Natascha McElhone

Natascha McElhone

McElhone in June 2009
Born Natasha Abigail Taylor
(1969-12-14) 14 December 1969
Surrey, England
Nationality British
Education St. Mary's Hall School for Girls, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Martin Hirigoyen Kelly (m. 1998; his death 2008)
Children 3
Parent(s) Roy Greenslade (step-father) and Noreen Taylor

Natasha Abigail Taylor (born 14 December 1969)[1][2] known professionally as Natascha McElhone (/nəˈtæʃəˈmækəlˌhn/), is an English actress of stage, screen and television, best known for her roles in American films such as Ronin, The Truman Show and Solaris. In addition, she is well known for her role as Karen van der Beek on the Showtime series Californication.

Currently, she stars in the role of First Lady Alex Kirkman in the ABC political drama Designated Survivor.[3]

Early life

She was born Natasha Abigail Taylor in Surrey in 1969[4][5] to Noreen McElhone and Michael Taylor, both journalists.[6] She took her mother's maiden name as her stage name.[7] McElhone has a scriptwriter brother, Damon, who lives in Los Angeles, and two half-brothers, Alexander and Nicholas, who live in Stockholm. Her parents separated when she was two and her Irish mother moved the family to Brighton, and later married journalist and columnist Roy Greenslade.[8]

McElhone, who took lessons in Irish dancing from ages 6–12, was educated at St. Mary's Hall School for Girls, an independent boarding school in Brighton, Sussex. She graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1993.[9]


McElhone began her career in the theatre, including starring roles in Richard III and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London, and in The Count of Monte Cristo and The Cherry Orchard at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester. She made her television debut in the BBC's Bergerac in 1991 (credited on screen as Natascha Taylor), and was seen in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous in 1992.[10]

McElhone was seen in the Dennis Potter TV mini-series Karaoke. One of her most successful films to date has been 1998's The Truman Show with Jim Carrey. She had leading roles opposite Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own, Robert De Niro in Ronin and George Clooney in Solaris.[9]

In 2005, she co-starred in the NBC miniseries Revelations with actor Bill Pullman. She starred in a 2006 West End production of Honour at the Wyndham's Theatre alongside Diana Rigg and Martin Jarvis. She then accepted a leading role in the Showtime cable television series Californication as Karen, alongside David Duchovny.[11] McElhone is the newest Neutrogena spokeswoman and the face of the Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration line.[12] In 2010 she was the voice of Marie in the video game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow from Konami.[13]

McElhone co-starred in a 2013 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, as Juliet's mother, Lady Capulet, alongside Hailee Steinfeld and Damian Lewis.[14] In 2014, she played the role of Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.[15] In 2015, McElhone starred as Sarah Churchill in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Helen Edmundson's Queen Anne.[16]

In February 2016, she was cast alongside Kiefer Sutherland in ABC's political drama Designated Survivor, which premiered in September 2016.[17]

Personal life

McElhone married plastic surgeon Dr Martin Hirigoyen Kelly on 19 May 1998. The couple lived in Fulham, west London, with their sons Theodore (born 2000) and Otis (born May 2003); their third son, Rex, was born in October 2008, five months after Kelly's death.[18]

On 20 May 2008, 43-year-old Kelly was found slumped in the doorway of his family's home by a fellow doctor, who had him rushed to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (where he worked). However, he could not be revived. He died one day after his 10th wedding anniversary. A post-mortem exam revealed the cause of death to have been dilated cardiomyopathy.[19][20][21]

After her husband's sudden death, McElhone continued to write letters to him, sometimes documenting the daily trivia of life but also dealing with how she and their young children were coping with their loss. These letters and diary entries formed the basis of her book After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father. The book was published in July 2010. (The book is simply titled After You in the Kindle edition-UK version only.)[22][23]


List of film works
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Surviving Picasso Françoise Gilot
1997 Devil's Own, TheThe Devil's Own Megan Doherty
1997 Mrs Dalloway Young Clarissa Dalloway
1998 Truman Show, TheThe Truman Show Lauren Garland / Sylvia
1998 What Rats Won't Do Kate Beckenham
1998 Ronin Deirdre
2000 Love's Labour's Lost Lady Rosaline
2000 Contaminated Man Holly Anderson
2002 Laurel Canyon Sara
2002 FeardotCom Terry Huston
2002 Killing Me Softly Deborah Tallis
2002 City of Ghosts Sophie
2002 Solaris Rheya Kelvin
2004 Ladies in Lavender Olga Daniloff
2005 Guy X Sgt. Irene Teal
2006 Big Nothing Penelope Wood
2008 The Secret of Moonacre Loveday de Noir
2008 Blessed Lou
2010 Kid, TheThe Kid Gloria
2013 The Sea Connie Grace
2013 Romeo and Juliet Lady Capulet
2014 Believe Erica Gallagher
2016 Mr. Church Marie Brooks
2016 London Town Sandrine Baker


List of television works
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Ruth Rendell Mysteries, TheThe Ruth Rendell Mysteries Helen Blake 2 episodes
1991 Bergerac Louise Calder Episode: "Snow in Provence"
1994 Absolutely Fabulous Art Gallery Assistant Episode: "Death"
1994 Minder Vanessa Episode: "All Quiet on the West End Front"
1994 Cadfael Cecily Corde Episode: "The Sanctuary Sparrow"
1994 Breed of Heroes, AA Breed of Heroes Janet Television film
1996 Karaoke Angie 2 episodes
1996 Cold Lazarus Angie 2 episodes
2003 Other Boleyn Girl, TheThe Other Boleyn Girl Mary Boleyn Television film
2005 Revelations Sister Josepha Montafiore Miniseries
2007 Company, TheThe Company Elizabet Nemeth Miniseries
2007–2014 Californication Karen van der Beek 84 episodes
2009 10 Minute Tales Woman Television short; segment: "Deep & Crisp & Even"
2015 Saints & Strangers Elizabeth Hopkins Miniseries
2016 Designated Survivor First Lady Alex Kirkman Main role

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Marie Belmont
2014 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Marie Belmont


Awards and Nominations
Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1999 Ronin MTV Movie Awards Best Action Sequence (shared with Robert De Niro) Nominated[24]
2003 Solaris Saturn Award Best Actress Nominated[24]
2003 Solaris Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in Film Nominated[24]
2005 Revelations Satellite Award Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated[24]


  1. McElhone, Natascha (2011). After You. Penguin Books (limited edition). p. About the author. ISBN 0-241-95527-0. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  2. Robinson, Anne (28 February 2012). "Anne Robinson is joined by actress Natascha McElhone and presenter Chris Hollins who share their favourite books and discuss why they have been important to them in their lives.". BBC2. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  3. Andreeva, Nellie (5 February 2016). "'Designated Survivor' Casts Kal Penn, Maggie Q, Natascha McElhone, Italia Ricci".
  4. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  5. , 10 October 2009, Irish Times
  6. "Natascha McElhone: my family values". The Guardian.
  7. "Natascha McElhone". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  8. Greenslade, Roy (15 March 2007). "Comedy role for X-Files star Duchovny". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  9. 1 2 "Natascha McElhone- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  10. "Absolutely Fabulous Guest Stars". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  12. Clott, Sharon. "Neutrogena Casts Natascha McElhone; Valentino Does 'Fearless' Eyes". NY Mag. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  13. "Konami Announces Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow is Now Available". IGN. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  14. Fernandez, Jay A. (1 February 2012). "'Homeland' Star Damian Lewis Cast in 'Romeo and Juliet' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  15. "Steamy role for Natascha McElhone as Fatal Attraction's bunny boiler". Daily Mail. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  17. Andreeva, Nellie (5 February 2016). "'Designated Survivor' Casts Kal Penn, Maggie Q, Natascha McElhone, Italia Ricci". Deadline. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  18. "Natascha McElhone Welcomes Third Child". Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  19. Booth, Jenny (21 May 2008). "Natascha McElhone's plastic surgeon husband dies at couple's home". The Times. UK. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  20. "Surgeon husband of pregnant actress Natascha McElhone is found dead on his doorstep". Daily Mail. UK. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  21. Rudd, Andy (23 May 2008). "Natascha McElhone's surgeon husband Martin Kelly died from a heart condition". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
  22. Day, Elizabeth (3 July 2010). "After You: Letters of Love, and Loss, to a Husband and Father by Natascha McElhone". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  23. McElhone, Natascha (2010). After you: letters of love, and loss, to a husband and father. London: Viking. ISBN 9780670919093.
  24. 1 2 3 4 "Awards for Natascha McElhone". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
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