Jayne Atkinson was born on February 18, 1959 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. She attended Northwestern University, and launched her professional acting career by appearing in a Broadway production of All My Sons. Subsequently, she landed title roles in more stage productions, which include Henry VIII, Tru, and The Art of Success.
Atkinson's work in the 2000 production of The Rainmaker earned her a Tony Award Nomination, while her performance in the 2003 play “Enchanted April” earned her an Outer Critics Circle Award and another Tony Award nomination.
She has also done several big screen projects, and many may recognize her from the films, Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Psychoanalysis Changed My Life, 12 and Holding, Blank Check and M. Night Shymalan's The Village. She also shared the screen with actor George Clooney on the critically-acclaimed film, Syriana.
As for television, her acting credits include A Year in the Life, Parenthood, , , , and Joan of Arcadia. Her performance on the made-for-tv movie, Our Town, garnered her a Golden Satellite Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television.
Atkinson was eventually cast as Karen Hayes on the hit television drama series, 24. Her role on 24 has given her the opportunity to share a 2001 Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series with esteemed actors such as Keifer Sutherland. At present, she stars as Dean Reuther on the CW series Gossip Girl.
Gossip Girl (2010) - Dean Reuther
Handsome Harry (2009) - Kelly's Wife
Recount (2008) - Theresa LePore
Law & Order (2008) - Senator Melanie Carver
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2008) - Assistant U.S. Attorney Marion Springer
Criminal Minds (2007–2010) - Erin Strauss, 10 episodes
24 (2006–2007) - Karen Hayes, 30 episodes
12 and Holding (2006) - Ashley Carges
Joan of Arcadia (2004) - Fran Montgomery
Syriana (2005) - Division Chief
The Village (2004) - Tabitha Walker
Our Town (2003) - Mrs. Gibbs
The Education of Max Bickford (2003) - Lyla Ortiz
Law & Order (2002) - Dr. Claire Snyder
The Practice (1997) - Ruth Gibson
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995) - Annie Greenwood
The X-Files (1995) - Willa Ambrose
Blank Check (1994) - Sandra Waters
Free Willy (1993) - Annie Greenwood
Parenthood (1990) - Karen Buckman
A Year in the Life (TV series) (1987–1988) - Lindley Gardner Eisenberg
A Year in the Life (miniseries) (1986) - Lindley Gardner Eisenberg