Elizabeth Reaser

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Elizabeth Reaser
Reaser in July 2011
Elizabeth Ann Reaser

(1975-07-02) July 2, 1975 (age 48)
EducationOakland University
Juilliard School (BFA)
Years active1998–present

Elizabeth Ann Reaser (born July 2, 1975)[1][2] is an American film, television, and stage actress. Her work includes the films Stay, The Family Stone, Sweet Land, Against the Current, The Twilight Saga, Young Adult, and Ouija: Origin of Evil, and the TV series Saved, Grey's Anatomy, The Ex-List, The Good Wife, True Detective, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Haunting of Hill House.

Early life and education[edit]

Reaser was born in the affluent Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. Her parents are Karen Davidson (née Weidman) and John Reaser.[3] She is the middle of three sisters.[3] In 1995, her mother married billionaire businessman William Davidson.[3][4][5]

Reaser attended both the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills[6] and Avondale High School in Auburn Hills[7] where she graduated in 1993. After high school, she attended Oakland University for one year,[8] then attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division (1995–1999, Group 28),[9] where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1999.[2][8]


Reaser prepared for her role on Saved by spending time in an emergency room, observing the behavior of medical staff.[10] In October 2004, Interview magazine hailed her as one of the "14 To Be" emerging creative women.[11] Her work in the film Sweet Land earned the "Jury Award" at the Newport Beach Film Festival and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award "Best Female Lead" award.[citation needed] Reaser earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her recurring guest appearance throughout 2007 and 2008 on the television series Grey's Anatomy.[citation needed]

Reaser is best known for her portrayal of Esme Cullen in the film Twilight,[12] and its follow-ups The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2009, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2010,[13] and parts one (2011) and two (2012) of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.[14]

Reaser appeared on the CBS' legal drama, The Good Wife in October 2010.[15]

Reaser appeared in Season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu.[16]



Reaser at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International
Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Believer Miriam
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Young Woman In Class
2002 Emmett's Mark Alison Holmes
2004 Mind the Gap Malissa Zubach
2005 Stay Athena
Sweet Land Young Inge
The Family Stone Susannah Stone Trousdale
2006 Shut Up and Sing Julep
Puccini for Beginners Allegra
2007 Purple Violets Bernadette
2008 Twilight Esme Cullen
2009 Against the Current Liz Clark
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Esme Cullen
2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Esme Cullen
2011 The Art of Getting By Charlotte Howe
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Esme Cullen
Young Adult Beth Slade
2012 Liberal Arts Ana
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Esme Cullen
2015 One and Two Elizabeth
Hello, My Name Is Doris Dr. Edwards
2016 Ouija: Origin of Evil Alice Zander
2018 Nightmare Cinema Helen "This Way to Egress" segment
2020 Embattled Susan Boykins
2023 Dark Harvest Donna Shepard Upcoming film


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Sports Theater with Shaquille O'Neal Molly Episode: "Scrubs"
2000 The Sopranos Stace Episode: "D-Girl"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Serena Whitfield Episode: "The Insider"
2004 Hack Elaine Jones Episode: "Extreme Commerce"
The Jury Rachel Byrnes Episode: "Pilot"
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Jillian Slaughter Episode: "Proud Flesh"
Saved Alice Alden, M.D. 13 episodes
Standoff Anya Reed Episode: "Heroine"
2007–2008 Grey's Anatomy Ava / Rebecca Pope 18 episodes
2008 Wainy Days Annie Episode: "The Waindow"
The Ex List Bella Bloom 13 episodes
2010–2012 The Good Wife Tammy Linnata 7 episodes
2013 Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive P.J. Lane 2 episodes
2014 True Detective Laurie Perkins Episode: "The Secret Fate of All Life"
2015 Mad Men Diana Baur 2 episodes
2016–2019 Easy Andi 5 episodes
2017 Manhunt: Unabomber Ellie Fitzgerald 8 episodes
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders Pam Bozanich 7 episodes
2018 The Haunting of Hill House Adult Shirley Crain 8 episodes
2019 The Handmaid's Tale[17] Mrs. Winslow 3 episodes
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Kathleen Willey 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Sweet Bird of Youth Heavenly La Jolla Playhouse
2000 The Hologram Theory Mimi Blue Lights Theatre Company
2001 Blackbird Froggy Bush Theatre
Closer Alice Portland Center Stage
2002 Stone Cold Dead Serious Shaylee Ledbetter / Sharice American Repertory Theater
2003 The Winter's Tale Perdita Classic Stage Company
2005 Top Girls Patient Griselda / Nell / Jeanine Williamstown Theatre Festival
2012 How I Learned to Drive Li'l Bit Second Stage Theatre
2014 Conviction No Name Bay Street Theater
2015 The Money Shot Karen Lucille Lortel Theater
Permission Cyndy

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title of work Result
2006 Newport Beach Film Festival Jury Award – Best Actress (Feature Film) Sweet Land Won
2007 Independent Spirit Award Best Female Lead Nominated
2007 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Grey’s Anatomy Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2009 Prism Award Best Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline Nominated


  1. ^ "Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes but my bday is July 2". Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Jason Buchanan (2007). "Elizabeth Reaser". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c The Jewish News: "Bill’s Dreams Live On" Archived October 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine October 11, 2012
  4. ^ Davidson's Wife to Succeed Him As Owner of the Pistons[permanent dead link] Yahoo Sports, March 14, 2009
  5. ^ Bloom, Nate (December 8, 2009). "Twilight". InterFaithFamily. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "Slow climb for actress Elizabeth Reaser is more than 'Getting By'". The Oakland Press. June 26, 2011. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  7. ^ KRUG, KURT ANTHONY. ""Twilight" actress, Avondale grad talks about the end of her role as Esme Cullen". The Oakland Press. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Nassour, Ellis. "Elizabeth Reaser – Actress on the rise". Lifestyles Magazine. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  9. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. February 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Martindale, David (July 15, 2003). "No Real-Life MD for Elizabeth Reaser". Tnt.tv. Archived from the original on October 4, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Elizabeth Reaser- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  12. ^ Larry Carroll (February 19, 2008). "'Twilight' Film's First Family Revealed: Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser Lead Cullen Clan". MTV. Retrieved March 13, 2008.
  13. ^ Another New The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Still - The Cullen Men
  14. ^ "Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, and Billy Burke Sign on to BREAKING DAWN; Plus Three New TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE Posters". Collider. May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Elizabeth Reaser, Lili Taylor Join The Good Wife". TVGuide.com. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  16. ^ Roschke, Ryan (January 31, 2019). "Blessed Be the Fruit: We Have All Kinds of Details For The Handmaid's Tale Season 3". POPSUGAR Entertainment. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Adds Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Reaser". TVLine.com. January 24, 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2019.

External links[edit]