An actress whose refinement is evident in both her coolly regal beauty and well-measured performances, Natascha McElhone first impressed international critics and audiences with her portrayal of Francoise Gilot, the long-suffering but ultimately triumphant wife of Pablo Picasso in Merchant Ivory's Surviving Picasso (1996).
Born Natasha Taylor in Hampstead, London, on March 23, 1971, McElhone was raised in Brighton as the only daughter (she has several brothers) of journalist parents. After studying drama for three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, McElhone began her career in the theatre. She worked extensively on the London stage in a number of productions, and she also toured nationally with the Leicester Haymarket's production of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. McElhone made her television debut in 1994, playing an army officer in the BBC's A Breed of Heroes, and subsequently appeared in several British TV series, including Absolutely Fabulous.