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Stars That Died

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who is Rose Judith Esther Byrne?

Who is Mary Judith Ester Rose Byrne?[1] The acting world knows her as Rose Byrne. Byrne is an Australian actress. She has appeared in a number of feature films, including 28 Weeks Later, Troy, Sunshine, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Knowing, but is probably best-known for her ongoing role of Ellen Parsons in the US TV series Damages.

Byrne was born 24 July 1979 in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, of Irish and Scottish descent, the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher.[2] She attended Balmain Public School and Hunters Hill High School before attending Bradfield Senior College in Crows Nest. She has an older brother, George, and two older sisters, Alice and Lucy. She began taking acting classes at age eight, joining the Australian Theatre for Young People and also attended the University of Sydney. In 1999 Byrne studied acting at the Atlantic Theatre Company developed by David Mamet and William H. Macy. Rose was not raised in a religious family. Both of her parents are atheists, while she describes herself as agnostic.[3]

Byrne[4] was cast in her first film role, Dallas Doll, when she was 12 years old. She has appeared in a variety of Australian television shows including Heartbreak High, Echo Point, and the film Two Hands alongside Heath Ledger. She appeared in The Date, My Mother Frank, and Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967 for which she obtained the Female Volpi Cup at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. Meanwhile, she appeared as a guest in an episode of the cop drama series Murder Call. She also acted on stage, playing a lead role in La Dispute and starred in a production of Anton Chekhov's classic Three Sisters at the Sydney Theatre Company.

Byrne appeared in the music video of Darren Hayes's single I Miss You and starred with Australian musician Alex Lloyd in the music video for his single Black The Sun and was featured on the cover artwork for the EP. She also appeared in the TV Commercial for Sony and reunited with Alex Lloyd, appearing in his music video for 1000 Miles

Watch more Yahoo! Music videos on AOL Video

from the album Distant Light.

In 2002, Byrne entered Hollywood with a small role as Dormé, the handmaiden to Natalie Portman's Senator Padmé Amidala, in George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. She appeared the same year in City of Ghosts with Matt Dillon.

The year previously she had flown to the UK to shoot I Capture the Castle, Tim Fywell's adaptation of the 1948 novel of the same title by Dodie Smith.
In the 2003 release, she portrayed Rose Mortmain, the elder sister of Romola Garai's Cassandra. In 2003 she also starred in three Australian films: The Night We Called It a Day alongside Melanie Griffith and Dennis Hopper;
The Rage in Placid Lake for which she was named Best Actress at the Australian Film Institute with singer Ben Lee; and Take Away another comedy.

In 2004, Byrne starred as Briseis, the Trojan priestess who is abducted during the Trojan War by Achilles (played by Brad Pitt), in Wolfgang Petersen's epic Troy,[5] also starring Eric Bana, Peter O’Toole, Sean Bean, and Orlando Bloom.
She then reunited with Peter O'Toole
in the acclaimed BBC TV drama Casanova.
Byrne appeared with Snoop Dogg in Danny Green's film The Tenants, based on Bernard Malamud's
novel, and starred with Josh Hartnett[6] and Diane Kruger in the romantic psychological thriller Wicker Park where she played Alex, the woman who manipulated Josh Hartnett's character to keep him apart from the woman he falls in love with.

In 2006 Byrne portrayed Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac, a French aristocrat and friend of Marie Antoinette, in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, alongside Kirsten Dunst, and appeared in The Dead Girl[7], directed by Karen Moncrieff.
She and Marie Antoinette director Sofia Coppola
have both played handmaidens in the Star Wars prequels: Coppola appeared in The Phantom Menace, Byrne in Attack of the Clones.

In 2007, she played Cassie,[8] the pilot in Danny Boyle's science fiction suspense film[9] Sunshine,[10] Scarlett Ross, an army medical officer in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's sci-fi horror 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to Boyle's 28 Days Later, and appeared in the independent film Just Buried,[11] a Canadian dark comedy written and directed by Chaz Thorne.

Byrne[12] is currently in an FX[13] drama production Damages,[14] playing the regular lead role of Ellen Parsons,[15] a young attorney torn between her hard-hitting, high-stakes new boss (Glenn Close) and her own ambitions.

She appeared in the Australian film noir The Tender Hook with Hugo Weaving.

Byrne was the face of Max Factor between 2004 and 2006 and named in the Most Beautiful People of 2007 list in Who Magazine.[16]

Byrne has supported UNICEF Australia by being the face of the 2007 Designers United campaign and a member of tropfest jury in 2006 and tropfest@tribeca[17] in 2007. She is a graduate and ambassador for NIDA's (National Institute of Dramatic Art) Young Actors Studio. She was recently named the first patron of Chauvel Cinemas presented by the Brisbane International Film Festival and named in honour of Charles Chauvel.

Byrne has used several different accents in her films: Australian, British,[4] American,[12] and Canadian.[18]

Byrne has been in a relationship with Australian writer, director and actor Brendan Cowell for over five years. For much of the time their relationship has been maintained at long-distance, with work commitments meaning they were often on separate continents. However, Cowell has moved from Sydney to New York City, due to Byrne's success on Damages.

Previously she dated Australian writer, director Gregor Jordan who directed her in Two Hands.[19]


Year Film Role Notes
1999 Two Hands Alex
2000 My Mother Frank Jenny
The Goddess of 1967 BG
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Dormé
City of Ghosts Sabrina
2003 I Capture the Castle Rose Mortmain
The Night We Called It a Day Audrey Appleby
The Rage in Placid Lake Gemma Taylor
Take Away Sonja Stilano
2004 Troy Briseis
Wicker Park Alex
2005 The Tenants Irene Bell
2006 Marie Antoinette Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac
The Dead Girl Leah
2007 Sunshine Cassie
28 Weeks Later Major Scarlett Ross
2008 Just Buried Roberta Knickle
The Tender Hook Iris
2009 Knowing Diana Wayland
Adam Beth Buchwald
2010 Get Him to the Greek Jackie Q
Year Title Role Notes
1995 Echo Point Belinda O Conor Lead character
1997 Fallen Angels Siobhan Guest (1 episode)
Wildside Heidi Benson Guest (2 episodes)
1999 Big Sky Angie Guest (1 episode)
Heartbreak High Carly Whitely Guest (3 episodes)
2000 Murder Call Sarah Watson Guest (1 episode)
2005 Casanova Edith BBC Mini series
2007–present Damages Ellen Parsons Lead character
2009 The Chaser's War on Everything Herself

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