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Alex Kingston (1963)

Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston

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  Summary  

Alexandra Elizabeth "Alex" Kingston is an English actress. She is most widely known for her roles as Dr. Elizabeth Corday on the NBC medical drama ER and as River Song in Doctor Who.

  Biography  

 early life and education
Kingston was born and raised in Epsom, Surrey, England. She is the eldest of three daughters of a butcher, Anthony Kingston, and his German wife. Kingston's uncle is actor Walter Renneisen, her mother's younger brother.

Kingston was inspired to pursue acting by one of her teachers at her school Rosebery School for Girls. Kingston auditioned and performed in the Surrey County Youth Theatre production of Tom Jones, as Mrs Fitzpatrick alongside Sean Pertwee, Captain Fitzpatrick and Thwackum played by Tom Davison. She later completed a three-year programme at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 career
Kingston has appeared in a number of British-produced television dramas, including Grange Hill, Crocodile Shoes, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, The Knock and a guest role on The Bill.

Kingston's film credits include The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover , A Pin for the Butterfly , Croupier , Essex Boys , Boudica in which she played the eponymous Boudica, Sweet Land , and Crashing .

In September 1997, Kingston gained North American television fame after being cast on the long-running medical drama ER. Her first appearance was in the premiere of the fourth season which was the award-winning live episode "Ambush". She portrayed Elizabeth Corday, a surgeon arriving from England. Kingston played this role for just over seven seasons until leaving in October 2004, in season 11: episode 4 called "Fear". In Spring 2009, Kingston returned to ER during its fifteenth and final season for two episodes which were season 15: episode 12 called "Dream Runner" and season 15: episode 22 which was the two-hour series finale called "And in the End...".

In November 2005, Kingston guest-starred in the long-running mystery drama Without a Trace in season 4: episode 6 called "Viuda Negra" (Spanish for "black widow"). The episode was directed by Kingston's former ER cast mate Paul McCrane. She played Lucy Costin, one of two wealthy vacationers from the U.S. whose husband is kidnapped by a Mexican street gang on the last night of their honeymoon.

In 2006, Kingston revealed that she was turned down for a role on ABC's Desperate Housewives, as Lynette Scavo, for being too curvy. In the same article, she admitted to considering and nearly attempting suicide after her separation from her ex-husband Ralph Fiennes.

In 2008, Kingston guest-starred in the fourth series of the long-running science fiction television programme Doctor Who in the two-part story "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" as River Song. She reprised the role in several episodes of the 2010 and 2011 series. Kingston says she thought her role was simply a one-off, but was delighted that she would be a returning character as she has now appeared in twelve episodes and counting

In September 2008, Kingston took the part of Mrs Bennet in ITV's acclaimed four-part production Lost in Austen which is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In October that same year, Kingston appeared in the crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in season 9: episode 3 called "Art Imitates Life" where she portrayed Patricia Alwick, a psychiatrist and grief counsellor who helps the team cope with the recent death of CSI member Warrick Brown.

In February 2009, Kingston portrayed Miranda Pond, a defence attorney in two episodes of the legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This guest spot reunited Kingston with her former cast mate from ER, Mariska Hargitay. Hargitay had a recurring role during the fourth season of ER. In June, Kingston starred as the lead character Ellie Lagden, one of four former convicts in the BBC One drama series Hope Springs until its cancelation in July. In September that year, she had a recurring role in FlashForward, playing Inspector Fiona Banks.

In 2010, Kingston returned to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in season 12: episode 7 entitled "Trophy", which reunited Kingston with her former ER castmate Maria Bello.

In 2011, Kingston was a cast member on British supernatural series Marchlands. She played the character Helen Maynard. The series ended on 3 March 2011. She also guest-starred in the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice as Marla Tompkins, a psychiatrist who writes book reviews for newspapers. Kingston is currently cast in Friedrich Schiller's Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

 personal life
Kingston met English actor Ralph Fiennes while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. They were together for ten years before marrying on 28 October 1993. They divorced in December 1997.

At the end of 1998, Kingston married her second husband, German writer and freelance journalist Florian Haertel, having met the previous year on a blind date arranged by friends; they have a daughter together, Salome Violetta Haertel, born 28 March 2001. There have been reports that Kingston and Haertel separated in 2010, but Kingston refuses to confirm them.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Alex Kingston", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.