Fast Facts

  • Discovered by Peter Jackson's wife, Fran Walsh, who cast her as a teen who kills her mother in 1994's Heavenly Creatures.
  • Received the New Zealand Film and Television Award for Best Actress for her performance in Heavenly Creatures.
  • Met former husband Jimmi Simpson on the set of Stephen King's 'Rose Red.'
  • Is a vegetarian; supports PETA and the Humane Society.


  • 2015, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2016, Sundance Film Festival — U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Winner


  • Kay Lynskey — Mother
  • Jimmi Simpson — Ex-husband
  • Jason Ritter — Fiancé


  • Attended Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

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  • Birth Name: Melanie Jayne Lynskey
  • Birth Place: New Plymouth, New Zealand
  • Profession: Actor

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Viola Davis, <em>Fences</em>
Oscar Nominee Viola Davis on the Importance of Fences

Why it means so much to her