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Matthew Rhys

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Matthew Rhys
Rhys in 2011
Matthew Rhys Evans

(1974-11-08) 8 November 1974 (age 49)
Cardiff, Wales
EducationRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1997–present
SpouseKeri Russell (m. c. 2021)[1][2]

Matthew Rhys Evans (/rs/ REESS; born 8 November 1974[3][4]) is a Welsh actor. He gained recognition for playing Kevin Walker in the family drama series Brothers & Sisters (2006–2011) and Philip Jennings in the spy drama series The Americans (2013–2018), the latter of which earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2018. He was Emmy-nominated for his guest role in Girls (2017) and for playing the title role in the period series Perry Mason (2020–2023).

In film, Rhys appeared as Dylan Thomas in The Edge of Love (2008) and as Daniel Ellsberg in The Post (2017) and starred as a cynical journalist in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). He has also voiced several characters in animated series, including The Owl House (2020–2023).

Early life and education[edit]

Rhys was born in Cardiff, Wales, on 8 November 1974[3] (some sources say 4 November).[4] His first language is Welsh.[5] He grew up in Cardiff and attended Welsh-medium schools, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff) and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff North, Cardiff). In 1993, he was awarded the Patricia Rothermere Scholarship.[6]

At age 17, after playing Elvis Presley in a school musical, he applied to and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.[7] During Rhys's time at RADA, he appeared in the BBC police series Backup and in House of America. He returned to Cardiff to act in his own language in the Welsh film Bydd yn Wrol (Be Brave),[8] for which he won Best Actor at the BAFTA Cymru (Welsh BAFTAs).


Rhys at the 2007 GLAAD Awards

In January 1998, Rhys went to New Zealand to star in Greenstone, a colonial costume drama for television. He then landed a role in Titus, Julie Taymor's adaptation of Titus Andronicus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Next he played Ray in Peter Hewitt's comedy film Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? After returning to Wales, he did two consecutive films with Jonathan Pryce: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, a film about a dysfunctional single-parent family in which he played the elder son, and Sara Sugarman's comedy Very Annie Mary, in which he played the role of Nob. Rhys would later reunite with Very Annie Mary star Rachel Griffiths on Brothers & Sisters.[9]

In 2000, Rhys played the lead role in Metropolis, a drama series for Granada TV about the lives of six twenty-somethings living in London.[7] Next he starred in Peaches, the film of the play written and directed by Nick Grosso.[10][11] Rhys starred as Benjamin in the 2000 world premiere of the stage adaptation of The Graduate, alongside Kathleen Turner at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.[12] Rhys travelled to Ireland to star in the 18th-century swashbuckling adventure, The Abduction Club.[13] He played the lead role of Darren Daniels in Tabloid, and then returned to New Zealand to shoot the epic drama The Lost World for the BBC. His other film credits include the independent horror film Deathwatch in Prague and Fakers, a comic crime caper.

In 2003, he played Justin Price in the final episode of the long-running television series Columbo.[14] He appeared opposite Brittany Murphy in the independent feature Love and Other Disasters, in Virgin Territory opposite Hayden Christensen, Tim Roth and Mischa Barton, and playing poet Dylan Thomas in the love quadrangle biographical film The Edge of Love.[15] He moved to Santa Monica after being cast in ABC's show Brothers & Sisters, as gay lawyer Kevin Walker. The show had a five-season run, coming to an end in 2011.[12]

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood premiere, Toronto Film Festival, 2019

In January 2012, Rhys appeared in a BBC Two two-part drama adaptation of Charles Dickens' last, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.[16] The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired it in the United States as one feature-length episode on 15 April 2012. In 2012, Rhys reprised Sir Alec Guinness' 1959 double role of John Barratt / Jacques DeGué in a new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's The Scapegoat.[17] That same year, Rhys was cast as Jimmy in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of John Osborne's play, Look Back in Anger, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The production played a limited engagement through 8 April 2012.[18] In 2013, Rhys starred in the television adaptation of the P. D. James novel Death Comes to Pemberley as Jane Austen hero Fitzwilliam Darcy.[citation needed]

He starred opposite Keri Russell in the FX series The Americans, a 1980s Cold War spy drama about Russian KGB sleeper agents (Rhys and Russell, who portray married KGB agents with two children, among other agents and handlers). Rhys and Russell are partners off-screen as well. The show debuted in January 2013.[19] The sixth season airing in 2018 was the final season of The Americans. Rhys received a Primetime Emmy Award for the sixth season.[20]

Business ventures[edit]

In New York City, Rhys owns and rents a charter boat named Rarebit. The Wheeler boat was constructed around 1934; Rhys bought it from eBay after researching the venture in 2017 and rebuilt the boat himself with the advice of shipwrights.[21][22][23]

With the help of Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, Rhys supported fundraising for the pub Vale of Aeron in Ystrad Aeron, Ceredigion, Wales.[24][25]

Rhys' father grew up in Pennal, a town in Gwynedd, North Wales, and Rhys would spend summers and Easters visiting. In 2019, a pub named Glan Yr Afon (also Riverside) in Pennal was put on the market in 2019 without any buyers, but through a campaign supported by Rhys, there was a shares offering for the public; this raised £450,000 to save the pub, which was purchased by the local community in December 2022.[26][27][28]

Rhys set up his own production company, Patagonia (2011), which has two projects in development. One of them involves the adaptation of a book called Operation Julie, written by Lyn Ebenezer,[29] about the biggest LSD drugs bust (in Wales's history); Rhys bought the film rights in December 2010.[30][31][32]

Personal life[edit]

Rhys has been in a relationship with his The Americans co-star Keri Russell since 2014.[33][34] They had their first child, a son, in 2016.[35][36] In interviews conducted in 2021, they referred to each other as husband and wife.[1][2]

He is a supporter of Plaid Cymru,[37] actively supporting Welsh independence.[38][better source needed]

On 15 July 2008, Aberystwyth University honoured Rhys as a Fellow.[39] On 8 August 2008, he was honoured at the Welsh National Eisteddfod by being accepted as a member to the druidic order of the Gorsedd of the Bards,[40] for his contributions to the Welsh language and Wales. His bardic name in the Gorsedd is Matthew Tâf. In August 2009, Rhys took to the stage with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales as part of the National Eisteddfod.[41]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Bydd yn Wrol N/A
1997 House of America Boyo
1999 Heart Sean McCardle
Titus Demetrius
Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Ray Smith
2000 Sorted Carl
The Testimony of Taliesin Jones Jonathan
2001 Peaches Frank
Tabloid Darren Daniels
2001 Very Annie Mary Nob
2002 The Abduction Club James Strang
Deathwatch Doc Fairweather
Shooters Eddie
2003 Y Mabinogi Lleu Llaw Gyffes
2004 Fakers Nick Edwards
2006 Love and Other Disasters Peter Simon
2007 Virgin Territory Count Dzerzhinsky
2008 The Edge of Love Dylan Thomas
2010 Luster Joseph Miller
Patagonia Mateo
2012 The Scapegoat John Standing / Johnny Spence
2015 Burnt Montgomery Reece
Come What May Percy
2017 The Post Daniel Ellsberg
2018 Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle John Lockwood
2019 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Lloyd Vogel
The Report New York Times reporter
2021 Seal Team Grimes (voice) [42]
2023 Cocaine Bear Andrew C. Thornton II
2024 IF Ghost (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Backup PC Steve 'Hiccup' Higson 6 episodes
1999 Greenstone Sam Markham Unknown episodes
2000 A History of Britain N/A Unknown episodes
2000 Metropolis Matthew Bishop 5 episodes
2001 The Lost World Edward Malone 2 episodes
2003 Columbo Justin Price Episode: "Columbo Likes the Nightlife"
2003 Partners and Crime N/A Television film
2003 POW Alfie Harris Episode #1.5
2006 Beau Brummell: This Charming Man Lord Byron Television film
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Kevin Walker Main role
2010 Mr Hollywood Producer; S4C-TV documentary[43]
2011 LA Phil Live Hamlet Episode: "Dudamel Conducts Tchiakovsky"
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood John Jasper 2 episodes
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Fitzwilliam Darcy 3 episodes
2013–2018 The Americans Philip Jennings Main role
2014 Under Milk Wood New York Voice Television film
2015 Archer Lloyd Llewellyn (voice) Episode: "Achub y Morfilod"; credited for episode's story
2015 The Bastard Executioner Gruffudd y Blaidd / the Wolf 4 episodes
2016–2020 The Wine Show Himself (co-host) Main role
2017 Girls Chuck Palmer Episode: "American Bitch"
2017 Snowdonia 1890 Narrator Main role
2018 Death and Nightingales Billy 3 episodes
2018 Down the Caravan Dai Television film
2019 BoJack Horseman Justin Kenyon (voice) Episode: "A Quick One, While He's Away"
2019 Carpool Karaoke: The Series Himself (co-host) Season 2, episode 17
2019 Infinity Train Aloysius / Alrick (voices) 2 episodes[42]
2020–2023 Perry Mason Perry Mason Main role; also executive producer
2020–2023 The Owl House Emperor Belos (voice) Recurring role[42]
2022 Tuca & Bertie Figgy (voice) 6 episodes
2023 Extrapolations Junior Episode: "2037: A Raven Story"
2023 Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai Riley Greene (voice) 10 episodes[44][42]
2024 The Wingfeather Saga Gammon Felda/The Florid Sword (voice) Season 2 recurring role; 3 episodes[45]
TBA Wyrd Wyrd FX's TV show [46]
TBA Towards Zero Filming[47]


Year Play Role Playwright Venue Ref.
1997 Cardiff East Tommy Peter Gill Royal National Theatre [48]
1997 Grace Note Nick Samuel Adamson The Old Vic [49]
1997 One More Wasted Year Pierre Christophe Pellet Royal Court Theatre [50]
1997 Stranger's House (Fremdes Haus) Yanne Dea Loher Royal Court Theatre [51]
2000 The Graduate Benjamin Braddock Charles Webb Gielgud Theatre [52]
2002 The Associate Tiny Simon Bent Royal National Theatre [53]
2003 Under Milk Wood Mog Edwards Dylan Thomas New Theatre (Cardiff)
2004 King Lear Edmund William Shakespeare Royal Shakespeare Company [54]
2004 Macbeth Macduff William Shakespeare The Young Vic [55]
2004 Romeo and Juliet Romeo William Shakespeare Royal Shakespeare Company [56]
2012 Look Back in Anger Jimmy John Osborne Roundabout Theatre Company [57]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2013 Critics' Choice
Television Awards
Best Actor in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated [58]
2014 Best Actor in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated [59]
2015 Best Actor in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated [60]
2016 Best Actor in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated [61]
2019 Best Actor in a Drama Series The Americans Won [62]
2021 Best Actor in a Drama Series Perry Mason Nominated [63]
2004 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Look Back in Anger Nominated [64]
2016 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated [65]
2018 Best Actor – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated [66]
2020 Best Actor – Television Series Drama Perry Mason Nominated [67]
2016 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Americans (episode: "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears") Nominated [68]
2017 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Girls (episode: "American Bitch") Nominated [69]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Americans (episode: "Crossbreed") Nominated
2018 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Americans (episode: "START") Won [70]
2021 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Perry Mason (episode: "Chapter 8") Nominated [71]
2017 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated [72]
2019 Best Actor – Television Series Drama The Americans Nominated [73]
2021 Best Actor – Television Series Drama Perry Mason Nominated
2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated [74]
2013 TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Nominated
2014 Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Nominated
2015 Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Nominated
2018 Individual Achievement in Drama The Americans Nominated


  • Patagonia: Crossing the Plain (2010) – a photographic account of his month-long journey on horseback while filming a documentary on Patagonia, and the Welsh settlers who made it their home having journeyed from Wales in the late 19th century.


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  2. ^ a b "Watch Matthew Rhys Set Sail with al Roker". YouTube.
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External links[edit]