Vera Farmiga Biography

Vera Farmiga is a Ukrainian-American actress and producer. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Vera Farmiga
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 6, 1973

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Age: 46 Years, 46 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Vera Ann Farmiga

Born in: Clifton

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Renn Hawkey, Sebastian Roché

father: Mykhailo Farmiga

mother: Luba Farmiga

siblings: Taissa Farmiga

children: Fynn Hawkey, Gytta Lubov Hawkey

U.S. State: New Jersey

More Facts

education: Syracuse University, Hunterdon Central Regional High School

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Vera Farmiga is a Ukrainian-American actress and producer. She is best known for her role in films like ‘Up in the Air’, ‘The Conjuring’ and TV series ‘Bates Motel’. She grew up in New Jersey where she trained as a folk dancer and classical pianist in her childhood years. Although a shy child, she discovered her love for the stage early in life and graduated in Visual and Performing Arts from Syracuse University. Soon after, she began her stage career and eventually progressed to television shows. She also acted in some supporting yet noteworthy roles for various films around the same time. Within seven years of starting her acting career, she appeared in the lead role for the film ‘Love in the Time of Money’. Following this, in the next couple of years, she had her breakout role in the independent drama film ‘Down to the Bone’. Appearing in close to 35 films till date, she has established herself as a versatile, poignant, and bankable actor. Her next film, ‘The Conjuring 2’ is scheduled to release in 2016. A multi-talented persona, she ventured into direction with the critically acclaimed film ‘Higher Ground’ and is the producer of ‘Bates Motel’ since its second season.

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Vera Farmiga
Childhood & Early Life
  • Vera Farmiga was born on August 6, 1973 in Clifton, New Jersey to Ukrainian parents. Her mother, Lubomyra, was a schoolteacher and father, Michael Farmiga, was a computer systems analyst. She has an older brother and five younger siblings.
  • Belonging to a strict Ukrainian Catholic family, she couldn’t speak English till she began kindergarten at the age of six. At the age of 12, the family moved from Irvington to Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Farmiga attended St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic School in Newark.
  • She was a shy, spectacled girl and trained as a folk dancer and classical pianist. As a teenager, she toured with a Ukrainian folk-dancing group, ‘Syzokryli’ and was also a member of the Ukrainian Girl Scouts group, ‘Plast’.
  • She graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School, in 1991. It was here in junior school, that she discovered her talent for acting.
  • Though she had planned to become an Ophthalmologist, her interest in acting led her to graduate in Visual and Performing Arts from Syracuse University, in 1995.
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  • Vera Farmiga’s stage career took off in 1996 when she starred as ‘Miranda’ in the American Conservatory Theatre’s production of ‘The Tempest’. She also performed as a member of ‘The Barrow Group’, the prestigious theatre company, in New York City.She made her Broadway debut on October 17, 1996 in Ronald Harwood play ‘Taking Sides’.
  • This was followed by her role as Emily Elliot in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television Western film ‘Rose Hill’ (1997). In 1997, she also starred as former slave Catlin in the Fox fantasy adventure series ‘Roar’. The show was aired for a single season.
  • In 2000, she featured in a supporting role in the commercially successful romantic drama film ‘Autumn in New York’, alongside lead actors Richard Gere and Winona Ryder. The same year, she also featured in the crime-drama ‘The Opportunists’.
  • In 2001, she starred in a supporting role in an action thriller called ‘15 Minutes’ which achieved considerable box office success. She also starred in the British-Macedonian Western drama film ‘Dust’, which premiered at the 2001 Venice Film Festival.
  • In 2001, she appeared in NBC's procedural drama ‘UC: Undercover’ as Alex Cross. The series aired for a single season following which she appeared as Queen Josephine in Hallmark fantasy television film ‘Snow White: The Fairest of Them All’.
  • She starred in a lead role in the romantic drama film ‘Love in the Time of Money’ which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. She also portrayed Helen in the John Erman directed stage production of ‘Under the Blue Sky’ at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
  • In 2002, she also appeared as Lorena Fanchetti in the comedy-drama ‘Dummy’. The following year, she had her breakout role in the independent drama film ‘Down to the Bone’, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and won her a critics award.
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  • Next in line was the HBO drama film ‘Iron Jawed Angels’ and an American adaptation of the British crime drama series ‘Touching Evil’. The series though aired for a single season, received appreciation from critics.
  • Also in 2004, she had a supporting role in the critically acclaimed and commercially successful political thriller ‘The Manchurian Candidate’.
  • In 2005, she played the role of Eleanna in ‘Neverwas’. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • In 2006, she appeared in a supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’. The film was a worldwide hit and won four Academy Awards. The same year, she also starred in Wayne Kramer's crime thriller ‘Running Scared’,
  • She landed the lead role in Gina Kim's Korean-American romantic drama ‘Never Forever’ which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. She next appeared in the psychological thriller ‘Joshua’ (2007) and the drama film ‘Quid Pro Quo’, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
  • In September 2008, she appeared in the critically acclaimed British historical drama ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ and also starred in the British-Russian war drama ‘In Transit’ and political thriller ‘Nothing but the Truth’.
  • In 2009, she starred in Jaume Collet-Serra's worldwide blockbuster ‘Orphan’, portraying a mother who adopts a strange nine year old girl after suffering a stillbirth. Following this, she appeared in Niki Caro's romantic drama ‘A Heavenly Vintage’ which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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  • In 2009, she appeared opposite George Clooney in the universal blockbuster ‘Up in the Air’. For her performance, she received several award nominations and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • In 2009, she also featured in the romantic comedy ‘Henry's Crime’. The film was screened at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • In 2011, she played Capt. Colleen Goodwin in ‘Source Code’, a science fiction action thriller film. She also appeared in a short art film titled ‘Suite for Pong’.
  • She shot her directorial debut, the religious drama film ‘Higher Ground’ in 2011. The film received critical acclaim following its premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Many of her family members like younger sister Taissa Farmiga, husband Renn Hawkey, and her cousin Adriana Farmiga were part of the production team.
  • In 2012, she appeared in an independent comedy-drama film ‘Goats’ which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The same year, she portrayed CIA agent Catherine Linklater in Daniel Espinosa's commercially successful action thriller ‘Safe House’.
  • Since March 2013, she has acted in the lead role of Norma Louise Bates in the A&E drama-thriller series ‘Bates Motel’. Apart from receiving several award nominations, she has served as a producer of the show since its second season.
  • In 2013, she appeared as the renowned mystical researcher, Lorraine Warren in James Wan's film ‘The Conjuring’; one of the highest grossing horror movies ever. She appeared in the romantic comedy film ‘At Middleton’ as Edith Martin. The film premiered at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival.
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  • She next featured in the Romanian-American comedy-drama ‘Closer to the Moon’ and David Dobkin's drama ‘The Judge’ (2014) which were mild box office successes.
  • In 2016, she will appear in Ricky Gervais' comedy satire ‘Special Correspondents’ and James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring 2’.
Major Works
  • Her first major lead role was in 2005, as the drug addicted mother of two, in the independent drama film ‘Down to the Bone’.
  • In 2009, she appeared opposite George Clooney in the comedy-drama ‘Up in the Air’, which received universal acclaim and box office success.
  • In 2013, she acted in James Wan's horror film ‘The Conjuring’, which became one of the highest grossing horror movies ever.
Awards & Achievements
  • Vera Farmiga won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Down to the Bone’ (2005).
  • She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the British historical drama ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ (2008).
  • She has won the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Up in the Air’ (2009).
  • She won the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for her performance in ‘Bates Motel’ (2013).
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Farmiga married to French actor, Sebastian Roché, in 2007. The marriage ended in a divorce, in 2005.
  • She married musician Renn Hawkey on September 13, 2008. The couple has a son named, Fynn McDonnell Hawkey, and a daughter named Gytta Lubov Hawkey.
  • She is the sister-in-law of actress and photographer Molly Hawkey. Actress Taissa Farmiga is her younger sister.

1. The Departed (2006)

  (Crime, Drama, Thriller)

2. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

  (War, Drama)

3. The Conjuring (2013)

  (Thriller, Mystery, Horror)

4. Source Code (2011)

  (Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Romance)

5. Up in the Air (2009)

  (Romance, Drama)

6. The Judge (2014)

  (Drama, Crime)

7. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

  (Mystery, Horror, Thriller)

8. Running Scared (2006)

  (Thriller, Drama, Action, Crime)


People's Choice Awards
2017 Favorite Cable TV Actress Winner

See the events in life of Vera Farmiga in Chronological Order

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- Vera Farmiga Biography
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Last Updated
- July 31, 2017

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