Gemma Whelan

Last updated on the 31 March 2024 by Maeve

Gemma Whelan

Mini Biography

Born: 23 April 1981, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. 

Gemma Whelan’s early life was marked by a deep love for the stage. Growing up in a creative household, with her father being a renowned playwright, Gemma was exposed to the world of theatre from an early age. This exposure fueled her passion for acting and set the stage for her future endeavors.

After completing her secondary school education, Whelan attended the prestigious Manchester School of Theatre. It was here that she gained a solid foundation in acting and showcased her natural talent.

Whelan’s career highlights are a testament to her versatility as an actress. She is best known for her role as Yara Greyjoy in the critically acclaimed television series “Game of Thrones.” Her portrayal of the fierce and independent Ironborn warrior garnered widespread acclaim and solidified her place in the hearts of fans worldwide.

In addition to her notable role in “Game of Thrones,” Gemma Whelan has showcased her comedic talent in various projects. She has appeared on popular British comedy shows such as “The Eleven O’Clock Show” and “Upstart Crow .”

Beyond her on-screen success, Gemma Whelan has also made a mark in the theatre world. She has performed in numerous stage productions, including “One Man, Two Guvnors” and “Macbeth.”

Gemma Whelan currently resides in London, where she shares a home with her husband, Gerry Howell, who is both a comedian and actor. Together, they are proud parents to two children.


Suggested viewing


Killing Eve (2018)

Killing Eve poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 8.1

” Killing Eve” is a thrilling spy drama that revolves around the intense cat-and-mouse game between an MI5 officer, Eve Polastri, and a skilled assassin, Villanelle. As Eve becomes obsessed with capturing Villanelle, their dangerous and twisted relationship unfolds, blurring the lines of obsession, desire, and power in a gripping and unpredictable narrative.

Top cast: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Kim Bodnia, Owen McDonnell, Sean Delaney, Camille Cottin, Edward Bluemel, Kirby Howell-Baptist, Gemma Whelan (season 3).

Emma. (2020)


Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 6.7

“Emma.” centers around Emma Woodhouse, a privileged and affluent young woman who sees herself as a skilled matchmaker and interferes with the romantic affairs of others. While dealing with the intricacies of love and social hierarchy, Emma undergoes personal growth, gaining valuable insights into humility, empathy, and the genuine essence of love.

Top cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’connor, Callum Turner, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Bill Nighy, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan.

Game of Thrones (2011)

Gemma Whelan Game of thrones poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 9.2

“Game of Thrones” is an epic fantasy series set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. It follows noble families vying for power, political intrigue, and the battle for the Iron Throne. Filled with complex characters, shocking plot twists, and a richly detailed world, it explores themes of power, loyalty, and the consequences of war.

Top cast: Emilia Clarke, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Conleth Hill, Alfie Allen, Richard Madden, Mark Addy, Gemma Whelan.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Gentleman Jack

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.2

“Gentleman Jack” tells the remarkable true story of Anne Lister, a 19th-century English landowner and diarist. Set in Halifax, England, the series explores Lister’s unconventional life as a lesbian and her determination to reclaim her ancestral home. With wit, intelligence, and a pioneering spirit, Lister challenges societal norms and navigates complex relationships in a time of strict social conventions.

Top cast: Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle, Gemma Whelan, Gemma Jones, Timothy West, Rosie Cavaliero, Joe Armstrong, Amelia Bullmore, Shaun Dooley.

Horrible Histories (2009)

Horrible Histories BBC

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.7

Horrible Histories is a British comedy sketch series that takes a humorous and irreverent look at history from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The show, based on the Terry Deary book series, features a cast of comedic actors who portray historical figures, events, and inventions in a way that is both entertaining and educational.

Top cast: Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Jessica Ransom, Laurence Rickard, Gemma Whelan, Ben Willbond, Sarah Hadland, Dominique Moore.

Upstart Crow (2016)

Upstart Crow

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.6

“Upstart Crow” is a British sitcom that humorously depicts the life of William Shakespeare. Set in the 16th century, it follows Shakespeare’s struggles as a playwright, his interactions with fellow writers, and his complicated family dynamics. With clever wordplay and period humour, it offers a comedic glimpse into the life of the iconic playwright.

Top cast: David Mitchell, Liza Tarbuck, Paula Wilcox, Harry Enfield, Helen Monks, Mark Heap, Gemma Whelan, Steve Speirs, Dominic Coleman.

Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


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