Who is Alex Kingston?
Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston is popular English actress, best known for her portrayal of Dr Elizabeth Corday in the American TV show ‘ER’. She played the titular role in ‘The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders’ and made appearances in crime based shows Law & Order: SVU and NCIS. She has also featured in ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, which is a prequel to the English drama ‘Downton Abbey’, as the lesbian archaeologist Dr Blanche Mottershead. Her popularity reached new heights after she appeared as Professor River Song in the hit British TV show ‘Doctor Who’. She was originally cast for just a couple of episodes but her character became so popular with the audiences that it compelled the producers to extend her role in the show. The special episode titled ‘The Husbands of River Song’ marked her return as River Song along with Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. She is also the third of the five actors who have a recurring role in the American superhero show ‘Arrow’. She was married to British actor Ralph Fiennes but they separated after four years. She has won several awards for her supporting roles in numerous television dramas.
Childhood & Early Life
Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston was born on 11 March 1963 in Epsom, Surrey to Anthony and Margarethe Kingston and is the eldest of their three daughters. She is related to actor Walter Renneisen who is her maternal uncle.
She studied at the Rosebery School for Girls where one of her teachers suggested she give a try at acting. After performing for the Surrey County Youth Theatre production of ‘Tom Jones’, she pursued a three-year programme at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). It was here at RADA where she first met her husband, Ralph Fiennes. She then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company where she did some extensive theatre work.
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Alex Kingston started her television career at age of 15 by playing the role of a bully in the English TV series ‘Grange Hill’.
She bagged her major role as the lead character in miniseries, ‘The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders’ in 1996.
It was her role as Dr Elizabeth Corday in the successful show ‘ER’ in 1997 that put her on the world map. Her unique curly red hair and aristocratic British accent made her stand out and she went on to reprise her role in over seven seasons. However, the producers of the show did not renew her contract after season 11.
In 2005, she made a guest appearance in the mystery drama ‘Without a Trace’ and then acted as Nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’ in 2006.
She was cast as Mrs Bennet in the 2008 show ‘Lost in Austen’ which is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
In the 2009 legal drama ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ she played the role of the defence attorney, Miranda Pond. In the same year, she took on the lead character of Ellie Lagden in the BBC One drama series ‘Hope Springs’. She played a recurring character named Fiona Banks in the American television series ‘FlashForward’.
Kingston reappeared on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ in 2010 which once again featured her with her former ‘ER’ actor, Maria Bello.
She played the role of Helen Maynard in the English supernatural TV show ‘Marchlands’ in 2011. Also, she made a guest appearance as the psychiatrist Marla Tompkins who writes book reviews for newspapers in ‘Private Practice’.
In September 2012, she became a part of the BBC genealogy series ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ in which she traced the lives of her great-grandfather Will Keevil and her four-times great-grandmother, Elizabeth Braham.
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In the American superhero show ‘Arrow’, she portrayed the role of Professor Dinah Lance, the mother of Laurel and Sara Lance.
Alex Kingston performed opposite Kenneth Branagh in ‘Macbeth’ at Manchester International Festival in 2013. She later debuted in New York playing the same role at the Park Avenue Armory in 2014.
She went on to appear as Ruth Hattersley who is an analyst working for the Missing Persons Bureau in the English drama ‘Chasing Shadows’ in 2014.
Despite working in several American and British TV series Alex Kingston is best known for her roles in ‘ER’ and ‘Doctor Who’. In ‘ER’ she played the role of a surgeon while in ‘Doctor Who’ she plays the role of a professor.
Personal Life & Legacy
After courtship of around ten years, Alex Kingston married British actor Ralph Fiennes in 1993. The couple, however, broke up in 1997, a few years after Ralph Fiennes started a relationship with his co-star, Francesca Annis.
In 1998, she married a freelance journalist Florian Haertel who she met on a blind date arranged by her friends. Together they have a daughter named Salome Violetta Haertel born in 2001. However, the couple parted ways in 2010.
She married her third husband Jonathan Stamp, a television producer, in a fancy Italian wedding in 2015. She now lives with her family in America.
In 2006, Alex Kingston admitted that she had once contemplated and nearly attempted suicide following her separation from husband Ralph Fiennes.
In an episode of ‘ER’ her daughter, Salome Violetta Haertel appeared as her on-screen daughter ‘Ella Green’.
She had auditioned for the role of Lynette Scavo on ABC's ‘Desperate Housewives’ but was rejected because of her voluptuous figure.