Born into a family of performers, Rachel Brosnahan has emerged in recent years as one of Hollywood‘s brightest young talents. Let‘s take a closer look at the fascinating story and thriving career of this multi-talented star.
|Full Name||Rachel Elizabeth Brosnahan|
|Age||32 (Born July 12, 1990)|
|Birthday||July 12, 1990|
Her Early Life and Introduction to Theater
Born to a family passionate about the arts, Rachel developed an interest in acting from a young age. Her late aunt was famed journalist Paula Zahn, and Rachel often credits her father and aunt for inspiring her creative pursuits.
She joined the theater program at her Milwaukee grade school, appearing in productions like Fiddler on the Roof. Rachel then attended the prestigious St. Francis Children’s Theater, polishing her skills in countless plays and musicals.
After relocating to New York, Rachel was accepted to NYU‘s competitive Tisch School of the Arts. There she honed her technique and discovered a passion for the craft of acting.
Her Breakout Broadway Debut
In 2013, Rachel made her professional theater debut in the Broadway revival of Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife alongside movie star Bradley Cooper. She portrayed idealistic actress Marion Castle, earning glowing reviews.
The New York Times praised her “poignant vulnerability” on stage, while Entertainment Weekly singled her out as a standout among the cast. After this breakout performance, Rachel’s stage career was off and running.
Small Screen Successes
Rachel juggled theater work with television opportunities. She landed guest spots on acclaimed shows like The Good Wife, Blacklist, and Alpha House before scoring a recurring role on the hit Netflix series House of Cards.
As the tragic Rachel Posner from 2013 to 2015, Rachel demonstrated her immense dramatic range. Critics took notice of her nuanced and heartbreaking performance. But Rachel’s big television break was still in store.
Playing the “Marvelous” Mrs. Maisel
In 2015, Rachel’s agent called about a new Amazon pilot called The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The show came from Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of the fast-talking dramedy Gilmore Girls. Rachel was immediately intrigued by the lead role of 1950s housewife-turned-comedian Midge Maisel.
She perfected the period accent and worked diligently to master Amy’s notoriously rhythmic, quick-fire dialogue. Her efforts paid off immensely when the show premiered to universal acclaim—and soon catapulted Rachel to stardom.
Rachel won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017 and 2018 for her funny, heartbreaking and overall "marvelous" portrayal of Mrs. Maisel.
Audiences fell in love with Rachel’s warm, hilarious performance as Midge. Critics praised her emotional range and perfect comic timing. Her mantle soon filled up with awards.
Accolades for Mrs. Maisel
Almost immediately, Rachel became a perennial Emmy and Golden Globe nominee and winner for her iconic portrayal of Mrs. Maisel. Just a few of her accolades so far include:
- 2017 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series
- 2018 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- 2019 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series
- 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award for Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Rachel also made history, becoming the first actress to win a Golden Globe and Emmy in the same year for a streaming series. There is no doubt awards voters are fans of this marvelous talent!
Big Screen Roles
When not starring as the groundbreaking Mrs. Maisel, Rachel expanded her repertoire with film work. She took on key supporting roles in critically praised films like:
- Beautiful Creatures (2013) – Portrayed eccentric townsperson Emmaline Duchannes
- Patriots Day (2016) – Played medical resident Jessica Kensky, who loses her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing
- The Finest Hours (2016) – Appeared as beachside love interest Miriam
- I‘m Your Woman (2020) – Starred as a mobster‘s wife who goes on the run to protect her baby
Rachel proved adept at portraying characters across various time periods and demonstrated her versatility in each new film genre.
Return to the Stage
Despite her packed TV and film schedule, Rachel continues to return to her roots in theater. In early 2019, she starred as music icon Aretha Franklin in the off-Broadway production of The Aretha Project.
Critics praised the ambitious project and Rachel‘s stellar vocal performances of Aretha‘s legendary hits. She called the limited run a "pinch-me moment" to portray the Queen of Soul on stage.
Her Personal Life
Rachel prefers keeping her personal life private. She married fellow actor Jason Ralph in 2016 after they met years earlier as students at NYU.
The talented couple sometimes collaborate professionally as well. Jason appeared in three episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Midge‘s ex-fiancé.
An advocate for women‘s rights, Rachel partners with organizations like Time‘s Up to fight workplace discrimination. She uses her platform to call for more diverse representation and champion female-focused stories.
10 Fun Facts About Rachel
- She worked at Starbucks as a teenager before becoming famous.
- She took private trapeze lessons to prepare for Mrs. Maisel.
- She loves animals and has a rescue dog named Francis.
- Growing up, she often watched classic old movies with her grandmother.
- She enjoys playing guitar and piano in her free time.
- Rachel lived in Amsterdam for a period of time after college.
- She has a quirky laugh that fans adore.
- Her fans call themselves “Broshnahanigans.”
- She‘s left-handed!
- As a child, she originally wanted to be a dancer or a jockey.
The Legacy of Mrs. Maisel
With its opulent costumes and sharp writing, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel dazzled audiences. But the show‘s cultural impact stems from placing a female stand-up comic front and center in 1950s America.
As Midge, Rachel Brosnahan burst through barriers with an empowering joie de vivre. Her tour-de-force performance paved the way for more representation of women in comedy.
Rachel beautifully brought to life Sherman-Palladino’s visionary character. With her wit, heart and talent, this “Marvelous” actress continues to enchant fans and ensure her future in Hollywood is brighter than ever.