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Ashley Jensen (1969)

Ashley Samantha Jensen

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Ashley Jensen is a Scottish actress who is best known for her roles in the television series Extras for which she was nominated for an Emmy, and ABC's Ugly Betty. From September 2009 to May 2010, she also co-starred in the CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose as Olivia.


Jensen trained at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and was a member of the National Youth Theatre.

Her first big television role was as eccentric secretary Rosie McConnichy in the final series of BBC comedy May to December, as a replacement for the character of secretary Hilary. In 1994 she played Heather in Roughnecks, a BBC television series based around the workers on a North Sea Oil platform. In 1996 she played Clare Donnelly, the daughter of Glasgow criminal Jo-Jo Donnelly in the BBC drama Down Among the Big Boys. She then appeared as Fiona Morris in EastEnders. Jensen also had a small role in a Dangerfield episode called "Contact," in which she played the mother of a young girl with meningitis.

Jensen starred alongside Ricky Gervais in the BBC Two/HBO television programme Extras as the socially inept Maggie Jacobs. For her work on the first series, she received best television comedy actress and newcomer awards at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. In 2006, Jensen received two British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA nomination for her role in Extras. Her role in the 2007 Christmas Special earned her an Emmy Award nomination.

In January 2006 she starred in the short-lived drama series Eleventh Hour on ITV1, alongside Patrick Stewart. Stewart had also appeared in an episode of Extras. Later that year she played Steve Coogan's agent in A Cock and Bull Story. In 2007, she provided the narration for the UK film Taking Liberties, directed by Chris Atkins.

In September 2006, Jensen began her role as Christina McKinney on the ABC series Ugly Betty. Her character in Ugly Betty was originally an American, but when she met with the show's producers they liked Jensen's accent and decided to change the nationality of the character. After three years, as of 7 May 2009, Jensen left Ugly Betty because of location conflicts after the show's production moved to New York from Los Angeles in summer 2008. However, she remained as a recurring member of the cast.

In January 2009, Jensen starred in No Holds Bard, a BBC Scotland one-off special comedy shown on Burns Night as part of a line-up of special programming to mark the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns. She is the narrator of Channel 4's Embarrassing Illnesses and Embarrassing Bodies. She also narrates Bank of Scotland's current advertisement campaign and Persil detergent adverts for both television and radio. In September 2009 until its cancellation in May 2010 she co-starred alongside Jenna Elfman in the sitcom Accidentally on Purpose as Olivia. Jensen starred in BBC comedy Nativity as Jennifer Lore, a Hollywood producer's secretary and the love interest of Paul Maddens played by Martin Freeman. Nativity was released in cinemas on the 27 November 2009.

On 21 December 2010, she starred in the one-off/pilot BBC comedy drama Accidental Farmer, playing Erin a London executive who takes revenge on her boyfriend after finding him cheating. Using his credit card, she buys a run down farm in Yorkshire.

In 2011, she voiced Nanette the frog in the animated production Gnomeo and Juliet. She starred in the ITV drama The Reckoning in April of that year.

 personal life
Ashley Jensen was born to Margaret and Ivar Jensen and brought up single-handedly by her mother, a special-needs teacher living in Annan, Scotland. She has no contact with her father and is very private about the matter. In June 2008 Jensen's father claimed that she has a half-sister, Gillian, whom she has never met.

After six years together, Jensen married English actor Terence Beesley in a ceremony in the woods of Big Sur, California on 29 January 2007. They met in 1999 while working on a stage production of King Lear. The couple live with their dog Barney in Los Angeles, California, USA and have a flat in Holland Park, West London. The couple also own property in Umbria, Italy. The couple had their first child together, a boy called Francis Jonathan Beesley, on 20 October 2009.

In December 2008, Jensen and Beesley were granted a restraining order against Jeff Lewis from Bravo TV's Flipping Out. Jensen and Beesley live next door to a Los Feliz house Lewis was renovating and conflict arose after a deck that Lewis had constructed on the home crossed the property line onto the Jensen-Beesley property. Jensen and Beesley sued, seeking $100,000 for an easement. Lewis reacted negatively and Jensen/Beesley filed a restraining order. In mid April 2009 the two parties settled for a $30,000 easement and an agreement that the deck would not have to be demolished.

In 2009 Jensen was photographed wearing an organic cotton t-shirt featuring the slogan "Don't be a drop in the ocean". by designer Allegra Hicks in aid of environment and human rights charity the Environmental Justice Foundation's "Pick Your Cotton Carefully" campaign to raise awareness and funds to stop forced child labour and use of toxic pesticides in the cotton industry.

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