Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Active - 1991 - Present  |   Born - Apr 26, 1967 in London, England  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy Drama, Thriller

Share on

Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

British actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste first became known to an international audience through her breakthrough performance in Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies (1996). Jean-Baptiste has received Best Supporting Actress Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations for her measured, insightful portrayal of a young woman who is reunited with her biological mother who gave her up for adoption at birth. Jean-Baptiste subsequently began doing steady work in both film and television, appearing in a disparate number of films, including Noah Baumbach's Mr. Jealousy (1997), the psychological thriller A Murder of Crows (1998), the independent comedy How to Make the Cruelest Month (1998), and Nancy Savoca's The 24-Hour Woman (1999). The beginning of the next decade founding Jean-Baptiste scoring roles in the thriller The Cell, the comedy drama 28 Days, and the thriller Spy Game. From 2002 to 2009 Jean-Baptiste could be seen in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced CBS television series Without a Trace as FBI agent Vivian Johnson who works in the missing persons division. She appeared in the 2006 drama Jam, and joined the cast of City of Ember (2008), a science-fiction fantasy drama following a society living in an underground city following a nuclear war. In 2010 the actress joined the cast of Takers, a crime thriller, and starred in Secrets in the Walls, a made-for-television horror film from Lifetime the same year.

In addition to acting, Jean-Baptiste is also a composer. She supplied the music for Leigh's Career Girls in 1997.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
  • Wrote and starred in the play Ave Africa in 1991.
  • Was the first black British actress ever to be nominated for an Oscar, for her performance in Secrets & Lies (1996).
  • Composed music for the 1997 Mike Leigh film Career Girls.
  • Best known for her role as FBI agent Vivian Johnson on the CBS drama series Without a Trace.