Photo of Jayne Atkinson Jayne Atkinson

A transplant to the United States from Bournemouth, England, Jayne Atkinson was born Feb. 18, 1959. After graduating from Northwestern University in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in communications, she attended the Yale School of Drama and began earning her acting stripes in regional theater.

Atkinson broke into television with appearances in made-for-TV movies and in the network series "A Year in the Life" (1987-88). While peppering her résumé with gigs on shows such as "Parenthood" and "The X-Files," Atkinson moved into feature films, including Free Willy (1993) and Blank Check (1994), later counting the politically charged thriller Syriana (2005) among her big-screen credits.

In 2006, Atkinson landed the role for which she's best known: Homeland Security official Karen Hayes on the megahit "24." The actress' subsequent works include Recount (2008) and the Netflix original series "House of Cards."

Jayne Atkinson in Free Willy

Free Willy

1993 PG

Ordered to clean up the graffiti he painted at a marine theme park, troubled young Jesse unexpectedly bonds with a killer whale on exhibit. But when the park owner threatens to kill the orca, Jesse must hatch a plan to rescue his aquatic friend.

  • Jayne Atkinson in Recount Recount
  • Jayne Atkinson in 24 24
  • Jayne Atkinson in Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
  • Jayne Atkinson in Blank Check Blank Check
  • Jayne Atkinson in Our Town Our Town
  • Jayne Atkinson in Twelve and Holding Twelve and Holding
  • Jayne Atkinson in 24: Redemption 24: Redemption