Marianne Ragipcien Jean-Baptiste is a British actress, singer-songwriter, composer and director, best known for her roles as Hortense Cumberbatch in Secrets & Lies (1996), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and as Vivian Johnson on the American television series Without a Trace.
Jean-Baptiste was born in London of Antiguan and St. Lucian ancestry. She was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. She was nominated for a 1994 Ian Charleson Award for her performance in Measure For Measure with Cheek by Jowl.
She gained international success from the Mike Leigh-directed social drama Secrets & Lies (1996), receiving Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performance, becoming the first black British actress to be nominated for an Academy Award. She collaborated with director Mike Leigh onstage in It’s a Great Big Shame (1993).
A writer and composer, Jean-Baptiste has recorded an album of blues songs and composed the musical score for Leigh’s 1997 film Career Girls. In 1999, she performed in Paris in a French language production by Peter Brook of The Suit (Le Costume), a one-act play by Barney Simon and Mothobi Mutloatse, based on the short story by Can Themba.
Jean-Baptiste honed her American accent and starred in the American television series Without a Trace as FBI agent Vivian Johnson. More recently the actress has appeared in such films as Takers (2010), Secrets in the Walls (2010) and Harry’s Law (2012). She played Detroit Chief of Police, Karen Dean, in RoboCop (2014).
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2006)
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2007, 2008)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003)
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
She is married to British ballet dancer Evan Williams, with whom she has two daughters.