Reiko Aylesworth was born on December 9, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. She is part-Dutch, part-Welsh and part-Japanese. At the age of 13, Aylesworth relocated to Seattle, Washington, where she attended the University of Washington. She then spent one year performing as Wendy in a stage production of Peter Pan at the Intiman Theater Company.
Her participation in the play opened new doors for Aylesworth, as she was subsequently given the chance to try out for the popular soap opera, One Life to Live. From there, she landed small roles in the films Random Hearts and You've Got Mail, and made guest appearances in other television series such as Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Dead Zone, Now and Again, The West Wing, All Souls and American Embassy.
Aylesworth expressed great interest in the popular television drama 24, but when she auditioned in 2001 for the role of Nina Meyers, she was turned down, giving the part instead to actress Sarah Clarke. Aylesworth persevered and again auditioned for the show in 2002, this time for the role of Kate Warner. However, instead of securing the role, the producers offered her the part of recurring character Michelle Dessler—the most trusted ally of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and the love interest of Tony Amleida (Carlos Bernard)—instead. Aylesworth stayed with the show for almost five seasons and, despite pleas from numerous fans, was written out of the show at the beginning of the fifth season.
After her stint on 24, Aylesworth continued to work on other productions, such television shows Conviction and CSI, the play The Fearless, and the films Mr. Brooks (where she acted opposite Kevin Costner) and The Killing Floor. Her most recent television roles include a guest role in the comedy The Knights of Prosperity, and a recurring role in the medical drama ER.
-Reiko has stated that of the characters she has played so far in her career, her favorite has been Michelle Dessler who she describes as 'a strong woman with a big heart'.
-Reiko although born in the United States, is part Dutch, Welsh and Japanese.
-Reiko, her first name, is pronounced 'Ray-co', and means 'child of thankfulness'.
-Reiko was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series by TV Guide.
-The cast of 24 including Reiko, were nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2003.
One Life to Live - Rebecca Lewis
Lifestories: Families in Crisis - Rita
Childhood's End - Laurie Cannon
Law & Order - Tiffany Sherman
A Will of Their Own - Annie Jermaine
You've Got Mail - Thanksgiving Guest
Random Hearts - Mary Claire Clark
Now and Again - Dr. Taylor
Man on the Moon - Mimi
No Deposit, No Return
Sherman’s March - Becca Coltrane
The West Wing - Janine
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Erica
All Souls - Dr. Philomena Cullen
Ed - Kate Harrison
The American Embassy - Liz Shoop
24 - Michelle Dessler
The Dead Zone - Natalie Connor
North of Providence - Little Girl Voice
The Last Full Measure - Mother
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Chandra Moore
(on her storyline for season 3 of 24)
-They didn't know. They said: 'Look you're going to be exposed to the virus and we don't know whether we are going to kill you off or not.'
So I was like: 'Wow! Thank you.'
(on her 24 character, Michelle Dessler)
-That’s another thing. It’s a great opportunity to play an intelligent, strong-willed woman. But also compassionate. It was important.
(on her career)
-Who's going to remember someone like me, who's had big parts in very small movies and small parts in big movies. Like in the Harrison Ford movie Random Hearts, I play the secretary of Harrison's dead wife. I got to cry in some scenes with Harrison.