Carrie Preston

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Carrie Preston
Carrie Preston 2009 (cropped).jpg
Preston in April 2009
Born (1967-06-21) June 21, 1967 (age 51)
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Education University of Evansville (BFA 1990), Juilliard School (Diploma 1994)
Occupation Actress, director, producer
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Michael Emerson (m. 1998)

Carrie Preston (born June 21, 1967)[1] is an American film and television actress, producer and director. She is known for her work on the television series True Blood and Person of Interest, as well as The Good Wife, which earned her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Early life and education

Preston was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. Her mother is an artist and art therapist, and her father is a geo-technical engineer. She began performing in community theater shows at age 8, and by age 12 she had begun her own front-yard theater company with other neighborhood kids.[2] Her brother is actor John G. Preston.

She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Evansville (1990), followed by an acting diploma from the Juilliard School's Drama Division[3][4] (Group 23: 1990–1994).[5]


Preston has worked with her husband, actor Michael Emerson, on a number of projects. Emerson played Ben Linus on television's Lost, and Preston was a guest star in episode 20 of season 3, "The Man Behind the Curtain" as Ben's mother Emily in flashback scenes, though she and Emerson never shared scenes together. The couple were featured in the 2004 comedy film Straight-Jacket and the 2008 feature film, Ready? OK!. Most recently, she has appeared in several episodes of Person of Interest as Grace Hendricks, the former fiancée of Emerson's character, Harold Finch.

Preston is co-owner of the production company Daisy 3 Pictures with James Vasquez and Mark Holmes. For seven seasons she played Arlene Fowler on True Blood.[6] On July 31, 2010, Carrie Preston and her husband, Michael Emerson, read A. R. Gurney's Love Letters, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, at the Charleston Stage. They performed it as a fundraiser for the South Carolina's theatre. The reading was followed by a brief "Question and Answer" session.

Preston has a recurring role playing Elsbeth Tascioni, an eccentric but extremely effective trial lawyer on CBS's The Good Wife. [7] First introduced in season one and recurring on seasons three through six, the character is a fan favorite, and Preston won the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the show.

On September 6, 2013, it was announced that Preston signed on to play a recurring character in the second season of the Kevin Bacon-led thriller, The Following, she portrayed Judy, a prostitute and ill-fated groupie of Joe Carroll. The show's second season premiered in January 2014.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Just a Friend Mint Jennifer
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding Mandy Newhouse
1997 Journey, TheThe Journey Laura Singh
1997 For Richer or Poorer Rebecca Yoder
1998 Mercury Rising Emily Lang
1999 Guinevere Patty
1999 Cradle Will Rock VTA – Administrator
2000 Woman Wanted Monica
2000 Legend of Bagger Vance, TheThe Legend of Bagger Vance Idalyn Greaves
2004 Straight Jacket Sally Stone
2004 Stepford Wives, TheThe Stepford Wives Barbara
2005 Transamerica Sydney
2007 Lovely by Surprise Marian
2007 Towelhead Evelyn Vuoso
2008 Ready? OK! Andy Dowd
2008 Vicky Cristina Barcelona Sally
2008 Doubt Christine Hurley
2009 Duplicity Barbara Bofferd
2009 That Evening Sun Ludie Choat
2010 Virginia Betty
2011 Carrier, TheThe Carrier Sister (voice) Short film
2011 Bag of Hammers, AA Bag of Hammers Lynette
2011 Sironia Grace
2012 Vino Veritas Claire
2012 Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? Chloe
2013 Beneath the Harvest Sky (previously known as Blue Potato) Kim
2014 5 Flights Up
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Cutty Whitman Sheriff TV film
1997 Union Square Jester Episode: "Michael's First Stand"
1998 Five Houses TV film
1998 Significant Others Patti Pasternak Episode: "My Left Kidney"
1998 Grace & Glorie Charlene Stiles TV film
1999 Spin City Gayle Episode: "Carter & Stuart & Bennett & Deirdre"
1999 Sex and the City Madeline Dunn Episode: "The Chicken Dance"
2001 Emeril B.D. Benson 10 episodes
2003 Good Morning, Miami Kiera Episode: "The Slow and the Furious"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Megan Colby Episode: "Zoonotic"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Doreen Whitlock Episode: "Magnificat"
2004 Wonderfalls Sister Katrina Episode: "Wound-Up Penguin"
2004 Hope & Faith Sally Jones Episode: "Queer as Hope"
2005 Numb3rs Vicky Sites Episode: "Dirty Bomb"
2005 Inside, TheThe Inside Kelly Comack Episode: "Pre-Filer"
2006 Arrested Development Jan Eagleman Episode: "Fakin' It"
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Lena Copeland Episode: "Bedfellows"
2007 Lost Emily Linus Episode: "The Man Behind the Curtain"
2007 Desperate Housewives Lucy Episode: "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover"
2008–14 True Blood Arlene Fowler Main role (70 episodes)
2009 Private Practice Miss Pierce Episode: "Do the Right Thing"
2010–14 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Elsbeth Tascioni Recurring role (9 episodes)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bella Zane Episode: "Educated Guess"
2012 Royal Pains Jackie Van Ark Episode: "Hurts Like a Mother"
2012–14 Person of Interest Grace Hendricks Episodes: "No Good Deed," "The High Road," "Til Death," "Zero Day," "God Mode," "Beta"
2014 The Following Judy 3 episodes
2014 Getting On Denya Thorp Episode: "The 7th Annual Christmas Card Competition"
2015 Crowded Martina Gunn Main cast

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Indiscretions Madeleine
1995 Tempest, TheThe Tempest Miranda Broadway
1997 Antony and Cleopatra Octavia The Public Theater
1998 Freedomland Polly Playwrights Horizons
2000 Straight Jacket Sally Playhouse 91
2000 She Stoops to Conquer Kate Hardcastle Center Stage
2001 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Honey Guthrie Theater
2001 Chaucer in Rome Sarah Lincoln Center
2002 Boys and Girls Shelly Duke on 42nd Street
2002 No Foreigners Beyond This Point Paula Wheaton Center Stage
2004–05 Rivals, TheThe Rivals Julia Broadway
2005 Cycling Past the Matterhorn Amy Clurman Theatre
2005 Hamlet Ophelia McCarter Theatre Center
2006 Festen Mette Broadway
2008 Esther Demsac Reluctant Nanny NY Theatre Workshop's 4th Street Theatre
2008 Likeness Primary Stages
2010 Love Letters Melissa Gardner Charleston Stage
Other works
Year Title Notes
2005 29th and Gay Director, executive producer, editor
2007 Feet of Clay Director, executive producer
2008 Ready? OK! Executive producer
2008 Girl Talk Director
2012 That's What She Said Director, producer


  1. Carrie Preston at the Internet Movie Database
  2. "Carrie Preston". Movies & TV. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "About Carrie Preston". Retrieved April 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Carrie Preston". TV Guide. Retrieved April 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. May 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Eramo, Steven. Actress Goes Through Transformation on "True Blood",, November 7, 2008; retrieved June 25, 2011.
  7. "Filmography by TV series for Elsbeth Tascioni (Character) from "The Good Wife" (2009)". Retrieved January 15, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "The Following Casting Scoop: True Blood's Carrie Preston to Guest Star as Joe Carroll's Groupie". E!. Retrieved 4 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links