Samantha Morton (1977-) b. Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England.
Born in Nottingham, England, petite blonde actress Samantha Morton was one of six children. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and as a result Samantha spent much of her childhood in foster care. She dropped out of school aged 13 and enrolled at the Central Junior Television Workshop in Nottingham.
Aged 14, she got her first professional acting task when she began appearing on television, most notably in the popular ITV series Soldier, Soldier. Morton’s breakthrough role came in a 1994 episode of the TV crime drama Cracker, when she played a young girl who becomes pregnant by the head of a religious cult. This was quickly followed by a memorable appearance as a prostitute in the ITV miniseries Band of Gold. Morton graduated to costume drama roles in TV adaptations of Jane Austen‘s Emma (1997) and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
Her feature film debut came with the lead role in the low-budget drama Under the Skin (1997). Morton’s career continued apace with the starring role in Mary McGuckian’s This Is the Sea (1997), a discontented young woman in Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999) alongside Rupert Graves and as a ballsy young woman taken hostage by small-time crooks in low-budget comedy The Last Yellow (1999). Also in 1999, she earned an Academy Award nomination for her impressive performance as the mute laundress in Sweet and Lowdown (1999), written and directed by Woody Allen. Lynne Ramsay’s Morvern Callar (2002) was a major critical success on the festival circuit and won awards at both the Cannes Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards.
Morton came to prominence in the USA when she appeared in Steven Spielberg’s futuristic noir thriller Minority Report (2002). That same year she received a second Academy Award nomination for her lead performance alongside Paddy Considine in Jim Sheridan’s In America (2002). After a supporting role in Michael Winterbottom’s challenging and incomprehensible futuristic love story Code 46 (2003), Morton returned to the UK to star in Roger Michell’s psychological thriller Enduring Love (2004) opposite Daniel Craig and the costume romp The Libertine (2005) with Johnny Depp.
Morton later appeared in Control (2007), Anton Corbijn’s stark biopic of ill-fated Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, in which Morton gives an intelligent, sympathetic performance as his wife, Debbie.