The Info List - Carrie Preston

Carrie Preston (born June 21, 1967)[1] is an American actress, producer, and director. She is known for her work on the television series True Blood, Person of Interest, Crowded, and The Good Wife. Preston received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Elsbeth Tascioni on CBS's acclaimed drama series The Good Wife. For her work on the show Preston received two nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, winning once.

Early life and education

Preston was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. Her mother is an artist and art therapist, and her father is a geo-technical engineer. She began performing in community theater shows at age 8, and by age 12 she had begun her own front-yard theater company with other neighborhood kids.[2] Her brother is actor John G. Preston. Both are graduates of Central High School in Macon, Georgia.

She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Evansville (1990), followed by an acting diploma from the Juilliard School's Drama Division[3][4] (Group 23: 1990–1994).[5]


Preston has worked with her husband, actor Michael Emerson, on a number of projects. Emerson played Ben Linus on television's Lost, and Preston was a guest star in episode 20 of season 3, "The Man Behind the Curtain" as Ben's mother Emily in flashback scenes, though she and Emerson never shared scenes together. The couple were featured in the 2004 comedy film Straight-Jacket and the 2008 feature film, Ready? OK!. She appeared in several episodes of Person of Interest as Grace Hendricks, the former fiancée of Emerson's character, Harold Finch.

Preston is co-owner of the production company Daisy 3 Pictures with James Vasquez and Mark Holmes. For seven seasons she played Arlene Fowler on True Blood.[6] On July 31, 2010, Carrie Preston and her husband, Michael Emerson, read A. R. Gurney's Love Letters, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, at the Charleston Stage. They performed it as a fundraiser for the South Carolina's theatre. The reading was followed by a brief "Question and Answer" session.

Preston had a recurring role playing Elsbeth Tascioni, an eccentric but extremely effective trial lawyer on CBS's The Good Wife.[7] First introduced in season one and recurring on seasons three through seven, the character was a fan favorite, and Preston won the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the show.

On September 6, 2013, it was announced that Preston signed on to play a recurring character in the second season of the Kevin Bacon-led thriller, The Following. She portrayed Judy, a prostitute and ill-fated groupie of Joe Carroll. The show's second season premiered in January 2014.[8] Preston has appeared in a number of films as a supporting character. Including several critically acclaimed films such as Doubt and Duplicity, where she starred alongside stars such as Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, and Clive Owen.

In 2015 she landed a leading role on the short-lived NBC comedy series Crowded where she starred opposite Patrick Warburton, during which time she also appeared on the final season of The Good Wife for which she earned her second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nomination. Preston was originally slated for a 4 episode arc but due to commitments on her new show she was only able to appear in one episode.

In August 2016 TNT announced that Preston had been cast in the Rashida Jones drama-comedy Claws. Preston plays Polly (Polly-Pol), a mild-mannered preppy with an "ankle bracelet" who recently served time in prison for identity theft.[9] The series was greenlit for a ten episode first season.[10]

On December 16, 2016, CBS announced that Preston would reprise her role as Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Just a Friend Mint Jennifer
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding Mandy Newhouse
The Journey Laura Singh
For Richer or Poorer Rebecca Yoder
1998 Mercury Rising Emily Lang
1999 Guinevere Patty
Cradle Will Rock VTA – Administrator
2000 Woman Wanted Monica
The Legend of Bagger Vance Idalyn Greaves
2004 Straight-Jacket Sally Stone
The Stepford Wives Barbara
2005 Transamerica Sydney Schupak
2007 Lovely by Surprise Marian Walker
Towelhead Evelyn Vuoso
2008 Ready? OK! Andy Dowd
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Sally
Doubt Christine Hurley
2009 Duplicity Barbara Bofferd
That Evening Sun Ludie Choat
2010 Virginia Betty
2011 A Bag of Hammers Lynette Patterson
Sironia Grace
2012 Vino Veritas Claire
Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? Chloe / Angel Tits
2013 Beneath the Harvest Sky Kim
2014 5 Flights Up Miriam Carswell
2016 Equity Compliance Officer Abby
2017 To the Bone Susan
And Then I Go Ms. Arnold
True Story/The Dating Game Killer Carol Jensen


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Cutty Whitman Sheriff TV film
1997 Union Square Jester Episode: "Michael's First Stand"
1998 Five Houses Unknown TV film
Significant Others Patti Pasternak Episode: "My Left Kidney"
Grace & Glorie Charlene Stiles TV film
1999 Spin City Gayle Episode: "Carter & Stuart & Bennett & Deirdre"
Sex and the City Madeline Dunn Episode: "The Chicken Dance"
2001 Emeril B.D. Benson 10 episodes
2003 Good Morning, Miami Kiera Donahue Episode: "The Slow and the Furious"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Megan Colby Episode: "Zoonotic"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Doreen Whitlock Episode: "Magnificat"
Wonderfalls Sister Katrina Episode: "Wound-Up Penguin"
Hope & Faith Sally Jones Episode: "Queer as Hope"
2005 Numb3rs Vicky Sites Episode: "Dirty Bomb"
The Inside Kelly Comack Episode: "Pre-Filer"
2006 Arrested Development Jan Eagleman Episode: "Fakin' It"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Lena Copeland Episode: "Bedfellows"
2007 Lost Emily Linus Episode: "The Man Behind the Curtain"
Desperate Housewives Lucy Lindquist Episode: "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover"
2008–14 True Blood Arlene Fowler 81 episodes
2009 Private Practice Yvonne Pierce Episode: "Do the Right Thing"
2010 Hell's Kitchen Herself Episode: "12 Chefs Compete Part 1"
2010–16 The Good Wife Elsbeth Tascioni 14 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bella Zane Episode: "Educated Guess"
2012 Royal Pains Jackie Van Ark Episode: "Hurts Like a Mother"
2012–16 Person of Interest Grace Hendricks 8 episodes
2014 The Following Judy Lang 3 episodes
Getting On Denya Thorp Episode: "The 7th Annual Christmas Card Competition"
2015 Happyish Debbie Dubonte 10 episodes
2016 Crowded Martina Moore 13 episodes
Grace and Frankie Krystle Episode: "The Goodbyes"
2017 When We Rise Sally Miller Gearhart 3 episodes
2017, 2018 The Good Fight Elsbeth Tascioni 4 episodes
2017–present Claws Polly Main role
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself, guest judge 1 episode (season 10)[12]


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Indiscretions Madeleine (Standby) Ethel Barrymore Theatre
The Tempest Miranda Broadhurst Theatre
1997 Antony and Cleopatra Octavia the Younger The Public Theater
1998 Freedomland Polly Underfinger Playwrights Horizons
2000 Straight-Jacket Sally Stone Playhouse 91
She Stoops to Conquer Kate Hardcastle Center Stage
2001 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Honey Guthrie Theater
Chaucer in Rome Sarah Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
2002 Boys and Girls Shelly Duke on 42nd Street
No Foreigners Beyond This Point Paula Wheaton Center Stage
2004–05 The Rivals Julia Melville Vivian Beaumont Theater
2005 Cycling Past the Matterhorn Amy Harold Clurman Theater
Hamlet Ophelia McCarter Theatre Center
2006 Festen Mette Music Box Theatre
2010 Love Letters Melissa Gardner Charleston Stage

Other works

Year Title Notes
2005 29th and Gay Director, executive producer, editor
2007 Feet of Clay Director, executive producer
2008 Ready? OK! Executive producer
2008 Girl Talk Director
2012 That's What She Said Director, producer

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2008 FilmOut San Diego, US Best Narrative Feature Ready? OK! Won
Best Actress Won
2009 SWSX Film Festival Best Ensemble That Evening Sun Won
Satellite Awards Best Ensemble True Blood Won
2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 SoHo International Film Festival Best Showcase Feature Film That's What She Said Nominated
Golden Derby TV Awards Drama Guest Actress The Good Wife Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Golden Derby TV Awards Drama Guest Actress Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Won
2014 Golden Derby TV Awards Drama Guest Actress Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated


  1. ^ Carrie Preston on IMDb
  2. ^ "Carrie Preston". Movies & TV. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  3. ^ "About Carrie Preston". CarriePreston.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Carrie Preston". TV Guide. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. May 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  6. ^ Eramo, Steven. Actress Goes Through Transformation on "True Blood", Newsarama.com, November 7, 2008; retrieved June 25, 2011.
  7. ^ "Filmography by TV series for Elsbeth Tascioni (Character) from "The Good Wife" (2009)". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Following Casting Scoop: True Blood's Carrie Preston to Guest Star as Joe Carroll's Groupie". E!. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 15, 2016). "Carrie Preston Cast In TNT Pilot 'Claws'". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 13, 2016). "'Claws' Nail Salon Dramedy Starring Niecy Nash Picked Up To Series By TNT". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 16, 2016). "'The Good Fight': Carrie Preston Reprising 'The Good Wife' Role In Spinoff Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  12. ^ http://www.newnownext.com/rupauls-drag-race-season-10-judges-trailer/03/2018/

External links