Michelle Fairley

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Michelle Fairley
Michelle Fairley by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Born Michelle Margaret Fairley
July 1963 (age 54)
Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Occupation Actress
Years active 1986–present

Michelle Fairley (born July 1963)[1][better source needed] is an actress from Northern Ireland, best known for her roles as Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Dr. Ava Hessington in multiple episodes of USA Network series Suits, and as terrorist Margot Al-Harazi, a main antagonist in 24: Live Another Day.

Early life[edit]

Fairley was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, to publicans Theresa and Brian Fairley. She attended a Roman Catholic grammar school. As a teenager, she became a member of the Ulster Youth Theatre. Upon graduation, she moved to Belfast where she honed her skills with the repertory company Fringe Benefits, alongside a fellow alumnus of the Ulster Youth Theatre, Conleth Hill.


Fairley appeared in a number of British television shows, including The Bill, Holby City and Casualty. Some of her earlier roles were as Cathy Michaels on ITV1's Inspector Morse in the episode titled "The Way Through The Woods" and as Nancy Phelan in Lovejoy in the episode 9 of Season 3 titled "Smoke Your Nose".

She took over the role of Mrs. Granger from Heather Bleasdale (who had played Mrs. Granger in Chamber of Secrets) in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films. She played the role of Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, replacing Jennifer Ehle who played the character in the original pilot episode.[2]

She joined the cast of the USA Network series Suits for its third season, playing the recurring role of Ava Hessington.[3]

In 2017, it was announced that Fairley would appear in a revival of Jim Cartwright's play Road at the Royal Court Theatre[4] and would also play Cassius in Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre, alongside David Calder, David Morrissey and Ben Whishaw.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Hidden Agenda Teresa Doyle
1998 Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, AA Soldier's Daughter Never Cries Miss O'Shaunessy
1998 Suffering Patricia
2000 Second Death, TheThe Second Death Aisling Short film
2001 Others, TheThe Others Mrs. Marlish
2002 Shearing Yvonne Short film
2010 Cup Cake Annie McNabb
2010 The Duel Marya
2010 Chatroom Rosie
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Mrs. Granger
2013 Invisible Woman, TheThe Invisible Woman Caroline Graves
2013 Philomena Sally Mitchell
2013 Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart Brigitte Helm Voice only
2014 Ironclad: Battle for Blood Joan De Vesci
2014 Montana DCI Rachel Jones
2015 In the Heart of the Sea Mrs. Nickerson


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Saracen Maeve Episode: "Starcross"
1990 4 Play Maureen Episode: "Valentine Falls"
1990 Theatre Night Ruth Episode: "Pentecost"
1991 Children of the North Kate Episodes: "The Killing of Yesterday's Children", "City of Maloch"
1991 Casualty Kathy Emerick Episode: "Judgement Day"
1992 Lovejoy Nancy Phelan Episode: "Smoke Your Nose"
1992 Screenplay Jenny Episode: "Force of Duty"
1992 Screen Two Sharon Episode: "Flea Bites"
1993 Screen Two Fiona Gibbons Episode: "The Long Roads"
1993 Casualty Kate Maguire Episode: "No Place to Hide"
1993 Comics Nula O'Reilly TV film
1994 Cardiac Arrest Karen Teller Episodes: "You Can't Make an Omelette Without Breaking Legs", "The Edge"
1995 Life After Life Roisin Donaghy TV film
1995 Bill, TheThe Bill Beth Spence Episode: "No Choice"
1995 Inspector Morse Cathy Michaels Episode: "The Way Through the Woods"
1996 Mug's Game, AA Mug's Game Kathy Cowan TV film
1996 Safe and Sound Eleanor Delaney Main role (6 episodes)
1996 Precious Blood, TheThe Precious Blood Jean McBride TV film
1997 Broker's Man, TheThe Broker's Man Gabby Rodwell Main role (6 episodes)
1997 History of Tom Jones: A Foundling, TheThe History of Tom Jones: A Foundling Mrs. Harriet Fitzpatrick TV miniseries
1999 Births, Marriages and Deaths Pat Main role (4 episodes)
1999 Vicious Circle Frances TV film
2000 McCready and Daughter Bernadette TV film
2001 In Deep Eva / Phoebe Episodes: "Blue on Blue: Parts 1 & 2"
2001 Rebus Janice Mee Episodes: "Dead Souls", "Mortal Causes"
2003 Holby City Heidi Drury Episode: "Keep It in the Family"
2003 Clinic, TheThe Clinic Shirley Episode: "1.6"
2005 Ahead of the Class Sonia Venning TV film
2005 Golden Hour, TheThe Golden Hour Julia Harper Episode: "1.4"
2006 Strictly Confidential Carol Machin Episode: "1.2"
2007 Trial & Retribution Mrs. Jenkins Episode: "Mirror Image: Part 1"
2009 Short Stay in Switzerland, AA Short Stay in Switzerland Mrs. Savery TV film
2009 Lark Rise to Candleford Mrs. Elizabeth Patterson Episode: "2.10"
2009 Best: His Mother's Son Ann Best TV film
2009 Taggart Joan Revie Episode: "So Long Baby"
2009 Misfits Louise Young Episodes: "1.1", "1.2"
2010 Midsomer Murders Iris Holman Episode; "The Noble Art"
2011 Silent Witness DI Suzy Harte Episodes: "First Casualty: Parts 1 & 2"
2011–15 Game of Thrones Catelyn Stark Main role (25 episodes)
2012 Coming Up Jen Episode: "Colour"
2013 Suits Ava Hessington Recurring role (8 episodes)
2014 24: Live Another Day Margot Al-Harazi Recurring role (8 episodes)
2014 Common Shelagh TV film
2014 Resurrection: A Second Chance Margaret Langston TV film
2014–15 Resurrection Margaret Langston Recurring role (13 episodes)
2015 The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Aideen Trotwood Episode: "Capsize"
2015 Crossing Lines Sophie Baines Recurring role (Season 3)
2016 Rebellion Dolly Butler
2017 Fortitude Freya Lennox Recurring role (Season 2)
2017 The White Princess Margaret Beaufort Main Role
2017 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Queen Igneous (voice) Episode: "Rockullan, Papyron, Scissorian"


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Oleanna Carol Royal Court Theatre
1998 Never Land Elisabeth Royal Court Theatre
1999 Weir, TheThe Weir Valerie Walter Kerr Theatre
2003 Scenes from the Big Picture Helen Woods National Theatre
2003 Loyal Women Brenda Royal Court Theatre
2004 Ashes to Ashes Lyric Theatre
2006 Wild Duck, TheThe Wild Duck Gina Donmar Warehouse
2006 Gates of Gold Alma Trafalgar Studios
2007 Othello Emilia Donmar Warehouse
2007 Macbeth Lady Macbeth West Yorkshire Playhouse
2009 Dancing at Lughnasa Kate Old Vic
2010 Greta Garbo Came to Donegal Paulie Hennessy Tricycle Theatre
2011 Remembrance Day Sveta Royal Court Theatre
2015 Splendour Genevieve Donmar Warehouse
2017 Road Helen/Marion/Brenda Royal Court Theatre
2018 Julius Caesar Cassius Bridge Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 Oliver Awards Best Performance in a Supporting Role
2011 Irish Film & Television Award Best Actress - Television
Game of Thrones
Scream Award Best Ensemble Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Irish Film & Television Award Best Actress - Television Won
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Irish Film & Television Award Best Supporting Actress - Television


  1. ^ https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/Wb9WtU11qBE3--r4XNBkaoceHrY/appointments
  2. ^ "Showbiz people briefs". Reuters. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Bricker, Tierney (4 June 2013). "Game of Thrones Star Michelle Fairley Joins Suits, Maisie Williams Posts Reaction to Red Wedding Deaths". E! Online UK. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Royal Court Theatre announces cast for Jim Cartwright's play Road". British Theatre. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Game of Thrones actress to appear in Julius Caesar at Bridge Theatre". BBC News. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 

External links[edit]