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Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga (cropped2).jpg
Negga at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1982-01-07) 7 January 1982 (age 39)
Alma materTrinity College, Dublin
Years active2004–present

Ruth Negga (/ˈnɡə/ NAY-gə;[1] born 7 January 1982)[2] is an Ethiopian-Irish actress known for the AMC television series Preacher and the film Loving. For her portrayal of Mildred Loving in the latter, Negga received several major nominations, including at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards, and won the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actress.

Negga has also appeared in the films Capital Letters (2004) (also released as Trafficked in some countries), Isolation (2005), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), and Warcraft (2016).[3] Other television projects include the BBC mini-series Criminal Justice, RTÉ's Love/Hate, E4's Misfits, and ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Negga began a starring role as Tulip O'Hare in Preacher in 2016.

Early life and education

Negga was born in 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,[4] to an Irish mother, Nora, and an Ethiopian father, Dr Negga. Through her father, she is Tigrayan.[5] Her parents met while her mother was working as a nurse in Ethiopia.[6] Negga, an only child, lived in the country until she was four. Her father died in a car accident when she was seven.[7] Brought up in Limerick, Ireland, she has resided in London since 2006.[8][9]

Negga studied at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin,[10] graduating with a BA in Acting Studies.[7]


Negga made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She went on to play the lead role of Mary in Isolation the following year. Prior to this, she had been working mostly in theatre.[10] After seeing Negga act, director Neil Jordan changed the script to Breakfast on Pluto so that she could appear in the movie.[7] She has also starred in Colour Me Kubrick (2005), with John Malkovich, and the short films The Four Horsemen, 3-Minute 4-Play and Stars.[citation needed]

Negga at the 2016 Cannes Festival
Negga at the 2016 Cannes Festival

On television Negga has appeared in Doctors, Criminal Justice and the Irish series Love Is the Drug. She played the lead role of Doris "Sid" Siddiqi in the BBC Three series Personal Affairs, alongside Laura Aikman, Annabel Scholey and Maimie McCoy.[11] Negga portrayed Rosie in the first two series of RTÉ's Love/Hate.[12]

Negga appeared as Dame Shirley Bassey in the BBC production Shirley in 2011 and won the IFTA Award for Best Actress (Television) for her performance. Her theatre work includes roles in Duck, Titus Andronicus and Lay Me Down Softly.[13] As of 2007, she began working with the Irish theatrical group Pan Pan Theatre. In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet. She also provided voice acting in the video game Dark Souls II, playing Shanalotte, otherwise known as "the Emerald Herald".

In 2013, it was announced that Negga had been booked for a recurring role as Raina on the American TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..[14][15] She appeared in 17 episodes of the programme.[12] She filmed scenes for Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, but her role was ultimately cut from the movie.[16] In March 2015, Negga was cast in the role of Tulip O'Hare in AMC fantasy drama series Preacher, which debuted the following year.[17]

In 2016, Negga starred in Loving, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.[16][18] The film is based on the true story of the Lovings, a married interracial couple in the 1950s and 1960s Virginia, whose relationship led to the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia. Negga received rave reviews for the role,[12] and garnered multiple award nominations, including for the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and the BAFTA Rising Star Award.[19][20]

Negga played the title role in the Gate Theatre’s 2018 production (directed by Yaël Farber) of Hamlet[21][22] (A precedent established in Dublin by Fanny Furnival in 1741).[23] Negga reprised the role of Hamlet to equal acclaim at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Spring 2020.[24][25] In February 2021, it was announced that Negga will star in and executive produce a limited drama series about legendary Jazz age performer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker.[26]

In the media

In 2020, Negga was ranked number 10 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.[27] In 2006 she was also chosen as the Irish Shooting Star for the Berlin Film Festival.[28]

Personal life

Negga was in a relationship with actor Dominic Cooper beginning in 2010. They first met in 2009 while working together in a stage adaptation of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. The two lived together in London's Primrose Hill.[12][29] The couple dated for six years; however, Negga has pointed out that it took the press years to learn of the break-up, which was first reported in April 2018.[30][31] Negga starred opposite Cooper in AMC's Preacher, in which the pair portrayed lovers, and has said that they are "best friends".[31]




Year Title Role Notes
2005 Breakfast on pluto Charlie
2012 The Samaritan Iris
2013 World War Z WHO doctor
2013 12 Years a Slave Celeste Deleted scenes[16]
2013 Jimi: All Is by My Side Ida
2014 Noble Joan
2014 Of Mind and Music Jessica
2015 Iona Iona
2016 Loving Mildred Loving
2016 Warcraft Queen Taria
2019 Ad Astra Helen Lantos
2021 Passing Claire Kendry Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Personal Affairs Sid / Doris Siddiqui Recurring role - 5 episodes
2010-2011 Love/Hate Rosie Recurring role (seasons 1-2)
2010 Misfits Nikki Recurring role (season 2)
2011 Shirley (TV movie) Shirley Bassey Starring role
2012 Secret State (TV series) Agnes Evans, a GCHQ analyst. Main role
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Raina Recurring role (seasons 1–2)
Guest role (season 5)
2016–2019 Preacher Tulip O'Hare Main role
Also executive producer

Video games

Year Title Role
2011 El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Ishtar
2014 Dark Souls II Shanalotte (Emerald Herald)

Awards and nominations

Negga was nominated as 2003's Most Promising Newcomer at the Olivier Awards.[8] She was chosen as Ireland's Shooting Star for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.[10] She has received many accolades for her role of Mildred Loving in the 2016 film Loving, including Academy Award, Critic's Choice, and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress.

Year Association Category Work Result
2004 Laurence Olivier Award Best Newcomer in a Play Duck Nominated
2005 Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Film Breakfast on Pluto Nominated
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Lead Role – Film Isolation Nominated
2011 Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Television Love/Hate Nominated
2012 Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Television Misfits Nominated
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Lead Role – Television Shirley Won
Royal Television Society RTS Television Award for Best Actor (Female)[32] Shirley Nominated
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Television Secret State Nominated
2015 British Academy Scotland Awards Best Actress in Film Iona Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Awards British/Irish Actress of the Year Loving and Iona Nominated
2016 New York Film Critics Online Best Breakthrough Performer Loving Won
African-American Film Critics Association Best Actress Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Actress Won
Black Reel Awards Outstanding Actress Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival Rising Star Award Won
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Vituosos Award Won
Satellite Awards Best Actress (tied with Isabelle Huppert) Won
Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated
AACTA International Awards Best Actress Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated
British Academy Film Awards BAFTA Rising Star Award Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Nominated
Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Awards British/Irish Actress of the Year Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nominated
2019 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Angela's Christmas Nominated
2020 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Hamlet Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "Ruth Negga's Best Worst Jokes". Vogue. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Ruth Negga Biography". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Oscars 2017: Ruth Negga nominated for best actress award". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Africa from A to Z: Fast facts on the 55 states - Ethiopia". South Africa Gateway. 6 December 2017. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ Dabiri, Emma. "Ruth Negga: 'People who say they don't consider skin colour... are you f**king blind?'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  6. ^ "'Always a star in the family': Ruth's Oscar bid". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Gutierrez, Jorge (2 December 2006). "Ruth Negga, a star without a label". Cafe Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  8. ^ a b Phil Hoad (8 January 2006). "Rising Star: Ruth Negga, actor". The Observer.
  9. ^ Alan Owens, "Ruth's star is on the rise with BBC", Limerick Leader, 20 August 2011.
  10. ^ a b c Cineuropa – Interviews – Ruth Negga, Actress.
  11. ^ "P.A.s cast have Secs Appeal on BBC Three". BBC Press Office. 2 June 2008.
  12. ^ a b c d Notaro, Vicki (23 May 2016). "How Oscar-tipped Ruth Negga's star has finally ascended..." Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  13. ^ Company Members: Ruth Negga Archived 29 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, National Theatre. April 2009.
  14. ^ "Jere Burns Upped On 'Justified', Michael Rispoli, Ruth Negga, Danielle Nicolet In Arcs".
  15. ^ Declassifying Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 105: Girl in the Flower Dress Archived 13 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ a b c Clarke, Donald (17 May 2016). "Negga's 'Loving' performance already generating Oscar buzz". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  17. ^ "First Casting Announcement for AMC's "Preacher"! - Bloody Disgusting". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Ruth Negga portrays civil rights activist Mildred Loving". Toronto Star, 10 November 2016, pg. E1.
  19. ^ "Oscar nominations 2017: the full list". Guardian. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  20. ^ Brady, Sarah (6 February 2017). "Ruth Negga continues her successful award season run with yet another honour". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  21. ^ Michael Billington (7 October 2018). "Hamlet/Richard III review – Ruth Negga plays the Prince with priceless precision". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  22. ^ Jennifer O’Brien (29 September 2018). "Theatre review: Hamlet at the Gate Theatre, Dublin". The Times. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  23. ^ Crawley, Peter. "Directing Ruth Negga as Hamlet: 'Theatre either puts you to sleep or wakes you up'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  24. ^ Ben Brantley (10 February 2020). "Review: In 'Hamlet,' Ruth Negga Rules as a Player Prince". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  25. ^ Allison Adato (10 February 2020). "Ruth Negga crowns herself a brooding prince in Hamlet: Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  26. ^ Nellie Andreeva (12 February 2021). "Ruth Negga To Star In Josephine Baker Limited Series At ABC Signature From Dee Harris-Lawrence & LeBron James' SpringHill Entertainment". Deadline. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  27. ^ "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". Irish Time. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Berlin honour for Irish actress Negga". RTE. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  29. ^ McBride, Caitlin (8 June 2016). "Irish actress Ruth Negga and Dominic Cooper make rare public appearance at Warcraft premiere". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  30. ^ Marcus, Emily (5 April 2018). "Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga Split After 8 Years Together". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  31. ^ a b "Ruth Negga Talks Diversity, Hamlet And Her Split From Dominic Cooper". Marie Claire. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  32. ^ "RTS PROGRAMME AWARDS 2012". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 29 May 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 September 2021, at 21:16
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