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Emily Mortimer

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Basic Information

Emily Mortimer

Date of Birth: 1 December 1971
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Birth Name: Emily Kathleen Mortimer
Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m)


Emily Kathleen A. Mortimer (born 1 December 1971) is a British American actress. She began performing on stage, and has since appeared in several film and television roles, including Scream 3, Match Point, Lars and the Real Girl, and Shutter Island.

Early life

Mortimer was born in Finsbury Park, London,England, the daughter of Sir John Mortimer QC (lawyer and dramatist famous for Rumpole of the Bailey) and his second wife, Penelope (née Gollop). She has a younger sister, Rosie; two older siblings, Sally Silverman and Jeremy, by her father's first marriage, to author Penelope Fletcher; and a half brother, Ross Bentley, by her father's liaison with actress Wendy Craig. Her maternal grandfather was a pig farmer.

Mortimer studied at St Paul's Girls' School, where she appeared in several student productions. After St. Paul's, she moved on to Lincoln College, Oxford, where she read Russian, and performed in several plays. Before becoming an actress, Mortimer wrote a column for the Daily Telegraph, and was also screenwriter for a screen adaptation of Lorna Sage's memoir, Bad Blood.


Mortimer performed in several plays while studying at Oxford University, and while acting in a student production she was spotted by a producer who later cast her in a supporting role in a television adaptation of Dame Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin (1995). Subsequent television roles included Sharpe's Sword and Coming Home. Her first film role was opposite Val Kilmer in 1996's The Ghost and the Darkness. Mortimer was then in the Irish coming-of-age story The Last of the High Kings, released later the same year. In 1998 she appeared as Kat Ashley in Elizabeth, and played Miss Flynn in the TV mini-series Cider with Rosie, which was adapted for television by her father.

In 1999, she played three roles that raised her profile outside the UK: She was the ill-fated "Perfect Girl" dropped by Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, appeared as Esther in the American TV mini-series Noah's Ark, and was Angelina, the star of the film-within-a-film, in the upscale slasher flick Scream 3.

In 2000, Mortimer was cast as Katherine in Kenneth Branagh's musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost, where she met actor and future husband Alessandro Nivola. She took on her biggest role in an American film to date, playing opposite Bruce Willis in Disney's The Kid. In 2002, she had a major role in The 51st State (also known as Formula 51), starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle, and was a supporting character in John Woo's war drama Windtalkers.

In 2003, Mortimer appeared in Stephen Fry's film Bright Young Things. In 2004, Mortimer appeared in the movie Dear Frankie. In 2005, she played a major role as the oblivious spouse of an adulterous Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Woody Allen's Match Point, as well as voicing young Sophie in the English-dubbed version of Howl's Moving Castle. In 2007 she played a supporting role in Lars and the Real Girl as the supportive sister-in-law of Ryan Gosling's title character. She also appeared in The Pink Panther in 2006 and in its 2009 sequel, as the love interest of Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin). In the last three episodes of 30 Rock's first season, she played Phoebe, a love interest of Alec Baldwin's character, Jack Donaghy.

Mortimer played an aspiring actress opposite Andy Garcia in City Island (2009) and a mental patient in Martin Scorsese's 2010 film Shutter Island. She will play Leonie Gilmour in the upcoming film Leonie scheduled for release in the fall.

Personal life

In 2000, Mortimer met American actor Alessandro Nivola, while both were starring in Love's Labour's Lost. The couple married in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, on 3 January 2003. A Mexican punk band performed at their wedding. Mortimer gave birth to their son, Samuel John, in Westminster, London, on 23 September 2003. Their second child, May Rose, was born on 15 January 2010. During the same year, Mortimer naturalized as an American citizen for "cynical reasons" in order to avoid paying inheritance tax in the event of anything happening to her husband. She now holds dual British and American Citizenship. Mortimer is an atheist.


Year Film Role Notes
1995 Sharpe's Sword Lass TV
The Glass Virgin Annabella Lagrange TV miniseries
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness Helana Patterson
Midsomer Murders: The Killings at Badger's Drift Catherine Lacey TV
The Last of the High Kings Romy Thomas
Silent Witness Fran Episodes "Long Days, Short Nights" parts 1 and 2
1998 Coming Home Judith Dunbar TV
Cider with Rosie Miss Flynn TV
Elizabeth Kat Ashley
Killing Joe
1999 Notting Hill Perfect Girl
2000 Scream 3 Angelina Tyler
Love's Labour's Lost Katherine
Disney's The Kid Amy
2001 Lovely and Amazing Elizabeth Marks Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressChlotrudis Award for Best Supporting ActressIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

The 51st State aka Formula 51 Dakota Parker
2002 Jeffrey Archer: The Truth Diana, Princess of Wales TV
2003 A Foreign Affair Angela Beck
Nobody Needs to Know Emily
The Sleeping Dictionary Cecil Nominated — DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actress in a DVD Premiere Movie
Bright Young Things Nina Blount
Young Adam Cathie Dimly Nominated — Empire Award for Best British Actress

Nominated — European Film Award for Best Actress Nominated — London Critics Circle Film Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year

2004 Dear Frankie Lizzie Nominated — London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actress of the Year
Howl's Moving Castle Young Sophie Voice
2005 Match Point Chloe Hewett Wilton
2006 Paris, je t'aime Frances Segmant Père-Lachaise
The Pink Panther Nicole Durant
2007 30 Rock Phoebe Episodes "Corporate Crush", "Cleveland" and "Hiatus"
Lars and the Real Girl Karin Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Chaos Theory Susan Allen
2008 Transsiberian Jessie Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Redbelt Laura Black
2009 The Pink Panther 2 Nicole Durant
Harry Brown Frampton
City Island Molly Charlesworth
2010 Shutter Island Rachel Solando
Leonie Leonie Gilmour


  • Studied English & Russian at Lincoln College, Oxford (1990-94). Daughter of John Mortimer and Penelope Gollop.
  • Has one younger sister, Rosie Mortimer.
  • Gave birth to her son Samuel John Nivola, with husband Alessandro Nivola, at London's Portland Hospital, weighing in at 7lbs 10oz (26 September 2003).
  • A Mexican punk band played at her wedding to Alessandro Nivola.
  • Discovered an older half-brother, Ross Bentley, as a result of a past relationship between actress Wendy Craig and her father Sir John Mortimer. [17 September 2004]
  • Lives in Los Angeles, California, USA. [2004]
  • Attended St. Paul's Girls' School in London.
  • Attended Moscow Arts Theatre School.
  • The name of her mother, Penelope, was also the name of her father's first wife.
  • Fluent in Russian
  • Educated at the prestigious St Paul's Girls School in London. Was in the same class as fellow actress Rachel Weisz.
  • Was chosen to voice the young Sophie in the English language version of Howl's Moving Castle (2004) because the producers felt that her voice resembled that of the young Jean Simmons, who voiced the old Sophie.
  • Has two older half-siblings from her father's first marriage, Sally Silverman and Jeremy Mortimer.
  • Gave birth to her daughter May Rose Nivola, with husband Alessandro Nivola, in New York City, via Caesarean section (15 January 2010).
  • Her younger sister Rosie Mortimer gave birth to her son John just three days after Emily gave birth to her daughter May.
  • Returned to work ten months after giving birth to her son Samuel in order to begin filming Match Point (2005).
  • Returned to work six months after giving birth to her daughter May in order to begin filming My Idiot Brother (2011).
  • Was three months pregnant with her daughter May when she completed filming on Shutter Island (2010).