Date of Birth : Dec 29th 1969
An actress who infuses her characters with luminous strength and shrewd intelligence, Jennifer Ehle emerged in the mid-’90s as one of England’s most compelling new talents. A trained stage actress, she won international recognition and a BAFTA TV Award in 1996, when she starred as Elizabeth Bennet in the acclaimed BBC production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Her career breakthrough led to both more screen work and the opportunity for Ehle, the daughter of actress Rosemary Harris, to establish herself as an actress in her own right. Born December 29, 1969, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the home of her novelist father John Ehle, Ehle was raised largely in nearby Asheville. She spent a great deal of her childhood following her mother’s career engagements back and forth between the States and the U.K., attending over 18 schools in the process. Ehle eventually settled in London to study drama at the Central School, but dropped out in 1991 to take the part of Calypso in Peter Hall’s lauded TV adaptation of The Chamomile Lawn. Further television and stage roles followed, and in 1993, Ehle made her screen debut with a small role in Iain Softley’s Backbeat as Cynthia Powell, John Lennon’s first wife. Ehle’s career entered a new and more lucrative phase with her award-winning turn as Pride and Prejudice’s heroine; in addition to its success in Britain, the miniseries — which also launched Colin Firth to international fame in his role as Mr. Darcy — proved to be a runaway hit in the States. More film work duly came Ehle’s way: she could be seen playing Oscar Wilde’s wife, Constance, in Wilde (1997); a prisoner of war alongside Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Cate Blanchett, and Julianna Margulies in Paradise Road (1997); and a woman who finds herself becoming involved with her supposedly gay former boyfriend in Bedrooms & Hallways (1998). Ehle was cast in perhaps her most high-profile screen role to date in 1999, when she starred as the wife of a Hungarian lawyer (Ralph Fiennes) in István Szabó’s epic Sunshine, a historical drama tracing the fortunes of three generations of a Hungarian Jewish family.