Natascha McElhone

Last updated on the 31 May 2024 by Maeve

Natascha McElhone headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 14 December 1969, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England.

Natascha McElhone’s path to acting began with a nomadic childhood. Attending several schools, her final stop was the Camden School for Girls in London. It was there that her passion for performance blossomed. 

Following her instincts, McElhone enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 1990. During her three years there, she developed her craft, laying the foundation for a successful career.

Surviving Picasso - Anthony Hopkins and Natascha McElhone
Surviving Picasso – Anthony Hopkins and Natascha McElhone

Her dedication paid off in 1993 when, fresh out of drama school, she landed the lead role in Merchant Ivory’s film “Surviving Picasso.” This prestigious project, opposite the legendary Anthony Hopkins, marked a remarkable debut.

Natascha McElhone quickly transitioned from a promising newcomer to a sought-after actress. In the following years, she graced the silver screen in a string of critically acclaimed films. She captivated audiences in Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show,” a mind-bending exploration of reality. She then held her own alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford in Alan J. Pakula’s “The Devil’s Own.” Her versatility shone through as she tackled the action-packed thriller “Ronin,” where she co-starred with Robert De Niro.

Natascha McElhone wasn’t confined to the big screen. In 2000, she showcased her theatrical talents by playing Rosalind opposite Kenneth Branagh’s Berowne in his musical rendition of Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

The new millennium brought further success for McElhone. In 2003, she starred alongside George Clooney in Steven Soderbergh’s thought-provoking science fiction film “Solaris.”

Natascha McElhone also carved a niche for herself on television. She captivated viewers in the Golden Globe-nominated miniseries “The Company,” a gripping Cold War drama. Her captivating performance continued on the small screen with the Emmy-nominated miniseries “Revelations.”

Perhaps her most recognisable television role came in 2007. She starred opposite David Duchovny in the Golden Globe-winning Showtime series “Californication.” As Karen, the long-suffering wife of the protagonist, a troubled novelist, McElhone delivered a performance that resonated with audiences for several seasons.

Following “Californication,” McElhone continued to be a fixture on television. She took on the role of Alex Kirkman, the resolute First Lady, in the political drama “Designated Survivor.” More recently, she portrayed Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, in the critically acclaimed Netflix series “The Crown” and entrepreneur Bella Ainsworth in Hotel Portofino (2022).

Natascha McElhone’s personal life, though private, has been marked by both joy and tragedy. She married Martin Kelly in 1998, and together they had two sons, Otis and Theodore. Sadly, Kelly passed away in 2008. Despite this loss, McElhone has continued to thrive in her career, raising her sons while captivating audiences with her talent.


Suggested viewing


Hotel Portofino (2022)

Hotel Portofino poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.8

In the idyllic Italian Riviera of the 1920s, a British family runs a luxurious hotel catering to wealthy vacationers. Beneath the sunshine and glamour, however, tensions simmer as they face the challenges of managing the establishment, grapple with personal secrets and confront the rising tide of fascism in Mussolini’s Italy.

Top cast: Natascha McElhone, Oliver Dench, Louisa Binder, Mark Umbers, Assad Zaman, Carolina Gonnelli, Elizabeth Carling, Louis Healy, Pasquale Esposito, Olivia Morris, Claude Scott-Mitchell, Lily Frazer, Anna Chancellor.

Also set in Italy

Tea with Mussolini poster    Signora Volpe poster


Surviving Picasso (1996)

Surviving Picasso poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.3

A young artist falls for the captivating Pablo Picasso, becoming his muse and lover. Entangled in his tempestuous world, she handles the complexities of their passionate but demanding relationship, witnessing the toll it takes on the women who surround the celebrated artist.

Top cast: Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore, Joss Ackland, Dennis Boutsikaris, Peter Eyre, Peter Gerety, Susannah Harker, Jane Lapotaire, Joseph Maher, Bob Peck, Diane Venora, Dominic West, Joan Plowright.


Ladies in Lavender (2004)

Ladies in Lavender poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.0

Two elderly sisters living in quiet seclusion on the Cornish coast find their routine disrupted by a mysterious stranger washed ashore. Their act of kindness brings unexpected change to their lives, stirring up emotions and challenging their long-held sense of order in the face of the unknown.

Top cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Daniel Brühl, Natascha McElhone, Freddie Jones, Gregor Henderson-Begg, Miriam Margolyes, David Warner, Clive Russell, Richard Pears, Toby Jones.


Natascha McElhone full filmography @ Wikipedia
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