CounterpartStarz Wiki

Olivia Williams portrays two versions of the character Emily Burton Silk in the Starz Original Series Counterpart. The London-born actor joined the cast of the Justin Marks-penned series in 2016 after completing work on Victoria & Abdul.

Williams career is notable in that she has portrayed two of her home country's greatest authors on screen. She played Agatha Christie in 2004 and Jane Austin in 2008.

Early Life and Education[]

Olivia Williams was born on July 26, 1968 in Camden Town, London. She attended South Hampstead High School, an independent school for girls in Hampstead, North London. She went on to Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. She left Cambridge with an English literature degree. She went on to study drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for two years.


Williams then did three years at the Royal Shakespeare Company performing in productions in London and at the group's Strafford-Upon-Avon theater. A touring production of Richard III starring Ian McKellen brought her to the United States in 1995. The following year, Williams scored her first significant television role as Jane Fairfax in the BBC production of Jane Austin's Emma. She's landed several television and movie roles each year since.


Some of her most notable film roles include Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, opposite Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, for which she was named Best Supporting Actress by the National Society of Film Critics and the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards; and Lone Scherfig’s An Education, opposite Carey Mulligan. The latter film earned Ms. Williams a London Critics’ Circle Film Award nomination as well as a shared Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with her fellow actors from the ensemble.

Williams is also a favorite of the sci-fi genre appearing in The Postman, Below, The Sixth Sense, Hannah, and The Last Days on Mars.

In addition to her on-screen work, Williams frequently appears in theater productions in her hometown. Most recently she starred in Lucy Kirkwood's Mosquitos at the National Theatre in London.

Selected Film Credits[]

Year Film Role
1997 The Postman Abby
1998 Rushmore Rosemary Cross
1999 The Sixth Sense Anna Crowe
2002 Below Claire
2009 An Education Miss Stubbs
2010 The Ghost Writer Ruth Lang
2010 Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Betty Dury
2011 Hanna Rachel
2012 Anna Karenina Countess Vronskaya
2012 Hyde Park on Hudson Eleanor Roosevelt
2013 The Last Days on Mars Kim Aldrich
2014 Maps to the Stars Cristina Weiss
2014 Altar Meg Hamilton
2015 Seventh Son Mam Ward
2015 Man Up Hilary
2017 Victoria & Abdul Baroness Churchill


On television, Williams starred in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse with Eliza Dushku. She also landed a lead role in the WGN Original Series Manhattan, which also featured her Counterpart co-star Harry Lloyd.

Selected Television Credits[]

Year Title Role
1996 Emma Jane Fairfax
1998 Friends Felicity
2004 Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures Agatha Christie
2006 Krakatoa: The Last Days Johanna Beijerinck
2007 Damage Michelle Cahill
2008 Miss Austen Regrets Jane Austen
2009–2010 Dollhouse Adelle DeWitt
2010 Terriers Miriam Foster
2011–2012 Case Sensitive DS Charlie Zailer
2014 Salting the Battlefield Belinda Kay
2014–2015 Manhattan Liza Winter
2017 The Halcyon Lady Hamilton
2017–present Counterpart Emily Burton Silk