Jayne Atkinson

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Jayne Atkinson
Jayne Atkinson 2014 (cropped).jpg
Atkinson at the 73rd Peabody Awards, May 2014
Born (1959-02-18) 18 February 1959 (age 63)
Bournemouth, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Michel Gill (1998-present)
Website www.jayne-atkinson.com Official Blog: Jayne Sez

Jayne Atkinson (born 18 February 1959) is an English-born American actress who has worked in film, theatre, and television. She is perhaps best known for the role of Karen Hayes on 24 as well as her Tony Award-nominated roles in The Rainmaker and Enchanted April. She was also known for appearing in the CBS drama Criminal Minds as BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss and in the Netflix political drama House of Cards as US Secretary of State Catherine Durant.[1][2][3][4]

Early life

Jayne Atkinson was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, but her family moved to the United States in 1968 when she was 9 years old. She grew up in Hollywood, Florida and graduated from Pine Crest School where she was elected Homecoming Queen in 1977. She attended Northwestern University (BA Communications, 1981), where she was initiated as a member of Alpha Chi Omega and a sorority sister of Laura Innes; and the Yale Drama School.[1]


After working in regional theatres, Atkinson appeared off-Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Bloody Poetry in 1987. She made her Broadway debut the same year in a revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Subsequently, she landed title roles in more stage productions, which include Henry VIII, Tru, and The Art of Success. She earned a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in The Skriker in 1996. Atkinson's work in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 1999 production of The Rainmaker earned her a Tony Award nomination, and her performance in the 2003 play Enchanted April earned her an Outer Critics Circle Award, another Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk nomination. In 2009, she starred as Ruth Condomine in a Broadway revival of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit,[1] which co-starred Rupert Everett, Christine Ebersole, and Angela Lansbury, who won her record-breaking 5th Tony Award for her role as Madame Arcati.

She has appeared in such films as Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, 12 and Holding, Blank Check, The Village and Syriana.

Her television acting credits include A Year in the Life, Parenthood, The X-Files, Law & Order, The Practice, Criminal Minds, 24, Gossip Girl and House of Cards, opposite Kevin Spacey and husband Michel Gill. Her performance in the made-for-TV movie Our Town garnered her a Satellite Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Personal life

Atkinson is married to actor Michel Gill, with whom she has one son, and with whom she has appeared on House of Cards, although they did not appear as a couple, as Gill played President Garrett Walker and Atkinson played Secretary of State Catherine Durant. They met when they appeared together in a 1989 production of The Heiress at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut.



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Free Willy Annie Greenwood
1994 Blank Check Sandra Waters
1995 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Annie Greenwood
2003 Our Town Mrs. Gibbs Television movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2004 The Village Tabitha Walker
2005 Syriana Division Chief
2006 12 and Holding Ashley Carges
2008 Recount Theresa LePore Television movie
2009 Handsome Harry Kelly's wife


Year Title Role Notes
1986 A Year in the Life Lindley Gardner Eisenberg 3 episodes
1987–1988 A Year in the Life Lindley Gardner Eisneberg 22 episodes
1989 Moonlighting Robin Fuller Episode: "Shits and Skins"
1990–1991 Parenthood Karen Buckman 12 episodes
1995 The X-Files Willa Ambrose Episode: "Fearful Symmerty"
1997 The Practice Ruth Gibson Episode: "Part 1"
2001–2002 The Education of Max Bickford Lyla Ortiz 7 episodes
2002 Law & Order Dr. Claire Snyder Episode: "Dazzled"
2004 Joan of Arcadia Fran Montgomery Episode: "Friday Night"
2006–2007 24 Karen Hayes 30 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2007–2014 Criminal Minds Erin Strauss 23 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Marion Springer Episode: "Savant"
2008 Law & Order Senator Melanie Carver Episode: "Political Animal"
2010 Gossip Girl Dean Reuther 4 episodes
2011 White Collar Helen Anderson Episode: "Deadline"
2012 Blue Bloods Sharon Harris Episode: "Reagan V. Reagan"
2012 Perception Helen Paulson 2 episodes
2013 The Following Jacob's mother 2 episodes
2013–2015 House of Cards Catherine Durant 14 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2015 Zoo Amelia Sage 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1987 All My Sons Sue Bayliss
1989–1990 Tru Jan
1997–1998 Ivanov Anna Petrovna
1999–2000 The Rainmaker Lizzie Curry Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
2002–2003 Our Town Mrs. Gibbs
2003 Enchanted April Lotty Wilton Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
2009 Blithe Spirit Ruth


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Jayne Atkinson". tv.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Noel Coward's 'BLITHE SPIRIT' Goes On Sale 12/20/08". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "'I became obsessed with Beethoven's obsession'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. signonsandiego.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "A getaway that takes us nowhere near their souls - The Record (Bergen County, NJ)". Retrieved 14 August 2010 – via HighBeam Research.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links