Laura Carmichael was born in Southampton, England, in 1986. Carmichael supported herself as an office secretary, teaching assistant and nanny while pursuing performing, and she made her first TV appearance in 2008 in the film The Heart of Thomas Hardy. In 2010, her career would take a move when she was cast as Lady Edith Crawley on the success show Downton Abbey.
Produced in Southampton, England, in 1986, into a radiologist mom and applications-advisor dad, Laura Carmichael attended Peter Symonds College and studied acting in the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. She appeared in a different TV movie, House By the End of Our Road, before making it to the big screen in the Gary Oldman picture Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). She worked various day jobs while appearing on the stage at the same time, in productions of As You Enjoy It, Stags and Hens, The President’s Vacation and Lots, amongst others.
Carmichael’s big break signified a crossroads for the young performer. She was employed as a secretary in a doctor’s office in 2010 when she got a part in a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which was about to go to Dubai. Ahead of the time came to leave for the Middle East, Carmichael was requested to read to get a part in the approaching show Downton Abbey.
The auditioning was narrowed down to Carmichael and one other performer for the part of Lady Edith Crawley, as well as the Shakespeare production was leaving town. Carmichael made your choice to hold out for Downton Abbey and let Twelfth Night go on without her. When she got the part, her career took a turn to the limelight: Downton Abbey would start to the hearts and minds of the viewing public on a grand scale, becoming a global sensation. She’s also made guest appearances using the Fitzrovia Radio Hour, a British troupe of humor writer/performers.