Rachel Brosnahan

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Rachel Brosnahan
Rachel Brosnahan July 9, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Brosnahan in 2014
Born (1990-07-12) July 12, 1990 (age 31)[1][2]
Alma materNew York University
Years active2007–present
(m. 2016)
RelativesKate Spade (aunt)

Rachel Elizabeth Brosnahan (born July 12, 1990) is an American actress. She stars as aspiring stand-up comedian Miriam "Midge" Maisel in the Amazon Prime Video period comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017–present), for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2018 and two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2018 and 2019.[3][4] She also had a recurring role in the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards (2013–2015) as Rachel Posner, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination,[5] and played a lead role in the WGN drama series Manhattan (2014–2015).

She made her film debut in the horror film The Unborn (2009), and has appeared in films including Beautiful Creatures (2013), Louder Than Bombs (2015), The Finest Hours (2016) and Patriots Day (2016).

Early life[edit]

Brosnahan was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Carol and Earl Brosnahan, who worked in children's publishing.[1][6][7] Her mother is British and her father is American and of Irish descent.[8][9] From age four, Brosnahan was raised in Highland Park, Illinois.[6][10] She has a younger brother and sister.[11] She is a niece of the late fashion designer Kate Spade (née Brosnahan).[12]

Though she is well-known for playing a Jewish character on television, Brosnahan herself is not of Jewish descent. She says she was "happily immersed" in Jewish culture thanks to the community of Highland Park, Illinois.[13]

She attended Wayne Thomas Elementary School and Northwood Junior High School.[11][6] She performed in musical theater during junior high and high school.[11][6] At Highland Park High School, she was on the wrestling team for two years and was a snowboarding instructor.[11][8] When she was 16, she took a class with Carole Dibo, director of Wilmette's Actors Training Center, who is now Brosnahan's manager.[6] Brosnahan graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012.[14][15]


While still in high school, Brosnahan received her first movie role—that of Lisa in the Michael Bay-produced horror film The Unborn (2009). In college, she appeared in single episodes of television series such as Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy,[11] and In Treatment. After college, she began landing recurring roles in series such as the crime thriller The Blacklist (2014) and the short-lived medical drama Black Box (2014).

She first appeared on stage in 2009 in Up at Steppenwolf Theatre[6] followed by her Broadway debut in The Big Knife with Roundabout Theatre Company in 2013.[16] In 2016 she played Desdemona in Othello at New York Theatre Workshop opposite David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig.[17]

In 2013, she starred as Rachel Posner in the critically acclaimed Netflix political drama House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Although she was initially booked for only two episodes, she caught the eye of showrunner Beau Willimon,[18] and her character was significantly expanded. Her role brought her career prominence, and she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

In 2016, she appeared in Woody Allen's Amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes with Allen, Elaine May and Miley Cyrus.[19]

Since 2017, she has appeared as the title character in the Amazon period comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She has said that her exposure to Jewish culture growing up helped prepare her for the role of Midge Maisel, a 1950s Jewish housewife who pursues a career in stand-up comedy when her marriage fails.[13] Her performance has earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series,[20][21] two Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Critics' Choice Television Awards, among other accolades.[22][23][24][25]

The cast seated together
Cast members and producers of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in 2018

After her Emmy Award win, Brosnahan said that The Marvelous 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."[26]

Brosnahan appeared in the drama film The Courier with Benedict Cumberbatch, released in January 2020.[27] In December 2020, Amazon released I'm Your Woman, in which she starred with Arinzé Kene.[28]

Personal life[edit]

It was reported in 2018 that Brosnahan had married actor Jason Ralph,[29] but she later revealed in January 2019 that they had been married "for years" before their relationship became public.[30] Both attended the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 2019, where she thanked him during her acceptance speech.[31]

Brosnahan has twice completed the "Live Below the Line" challenge.[32]



Year Work Role Notes
2009 The Unborn Lisa
2009 The Truth About Average Guys Molly
2011 Coming Up Roses Alice
2012 Nor'easter Abby Green
2012 Adrift Alex Short film
2013 Beautiful Creatures Genevieve Duchannes
2013 Care Drea Short film
2013 A New York Heartbeat Tamara
2013 Munchausen Girl Short film
2014 Basically Shandy
2014 I'm Obsessed with You Nell Fitzpatrick
2014 The Smut Locker Jamie White Short film
2015 James White Woman (Ellen)
2015 Louder Than Bombs Erin
2016 The Finest Hours Bea Hansen
2016 Burn Country Sandra
2016 Patriots Day Jessica Kensky
2017 Boomtown Jamie
2018 Fifteen Years Later Amy Short film
2018 Change in the Air Wren
2019 Spies in Disguise Wendy Beckett Voice role
2020 The Courier Emily Donovan
2020 I'm Your Woman Jean
TBA Dead for a Dollar Rachel Price Filming


Year Work 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"
2013–2015 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 Buchanan 5 episodes
2014–2015 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 Main Role: 34 episodes
2019 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Rachel Brosnahan/Greta Van Fleet"
2019–2020 Elena of Avalor Princess Chloe (voice) 2 episodes
2020 50 States of Fright Heather 3 episodes
2020 Saturday Night Seder Herself Television special


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


  1. ^ a b Atad, Corey (July 30, 2019). "Jimmy Fallon And Rachel Brosnahan Guess How Long 7 Seconds Takes In Hilarious New Game". ET Canada.
  2. ^ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (July 30, 2019). Rachel Brosnahan's Fake Internet Birthday Fooled Benedict Cumberbatch. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved July 25, 2020. Rachel Brosnahan explains how she wound up with two completely fake birthdays on the internet.
  3. ^ "Golden Globes: Full list of nominees". BBC News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Huff, Lauren (January 6, 2019). "Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan Praises "Matriarchy" on 'Mrs. Maisel' Set in Best Actress Speech". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  5. ^ "Rachel Brosnahan". Television Academy. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Kate Spade's father: 'She'd be delighted' if her death sheds light on mental illness". kansascity. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Symenov, Rachel (November 28, 2017). "Rachel Brosnahan's Comic Timing". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Irish American fashion designer Kate Spade dead of apparent suicide". IrishCentral. June 5, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ a b c d e Doremus, Elaine (April 2, 2013). "Ingénue Rising". Modern Luxury. No. Spring 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Schmidt, Ingrid (October 13, 2015). "Rachel Brosnahan of 'Manhattan' undertakes her own special fashion project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Swartz, Tracy (November 27, 2017). "How Rachel Brosnahan's Highland Park roots influenced her 'Mrs. Maisel' role". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "New York University". www.facebook.com. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  15. ^ "Rachel Brosnahan". IMDb. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  16. ^ "The Big Knife's Rachel Brosnahan on Bobby Cannavale, House of Cards and Singing Lessons with Bernadette Peters". Broadway.com. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  17. ^ "'Othello': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Donnelly, Elisabeth. "Rachel Brosnahan Talks Channeling Joan Rivers in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  19. ^ Morabito, Andrea (September 27, 2016). "'Crisis in Six Scenes' stars break secrecy around Woody Allen's first TV show". NY Post. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Rachel Brosnahan". Television Academy. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Whitten, Sarah (September 20, 2020). "'Schitt's Creek' has record-setting Emmy sweep, while HBO scores big with 'Watchmen,' 'Succession'". CNBC. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Perez, Lexy (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan Wins Best Actress for 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Rachel Brosnahan (September 17, 2018). Rachel Brosnahan - Emmys 2018 - Full Backstage Speech. Los Angeles, California: Variety. Event occurs at 0:54-1:38. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2018 – via Youtube.
  27. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (October 10, 2018). "Dominic Cooke's new feature, Ironbark, now in production". People.
  28. ^ "In female-led 'I'm Your Woman,' Julia Hart flips the '70s crime genre on its head". Los Angeles Times. December 14, 2020.
  29. ^ Talarico, Brittany (September 25, 2018). "Did The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Star Rachel Brosnahan Marry Jason Ralph?". People. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  30. ^ Farley, Rebecca. "Rachel Brosnahan Reveals She's Secretly Been Married For "Years"". Refinery29. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  31. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (January 6, 2019). "Rachel Brosnahan Thanks Husband Jason Ralph as She Wins Golden Globe: 'I Love You'". People. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  32. ^ "Stars,activists, and leaders at the Live Below the Line Launch". Global Citizen. Retrieved April 2, 2018.

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