham College
Years active1991–present
Evan Williams
(m. 1997)

Marianne Raigipcien Jean-Baptiste (born 26 April 1967) is an English actress. She is known for her role in the 1996 film Secrets & Lies, for which she received acclaim and earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award in the same category. Baptiste is also known for her role as Vivian Johnson on the television series Without a Trace from 2002 to 2009, and has since starred in television shows such as Blindspot (2015–2016) and Homecoming (2018).

Early life[edit]

Jean-Baptiste was born in London to a mother from Antigua and a father from Saint Lucia, growing up in Peckham.[1] She attended St Saviour's and St Olave's secondary school.[2] She was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. She was nominated for a 1994 Ian Charleson Award for her performance in William Shakespeare's Measure For Measure with theatre company Cheek by Jowl.


Jean-Baptiste gained international acclaim for the Mike Leigh-directed social drama Secrets & Lies (1996), receiving both Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performance, becoming the first black British actress to be nominated for an Academy Award and the second black Briton to be nominated, succeeding Jaye Davidson. She had previously collaborated with Leigh onstage in It's a Great Big Shame (1993).[3] She caused controversy when she accused the film industry of racism, noting that leading actors had been asked to attend the Cannes Film Festival, but despite her success, she was not invited.[4]

A writer and composer, Jean-Baptiste recorded an album of blues songs and composed the musical score for Leigh's 1997 film Career Girls.[5] In 1999, she performed in Paris in a French-language production by Peter Brook of The Suit (Le Costume), a one-act play by Barney Simon and Mothobi Mutloatse, based on the short story by Can Themba.[6][7] She was also acclaimed for her role as Doreen Lawrence in The Murder of Stephen Lawrence (1999).[1]

Jean-Baptiste relocated for work reasons to the U.S. and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.[1][8] She honed her American accent and starred in the American television series Without a Trace as FBI agent Vivian Johnson. More recently, the actress has appeared in such films as Takers (2010), Secrets in the Walls (2010) and Harry's Law (2012). She played Detroit police chief Karen Dean in RoboCop (2014).[9]

She was praised for her stage performance in the 2013 National Theatre production of James Baldwin's play The Amen Corner, directed by Rufus Norris.[10][11][12]

As a friend of Angela Bassett, Jean-Baptiste attended Women's Image Network Awards and on Bassett's behalf picked up an award, reading Bassett's poetic acceptance speech for her winning role in the 2013 film Betty & Coretta.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Once Upon a Time Babysitter Short film
London Kills Me Nanny
1996 Distinction Secretary Short film
Secrets & Lies Hortense Cumberbatch Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1997 Mr. Jealousy Lucretia
1998 How to Make the Cruelest Month Christina Parks
Nowhere to Go Lynne Jacobs
A Murder of Crows Elizabeth Pope
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Madeline Labelle
2000 28 Days Roshanda
The Cell Dr. Miriam Kent
2001 Women in Film Sara
New Year's Day Veronica
Spy Game Gladys Jennip
2002 Don't Explain Elana
2005 Welcome to California Tina
2006 Jam Lorraine
2008 City of Ember Clary
2009 Rooms Short film
The Bake Shop Ghost Annie Washington
2010 Takers Naomi Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
2011 Violet & Daisy Number 1
360 Fran
Breaking Waves Sarah Williams
2012 Won't Back Down Olivia Lopez
2013 The Moment Dr. Bloom
2014 RoboCop Chief Karen Dean
Edge of Tomorrow Dr. Whittle Uncredited role[14]
2017 Home Lois Fox Short film
2018 Peter Rabbit General Manager June
In Fabric Sheila Woolchapel
Moving On Jill Short film
2020 Fatman Ruth Cringle[15]
2021 Boxing Day Shirley MacKenzie
2022 The Sea Beast Sarah Sharpe (voice)
2023 The Book of Clarence TBA


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Cracker Marcia Reid Episode: "Men Should Weep: Part 2"
Credited as Marianne Jean Baptiste
1996 Sharman Precious Episode: "A Good Year for the Roses"
1997 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Herself 1 episode
1998 The Wedding Ellen Coles Television miniseries
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
1999 The Murder of Stephen Lawrence Doreen Lawrence Television miniseries
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
The Man Michelle Television film
2001 Men Only Gemma Television film
The Fear Storyteller Episode: "Sleep Tight"
2002–2009 Without a Trace Vivian Johnson Main role
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2006)
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2007, 2008)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003)
2003 Loving You Jude Television film
2005–2008 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Herself 2 episodes
2010 Secrets in the Walls Belle Television film
2011 Sons of Anarchy Vivica Episode: "Dorylus"
2011–2012 Harry's Law Judge Patricia Seabrook Episodes: "American Girl" and "New Kidney on the Block"
2012 Private Practice Gabi Rivera 2 episodes: "Good Grief" and "Life Support"
2015 Broadchurch Sharon Bishop 8 episodes
2015–2017 Blindspot FBI Assistant Director Bethany Mayfair Main role (season 1), 23 episodes; special guest star (season 2), 1 episode (voice only)
2017 Training Day Deputy Chief Joy Lockhart 9 episodes
How to Get Away with Murder Virginia Cross Episode: "It's for the Greater Good"
2018 Animals. Grace (voice) Episode: "Horses"
Homecoming Gloria Morisseau 5 episodes
2019 Soundtrack Annette Sands Main role; 10 episodes
2021 Master of None Sharon (voice) Episode: "Moments in Love, Chapter 4"
2022 Surface Hannah Main role; 8 episodes
2023 The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies Cheryl Harker 5 episodes

Other projects, contributions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Simon Hattenstone, "Marianne Jean-Baptiste: 'It's not a sob story - I could have stayed in the UK and fought it out'", The Guardian, 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ Stefanie Marsh (19 January 2015). "Marianne Jean Baptiste: the most hated woman in Broadchurch (for now)". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ Painter, Jamie (5 November 2019). "ACTOR'S ACTOR: Marianne Jean-Baptiste". Backstage. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  4. ^ Stephen Bourne (2005). Elisabeth Welch: Soft Lights and Sweet Music. Scarecrow Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-8108-5413-0.
  5. ^ James Berardinelli, review of Career Girls (1997).
  6. ^ Nicholas Powell, "Review: The Suit", Variety, 30 January 2000.
  7. ^ Michael Billington, "Judgment of Paris", The Guardian, 15 January 2000.
  8. ^ "Role at National tempts London star Marianne Jean-Baptiste out of LA garden", Evening Standard, 12 June 2013.
  9. ^ Jean-Baptiste reference,, 25 August 2012.
  10. ^ Sarah Hemming, "The Amen Corner, National Theatre (Olivier), London – review", The Financial Times, 12 June 2013.
  11. ^ Paul Taylor, "Theatre review: The Amen Corner, Olivier, National Theatre, London", The Independent, 28 June 2013.
  12. ^ Charles Spencer, "The Amen Corner, National Theatre, review", The Daily Telegraph, 12 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Marianne Jean-Baptiste in Arrivals at the WIN Awards Ceremony". Zimbio. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (30 May 2014). "I admit it: I dig Tom Cruise, and I can't wait for 'Edge of Tomorrow'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  15. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (3 February 2020). "'Homecoming' Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste Joins Mel Gibson & Walton Goggins In Dark Comedy 'Fatman'". Deadline. Retrieved 20 February 2021.

External links[edit]