Katie McGrath (/məˈɡrɑː/) is an Irish actress. In television, she is best known for portraying Morgana on the BBC One series Merlin (2008–2012), Lucy Westenra on the British-American series Dracula (2013–2014), Sarah Bennett in the first season of the Canadian horror anthology series Slasher (2016) and for her role as Lena Luthor on the American superhero series Supergirl (2016–present). Her film roles include Lady Thelma Furness in the drama film W.E. (2011), Zara Young in the science fiction adventure film Jurassic World (2015) and Elsa in the epic fantasy film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).
McGrath was raised in Ashford, County Wicklow, Ireland, by Paul, who works with computers, and Mary, who works for an Irish designer. She has two older brothers, Sean, an online media manager, and Rory, who is a post-production producer. She studied the International Baccalaureate at St. Andrew's College before graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in history with a focus in Russian history.
McGrath originally wanted to work in fashion journalism and took a job at Image magazine before becoming a wardrobe assistant on the set of The Tudors. While working on The Tudors, McGrath was advised to try acting, so she sent photographs to Irish agents. She said:
Being an actress was kind of like when you’re a kid, and you want to run away and join the circus, it's something you really want to do, but then you grew up and got a proper job. It was a dream, but I didn’t think it would ever be reality, and yet here I am!
McGrath was cast in Damage, an Irish TV-movie in 2007. She also starred in the play La Marea at the Dublin Theatre Festival in the same year. She appeared in the feature films Eden and Freakdog in 2008, before being cast as Morgana Pendragon in Merlin.
In 2009, McGrath starred in a five-part docudrama for Channel 4 exploring the life of Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen, in which she played a young Princess Margaret.Emilia Fox portrayed Elizabeth II in the same episode in which McGrath appeared; the two had previously worked together as sisters Morgause and Morgana in Merlin. In 2010, McGrath was cast in Madonna's directorial debut W.E., an Edward VIII biopic. McGrath played Lady Furness, the king's former mistress who introduces him to Wallis Simpson.
2011 saw McGrath film the comedy-drama A Princess for Christmas in Romania. In September 2011, McGrath voice-acted the characters in the Irish animated short film Tríd an Stoirm (Through the Storm). Later that month, McGrath was cast as Oriane Congost in Labyrinth.
McGrath was reunited with her The Tudors co-star and close friend Jonathan Rhys Meyers in NBC and Sky Living's horror drama TV series Dracula; she portrayed Lucy Westenra. In June 2013, McGrath co-starred in episode four of the Channel 4 show Dates as a young lesbian on the dating scene alongside Gemma Chan. In November 2014, McGrath co-starred in a Hozier music video for the song "From Eden".
In 2015, McGrath had a supporting role as Zara in the film Jurassic World and starred in the Crackle original spy-thriller, The Throwaways.
McGrath portrayed the lead role in the first season of Chiller’s original horror series Slasher, which premiered on 4 March 2016.
In 2016, it was announced that McGrath would play the recurring role of Lena Luthor in the second season of Supergirl. She appeared in the season two premiere episode entitled "The Adventures of Supergirl" and was promoted to a series regular in March 2017 for the third season. She appeared as Elsa in Guy Ritchie's fantasy film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was released in May 2017.
FilmographyTelevision roles Year Title Role Notes 2007 Damage Rachel Television movie 2008 Eden Trisha Television movie 2008 The Tudors Bess Episode: "His Majesty's Pleasure" 2008 Freakdog Harriet Chambers Television movie 2008 The Roaring Twenties Vixen Television miniseries 2008–2012 Merlin Morgana Pendragon Main role, 57 episodes 2009 The Queen Princess Margaret Episode: "Margaret" 2011 A Princess for Christmas Jules Daly Television movie 2012 Labyrinth Oriane Congost Television miniseries 2013 Dates Kate Foster Episode: "Erica and Kate" 2013–2014 Dracula Lucy Westenra Main role, 10 episodes 2016 Slasher Sarah Bennett Main role (season 1), 8 episodes 2016–present Supergirl Lena Luthor Recurring role (season 2); main role (season 3); 31 episodes 2016–2017 Frontier Elizabeth Carruthers Recurring role; 7 episodes
Awards and nominationsYear Award Category Work Result Refs 2009 Monte-Carlo TV Festival Outstanding Actress - Drama Series Merlin Nominated  2011 Monte-Carlo TV Festival Outstanding Actress - Drama Series Merlin Nominated  2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Scene Stealer Supergirl Pending 
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- ^ "Crackle Premieres Jeremy Renner-Produced Movie 'The Throwaways'". Videoink. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- ^ "'Slasher' star Katie McGrath's character gets a bloody good welcome". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
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- ^ Saclao, Christian (12 September 2016). "'Supergirl' Season 2 Spoilers: CW Releases First Official Photos Of Katie McGrath As Lena Luthor". ibtimes.com. IBT Media Inc. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- ^ Andreeva, Nellie (22 March 2017). "'Supergirl': Katie McGrath Promoted To Series Regular For Season 3". Deadline. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
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- ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2018: Here's the Full List of Nominations". Moviefone. Retrieved 25 June 2018.