Ruth Wilson

This article is about the English actress. For the alleged Soviet spy, see Ruth Wilson Epstein.
Ruth Wilson

Wilson in May 2015
Born (1982-01-13) 13 January 1982
Ashford, Middlesex, England
Alma mater London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Ruth Wilson (born 13 January 1982) is an English actress. She is known for her performances in Suburban Shootout (2005), Jane Eyre (2006), and as Alice Morgan in the BBC TV psychological crime drama Luther since 2010. She has also appeared in Anna Karenina (2012), The Lone Ranger (2013), and Saving Mr. Banks (2013). In 2014, she had a voice role in the film Locke and began a starring role in the Showtime series The Affair.

Wilson is a two-time Olivier Award winner,[1] and was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Actress in a mini-series for her role in Jane Eyre, as well as a Satellite Award, and won a Golden Globe for her role in The Affair.

Early life

Wilson was born in Ashford, Middlesex, the daughter of Mary, a probation officer, and Nigel Wilson, an investment banker.[2][3] She has three older brothers Toby, Sam and Matthew and is the granddaughter of novelist and MI6 officer Alexander Wilson and his third wife, Alison (née McKelvie).[4][5] She grew up in Shepperton, Surrey,[6] and was raised Catholic.[7]

Wilson attended Notre Dame School, an independent Catholic school for girls located in Cobham, before attending sixth form at Esher College.[8] As a teenager, she worked as a model, and went on to study history at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 2003. While at Nottingham, she was also involved in student drama at the New Theatre. She graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in July 2005.[9] Afterwards, she co-founded Hush Productions.[10] During her time at Nottingham, she participated in the TV war strategy game Time Commanders, helping her teammates fight in the Battle of Pharsalus.


Prior to her role in Jane Eyre, Wilson had one professional screen credit, in Suburban Shootout, a situation comedy she starred in with Tom Hiddleston.[11]

In 2006–07, she filmed the second series of Suburban Shootout, a new Agatha Christie's Marple mystery (Nemesis) for ITV, and Stephen Poliakoff's BBC television drama Capturing Mary as the young Mary.

In 2007, Wilson appeared in Gorky's Philistines, playing Tanya, at the National from May until August.[12] In June, she presented the 2007 Lilian Baylis Awards.[13] Other projects in 2007 included a guest appearance in the sitcom Freezing as Alison Fennel (transmitted on BBC2, 21 February 2008); narration of the documentary The Polish Ambulance Murders (transmitted on BBC4, 5 February 2008); and the portrayal of a mentally ill doctor in the dramatised documentary The Doctor Who Hears Voices (transmitted on UK Channel 4, 21 April 2008).[14]

From 23 July to 3 October 2009, she appeared as Stella in the Donmar revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.[15] On 15 November 2009 AMC Television and ITV premiered the 2009 TV miniseries remake of The Prisoner, in which Wilson played the Village doctor, "Number 313."[16] She played "Queenie" in an adaptation of Andrea Levy's Small Island, which aired on BBC1 in December 2009[17] and also aired in the United States on PBS in 2010.

From 2010 to 2013, she appeared in the British psychological police drama Luther as recurring character Alice Morgan, a research scientist and highly intelligent sociopath. In September 2012, the series' creator, Neil Cross, announced that he was in the process of creating a spin-off of Luther centred on Wilson's character. Cross stated, "The BBC is very interested in the project. The only real question would be how many and how often we would do it – whether it would be a one-off miniseries or a returning miniseries, a co-production or not."[18]

From 4 August to 8 October 2011, Wilson starred in the title role of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Jude Law. Her performance prompted The Guardian to devote an editorial to Wilson's "courageous, edgy and compelling talent".[19]

In 2014, Wilson began starring as Alison Bailey on The Affair, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in January 2015.

Her film I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, directed by Oz Perkins, premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Get Off My Land Woman Short film
2012 Anna Karenina Princess Betsy
2013 The Lone Ranger Rebecca Reid
2013 Saving Mr. Banks Margaret Goff
2014 Locke Katrina Voice
2015 Suite Française Madeleine
2016 How to Talk to Girls at Parties Filming
2016 I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House[20] Lily


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Time Commanders Herself Episode: "Pharsalus"
2006 Jane Eyre Jane Eyre 4 episodes
2006–07 Suburban Shootout Jewel Diamond 10 episodes
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Georgina Barrow Episode: "Nemesis"
2007 Capturing Mary Young Mary Movie
2007 A Real Summer Mary / Geraldine Movie[21]
2008 The Doctor Who Hears Voices Ruth Movie
2008 Freezing Alison Fennel Episode: "#1.2"
2009 Small Island Queenie Movie[22]
2009 The Prisoner[23] Sara / 313 6 episodes
2010–13 Luther Alice Morgan 10 episodes
2014–present The Affair Alison Bailey 24 episodes


Year Title Role Venue
2005 Good Sound Theatre
2007 Philistines Tanya Lyttelton Theatre
Royal National Theatre[24]
2009 A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Donmar Warehouse[25]
2010 Through a Glass DarklyKarinAlmeida Theatre[26]
2011 Anna Christie Anna Christie Donmar Warehouse
2013 The El Train Mrs Rowland, Rose Hoxton Hall[27]
2015 Constellations Marianne Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
2016 Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler Royal National Theatre


Year Title Role Venue
2008 The Mayor of Casterbridge Elizabeth-Jane
2009 The Promise[28] BBC Radio 3
2009 The Lady of the Camellias Marguerite Gautier BBC Radio 4

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2007 British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Jane Eyre Nominated [29]
2007 Broadcasting Press Guild Best Actress Jane Eyre Nominated [30]
2007 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film Jane Eyre Nominated [31]
2007 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Jane Eyre Nominated [32]
2010 Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Luther Nominated [33]
2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Acting Saving Mr. Banks Nominated [34]
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The Affair Won [35]
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Affair Nominated [36]
2015 Tony Awards Best Leading Actress in a Play Constellations Nominated [37]
2017 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series The Affair Pending [38]


  1. "Olivier Winners 2010". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  2. Brockes, Emma (31 August 2012). "Ruth Wilson: acting up". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  3. Gordon, Jane. "While Hollywood is crazy for British actress Ruth Wilson - and the truth behind those Johnny Depp rumours. | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  4. ""Comparative Media Law & Ethics" by Tim Crook". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. Eden, Richard (23 September 2012). "Lone Ranger star Ruth Wilson spies film about her bigamist grandfather". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  6. Genower, Ellie Ruth is following footsteps of the famous, Manchester Evening News (20 October 2006)
  7. Eyre, Hermione (21 July 2011). "Ruth Wilson on her sizzling summer with Jude Law". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  8. Nichol, Patricia Something in the Eyre, Times Online (27 May 2007)
  9. "2011 : APPEARANCES". 3 February 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  10. Hoggard, Liz Ruth Wilson, The Independent (7 October 2006)
  11. Stephen Robb (10 August 2006). "Jane Eyre star's fast-rising fame". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  12. Rock, Malcolm 20 Questions With… Ruth Wilson, What's on Stage (21 May 2007).
  13. Calvi, Nuala Jane Eyre actress Wilson presents Lilian Baylis Awards, The Stage (12 June 2007).
  14. The Doctor Who Hears Voices, Channel 4 website
  15. Past Productions, Donmar Warehouse
  16. The Prisoner, Originals, AMC TV
  17. "BBC – Small Island". BBC Online. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  18. 'Luther' Spin-Off Starring Ruth Wilson As Alice Morgan In The Works, The Huffington Post, 9 September 2012
  19. "In praise of … Ruth Wilson". The Guardian. London. 15 August 2011. p. 30. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  20. Busch, Anita (2016-01-19). "Osgood Perkins' 'I Am The Pretty Things That Lives In The House' Casting Up". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  21. The Culture Show: Stephen Poliakoff, BBC (13 September 2007)
  22. Small Island at BBC web site
  23. The Prisoner at AMC TV web site
  24. Philistines official web page at the National Theatre. Retrieved on 2012-02-20.
  25. Billington, Michael (29 July 2009). "Theatre review: A Streetcar Named Desire". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  26. Billington, Michael (17 June 2010). "Through a Glass Darkly". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  27. Kate Kellaway. "The El Train – review | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  28. "Top British actors to appear in BBC Radio 3’s autumn drama" 30 August 2009, The Stage
  29. "BAFTA TV Award 2007". Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  30. "Nominations for Broadcasting Press Guild 33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  31. "List: Nominations for the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards". Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  32. "Satellite Awards for 2007". Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  33. "Satellite Awards for 2010". Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  34. "2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Nominations". HitFix. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  35. Ellwood, Gregory (December 11, 2013). "2015 Golden Globe Awards nominations – complete list". HitFix. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  36. "'Birdman' Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  37. "2015 Tony Award Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  38. Kilday, Gregg (November 29, 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
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