Elisabeth Singleton Moss (born July 24, 1982) is an American actor. She is known for her roles as Zoey Bartlet, the youngest daughter of President Josiah Bartlet, on the NBC television series The West Wing (1999–2006); Peggy Olson, secretary-turned-copywriter, on the AMC series Mad Men (2007–2015), which earned her six Emmy Awards nominations and a Golden Globe nomination; Det. Robin Griffin in the BBC miniseries Top of the Lake (2013, 2017), which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film; and Offred on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series as a producer.
Moss is also known for her work in the films Girl, Interrupted; Virgin; Listen Up Philip; The One I Love; Truth; Queen of Earth; and The Square. Her theatre work includes Broadway productions of David Mamet's Speed the Plow and Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, the latter for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She has also appeared in the West End production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour. For her roles in The West Wing, Mad Men, Top of the Lake, and The Handmaid's Tale, Moss was named "The Queen of Peak TV" by Vulture.
Moss at the Paley Center in 2014
Elisabeth Singleton Moss
July 24, 1982
(m. 2009; div. 2011)
Elisabeth Moss was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Ron and Linda Moss, both of whom were musicians. Moss has one younger brother. She was raised a Scientologist. Her father is British. Her mother is of part Swedish descent.
Initially, Moss had aspirations of becoming a professional dancer. In her adolescence, she traveled to New York City to study ballet at the School of American Ballet, after which she studied with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Moss continued to study dance throughout her teenage years, but began obtaining acting roles as well. In order to manage her education and career, she began homeschooling, and graduated in 1999 at age sixteen.
Moss's first screen role was in 1990, when she appeared in the NBC miniseries Lucky/Chances. From 1992 until 1995, Moss appeared as Cynthia Parks in seven episodes of the TV series Picket Fences. She provided the voice of Holly DeCarlo, a main character in the TV special Frosty Returns (1992) and of Michelle in the animated film Once Upon a Forest (1993). She appeared in the television remake of the 1993 film Gypsy and played Harvey Keitel's younger daughter in the film Imaginary Crimes (1994). The following year, she appeared in the remake of the Walt Disney Pictures film Escape to Witch Mountain (1995) and played a young Ashley Judd in the TV-movie biopic Love Can Build A Bridge (1995). She also had a supporting role in the drama Separate Lives (1995) opposite Jim Belushi and Linda Hamilton, and a minor part in the black comedy The Last Supper (1995). Moss also again provided voice work, for the animated series Freakazoid! and the television film It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown! (1996).
Beginning 1999, Moss portrayed the recurring role of Zoey Bartlet in the White House television drama The West Wing, playing the daughter of Martin Sheen and Stockard Channing; she would portray the character until the series finale in 2006. Moss's character became integral to the fourth season of the show; in a retrospective on the series, The Atlantic noted: "Aaron Sorkin made [Moss] the centerpiece of the explosive fourth-season finale where he basically engineered the most insane cliffhanger possible. It required Zoey to be a bit of a pain with her fancy French boyfriend, but Moss always made her relatable, even when the plot required otherwise."
In 1999, she had a supporting role as a patient in a mental institution in James Mangold's Girl, Interrupted, opposite Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, and a minor part in the drama Anywhere But Here. That same year, she had a small role as Katie Brockett in the movie Mumford (1999), playing the daughter of a woman with a shopping addiction.
Moss went on to do Heart of America and three other films in 2004. That year, she also made the movie Virgin, for which she was nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award. Moss also had a supporting part in Ron Howard's Western thriller The Missing (2003).
Moss had a supporting role in the 2005–2006 horror series Invasion, and appeared in television again on a 2007 episode of Grey's Anatomy entitled "My Favorite Mistake", and on the series Medium opposite Patricia Arquette. She also appeared in Mary Lambert's 2007 horror film The Attic, and the independent drama Day Zero (2007).
In 2007, she was cast as Peggy Olson, secretary-turned-copywriter in the AMC dramatic series Mad Men. Between 2009 and the series' final season in 2015, Moss was nominated for five Emmy awards for the role for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 2010, she was nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy. Reflecting on her casting in the series, Moss recalled: "I auditioned [for the role]. There were scripts for two pilots that everyone were talking about at the time that were really good, and Mad Men was one of them."
While a series regular on Mad Men, Moss made her Broadway debut in October 2008, playing the role of Karen in the 20th Anniversary revival of Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet. She then appeared in the comedy film Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009), playing Sarah Jessica Parker's assistant, followed by a part in the comedy Get Him to the Greek (2010) opposite Jonah Hill.
Moss's West End debut was as Martha Dobie in Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour, which opened at The Comedy Theatre, London on January 22, 2011. In 2012, she was cast as Galatea Dunkel in the independent drama On the Road, based on the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name.
Moss played detective Robin Griffin in the 2013 Sundance Channel miniseries Top of the Lake, a co-production by the Sundance Channel, the UK's BBC Two and Australia's UKTV, written and directed by Oscar-winner Jane Campion. For her role, Moss received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. The following year, Moss starred in the independent film Listen Up Philip (2014), her first collaboration with writer-director Alex Ross Perry.
In September 2014 it was announced that Moss would star on Broadway as Heidi Holland in The Heidi Chronicles. The play opened on March 19, 2015. Though the play received some positive reviews, it closed on May 3, 2015 due to low ticket sales. Moss was nominated for a Tony Award for her role.
After production on Mad Men had wrapped, Moss collaborated again with Alex Ross Perry, starring in Queen of Earth (2015), a psychological thriller opposite Katherine Waterston and Patrick Fugit, in which she plays a mentally unstable woman who unravels at a vacation home in the company of her close friends. She was also cast in a supporting part in the British dystopian drama High-Rise (2015), opposite Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller.
Moss appeared in the Chuck Wepner biopic Chuck (2016), opposite Liev Schreiber. In 2017, she appeared in Mad to Be Normal, a biopic of the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing. She is set to star in The Seagull, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play of the same name.
In 2017, Moss began playing Offred in the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, for which she received critical acclaim and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The second season of Top of the Lake, consisting of six episodes, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017. Moss reprised her role as Robin Griffin in this season which is set in Sydney, Australia. In 2018, Moss was cast in the horror film Us directed by Jordan Peele.
After she met Fred Armisen in October 2008, they became engaged in January 2009, and married on October 25, 2009, in Long Island City, New York. They separated in June 2010, and in September 2010, Moss filed for divorce, which was finalized on May 13, 2011.
Half British on her father's side, Moss also holds citizenship of the United Kingdom.
Moss practices Scientology and identifies as a feminist. After a fan questioned whether her role in the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale made her think about her involvement with the Church of Scientology, Moss defended her beliefs on Instagram, writing that the idea that Gilead in the series and Scientology "both believe that all outside sources are wrong or evil," as the fan describes, is "actually not true at all." She continued, "Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me."
|1991||Suburban Commando||Little Girl|
|1993||Once Upon a Forest||Michelle (voice)|
|Recycle Rex||(voice)||Short film|
|1994||Imaginary Crimes||Greta Weiler|
|1995||Separate Lives||Ronni Beckwith|
|The Last Supper||Jenny Tyler|
|1997||A Thousand Acres||Linda|
|1998||Angelmaker||Little Turcott||Short film|
|Anywhere but Here||Rachel|
|Girl, Interrupted||Polly 'Torch' Clark|
|2002||West of Here||Cherise|
|Heart of America||Robin Walters|
|2003||Temptation||Wind / Morgan|
|2005||Bittersweet Place||Paulie Schaffer|
|2007||The Attic||Emma Callan|
|They Never Found Her||Anna||Short film|
|New Orleans, Mon Amour||Hyde|
|2009||Did You Hear About the Morgans?||Jackie Drake|
|2010||A Buddy Story||Susan|
|Get Him to the Greek||Daphne Binks|
|2011||Green Lantern: Emerald Knights||Arisia Rrab (voice)|
|Darling Companion||Grace Winter|
|On the Road||Galatea Dunkel|
|2014||Listen Up Philip||Ashley|
|The One I Love||Sophie|
|2015||Queen of Earth||Catherine||Also producer|
|2016||The Free World||Doris Lamb|
|2017||Mad to Be Normal||Angie Wood|
|The Old Man & the Gun||Dorothy|
|Her Smell||Becky Something||Also producer|
|2019||Light of My Life||Mom|
|The Kitchen||Claire Walsh||Post-production|
|1990||Bar Girls||Robin||Television film|
|1990||Lucky Chances||Lucky - Age 6|
|1991||Prison Stories: Women on the Inside||Little Molly||Television film|
|1991||Anything but Love||Episode: "A Tale of Two Kiddies"|
|1992||Midnight's Child||Christina||Television film|
|1992||Frosty Returns||Holly (voice)||Television short|
|1992–1995||Picket Fences||Cynthia Parks||7 episodes|
|1993||Batman: The Animated Series||Kimmy Ventrix (voice)||Episode: "See No Evil"|
|1993||Johnny Bago||Agnes||Episode: "Hail the Conquering Marrow"|
|1993||Animaniacs||Katrina (voice)||Episode: "O Silly Mio/Puttin' on the Blitz/The Great Wakkorotti"|
|1993||Gypsy||Baby Louise||Television film|
|1995||Escape to Witch Mountain||Anna||Television film|
|1995||Naomi & Wynonna: Love Can Build a Bridge||Early Teen Ashley Judd||Television film|
|1995||Freakazoid!||Kathy / Additional Voices||Episode: "Candle Jack/Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet/The Lobe"|
|1996||It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown||Girl Player (voice)||Television short|
|1999||Earthly Possessions||Mindy||Television film|
|1999–2006||The West Wing||Zoey Bartlet||25 episodes|
|2003||The Practice||Jessica Palmer||Episode: "Rape Shield"|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Katie Nevins||Episode: "Baby Boom"|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Rebecca Colemar||Episode: "The Good"|
|2007||Grey's Anatomy||Nina Rogerson||Episode: "My Favorite Mistake"|
|2007||Medium||Haley Heffernan / Jennie||Episode: "No One to Watch Over Me"|
|2007||Ghost Whisperer||Nikki Drake||Episode: "Unhappy Medium"|
|2007–2015||Mad Men||Peggy Olson||88 episodes|
|2008||Fear Itself||Danny Bannerman||Episode: "Eater"|
|2008||Saturday Night Live||Peggy Olson||Uncredited|
Episode: "Jon Hamm/Coldplay"
|2009||Mercy||Lucy Morton||Episode: "The Last Thing I Said Was"|
|2013, 2017||Top of the Lake||Robin Griffin||12 episodes|
|2013||The Simpsons||Gretchen (voice)||Episode: "Labor Pains"|
|2017–present||The Handmaid's Tale||June Osborne / Offred||23 episodes; also producer|
|2002||Franny's Way||Young Franny, age 17||Linda Gross Theater|
|2008||Speed-the-Plow||Karen||Ethel Barrymore Theatre|
|2011||The Children's Hour||Martha Dobie||The Comedy Theatre|
|2015||The Heidi Chronicles||Heidi Holland||Music Box Theatre|
Chuck (The Bleeder in the UK and Ireland) is a 2016 American biographical sports drama film directed by Philippe Falardeau and written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl, Michael Cristofer and Liev Schreiber, who also stars in the title role. The cast includes Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport, Pooch Hall, Morgan Spector, and Jason Jones. The film depicts the life of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner and his 1975 title fight with the heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, which inspired Sylvester Stallone's character and screenplay for the 1976 film Rocky.
Principal photography began on October 26, 2015 in Suffern, New York. Chuck received its world premiere at the 2016 Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2016. It was released May 5, 2017, by IFC Films.Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series
The Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series is an award presented annually by the Critics' Choice Television Awards to recognize the work of television actresses in the drama genre. It was introduced in 2011 when the awards ceremony was first initiated. The winners are voted for by television critics who are members of the Broadcast Television Critics Association.Her Smell
Her Smell is a 2018 American drama film, written and directed by Alex Ross Perry. It stars Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin, Ashley Benson, Dylan Gelula, Virginia Madsen and Amber Heard.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2018. It is scheduled to be released on March 29, 2019, by Gunpowder & Sky.High-Rise (film)
High-Rise is a 2015 British dystopian drama directed by Ben Wheatley, starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss. It was produced by Jeremy Thomas through his production company Recorded Picture Company. Its screenplay was written by Amy Jump and based on the 1975 novel High-Rise by British writer J. G. Ballard.The film is set in a luxury tower block during the 1970s. Featuring a wealth of modern conveniences, the building allows its residents to become gradually uninterested in the outside world. The infrastructure begins to fail and tensions between residents become apparent, and the building soon descends into chaos.
In September 2015, the film received its world première at the Toronto International Film Festival and its European première at the 63rd San Sebastián Film Festival. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 18 March 2016 by StudioCanal. Though a critical success, the film's receipts failed to meet its production costs. In 2017 it was nominated for the Empire Award for Best British Film.Leading lady
Leading lady is a term often applied to the leading actress in the performance if her character is the protagonist. It is also an informal term for the actress who plays a secondary lead, usually a love interest, to the leading actor in a film or play.
A leading lady can also be an actress of renown. For example, Lynn Fontanne and Helen Hayes were both referred to as the "leading lady of the theatre" in their time. Similarly, Mary Pickford was called the "leading lady" of the cinema.
The term has been applied to an actress who is often associated with one particular actor. For example, Olivia de Havilland was Errol Flynn's leading lady in several films, Katharine Hepburn had a similar association with Spencer Tracy, Lauren Bacall with Humphrey Bogart, and Maureen O'Hara with John Wayne. A leading lady is also an actress who is typecast in romantic supporting roles.
The term can also be used collectively; for example, the phrase "Hollywood's leading ladies" can be used to refer to a group of notable, famous, or popular actresses.
Many modern day leading ladies includes: Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Judi Dench, Jodie Foster, Gal Gadot, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez, Melissa McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Julianne Moore, Elisabeth Moss, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Zoe Saldana, Hailee Steinfeld, Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Emma Thompson, Alicia Vikander, Emma Watson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Williams, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon and Renée Zellweger.Queen of Earth
Queen of Earth is a 2015 American psychological thriller film directed and written by Alex Ross Perry. The film stars Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston and Patrick Fugit.Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series is an award given by the Screen Actors Guild to honor the finest ensemble acting achievements in dramatic television.Shirley (upcoming film)
Shirley is an upcoming American film directed by Josephine Decker and starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg.The Handmaid's Tale (TV series)
The Handmaid's Tale is an American dystopian drama web television series created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. It was ordered by the streaming service Hulu as a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes, for which production began in late 2016. The plot features a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War wherein a totalitarian society subjects fertile women, called "Handmaids", into child-bearing servitude.The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017; the subsequent seven episodes were released every Wednesday. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on April 25, 2018.The Handmaid's Tale has received widespread critical acclaim and its first season won eight Primetime Emmy Awards from thirteen nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. It is the first show produced by Hulu to win a major award as well as the first series on a streaming service to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series. It also became the first streaming series to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Elisabeth Moss was also awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress.
In May 2018, Hulu renewed the series for a third season, which will premiere on June 5, 2019.The Heidi Chronicles
The Heidi Chronicles is a 1988 play by Wendy Wasserstein. The play won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.The Kitchen (2019 film)
The Kitchen is an upcoming American crime comedy-drama film written and directed by Andrea Berloff, in her directorial debut. The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss as the wives of Irish mobsters who take over organized crime operations in the 1970s in New York City's neighborhood Hell's Kitchen after the FBI arrests their husbands. The film is set to be released in the United States on September 20, 2019.The One I Love (film)
The One I Love is a 2014 American science-fiction thriller film directed by Charlie McDowell and written by Justin Lader, the film stars Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2014. It was released on August 1, 2014 through video on demand prior to a limited release on August 22, 2014, by RADiUS-TWC.The Seagull (2018 film)
The Seagull is a 2018 American drama film directed by Michael Mayer with a screenplay by Stephen Karam, based on the play of the same name by Anton Chekhov. The film stars Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen, Billy Howle and Brian Dennehy. Filming began in June 2015 in New York City and had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2018 and was released on May 11, 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics.The Simpsons (season 25)
The Simpsons' twenty-fifth season began airing on Fox on September 29, 2013, and ended on May 18, 2014.
In this season, Homer sells his Mapple stock to buy a bowling ball; Marge blames herself and Kiss for Bart's rebellious streak ("Four Regrettings and a Funeral"); Lisa becomes a cheerleader for Springfield's football team; and Homer delivers a baby ("Labor Pains"). Guest stars for this season include Judd Apatow, Will Arnett, Anderson Cooper, Harlan Ellison, Zach Galifianakis, Stan Lee, Eva Longoria, Rachel Maddow, Elisabeth Moss, Joe Namath, Daniel Radcliffe, Aaron Sorkin, Max von Sydow, and Kristen Wiig. This is Al Jean's 13th consecutive season as showrunner and 15th overall. Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Matt Selman, and John Frink serve as executive producers. Executive producer Al Jean stated that Edna Krabappel was retired from the show following the death of Marcia Wallace on October 25, 2013.February 2014 held back Simpsons episodes, due to the transmission of the Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States; the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia; the 2014 Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida, US; and the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.This season The Simpsons won three Primetime Emmy Awards out of four nominations, including an Primetime Emmy Award for Character Voice-Over Performance to Harry Shearer, who was the last member of the main cast to earn the award.The Square (2017 film)
The Square is a 2017 satirical drama film written and directed by Ruben Östlund and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. The film is about a curator (Bang) who struggles with various personal issues, including the theft of his mobile phone and affair with a journalist (Moss). Amid these distractions, a controversial promotional video for an art installation is published without his oversight, threatening his career and sparking a debate about freedom of expression and political correctness.
A Swedish production with co-production support from Germany, France and Denmark, the film was shot in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Berlin. The story was partly inspired by an installation Östlund and producer Kalle Boman had made. Östlund was also inspired by a notorious incident involving Oleg Kulik and cast Notary in a parody, drawing on Notary's experience imitating apes.
The film was entered into the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it received positive reviews and won the Palme d'Or. It was subsequently selected for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It went on to win six European Film Awards, including Best Film; two Guldbagge Awards, including Best Director; and other honours. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.The Suitcase
"The Suitcase" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the American television drama series Mad Men, and the 46th overall episode of the series. It aired on the AMC channel in the United States on September 5, 2010.
This episode is centered on the characters of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), and the relationship between the two. It was widely lauded by television critics; in subsequent years it has often been cited as one of the greatest episodes of the series. The end of this episode marks the halfway point in the series (46/92).
Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss both submitted this episode for consideration due to their nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, respectively, at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.Top of the Lake
Top of the Lake is a mystery drama television series created and written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, and directed by Campion and Garth Davis. It aired in 2013, and the sequel, entitled Top of the Lake: China Girl, in 2017. It marks Campion's first work for television since An Angel at My Table in 1990.
Season 1 follows Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) and deals with her investigation of the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl in New Zealand. Season 2, China Girl, is set in Sydney four years later, as Detective Griffin investigates the death of an unidentified Asian girl found at Bondi Beach.Top of the Lake was co-produced for BBC Two in the UK, BBC UKTV in Australia and New Zealand, and Sundance Channel in the United States. It has been generally very well received.Us (2019 film)
Us is an upcoming American psychological horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Anna Diop, and follows a family who are confronted by a group of doppelgängers.
The project was first announced in February 2018, and much of the cast joined that summer. Peele produces the film alongside Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick (with the trio previously having collaborated on Get Out and BlacKkKlansman), as well as Ian Cooper.
Filming took place from July to October 2018 in California.
The film will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 8, 2019 and is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 22, 2019, by Universal Pictures.Virgin (film)
Virgin is a 2003 American drama film directed by Deborah Kampmeier and starring Elisabeth Moss, Robin Wright Penn and Daphne Rubin-Vega.