Skilled at playing saucy second bananas, this Scottish actress is best known stateside for her side-splittingly funny turns as a lovesick bit player on Extras
and a sloshed seamstress on Ugly Betty
. But Jensen didn't set out to become a comedian. An aspiring performer from an early age, she joined London's National Youth Theatre at 15 years old and worked extensively on stage in both classical and contemporary productions before turning to TV. Although she quickly became a familiar small-screen face in her homeland, appearing on long-running series such as EastEnders
and Clocking Off
, ironically it was her role as a no-name actor on Extras
that turned her into a Hollywood up-and-comer in 2005. The next year, she signed on to the campy dramedy Ugly Betty
as the title character's workplace confidante, and in 2009, she joined the cast of the short-lived sitcom Accidentally on Purpose
as the party-girl best friend to the main character. Quirky as her characterizations are, Jensen is just as delightfully odd in real life: when she eloped with longtime boyfriend, actor Terence Beesley, in 2007, their dog Barney served as a ring bearer.Ashley Jensen Fast Facts:
- Began acting at age 16 with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
- Worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre, both in London, before breaking into television.
- Landed her breakout role in 2005 as clueless aspiring actress Maggie Jacobs on HBO's Extras, for which she's received two British Comedy Awards and a BAFTA nomination.
- Eloped in January 2007 in Big Sur, CA, with her dog Barney serving as ring bearer.
- Ashley Jensen Relationships:
- Ivar Jensen - Father
- Francis Jonathan Beesley - Son
- Margaret Jensen - Mother
- Terence Beesley - Husband
- Ashley Jensen Awards:
- 2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
- Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, Scotland (1989)