Born September 5, 1976, in the Netherlands, actress Carice van Houten worked steadily in her native country on both the small and big screens, garnering a number of nominations for her work. She first started to acquire international fame as the star of Paul Verhoeven's Black Book, portraying Rachel Stein, a Jewish woman who disguises herself and uses her allure and beauty in order to manipulate the Nazis in charge of the occupation of Holland. The exposure from her work in that film served as a springboard for van Houten, and she was soon appearing prominantly in high-profile Hollywood pictures, such as Bryan Singer's WWII drama Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise; the sci-fi film Repossession Mambo, as the wife of Jude Law's character; and the biographical drama Vivaldi, starring Joseph Fiennes as the classical composer. In 2012, she joined Game of Thrones, playing Melisandre, though she still found time to return to the big screen, including The Fifth Estate in 2013 and the Jesse James biopic Race (2016), playing German film director/propagandist Leni Riefenstahl.
Biography by Perry Seibert
- Was named for the daughter of English composer Edward Elgar: Carice is a contraction of the name of Elgar's wife, Caroline Alice.
- Is fluent in several languages, including Dutch, German and English, the latter of which she learned by listening to her father's Beatles albums as a child.
- For her breakthrough performance in Black Book (2006), was named one of New York magazine's "Women of the Year" in 2008, along with Julie Christie, Laura Linney and Tilda Swinton.
- Won her fifth Golden Calf Award in 2011 for her role as South African poet Ingrid Jonker in Black Butterflies (2011). The Golden Calf Awards are presented at the Netherlands Film Festival, an annual celebration of Dutch cinema.
- Cast with sister, Jelka, to play twin sisters in Jackie (2012); Holly Hunter costars as the girls' mother.