Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Birth name: Marianne Ragipcien Jean-Baptiste
Born: April 26, 1967
Age: 56
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, England, United Kingdom
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Marianne Ragipcien Jean-Baptiste (born 26 April 1967) is an English actress, singer-songwriter, composer and director, best known for her roles as Hortense Cumberbatch in Secrets & Lies (1996), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and as Vivian Johnson on the American television series Without a Trace.

In 2015, she starred as Sharon Bishop QC in the ITV crime series Broadchurch.


Early life

Jean-Baptiste was born in London to a mother from Antigua and a father from St. Lucia, growing up in Peckham. She was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. She was nominated for a 1994 Ian Charleson Award for her performance in Measure For Measure with Cheek by Jowl.


Jean-Baptiste gained international success from the Mike Leigh-directed social drama Secrets & Lies (1996), receiving both Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performance, becoming the first black British actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the second black Briton to be nominated, succeeding Jaye Davidson. She collaborated with director Mike Leigh onstage in It's a Great Big Shame (1993). She caused some controversy when she accused the film industry of racism. She noted that leading actors had been asked to attend Cannes, but despite her success she was not invited.

A writer and composer, Jean-Baptiste has recorded an album of blues songs and composed the musical score for Leigh's 1997 film Career Girls. In 1999, she performed in Paris in a French-language production by Peter Brook of The Suit (Le Costume), a one-act play by Barney Simon and Mothobi Mutloatse, based on the short story by Can Themba. She was also acclaimed for her role as Doreen Lawrence in The Murder of Stephen Lawrence (1999).

Jean-Baptiste relocated for work reasons to the US and has been living for some years in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. She honed her American accent and starred in the American television series Without a Trace as FBI agent Vivian Johnson. More recently the actress has appeared in such films as Takers (2010), Secrets in the Walls (2010) and Harry's Law (2012). She played Detroit Chief of Police, Karen Dean, in RoboCop (2014).

She was much praised for her stage performance in the 2013 National Theatre production of James Baldwin's play The Amen Corner, directed by Rufus Norris.

As a friend to Angela Bassett, Marianne Jean-Baptiste attended Women's Image Network Awards and picked up an award, reading Bassett's poetic acceptance speech for her winning role in the film Betty & Coretta.


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Once Upon a Time Babysitter
London Kills Me Nanny
1994 Cracker Marcia Reid (1 episode, 1994)
1996 Distinction Secretary
Secrets & Lies Hortense Cumberbatch Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Sharman Precious (1 episode, 1996)
1997 Mr. Jealousy Lucretia
1998 How to Make the Cruelest Month Christina Parks
The Wedding Ellen Coles Television miniseries
Nowhere to Go Lynne Jacobs
A Murder of Crows Elizabeth Pope
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Madeline Labelle
The Murder of Stephen Lawrence Doreen Lawrence Television miniseries
Nominated - Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor - Female
The Man Michelle Television film
2000 28 Days Roshanda
The Cell Dr. Miriam Kent
2001 Women in Film Sara
Men Only Gemma Television film
New Year's Day Veronica
Spy Game Gladys Jennip
The Fear Storyteller Television series
2002 Don't Explain Elana
2003 Loving You Jude Television film
2005 Welcome to California Tina
2006 Jam Lorraine
2008 City of Ember Clary
2009 Rooms Short film
The Bake Shop Ghost Annie Washington
2002-2009 Without a Trace Vivian Johnson Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2010 Takers Naomi Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Secrets in the Walls Belle Television film
2011 Harry's Law Judge Patricia Seabrook 2 episodes
Sons of Anarchy Vivica 1 episode
Violet & Daisy Number 1
2012 360 Fran
Won't Back Down Olivia Lopez
Private Practice Gabi Rivera 2 episodes
2013 The Moment Dr. Bloom
2014 RoboCop Karen Dean
Edge of Tomorrow Dr. Whittle Uncredited role
2015-present Broadchurch Sharon Bishop 8 episodes
Blindspot FBI Assistant Director Bethany Mayfair Series Regular

Other projects, contributions

  • When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) - "Sonnet 15" ("When I consider everything that grows...")

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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