Jayne Atkinson was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire (now Dorset), England, but her family moved to the United States in 1968 when she was 9 years old. She attended Northwestern University (BS Communications, 1981) and graduated with an MFA from the Yale Drama School in 1985.
After working in regional theatre's, 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.
Jayne Atkinson has worked in film, theatre, and television. She is well known for the role of Karen Hayes on 24
, as well as her Tony Award–nominated roles in The Rainmaker
and Enchanted April
. She has also appeared in the CBS drama Criminal Minds
as BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss, the CBS drama Madam Secretary
as United States Vice President Teresa Hurst, and in the Netflix political drama House of Cards
as U.S. Secretary of State Catherine Durant.
In Jayne Atkinson’s acting career, she has earned a significant number of awards, include:
- A Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in The Skriker in 1996.
- A Tony Award Nomination for her work in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 1999 production of The Rainmaker and for her performance in the 2003 play Enchanted April.
- An Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in the play Enchanted April in 2003.
Her other famous works on Broadway are Blithe Spirit
with Angela Lansbury, Our Town
with Paul Newman, and ANN
which garnered her a Helen Hayes Nomination.
Moreover, 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.
However, to Jayne Atkinson, the best role in her life is to be a Mom to Jeremy Gill and a Wife to Actor Michel Gill.
Youtube channel Me&Vivi Conversations and Inspirations
Youtube channel Jayne Sez:
Organizations Jayne supports:
- RUNNING START: promoting young women to run for office.
- WAM Theatre: theatre for everyone supporting Women and Girls Voices around the world. 15% of all their proceeds are given to either local organizations supporting women and girls or worldwide organizations that do the same.
- RITES OF PASSAGE 20/20 Vision: a site specific theatre piece that takes 21 rooms in a building to celebrate the passages in the lives of Women of Color Indigenous Women, Immigrant Women and LBGTQ+ and Transgender Women.