July 12, 1976
After making her film debut as Bridget in "The Nanny Diaries" (2007), the big screen adaptation of the best-seller by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, English-born actress Alison Wright made her first major splash appearing on the 1980s-set Cold War spy drama "The Americans" (FX 2013- ). Wright received many plaudits from critics and audiences as Martha Hanson, secretary and informant; only a recurring guest star in the show's first season, she proved so popular that she was promoted to series regular. Praised for its naturalism combined with some deft comic touches, Wright's performance as the unwitting dupe of undercover KGB agent Mischa (Matthew Rhys) brought deserved attention to a career that had until then been focused primarily on stage work. Wright's experience with performance began at the age of seven, when she began performing children's roles in musical theater shows in her native England. Her later close involvement with the theater would include work with New York's Barrow Group theater company, as well as the artist-driven contemporary theatre company The New Group. In the latter company, her most prominent credits included Off-Broadway revivals of Wallace Shawn's "Marie and Bruce" and "Rafta, Rafta ," a comedy by author Ayub Khan-Din about Indian immigrants in the town of Bolton, England in the 1960s.