Born: December 20, 1952
Birthplace: Taunton, Somerset, England, UK
Jennifer Ann Agutter OBE (born 20 December 1952) is a British actress. She began her career as a child actress in 1964's East of Sudan and went on to appear in Star! and two adaptations of The Railway Children—the BBC's 1968 television adaptation and the 1970 film version. She also starred in the critically acclaimed 1971 film Walkabout, before moving to Hollywood in 1974. Her Hollywood film roles included parts in Logan's Run (1976), An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Child's Play 2 (1990). Agutter won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for the 1971 TV film The Snow Goose, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing Jill Mason in the 1977 film Equus.
After returning to Britain in the early 1990s to pursue family life Agutter's focus shifted to television, and in 2000 she appeared in a new television adaptation of The Railway Children, this time taking on the role of the mother. Since then she has worked steadily in several British television dramas, including Spooks (2002-03), and Call the Midwife (2012-present).
Agutter was born in Taunton, Somerset, England. She is the daughter of Catherine (née Lynam) and Derek Brodie Agutter, a former British Army officer and entertainment organiser. As a child, she lived in Singapore, Dhekelia (Cyprus) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaya). She was discovered at Elmhurst Ballet School, a boarding school she attended aged 8-16, when a casting agent looked for a young English-speaking girl for a film. She did not get the part but he recommended her to the producers of East of Sudan (1964).
Agutter came to television audiences as Kirsty in the twice-weekly BBC series The Newcomers. The character Kirsty was the daughter of the new managing director of Eden Brothers, the fictional firm that was at the centre of the series. Agutter could appear only during school holidays. At this stage of her career she was listed in credits as Jennifer. In 1968, she was featured in the lavish big-budget 20th Century Fox film musical Star! with Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence. In that motion picture, Agutter played Lawrence's neglected daughter Pamela. Later she played Roberta in a BBC adaptation of The Railway Children (1968) and played the same part in Lionel Jeffries's 1970 film of the book. She followed this with a more serious role in the thriller I Start Counting (1969). She also won an Emmy as supporting actress for her television role as Fritha, in a British television adaptation of The Snow Goose (1971).
Agutter moved into adult roles, beginning with Walkabout (1971), playing a teenage schoolgirl lost with her younger brother in the Australian outback. She auditioned for the role in 1967 but funding problems delayed filming until 1969. The delay meant Agutter was 16 at the time of filming, which allowed the director to include nude scenes. Among them was a five-minute skinny-dipping scene, which was cut from the original US release. She said at the 2005 Bradford Film Festival at the National Media Museum that she was shocked by the film's explicitness but remains on good terms with director Nicolas Roeg. Agutter moved to Hollywood at 21 and appeared in a number of films over the next decade, including The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Logan's Run (1976), Equus (1977, for which she won a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress), An American Werewolf in London (1981) and an adaptation of the James Herbert novel, The Survivor (1981). Agutter has commented that the innocence of the characters she played in her early films, combined with the costumes and nudity in later adult roles such as Logan's Run, Equus and An American Werewolf in London, are "perfect fantasy fodder".
In 1990, Agutter returned to the UK to concentrate on family life and her focus shifted towards British television. During the 1990s she was cast in an adaptation of Jeffrey Archer's novel Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less and as the scandalous Idina Hatton in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers, inspired by Edith Wharton's unfinished 1938 book, and made guest appearances in television series such as Red Dwarf and Heartbeat. In 2000 she starred in a third adaptation of The Railway Children, produced by Carlton TV, this time playing the mother. Since then Agutter has had recurring roles in several television series including Spooks, The Invisibles, Monday Monday and The Alan Clark Diaries. In 2012 Agutter resumed her Hollywood career, appearing as a member of the World Security Council in the blockbuster film The Avengers; she reprised her role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). She currently plays Sister Julienne in the BBC television drama series Call the Midwife.
Agutter has appeared in numerous theatre productions since her stage debut in 1970, including stints at the National Theatre in 1972-73, the title role in a derivation of Hedda Gabler at the Roundhouse in 1980 and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982-83. In 1987-88, Agutter played the role of Pat Green in the Broadway production of the Hugh Whitemore play Breaking the Code, about computer pioneer Alan Turing. In 1995 she was in an RSC production of Love's Labour's Lost staged in Tokyo. She is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children in the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.
In 2008 she also guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio drama The Bride of Peladon and played an outlawed scientist in The Minister of Chance. She has appeared as a guest star character ("Fiona Templeton") in the Radio 4 comedy Ed Reardon's Week.
Agutter appears on the 1990 Prefab Sprout song "Wild Horses", speaking the words "I want to have you".
At an arts festival in Bath, Somerset, Agutter met Johan Tham, a Swedish hotelier who was a director of Cliveden Hotel in Buckinghamshire. They married on 4 August 1990, and their son Jonathan was born on 25 December 1990. Agutter lives in London but has a keen interest in Cornwall and once owned a second home in the county at The Lizard. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for charitable services.
Agutter has been attached to several causes throughout her career. She has been involved in raising awareness of the illness cystic fibrosis, which she believes was responsible for the deaths of two of her siblings. Her niece has the disease. At Agutter's suggestion, an episode of Call the Midwife focused on cystic fibrosis. She has also worked in support of charities, in particular the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, of which she is a patron (she is also a carrier of the genetic mutation). In August 2014, Agutter was also one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.
|1964||East of Sudan||Asua|
|1966||Man Could Get Killed, AA Man Could Get Killed||Linda Frazier|
|1968||Gates to Paradise||Maud|
|1969||I Start Counting||Wynne|
|1970||Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children||Roberta "Bobbie" Waterbury|
|1976||Logan's Run||Jessica 6|
|Eagle Has Landed, TheThe Eagle Has Landed||Molly Prior|
|1977||Equus||Jill Mason||BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role|
|The Man in the Iron Mask||Louise de la Vallière|
|1978||China 9, Liberty 37||Catherine Sebanek|
|Dominique||Ann Ballard||Minor role, a.k.a. "Dominique Is Dead"|
|1979||Riddle of the Sands, TheThe Riddle of the Sands||Clara|
|1980||Sweet William||Ann Walton|
|Survivor, TheThe Survivor||Hobbs||Nominated—Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role|
|American Werewolf in London, AnAn American Werewolf in London||Nurse Alex Price||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress|
|1984||Secret Places||Miss Lowrie|
|1989||Dark Tower||Carolyn Page|
|1990||King of the Wind||Hannah Coke|
|Child's Play 2||Joanne Simpson|
|Darkman||Burn Doctor||uncredited cameo|
|1992||Freddie as F.R.O.7||Daffers|
|1995||Blue Juice||Mary Fenton|
|2001||Parole Officer, TheThe Parole Officer||Victor's Wife|
|2002||At Dawning||Escaping woman||Short film|
|2004||Number One Longing, Number Two Regret||Kenosha|
|2009||Glorious 39||Maud Keyes|
|2010||Burke and Hare||Lucy|
|2011||Outside Bet||Shirley Baxter|
|2012||The Avengers||Councilwoman Hawley|
|2014||Captain America: The Winter Soldier|
|2015||Queen of the Desert||Florence Bell|
|1968||Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children||Roberta Faraday||BBC series|
|1970||Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens, TheThe Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens||Young Maria Beadnall / Mary Hogarth / Ellen Ternan||TV film|
|1971||Snow Goose, TheThe Snow Goose||Fritha||Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama|
|1972||Wild Duck, TheThe Wild Duck||Hedvig||BBC TV "Play of the Month" broadcast on BBC1, Sunday 19/3/72 from 8.10 pm to 9.55 pm|
|War of Children, AA War of Children||Maureen Tomelty||American (CBS) TV film set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles|
|Shelley||Mary Shelley||BBC series|
|1977||Six Million Dollar Man, TheThe Six Million Dollar Man||Dr. Leah Russell||("Deadly Countdown" episode, Parts 1 & 2)|
|1980||Beulah Land||Lizzie Corlay||TV mini-series|
|1985||Love's Labour's Lost||Rosaline||Television|
|Magnum, P.I.||Krista Villeroch||"Little Games" Season 5, Episode #96 TV Series|
|Silas Marner||Nancy Lammeter||BBC TV film|
|1986||Murder, She Wrote||Margo Claymore||"One White Rose For Death" Season 3, Episode #4 TV Series|
|1990||Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less||Jill Albery||TV mini-series|
|1992||Dream On||Ellen||"No Deposit, No Return" Season 3, Episode #22 TV Series|
|1993||Red Dwarf ("Psirens" episode)||Professor Mamet||Television|
|1994||Heartbeat||Susannah Temple-Richards||Episode 8, Series 4. Fair Game|
|1995||Buccaneers, TheThe Buccaneers||Idina Hatton||Television|
|2000||Railway Children, TheThe Railway Children||Mother||ITV|
|2004||Alan Clark Diaries, TheThe Alan Clark Diaries||Jane Clark||BBC TV series|
|Inspector Lynley Mysteries, TheThe Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Series 3, episode 3)||Jemma Sanderson||BBC TV Series|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||Agnes Crackenthorpe||Series 1 Episode 3 - 4.50 from Paddington|
|2005||New Tricks (Series 2, episode 1)||Yvonne Barrie||BBC TV Series|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Adela Marchmont||Season 10, Episode 4 - Taken at the Flood|
|Heroes and Villains||June|
|2007||Diamond Geezer||Vanessa||ITV series|
|2008||Invisibles, TheThe Invisibles||Barbara Riley||BBC TV series|
|2009||Monday Monday||Jenny Mountfield||ITV1 TV series|
|2010||Midsomer Murders||Isobel Chettham||episode No. 72, 'The Creeper', ITV1 TV series|
|2012-present||Call the Midwife||Sister Julienne||BBC TV series|