Rachel Brosnahan

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Rachel Brosnahan
Rachel Brosnahan July 9, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Brosnahan in July 2014
Born (1990-12-15) December 15, 1990 (age 27)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
EducationHighland Park High School
Alma materNew York University
Years active2009–present
RelativesKate Spade (aunt)

Rachel Brosnahan (born December 15,[1] 1990) is an American actress. She made her film debut in the supernatural horror film The Unborn (2009). She subsequently appeared in the films Beautiful Creatures (2013), Louder Than Bombs (2015), The Finest Hours (2016), and Patriots Day (2016). Brosnahan had a starring role on the Netflix series House of Cards, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.[2]

In 2017, she received wider recognition and acclaim for playing the title role of an aspiring standup comic in the Amazon Video period comedy-drama series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The following year she was awarded both the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the series.[3]

Early life[edit]

Brosnahan was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[4] Her father worked in children's publishing. Her mother, Carol,[4] is British.[5] From the age of four, Brosnahan was raised in Highland Park, Illinois.[4][6] She has a younger brother and sister.[7] She is the niece of the late handbag designer Kate Spade.[8] Her father is of Irish descent.[9]

Brosnahan attended Wayne Thomas Elementary School, and then Northwood Junior High School.[7][4] She performed in musical theater during junior high school and high school.[7][4] At Highland Park High School, she was on the wrestling team for two years and was a snowboarding instructor.[7][5] When Brosnahan was 16, she took a class with Carole Dibo,[10] director of Wilmette's Actors Training Center and now Brosnahan's manager. She graduated from there in 2008, and graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts in 2012.[7][11]


Brosnahan was cast in her first movie role as Lisa in the Michael Bay-produced horror movie The Unborn while she was still in high school. During college, she performed in single episodes of television series such as Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy,[7] and In Treatment.

After college, she began landing recurring roles in series such as The Blacklist (2014), the short-lived Black Box (2014), and House of Cards (2013–15) which brought her career prominence, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2015. Initially booked for two episodes and five lines, she caught the eye of showrunner Beau Willimon,[12] and was soon developed into a major character. Brosnahan also played Abby Isaacs for two seasons on the television drama Manhattan.[8]

She first appeared on stage in 2009 in Up at Steppenwolf Theatre[4] followed by her Broadway debut in The Big Knife with Roundabout Theatre Company in 2013.[13] In 2016 she played Desdemona in Othello at New York Theatre Workshop opposite David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig.[14]

She was cast as the lead role and title character of the Amazon Video series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which premiered in 2017. Her performance earned her a Critics' Choice Television Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.[15][16][17][18]

After her Emmy win, Brosnahan stated that Mrs. Maisel resonated with viewers because "the show is equal parts fantasy and reality. It has beautiful clothes, beautiful sets. I think in some ways it's aspirational too. It's about a woman who's reinventing herself after completing the dream she had laid out for herself. Everything falls apart; she finds herself anew. It's never too late to do that. And it's funny and, I think, filled with joy at its core, and that's something we need a lot more of in the world right now."[19]


Brosnahan has twice completed the "Live Below the Line" challenge.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Unborn Lisa
2009 The Truth About Average Guys Molly
2011 Coming Up Roses Alice
2012 Nor'easter Abby Green
2013 Beautiful Creatures Genevieve Duchannes
2013 Care Drea Short film
2013 A New York Heartbeat Tamara
2013 Munchausen Girl Short film
2013 Adrift Alex Short film
2013 Basically Shandy Short film
2014 The Smut Locker Jamie White Short film
2014 I'm Obsessed with You (But You've Got to Leave Me Alone) Nell Fitzpatrick
2015 Louder Than Bombs Erin
2015 James White Girl
2016 The Finest Hours Bea Hansen
2016 Burn Country Sandra
2016 Patriots Day Jessica Kensky
2019 Ironbark Emily Donovan Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Mercy Samantha Episode: "We're All Adults"
2010 Gossip Girl Girl Episode: It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
2010 The Good Wife Caitlin Fenton Episode: "Poisoned Pill"
2010 In Treatment Eating Disorder Girl Episode: "Jesse Week Six"
2011 CSI: Miami Melanie Garland Episode: "Countermeasures"
2013–15 House of Cards Rachel Posner 19 episodes
2013 Grey's Anatomy Brian Weston Episode: "The Face of Change"
2013 Orange Is the New Black Little Allie Episode: "Bora Bora Bora"
2014 Olive Kitteridge Patty Howe Episode: "Incoming Tide"
2014 The Blacklist Jolene Parker/Lucy Brooks 6 episodes
2014 Black Box Delilah 5 episodes
2014–15 Manhattan Abby Isaacs 23 episodes
2015 The Dovekeepers Yael 2 episodes
2016 Crisis in Six Scenes Ellie 4 episodes
2017–present The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Miriam "Midge" Maisel 8 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Up Maria Steppenwolf
2013 The Big Knife Dixie Evans Roundabout Theater Company
2016 Othello Desdemona New York Theatre Workshop

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work(s) Organization Category Result
2014 House of Cards Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2017 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel TVLine Awards Performer of the Week Won
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Won


  1. ^ @RachelBros (April 2, 2016). "Someone wanna change my internet birthday? Dec 15!" (Tweet). Retrieved January 5, 2018 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Rachel Brosnahan". Television Academy. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Golden Globes: Full list of nominees". BBC News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Crowder, Courtney (February 19, 2014). "Rachel Brosnahan, from Highland Park to 'House of Cards'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2014. Brosnahan, 23
  5. ^ a b Symenov, Rachel (November 28, 2017). "Rachel Brosnahan's Comic Timing". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Handler, Rachel (July 19, 2013). "Rachel Brosnahan: Wild 'Card'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2014. Brosnahan, 23
  7. ^ a b c d e f Doremus, Elaine (April 2, 2013). "Ingénue Rising". Modern Luxury (Spring 2013). Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Schmidt, Ingrid (October 13, 2015). "Rachel Brosnahan of 'Manhattan' undertakes her own special fashion project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "Irish American fashion designer Kate Spade dead of apparent suicide". The Times. June 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Crowder, Courtney. "Rachel Brosnahan, from Highland Park to 'House of Cards'". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  11. ^ Donnelly, Elisabeth. "Rachel Brosnahan Talks Channeling Joan Rivers in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Donnelly, Elisabeth. "Rachel Brosnahan Talks Channeling Joan Rivers in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". HWD. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "The Big Knife's Rachel Brosnahan on Bobby Cannavale, House of Cards and Singing Lessons with Bernadette Peters". Broadway.com. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "'Othello': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  15. ^ Smith, Nigel (January 8, 2018). "First-Time Winner Rachel Brosnahan Pauses Globes Acceptance Speech for a Good Reason: 'Hi, Oprah!'". People. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Plaugic, Lizzie (January 8, 2018). "Rachel Brosnahan wins 2018's Best Actress Golden Globe for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". The Verge. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  17. ^ Otterson, Joe (January 8, 2018). "'Mrs. Maisel' Star Rachel Brosnahan Advocates for More Women's Stories During Golden Globes Win". Variety. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Perez, Lexy (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan Wins Best Actress for 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Rachel Brosnahan (17 September 2018). Rachel Brosnahan - Emmys 2018 - Full Backstage Speech. Los Angeles, California: Variety. Event occurs at 0:54-1:38. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Stars,activists, and leaders at the Live Below the Line Launch". Global Citizen. Retrieved April 2, 2018.

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