Ashley Jensen

Last updated on the 25 March 2024 by Evandrus

Ashley Jensen headshotMini Biography

Born:  11 August 1969, Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Ashley Jensen is a Scottish actress with a rich career in film and television. Jensen’s passion for acting led her to train in drama at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Her early life in Scotland laid the foundation for a career that would see her become a familiar face on both British and American screens.

Ashley Jensen’s career began to gain momentum with her role as Clare Donnelly in the 1993 BBC drama “Down Among the Big Boys.” This was followed by a series of appearances in various British television series, including “May to December” and “Roughnecks.” Her talent for comedy became evident with her portrayal of the eccentric secretary Rosie McConnichy in “May to December.”

However, it was her role as Maggie Jacobs in the critically acclaimed BBC Two/HBO television program “Extras” that brought her widespread recognition. Her performance earned her several awards, including the Best Television Comedy Actress at the 2005 British Comedy Awards and an Emmy Award nomination. Jensen’s portrayal of Maggie showcased her ability to bring depth and humour to her characters, making her a standout in the show’s ensemble cast.

In 2006, Ashley Jensen took on the role of Christina McKinney in the ABC series “Ugly Betty,” which marked her first major role on American television. The character was initially written as an American, but the producers were so charmed by Jensen’s accent that they rewrote the role to accommodate her Scottish background. Her performance as the lovable and quirky Christina endeared her to a whole new audience and solidified her status as a versatile actress.

Ashley Jensen’s filmography is equally impressive, with roles in films such as “A Cock and Bull Story,” “Nativity!,” and voice work in animated features like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Arthur Christmas.”

On a personal note, Jensen experienced a tragic loss with the passing of her husband, Terence Beesley, in 2017. She found love again and remarried Kenny Doughty in 2023. She is a mother of a son.


Suggested viewing


Agatha Raisin (2014)

Agatha Raisin poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.2

Agatha Raisin, a retired PR guru, trades the bustle of London for a seemingly idyllic Cotswolds village. But her dreams of a peaceful retirement are shattered when a murder disrupts the quiet life. With her sharp wit and a natural curiosity that often lands her in trouble, Agatha finds herself drawn into the investigation, uncovering secrets hidden beneath the quaint village facade and annoying the local authorities in the process.

Top cast: Ashley Jensen, Jamie Glover, Lucy Liemann, Mathew Horne, Matt McCooey, Jason Barnett, Jason Merrells, Katy Wix, Jodie Tyack, Marcia Warren.


Extras (2005)

Extras poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.3

The series follows a disillusioned aspiring actor who toils away in the background of various film and television productions. Alongside his friend, they navigate the awkward realities of being an extra, all while the aspiring actor chases his dream of a starring role. The show delves into the humour and struggles of their everyday lives, finding both in their own anxieties and often uncomfortable encounters with celebrities who play exaggerated versions of themselves.

Top cast: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson, Shaun Pye, Sarah Moyle, Jamie Chapman, Guy Henry, Liza Tarbuck.


After Life (2019)

After Life poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.4

After Life follows a man devastated by his wife’s death, contemplating suicide but instead choosing to lash out at the world through cynicism. As he interacts with the quirky residents of his small town, their own struggles and the kindness he finds in unexpected places begin to challenge his outlook on life.

Top cast: Ricky Gervais, Tom Basden, Kerry Godliman, David Bradley, Joe Wilkinson, Tony Way, Diane Morgan, Ashley Jensen, Tommy Finnegan.


Shetland (2013)

Shetland poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.3

Set in the beautiful but isolated Shetland Islands, a detective investigates a murder that appears connected to a tight-lipped community. Unearthing buried secrets and uncovering old grudges, the investigation challenges the detective’s understanding of the insular island society and forces them to confront the darkness that can fester beneath the surface of a seemingly peaceful place.

Top cast: Top cast: Douglas Henshall, Alison O’Donnell, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar, Erin Armstrong, Julie Graham, Julia Brown, Neve Macintosh, Fiona Bell, Archie Panjabi, Ashley Jensen (S8).

Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


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