Rose Leslie

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Rose Leslie
Rose Leslie by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Born Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie
(1987-02-09) 9 February 1987 (age 28)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie (born 9 February 1987), known professionally as Rose Leslie, is a Scottish actress. She is best known for playing Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones and Gwen Dawson in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey.

Early life[edit]

Leslie was born in Aberdeen[1] and raised at Lickleyhead Castle in Aberdeenshire, her family's 15th century ancestral seat.[2] Her father is Sebastian Arbuthnot-Leslie, the Aberdeenshire Chieftain of Clan Leslie, and her mother is Candida Mary Sibyl "Candy" Leslie (née Weld), great-granddaughter of Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat (a descendant of Charles II).[2] Her parents own the 12th century Warthill Castle in Aberdeenshire.[3][4][5] Her great-great grandfather was Guillermo de Landa y Escandón, who served as Mayor of Mexico City.[6] She is also cousin-in-law to the British historian William Dalrymple.[7]

Leslie is the third of five children. At the age of 6, she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and prescribed Ritalin, which she still takes as an adult.[8] She was educated at Rayne North primary school in Aberdeenshire, and then Millfield School in Street, Somerset,[9] before spending three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008.[10]


Leslie made her debut in the 2009 television film New Town, for which she won the Scottish BAFTA for Best Acting Performance – New Talent Award.[11][12] In September and October 2010, she appeared at the Globe Theatre in Nell Leyshon's play Bedlam.[13][14] She appeared as Gwen Dawson, a housemaid, in the first series of the 2010 ITV television drama Downton Abbey.[15] In 2011, she appeared in two episodes of the British drama series Case Histories.[16][17] In 2012, she began playing the wildling Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.[18] In the same year, she appeared in an episode of detective television series Vera.[19] She also appeared alongside Dakota Fanning in the 2012 teen drama film Now Is Good.[20]

In October 2013, it was announced Leslie would be joining the second series of the Channel 4 conspiracy drama Utopia.[21] In 2014, Leslie appeared in an episode of comedy series Blandings.[22] She has also starred in the ITV drama The Great Fire.[23] In 2014, she starred in the movie Honeymoon, alongside Harry Treadaway.[24] Leslie will star in the action adventure/fantasy film The Last Witch Hunter[25][26] and as Athena in Sticky Notes.[27] In 2015, she played DS Emma Lane in the BBC detective drama Luther alongside Idris Elba.



Year Title Role Notes
2009 New Town Rhian
2012 Now Is Good Fiona
2014 Honeymoon Bea
2015 The Last Witch Hunter Chloe
2016 Sticky Notes Athena
2016 Morgan Amy Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Banged Up Abroad Kim Episode: "Lima"
2010, 2015 Downton Abbey Gwen Dawson 8 episodes
2011 Case Histories Laura Wyre 2 episodes
2012 Vera Lena Holgate Episode: "The Ghost Position"
2012–2014 Game of Thrones Ygritte 17 episodes
2014 Blandings Niagra Donaldson Episode: "Custody of the Pumpkin"
2014 Utopia Young Milner Episode #2.1
2014 The Great Fire Sarah Farriner 4 episodes
2015 Luther DS Emma Lane 2 episodes


Year Title Role Venue
2010 Bedlam Globe Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2009 British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards Best Acting Performance New Town Won [11]
2013 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Game of Thrones Nominated [28]



  1. ^ "Downton Abbey web-site". Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b McDonald, Toby (12 October 2011). "Downton Abbey maid Rose Leslie grew up a Scottish castle Lady". Daily Record. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Leslie, Sebastian. "Warthill Castle". About Scotland. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Clan Leslie, Aberdeenshire Council". Aberdeenshire Council. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Obituary Jillian Ada Burcher". Newsletter of Clan Leslie Society of Australia and New Zealand, CLANZ. December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Obituary for Mary Luz Arbuthnot-Leslie
  7. ^ Margaret Atwood. "Margaret Atwood on Game of Thrones: ‘Real people, every murderous one’". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Franco, Billy (2014). Rose Leslie 26 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Rose Leslie. ISBN 1488822182. 
  9. ^ "Old Millfieldian Society". Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Rose Leslie" (PDF). London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "New Talent Awards in 2009". The BAFTA site: Scotland. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 
  12. ^ "Awards and Nominations". LAMDA. The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 
  13. ^ "Rose Leslie CV". Hamilton Hodell. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Charliebrown" (20 July 2010). "Downton Abbey – Rose Leslie". Enchanted Serenity of Period Films. Ottawa, Canada: 
  15. ^ "Downton Abbey web-site". Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Case Histories, Series 1, Case Histories - Part 1". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Cast and Credits". PBS. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Rose Leslie: ‘It was hard to say goodbye to Ygritte’". The Guardian. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "'Vera,' Episode 5: 'The Ghost Position'". KCET. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Now Is Good (2012) - Cast, Crew & Credits". Moviefone. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  21. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (16 October 2013). "'Game of Thrones' star Rose Leslie joins 'Utopia' series 2". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "Blandings, Series 2, Custody of the Pumpkin". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "ITV casting announcement of The Great Fire". ITV Press Centre. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Rose Leslie's 'Honeymoon' turns horrible in new clip". Entertainment Weekly. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Vin Diesel’s Bushy ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ Beard". Bloody Disgusting. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Mr. Disgusting (6 August 2015). "New 'The Last Witch Hunter' Trailer Pits Vin Diesel In the Middle of a Witch War!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  27. ^ Lesnick, Silas (4 June 2014). "Sticky Notes Adds Rose Leslie, Justin Bartha and Gina Rodriguez". Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "SAG Awards Nominations: '12 Years A Slave' and 'Breaking Bad' Lead Way". December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]