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Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes
Forbes at Comic-Con 2009
Born Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo
(1965-01-08) January 8, 1965
Austin, Texas, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Ross Kettle (1990–???; divorced)

Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo (born January 8, 1965)[1] is an American actress who has built a career of work in television and independent film and has acted in productions in both the United States and in Britain. Forbes first gained attention from her dual role in daytime soap opera Guiding Light, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. She has also been nominated for multiple Screen Actors Guild and Saturn Awards during her career.

Although she has appeared in significant roles in movies such as Escape from L.A., Kalifornia and Swimming with Sharks, Forbes is known for her recurring appearances on genre and drama shows such as Ensign Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation and her regular role as Dr. Julianna Cox on Homicide: Life on the Street during the 1990s, while building her career with recurring roles throughout the 2000s in Battlestar Galactica, 24, In Treatment, Durham County, Prison Break and her series regular role as Maryann Forrester on True Blood.

She recently starred in the 2011–2012 AMC television series The Killing, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination on July 14, 2011.[2]


  • Life and career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Filmography 3
    • Film 3.1
    • Television 3.2
    • Video games 3.3
  • Awards and nominations 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

Born in Austin, Texas, Forbes hoped to become a ballet dancer. She began receiving formal acting training at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. While on vacation in New York City at the age of 16, she found herself auditioning for a film;[3] although she was not selected, she signed with the William Morris Agency and began her professional acting career. In 1987, at age 22, she landed the dual roles of Solita Carrera and Sonni Carrera Lewis on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light. She performed on the show for two years, receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for her performance in 1990.

After this role, she continued in theater, which was an early love of hers, and began appearing in small guest roles on television to raise her profile. She went on to make guest appearances on a few other TV shows (including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Father Dowling Mysteries) before landing the recurring role of Ro Laren, a fiery, yet reserved Bajoran, towards the end of the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her portrayal of disgraced Bajoran Starfleet officer Ensign Ro won her many fans among the genre community, and her character quickly became a favorite despite appearing in just eight episodes.

The producers of Star Trek invited Forbes to reprise Ro in the spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but Forbes declined the offer[4] and decided to focus on a career in films. She received praise, as well as a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for her performance as the photographer Carrie Laughlin in the 1993 thriller Kalifornia. This was followed with the lead female role in the acclaimed 1994 black comedy Swimming with Sharks, as well as supporting roles in such films as The Road Killers, Just Looking and John Carpenter's 1996 science fiction/action sequel Escape from L.A. She continued performing on television during this period, with guest spots on Seinfeld, The Outer Limits, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, to which she returned to tie up the Ro Laren storyline in the series' penultimate episode.

In 1996, Forbes joined the cast of NBC's popular police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, playing chief medical examiner Julianna Cox. She remained with the show for two years, then was let go as part of a major cast overhaul (the series would be canceled after one more season). However, she would reprise the role in the 2000 TV special Homicide: The Movie. That same year, Forbes became a regular on Wonderland, an ABC series, but it was pulled from the air after only two episodes. Forbes was next seen in a recurring role on the police drama The District.

Forbes at the True Blood premiere party, June 2009.

She was subsequently given roles in films such as 2001's Perfume and 2002's American Girl, as well as the 2001 British TV movie Messiah (for which she studied British sign language for a week) and its sequel installments: Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine in 2002 and Messiah III in 2003. During the 2002–2003 TV season, Forbes played the recurring character of Lynne Kresge, the aide to the President of the United States, on the second season of the action series 24. Actor Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer, reportedly was a big Star Trek fan and excited to work with her given her history with the show. She followed her role on 24 with a guest spot on Alias, then went on to play Admiral Helena Cain in three episodes of the re-imagining of the classic sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, as well as starring in the TV movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor. She followed this up with a recurring role as Agent Samantha Brinker on the drama Prison Break and guest starred on Boston Legal and Lost.

Forbes starred as the lead in the adaptation of the comic-book Global Frequency, the single produced episode of which infamously leaked online the following year, eight months after the series failed to be picked up by Warner Bros. networks.[5] This was the first instance of an unaired pilot episode leaking via P2P and BitTorrent clients.

Forbes returned to British television screens with guest roles in both Holby City and as a Mossad agent in Waking the Dead. In 2008, Forbes starred in two HBO drama series; In Treatment, portraying the wife of the central character, and in True Blood as a Maenad named Maryann Forrester.[6] She reprised her semi-regular roles in both series in their respective second seasons in 2009, as well as joining the cast of the Canadian psychological drama series Durham County for its second season as Dr. Penelope Verity.[7]

Forbes played the role of Mitch Larsen in the U.S. television series The Killing, a 2011 remake of the Danish crime series Forbrydelsen. Forbes appeared as Retro Girl in the TV series Powers.[8]

Personal life

She was married to Ross Kettle; the marriage ended in divorce. Afterward she dated fellow Homicide: Life on the Street co-star Reed Diamond for a period.



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Love Bites Nerissa
1993 Kalifornia Carrie Laughlin Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1994 Swimming with Sharks Dawn Lockhard
1994 Roadflower Helen
1995 Just Looking Mary
1995 The Chosen One The Mother
1995 Black Day Blue Night Rinda Woolley
1996 The Prosecutors Dist. Atty. Rachel Simone Television movie
1996 Escape from L.A. Brazen
1998 Dry Martini Valeria
2000 Bullfighter Mary
2000 Homicide: Life Everlasting Dr. Julianna Cox Television movie
2001 Perfume Francene
2002 Confessions of an American Girl Madge Grubb
2002 Johnson County War Rory Hammett Television movie
2004 Dandelion Ms. Voss
2004 Al Roach: Private Investigator Dede Dragonfly (voice)
2007 Unthinkable Jamie McDowell Television movie
2007 Battlestar Galactica: Razor Admiral Helena Cain Television movie
2009 Diplomacy U.S. Secretary of State
2010 Highland Park Sylvia
2013 The Hunters Jordyn Flynn
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Lieutenant Jackson Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1989 Guiding Light Dr. Sonni Carrera-Lewis Unknown episodes
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1991 Father Dowling Mysteries Gym Instructor Episode: "The Fugitive Priest Mystery"
1991 Shannon's Deal Maren Episode: "The Inside Man"
1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation Dara Episode "Half a Life"
1991–1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Ensign Ro Laren 8 episodes
1994 Seinfeld Julie Episode: "The Big Salad"
1996 The Outer Limits Jamie Pratt Episode: "Stitch in Time"
1996–1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Dr. Julianna Cox 30 episodes
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series
1998 Brimstone Assistant D.A. Julia Trent Episode: "Executioner"
2000 The District Helen York 7 episodes
2000 Wonderland Dr. Lyla Garrity 8 episodes
2001–2004 Messiah Susan Metcalfe 6 episodes
2002 Strong Medicine Assistant District Attorney Jill Sorenson 2 episodes
2002 Fastlane Lena (uncredited) Episode: "Get Your Mack On"
2002–2003 24 Lynne Kresge 18 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2004 Love is the Drug Reena 3 episodes
2004 Global Frequency Miranda Zero Unsold TV pilot
2005 Alias Dr. Maggie Sinclair Episode: "Another Mister Sloane"
2005 The Inside Zoya Petikof Episode: "Thief of Hearts"
2005–2006 Battlestar Galactica Admiral Helena Cain 3 episodes
2005–2006 Prison Break Samantha Brinker 7 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Juliette Monroe Episode: "The Nutcrackers"
2007–2008 Waking the Dead Sarah 3 episodes
2008 Lost Karen Decker Episode: "There's No Place Like Home: Part 1"
2008–2009 In Treatment Kate Weston 13 episodes
2008–2009 True Blood Maryann Forrester 15 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2009 Durham County Dr. Pen Verrity 6 episodes
2011–2012 The Killing Mitch Larsen 20 episodes
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2013 Chicago Fire Gail McLeod 10 episodes
2014- Orphan Black Dr. Marian Bowles 3 episodes
2014 Rake Lucy Marks Episode: "Jury Tamperer"
2015 Powers Retro Girl 10 episodes
2015 The Returned Helen Goddard Recurring role

Video games

Year Title Voice
2004 Half-Life 2 Dr. Judith Mossman
2006 Half-Life 2: Episode One Dr. Judith Mossman
2007 Half-Life 2: Episode Two Dr. Judith Mossman
2009 The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Captain Gail Revas
2011 DC Universe Online Circe

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Production Result
1990 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Guiding Light Nominated
1990 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Daytime Villainess Guiding Light Nominated
1993 Saturn Award Best Actress Kalifornia Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series 24 (shared with the cast) Nominated
2010 Saturn Award Best Guest Starring Role in Television True Blood Nominated
2010 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series True Blood (shared with the cast) Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series[9] The Killing Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series[10] The Killing Nominated
2011 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress in Television[11] The Killing Won


  1. ^ "Michelle Forbes | Biography". Yahoo. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (2011-07-14). "Emmys: Michelle Forbes on her nomination and the 'Killing' backlash".  
  3. ^ Nemecek, Larry. Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 164.
  4. ^ Reeves-Stevens, Judith & Garfield (1994). The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Pocket Books. pp. 70, 105.  
  5. ^ "Rejected TV Pilot Thrives on P2P". June 27, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  6. ^ Biography
  7. ^ "Michelle Forbes Delves Into The Darkness Of Durham County" November 2, 2008, Blogg Critics
  8. ^ "Sharlto Copley Set As Lead Christian Walker In ‘Powers’, Michelle Forbes Is Retro Girl". Deadline. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "2011 Emmy Nominations". Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  10. ^ Published Monday, Jun 6 2011, 14:20 BST (2011-06-06). "2011 Critics Choice Nominees". Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  11. ^ "RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and SUPER 8 lead Saturn Awards with 3 awards each.". July 26, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 

External links

  • Michelle Forbes at the Internet Movie Database
  • Michelle Forbes at
  • Michelle Forbes interviewed about her role as Ensign Ro Laren found here.
  • Hunger Games Mockingjay adds Michelle Forbes.

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