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 House of Cards

House of Cards

2013 TV-MA

Ruthless politician Francis Underwood and his ambitious wife Claire will stop at nothing to conquer Washington D.C. in this dark political drama, winner of four Emmy Awards, including Best Director, and two Golden Globes for Best Actor and Best Actress.

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