Who is Yvonne Strahovski?
Yvonne Strahovski is an Australian actress known for her roles in American TV shows, such as ‘24: Live Another Day,’ ‘Chuck,’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ Her appearance in the popular crime thriller series ‘Dexter’ increased her popularity and she emerged as one of the most bankable TV actresses of her generation. Born and brought up in Australia, Yvonne started her acting career with theatrical plays in school. Her early professional acting stints include roles in TV shows, such as ‘Double the Fist’ and ‘Sea Patrol.’ After moving to America, she didn’t have to struggle for long, as she was already a popular face in Australia. She played a CIA agent in the series ‘Chuck’ where she appeared as ‘Sarah Walker’ in five seasons of the show. She landed another noteworthy role in the seventh season of the highly acclaimed show ‘Dexter’ where she played ‘Hannah McKay.’ She then went on to reprise her role in the next season of the series. She was then cast to play ‘Serena Joy Waterford’ in the dystopian drama series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ In 2018, she received a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ nomination for her performance in the series. She keeps herself busy by taking up acting projects in America as well as Australia.
Childhood & Earlier Life
Yvonne Strahovski was born Yvonne Jaqueline Strzechowski on 30 July 1982, in Werrington Downs, New South Wales, Australia, to Bozena and Piotr. Her parents moved to Australia after getting tired of their life in Poland, which was surrounded by communists. Her father worked as an engineer, while her mother was a lab technician. Her parents moved to Australia for better life. They conversed in their mother tongue at home and this proved to be problematic for Yvonne while trying to make friends.
She claims that she was a shy kid who could not speak fluent English. She walked to her high school every day and on her way to school, she would go through a dictionary to learn new words every day. Furthermore, she also had acne on her face, making her uncomfortable around people and eventually an introvert.
She found solace in performance arts and constantly participated in dramas and plays in school. At her house, she would always walk around with a handy-cam in her hand, showing to everyone that she was intrigued about the whole process of filmmaking. Yvonne broke out the news to her parents about wanting to become an actor. After her graduation from the ‘University of Western Sydney,’ she did waitressing for some time and in 2003, she co-founded a theatre company of her own.
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In the early stages of her career, she worked behind the camera for many TV productions. Eventually, she landed a few cameo roles, and they all turned out to be a great learning experience for her. She was cast in a small role in the popular Australian satirical show ‘Double the Fist.’ She then went on to appear in shows like ‘headLand’ and Channel Nine’s ‘Sea Patrol.’ Despite her interesting beginning, she dreamt of making it big in the American film and TV industry. Hence, she moved to Los Angeles, USA.
After setting foot in Los Angeles, she auditioned for roles in films and television series, including ‘Chuck’ and ‘Bionic Woman.’ She sent her audition tape for ‘Chuck’ and was contacted the very next day. A week later, she was called for a scene reading. She was immediately informed that she was being cast for the role of ‘Sarah Walker.’ This was the first big break of her career and the role established her as an actress in the US.
Her Polish and Australian accent helped her immensely while filming ‘Chuck’; one of the reasons why she was signed on for the show. The show premiered in 2007 and became popular, making Yvonne a star overnight. She kept auditioning for meatier roles and started landing more roles. Meanwhile, her performance in ‘Chuck’ was being noticed by TV experts and critics, and it became easier for her to land new offers. However, she wasn’t quite getting the roles she wanted. Meanwhile, she also starred in a few films to keep the ball rolling.
She did several Australian and American films like ‘I Love You Too,’ ‘Matching Jack,’ and ‘The Canyon.’ She also landed a key role in the 2010 video game ‘Mass Effect 2’ where she appeared as one of the animated characters. She carried on with some internet comedy sketches, provided voice for games and animation shows, and played small roles in films and TV shows.
‘Chuck’ went off air in 2012. In the same year, she appeared in a comedy film titled ‘Guilt Trip’ where she shared the screen with Seth Rogan. A year before, she was seen in ‘Killer Elite,’ a big budget Hollywood flick, co-starring Jason Statham and Robert De Niro. Another big Hollywood film titled ‘I, Frankenstein’ that featured Yvonne released in 2014.
Her role in the seventh and eighth season of ‘Dexter,’ a successful crime thriller series, made her a household name in America. In 2014, her appearance in ‘24’ increased her popularity. Around this time, her career graph was on the rise. She then landed a role in another huge project in 2015 when she was cast to play the character of ‘Rene Carpenter’ in ‘The Astronaut Wives Club.’ Other roles that she landed around this time were in films like ‘Edge,’ and ‘Manhattan Nights.’ In ‘Batman: Bad Blood’ (2016), she voiced ‘Kate Kane/Batwoman.’
In 2017, she joined the main cast of the dystopian tragedy web TV series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ She was cast to play ‘Serena Joy Waterford,’ a former conservative cultural activist and the wife of ‘Commander Fred Waterford,’ played by Joseph Fiennes. She was lauded by the critics for her portrayal of a woman who desperately wants to be a mother.
Subsequently, she starred in movies like ‘He’s Out There’ (2018), ‘The Predator’ (2018), and ‘Angel of Mine’ (2019). She also had a voice role in the animated TV series ‘Tangled: The Series.’ In 2020, the actress played ‘Sofie Werner’ in the Australian television drama series ‘Stateless,’ which had its world premiere at the 70th ‘Berlin International Film Festival.’
Awards and Achievements
For her role in ‘Chuck,’ Yvonne has been honored with many awards and nominations. She won her first ‘Teen Choice Award’ in 2010 under the ‘Choice Action TV’ category. In 2011, she was once again nominated for the same award under the same category.
For her work in ‘Mass Effect 2,’ she received a nomination for ‘Best Performance by a Human Female.’
The talented actress was nominated for the prestigious ‘Golden Globe Award’ and ‘Primetime Emmy’ under the ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ categories for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’
The Australian edition of ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine honored her with the ‘Fun Fearless Woman of the Year’ award along with the ‘Favourite TV Actress Honour.’ Apart from that, she appeared in ‘Maxim’ magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ list for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013.
Yvonne Strahovski has always been a keen supporter of animal rights. She has participated in many of PETA’s campaigns. She joined them in the early stages of her career and continues to work with them. She appeared in a video, requesting people to adopt stray animals instead of buying them as pets.
After meeting actor Matt Doran in 2006, she started dating him right away. After breaking up with Matt, she started dating her ‘Chuck’ co-star Tim Loden. The couple tried keeping their relationship away from media and public but was unsuccessful. In 2017, they got married in California. In 2018, they were blessed with a son, William.
As of 2020, Yvonne Strahovski’s net worth is estimated to be around $12 million.