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Gretchen Mol
Mol in 2009
Born (1972-11-08) November 8, 1972 (age 48)
OccupationActress, former model
Years active1996–present
(m. 2004)

Gretchen Mol (born November 8, 1972) is an American actress and former model. She is known for her role as Gillian Darmody in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014). She also appeared in the films Rounders (1998), Celebrity (1998), The Thirteenth Floor (1999), The Notorious Bettie Page (2005), in which she played the title character, 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and Manchester by the Sea (2016).

Early life

Mol was born in Deep River, Connecticut, where her mother, Janet (née Morgan), is an artist and teacher, and her father is a teacher at RHAM High School.[1][2] She went to high school with Broadway actor Peter Lockyer, with whom she performed in school musicals and plays. Her brother, Jim Mol, is a director and editor in the film industry. Mol attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and graduated from the William Esper Studio. After summer stock in Vermont, she took a job for a while as an usher at Angelika Film Center. She was living in a Hell's Kitchen walk-up when she was noticed by a talent agent who spotted her working as a hat-check girl at Michael's Restaurant in New York.[3]


Mol's acting career began in summer stock theatre in Vermont where she played a variety of roles, including Godspell and 110 in the Shade.[3] She played Jenny in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things on stage in both London and New York in 2001,[4] in a role she reprised in the film version, released in 2003. The New York Times critic Ben Brantley, in his review of the play (which he disliked),[5] wrote, "[Mol] gives by far the most persuasive performance as the unworldly Jenny, and you wind up feeling for her disproportionately, only because she seems to be entirely there, in the present tense". In 2004, Mol spent a year singing and dancing as Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. In 2014–2015, Mol played the role of Emily in the Broadway debut of Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer-Prize-winning play, Disgraced.[6]


In 1994, Mol was spotted by photographer David William Powell.[7] He photographed her in New York's Central Park and replaced her unrepresentative portfolio with professional-looking black-and-white images which landed her on the cover of W within weeks, and foreshadowed her "It Girl" and "Bettie Page" looks. Shortly afterwards, she ended her brief modeling career and entered acting full time.

While major roles have been sporadic, Mol has been in more than 30 feature films. She made her film debut in Spike Lee's 1996 film, Girl 6. She said, "I was auditioning for Guiding Light and I was happy I got a Spike Lee movie, which was a tiny part, but all of a sudden I had Spike Lee on my resume. I didn't audition for day player anymore".[3]

After Girl 6, New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara took notice and cast her in two movies, The Funeral (1996) and New Rose Hotel (1998). She had a small role in Donnie Brasco (1997), but by now, she was being typecast as "the girlfriend", which she attempted to change by taking a role opposite Jude Law in Music from Another Room (1998), a romantic comedy. The film went virtually unnoticed by critics and audiences.[8]

In 1998, she appeared in several notable films, including Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Woody Allen's Celebrity opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. In 1998, she also came to prominence when she was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, dubbed the "It Girl of the Nineties" by the magazine.

For her second film with Woody Allen, 1999's Sweet and Lowdown, she played a minor role which the Greenwich Village Gazette called "notable".[9] She played the female lead role in the 1999 film The Thirteenth Floor. She played the victim of a con artist in the 2003 film Heavy Put-Away, based on the Terry Southern story. In 2006, she shared the lead in a romantic comedy, Puccini for Beginners, in which her character has a lesbian affair.

Mol worked with Mary Harron for two years as the director struggled to finance The Notorious Bettie Page: "I kind of felt like I lived with it for a while; certainly not as long as Mary Harron did but I got a good chance to really feel like I knew something about Bettie so by the time the role was mine and I was on set, I was pretty confident. I felt like I really worked for it."[10]

The next year, 2007, was one of her busiest, with four films in production or in release, including a remake of 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe, and An American Affair, in which her character, Catherine Caswell, has an affair with John F. Kennedy. When released in February 2009, the film was harshly criticized by New York Times critic Stephen Holden, though he said that Mol's part was "quite well acted".[11]

In April 2008, she began filming Tenure in Philadelphia, working opposite Luke Wilson and Andrew Daly. Though it had received some good reviews after being screened at several film festivals, it was released direct-to-video in February 2010.[12]


Mol seated onstage
Mol discussing Boardwalk Empire in 2015

Mol's first television work was in a Coca-Cola commercial. Mol had a small role of Maggie Tilton in the 1996 miniseries Dead Man's Walk, based on the Larry McMurtry novel. She also was in a few episodes of Spin City.[8] She was the star of the short-lived David E. Kelley series Girls Club (2002), a drama about three women lawyers. The series was not well received and it was cancelled after two episodes.

She appeared in two TV remakes of classic films: Picnic (2000), in the role of Madge Owens, and The Magnificent Ambersons as Lucy Morgan (2002). She made a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie in January 2007, starring in The Valley of Light, a story set in post-World War II based on a novel by Terry Kay.[13] It was her second Hallmark production. She had a minor role in Calm at Sunset in 1996.[14]

She played Norah in The Memory Keeper's Daughter which aired on The Lifetime Channel in the U.S. in April 2008.[15]

She played NYPD Officer Annie Norris in the ABC series Life on Mars, the U.S. remake of the British show of the same name. It started airing in the U.S. on October 9, 2008 and ran 17 episodes, concluding on April 1, 2009.

She had a recurring role on HBO's Boardwalk Empire as Gillian Darmody, a showgirl at the Beaux Arts and mother and incestuous lover to gangster Jimmy Darmody (played by Michael Pitt).[16]

In February 2018, she played attorney Sam Henessy in the Netflix series Seven Seconds. On April 18, 2018, Netflix confirmed the show would not have a second season, deeming it a limited series.

Personal life

Interviewed by the Associated Press in Baltimore in December 2006, Mol commented about how she maintained her confidence as an actress: "It is an ongoing struggle. Confidence is something that sometimes you have and sometimes you don't. And the older you get, hopefully, the more you have some tools to at least fake it".[17]

She married film director Kip Williams on June 1, 2004. Their first child, a son, was born in September 2007. In February 2011, Mol gave birth to their second child, a daughter.[18] Since becoming a mother, Mol has only taken jobs close to her home in New York City. "I told my agent I didn't want to work in L.A., even if it was the greatest job in the world. I didn't want to compromise."[19]

Mol serves as the national spokesperson in the United States for the PMD Foundation, which funds research and awareness of Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease, a neurological disorder which affects children worldwide. Mol became involved with PMD after one of her cousins died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (familiarly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease").[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Girl 6 Girl No. 12
1996 The Funeral Helen
1997 Donnie Brasco Sonny's Girlfriend
1997 The Last Time I Committed Suicide Mary Greenway
1997 The Deli Mary
1998 Too Tired to Die Capri
1998 Music from Another Room Anna Swann
1998 Rounders Jo
1998 New Rose Hotel Hiroshi's Wife
1998 Celebrity Vicky
1998 Finding Graceland Beatrice Gruman
1998 Bleach Gwen Short film
1999 The Thirteenth Floor Jane Fuller / Natasha Molinaro
1999 Cradle Will Rock Marion Davies
1999 Sweet and Lowdown Ellie
1999 Forever Mine Ella Brice
1999 Just Looking Hedy Coletti
2000 Zoe Loses It Amber Short film
2000 Attraction Liz
2000 Get Carter Audrey Uncredited
2003 The Shape of Things Jenny
2004 Heavy Put-Away Mary Short film
2005 The Notorious Bettie Page Bettie Page
2006 Puccini for Beginners Grace
2007 The Ten Gloria Jennings
2007 Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot Lynn
2007 3:10 to Yuma Alice Evans
2008 An American Affair Catherine Caswell
2008 Tenure Elaine Grasso
2014 Laggies Bethany
2015 True Story Karen Hannen
2015 Anesthesia Sarah
2016 Manchester by the Sea Elise Chandler
2016 A Family Man Elise Jensen
2019 Arara Grace
2021 False Positive Dawn


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Dead Man's Walk Maggie TV miniseries
1996 Spin City Gwen "Pride and Prejudice"
1996 Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn Emily TV film
2000 Picnic Madge Owens TV film
2002 The Magnificent Ambersons Lucy Morgan TV film
2002 Girls Club Lynne Camden Main role
2002 Freshening Up Janelle TV short
2007 The Valley of Light Eleanor TV film
2008 The Memory Keeper's Daughter Norah Henry TV film
2008–2009 Life on Mars Annie Norris Main role
2010–2014 Boardwalk Empire Gillian Darmody Recurring role (season 1) 9 episodes; Main Role (season 2–5) 30 episodes
2015 Mozart in the Jungle Nina Recurring role
2016 Chance Jaclyn Blackstone Main role
2018 Nightflyers Dr. Agatha Matheson Main role
2018 Seven Seconds Sam Hennessy Recurring Role
2020 The Twilight Zone Mrs. Warren Episode: "You Might Also Like"
2020 Perry Mason Linda Episodes: "Chapter One" (voice), "Chapter Four" (voice), "Chapter Five"


  1. ^ "Gretchen Mol Biography (1972–)". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c "interview". September 9, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Clover, Brian (May 18, 2004). "The Shape of Things". CurtainUp: The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben (October 11, 2001). "THEATER REVIEW; They Meet in a Gallery, God Looking On". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Isherwood, Charles (October 23, 2014). "When the Soul Must Be Heard". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  7. ^ New York Photographer in Australia
  8. ^ a b "NYT bio". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "?". Greenwich Village Gazette. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  10. ^ "The Two One three, Gretchen Mol: Puccini and Lesbians". Interview. February 14, 2007.
  11. ^ Stephen Holden, "An American Affair (2009)", New York Times, February 27, 2009
  12. ^ Crossman, Kevin (February 15, 2010), "'Tenure' Coming to Blockbuster DVD Feb 19, Nationally in April", The Frat Pack Tribute, retrieved February 24, 2010
  13. ^ "Hallmark Hall of Fame Presents The Valley of Light, Premiering Jan. 28 on CBS"
  14. ^ CBS bio. Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Variety, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter", April 9, 2008
  16. ^ "Cast and Crew: Gretchen Mol: Bio". HBO. November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  17. ^ Associated Press, "Stardom stalled for Vanity Fair 'It Girl'" Archived January 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, December 29, 2006
  18. ^ Michaud, Sarah. "Gretchen Mol Welcomes Daughter Winter Morgan". People. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  19. ^ Cookie Magazine, Gretchen Mol Interview, (2009)
  20. ^ "Gretchen Mol & Son in Cookie Magazine". Conde Nast. Retrieved December 4, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 September 2021, at 00:00
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