Matthew Rhys

Last updated on the 7 April 2024 by Maeve

Matthew Rhys headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 8 November 1974, Cardiff, Wales. 

Matthew Rhys is a Welsh actor who has won an Emmy Award for his role as Philip Jennings in the spy drama series The Americans. He was born to Glyn and Helen Evans, both teachers. He grew up speaking Welsh as his first language and attended Welsh-medium schools. He developed an interest in acting after playing Elvis Presley in a school musical and applied to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, where he graduated in 1996.

Matthew Rhys began his career in television and film, appearing in various British and New Zealand productions, such as Greenstone, Titus, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, and The Testimony of Taliesin Jones. He also starred in the stage adaptation of The Graduate alongside Kathleen Turner in London’s West End. In 2000, he played the lead role in Metropolis, a drama series about the lives of six young Londoners. He then starred in Peaches, a film based on a play by Nick Grosso.

Matthew Rhys gained international recognition for his role as Kevin Walker, a gay lawyer and activist, in the family drama series Brothers & Sisters, which ran from 2006 to 2011. He co-starred with Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, and Rachel Griffiths, whom he had previously worked with in Very Annie Mary. He also appeared in several films, such as The Edge of Love, where he portrayed the poet Dylan Thomas, The Post, where he played the whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, where he played a cynical journalist who interviews Fred Rogers.

In 2013, Rhys was cast as Philip Jennings, a Soviet spy posing as an American travel agent, in the critically acclaimed series The Americans. He starred opposite Keri Russell, who played his wife and fellow spy, Elizabeth Jennings. For his performance, he received a Primetime Emmy Award and two Golden Globe nominations. He also directed several episodes of the show, which ended in 2018. He currently stars as the title character in the period series Perry Mason, a reboot of the classic legal drama, for which he has received another Golden Globe and Emmy nomination.

Matthew Rhys has been in a relationship with Keri Russell since 2013, after meeting on the set of The Americans. They have a son, Sam, who was born in 2016. Rhys also has a close friendship with Ioan Gruffudd, his former roommate and fellow Welsh actor.

He is involved in various charitable causes, such as the Noah’s Ark Appeal, a children’s hospital in Cardiff and the Facing History and Ourselves organisation, which educates students about racism and prejudice. He is also a patron of the Welsh-language theatre company Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Rhys is fluent in Welsh, English and Spanish. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.


Suggested viewing


Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)

Death Comes to Pemberley

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.1

Years after their marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy’s idyllic life at Pemberley is disrupted by a murder. The arrival of a mysterious figure from Darcy’s past casts a shadow, threatening to expose a secret and shatter their happiness. As Elizabeth delves into the puzzling murder, she must confront her own biases and fight to protect her family and their future together.

Top cast: Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Goode, Trevor Eve, Jenna Coleman,Tom Ward, Eleanor Tomlinson, James Norton, Nichola Burley.

The Edge of Love (2008)

The Edge of Love poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.1

Set against the backdrop of World War II, the film explores a complex web of love and friendship. A woman reconnects with her former flame, the charismatic poet Dylan Thomas, who is now married. Despite his marriage, their feelings reignite and an unexpected friendship forms between the woman and the poet’s wife. As the war intensifies and personal choices become crucial, the characters must face love, loss and the complexities of wartime relationships.

Top cast: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Cillian Murphy, Lisa Stansfield, Richard Dillane, Anne Lambton, Alastair Mackenzie, Camilla Rutherford.

The Scapegoat (2012)

The Scapegoat poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.1

A down on his luck teacher stumbles into a bizarre situation when he encounters his exact double, a troubled businessman. After a night of drinking, the teacher wakes up impersonating the businessman, finding himself entangled in a failing family business and a strained marriage. As he traverses this unfamiliar world, he uncovers secrets and attempts to save the family from financial ruin, all while grappling with his own true identity and the consequences of his unexpected deception.

Top cast: Matthew Rhys, Jodhi May, Eileen Atkins, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Scott, Phoebe Nicholls, Anton Lesser, Eloise Webb, Pip Torrens.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.8

In a small English town, a young choirmaster disappears mysteriously, leaving behind many unanswered questions and suspicions. As investigations unfold, secrets about his relationships and inner turmoil surface, fueling speculation about his fate. The community grapples with uncertainty, fear and intrigue surrounding the disappearance, with dark revelations altering their perceptions.

Top cast: Matthew Rhys, Freddie Fox, Tamzin Merchant, Rory Kinnear, Ron Cook, Janet Dale, Ellie Haddington, Amber Rose Revah, Sacha Dhawan, Julia McKenzie, Ian McNeice, Alun Armstrong.

More Dickens

A Christmas Carol    Little Dorrit, Claire Foy    The Mystery of Edwin Drood poster


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Matthew Rhys Gallery


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