Childhood & Early Life
Elisabeth Moss was born on 24 July 1982, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to musician parents Ron and Linda Moss. She has a younger brother.
She began her acting career at the age of eight. Her first screen role was in the ‘NBC’ miniseries ‘Lucky/Chances’ (1990).
From 1992 to 1995, she appeared as ‘Cynthia Parks’ in seven episodes of the TV series ‘Picket Fences.’ She also voiced ‘Holly DeCarlo’ in the TV special ‘Frosty Returns’ (1992). In 1993, she voiced ‘Michelle’ in the animated film ‘Once upon a Forest.’
In 1993, she appeared in the televised version of the film ‘Gypsy.’ She then played the role of Harvey Keitel's on-screen daughter in the film ‘Imaginary Crimes’ (1994).
In 1995, she appeared in ‘Escape to Witch Mountain,’ a remake of the ‘Walt Disney’ film. She also played a role in the television biopic ‘Love Can Build a Bridge.’ She then played a supporting role in the drama ‘Separate Lives,’ and a small role in the black comedy film ‘The Last Supper.’
In 1995, she voiced ‘Kathy’ in the animated TV series ‘Freakazoid!’ The following year, she voiced a character in the animated TV special ‘It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown.’
Having established herself as a child actor, she wanted to become a professional dancer as well. Hence, she traveled to New York City during her teens and attended the ‘School of American Ballet.’ Later, she also studied with Suzanne Farrell at the ‘Kennedy Center’ in Washington, D.C.
She was a focused student and excelled in studies. She continued her acting assignments and dance lessons throughout her adolescence. In order to balance her education and career, she chose to be homeschooled and graduated in 1999.
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In 1999, Elisabeth Moss began playing ‘Zoey Bartlet,’ one of her most distinguished roles, in the television series ‘The West Wing.’ Her character occupies the central position in the plot during the fourth season of the show. The series finale was aired in 2006.
In 1999, she played the supporting role of a mental institution patient in James Mangold's ‘Girl, Interrupted.’ The same year, she also played a small role in the drama film ‘Anywhere but Here,’ and then played a minor role in the movie ‘Mumford.’
In 2003, she played a supporting role in Ron Howard's revisionist western thriller ‘The Missing.’ She also appeared in the movie ‘Virgin’ for which she earned an ‘Independent Spirit Award’ nomination. She also appeared in ‘Heart of America’ and a few other films in the early-2000s.
She then went on to appear in several television series. From 2005 to 2006, she played a supporting role in the horror series ‘Invasion.’ In 2007, she appeared in an episode titled ‘My Favorite Mistake’ in ‘Grey's Anatomy.’ She then appeared in the series ‘Medium.’
In 2007, she also appeared in Mary Lambert's horror film ‘The Attic,’ and the independent drama ‘Day Zero.’
The same year, she started appearing in a distinguished role in AMC’s period drama television series ‘Mad Men’ (2007-2015). In the series, she played the role of ‘Peggy Olson,’ a secretary-turned-copywriter in an advertising agency in Madison Avenue, New York City. Her performance as ‘Peggy’ earned her several awards and nominations.
Meanwhile in October 2008, she made her Broadway debut in the 20th anniversary revival of ‘Speed-the-Plow’ by David Mamet.
In 2009, she appeared in the comedy ‘Did You Hear about the Morgans?,’ playing the role of Sarah Jessica Parker's on-screen associate. The following year, she appeared in the comedy film ‘Get Him to the Greek.’
In 2011, she made her ‘West End’ debut as ‘Martha Dobie’ in Lillian Hellman's play ‘The Children's Hour.’ The following year, she starred as ‘Galatea Dunkel’ in the independent drama film ‘On the Road,’ which was based on Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name.
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In 2013, she played the role of detective ‘Robin Griffin’ in the ‘Sundance Channel’ miniseries ‘Top of the Lake.’ For her performance, she received the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actress.’ The following year, she starred in ‘Listen up Philip.’
In March 2015, she appeared as ‘Heidi Holland’ in a Broadway titled ‘The Heidi Chronicles.’ Although she received a ‘Tony Award’ nomination for her performance, the play closed earlier than expected due to low ticket sales.
In 2015, she played a mad woman in the psychological thriller ‘Queen of Earth’ which was co-produced and directed by Alex Ross Perry. The same year, she also appeared in a supporting role in the British dystopian thriller drama ‘High-Rise.’
In 2016, she appeared in the biographical sports drama film ‘Chuck.’ The following year, she played ‘Angie Wood’ in a biopic of Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing titled ‘Mad to be Normal.’
In 2017, Moss started playing ‘June Osborne’ in the dystopian drama series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ For her role in the series, she received widespread acclaim and many prestigious awards and nominations.
In 2018, she appeared in critically acclaimed movies, such as ‘Her Smell’ and ‘The Old Man & the Gun.’ The same year, she also played ‘Masha’ in ‘The Seagull,’ an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play.
In 2019, she played prominent roles in films like ‘Light of My Life,’ ‘Us,’ and ‘The Kitchen.’ The same year, she was cast to play important roles in films, such as ‘The French Dispatch’ and ‘The Invisible Man.’
From 1999 until the series’ finale in 2006, Elisabeth Moss appeared in the political drama ‘The West Wing.’ In the series, she played the role of ‘Zoey Bartlet,’ the daughter of the characters played by Martin Sheen and Stockard Channing. She earned the ‘Young Artist Award’ nomination in 2001 for her performance in the series.
From 2007 to 2015, she starred as the secretary-turned-copywriter ‘Peggy Olson’ in one of the greatest television series of all time – AMC’s period drama ‘Mad Men.’ Her performance in the series earned her several ‘Emmy Award’ nominations.
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In 2017, Moss started playing the character of ‘June Osborne’ in the dystopian drama series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ For her role, she received widespread acclaim and several awards and nominations.
Awards & Achievements
In 2004, Elisabeth Moss was nominated for ‘Director’s Choice Award’ under the ‘Best Actress’ category for her performance in the film ‘Virgin’ (2003).
From 2008 to 2013, she received nominations for several awards for her performance in the television series ‘Mad Men.’ The series earned her two ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series’ (2009 and 2010).
In 2013, she won the ‘Critics’ Choice Television Award’ for ‘Best Movie/Miniseries Actress’ for the television series 'Top of the Lake.' The same series also helped her win three awards in 2014: ‘Golden Globe Award,’ ‘Satellite Award,’ and ‘Equity Ensemble Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Miniseries or Telemovie.’
Moss earned her first ‘Primetime Emmy’ award in 2017 for her role in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ She won the award for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress’ and also for ‘Outstanding Drama series.’ Her role also earned her a ‘Golden Globe’ for ‘Best Performance by an Actress.’
She was also nominated for her performances in ‘The West Wing’ and ‘The Heidi Chronicles.’