Saffron Domini Burrows (born 22 October 1972)[1][2] is an English actress who has appeared in such films as In the Name of the Father (1993), Circle of Friends (1995), Deep Blue Sea(1999), Enigma (2001 film) (2001), Troy (2004), Reign Over Me (2007) and The Bank Job (2008), as well as starring as Lorraine Weller on Boston Legal (2007–2008), Dr. Norah Skinner on My Own Worst Enemy (2008) and Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Burrows was born in London, England. An only child, both her parents are socialists.[3] Her father is an architect and teacher; her mother is a teacher and feminist.[1][4] She was discovered inCovent Garden by the fashion photographer Beth Boldt.[5] Burrows stands 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) and began a successful modelling career.[6][7]


Burrows made her film debut in 1993 with a small role in Jim Sheridan's In the Name of the Father. Her first significant acting roles came in 1995, as an ambitious young Irishwoman in Circle of Friends. She appeared in Ngozi Onwurah's Welcome II The Terrordome.[8] Following this, she starred in the BBC production of Dennis Potter's Karaoke (1996).[9] Subsequently, she appeared in Hotel de LoveLovelifeNevadaOne Night Stand, and The Matchmaker.[10] In 1999, she appeared in Mike Figgis’ experimental film The Loss of Sexual Innocence, in which she played twins; one raised in England, the other in Italy.[11] Burrows appeared in the thriller film Deep Blue Sea and later played the title role in a production of Miss Julie, which premiered at theToronto International Film Festival.[12]

In 1999 she appeared with Stellan Skarsgard in Timecode (2000), a split-screen digital experimental film shot in a single take with no edit. Burrows followed this film with Gangster No. 1, starring opposite Malcolm McDowellPaul Bettany and David Thewlis.[10] She co-starred alongside Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott in Michael Apted's 1940s drama Engima (2001 film)Tom Stoppard adapted the Robert Harris novel of the same name for the screen. Burrows would star in Tempted, an improvised thriller set in New Orleans, opposite Burt Reynolds and Peter Facinelli.[15]

Mike Figgis' ensemble feature Hotel followed, re-uniting Burrows with some colleagues from Timecode, including Salma Hayek and Danny Huston in Venice, where she played the Duchess of Malfi. In 2002, she had a cameo role in Hayek's procuded biopic Frida. After that, she dedicated herself to stage work. She was directed by Deborah Warner at the Royal National Theatre in Jeanette Winterson's The Powerbook.[12] The play then toured, visiting the Theatre National Du Chaillot, Paris, and the Teatro Argentina, Rome. Burrows performed in Spanish in The Galindez File, a film written by Basque novelist Vazquez Montalban about a woman seeking the truth about the "disappearance" of a critic of the Dominican dictator Trujillo.[16]

In 2004, she played the part of Andromache in Troy. In January 2005, she created the role of Janey in the world premiere of Earthly Paradise at the Almeida Theatre.[17] The play of a love triangle between Janey Morris; her husband William Morris, the writer and proponent of the arts and crafts movement; and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite painter.[18] Noted theatre critic Nicholas De Jongh said of her performance in The Earthly Paradise that "Burrows takes to the stage like a swan to water ... She deserves no end of watching".[19]

On 30 October 2005, she appeared on stage at the Old Vic theatre in London in a rehearsed reading of the 24-hour play Night Sky, alongside Christopher Eccleston.[20][21] In 2006, Burrows was the female lead in the New Zealand thrillerPerfect Creature. That same year, she worked with Chilean director Raoul Ruiz on KLIMT, his cinematic version of the life of Gustav Klimt, playing opposite John Malkovich, as the artist’s lover, a woman of many personalities, and nationalities.[10]

She performed in Hal Hartley's Fay Grim. Onstage in 2006, Burrows starred opposite David Schwimmer in Neil Labute’s world premiere of Some Girl(s) at the Gielgud theatre, London.[22] She then starred opposite Don Cheadle andAdam Sandler in Mike Binder's Reign Over Me. Burrows played the female lead roles in the Indian film thriller Broken Thread, and in Dangerous Parking, a drama directed by Peter Howitt.[10] On television, Burrows played attorneyLorraine Weller on ABC's Boston Legal (Season 4) from 2007–08. She starred on NBC's 2008 series, My Own Worst Enemy.

In 2008, Burrows starred in the independent film The GuitarAmy Redford’s directorial debut, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; whilst there, Burrows performed live on guitar with the band The Everyothers, opening for Mos Def and Patti Smith.[citation needed] In 2008, she had a starring role as Martine Love in Roger Donaldson’s heist film The Bank Job.[23] She played opposite Kevin Spacey in Jonas Pate's Shrink. She has contributed to the Actors Come Clean for Congo video for the Raise Hope for Congo campaign, a campaign of the Enough Project, in support of the conflict mineral issue.[24]

In 2010, she starred as Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent,[25] departing at the end of the ninth season. In September 2010, she took part in the documentary feature film The People Speak, directed and produced by Colin Firth and Anthony Arnove, televised on the History Channel, linked with The People Speak (Film) - International. Burrows modeled for Marks & Spencer's autumn 2010 campaign for their Portfolio range.[26] In 2012, Burrows performed opposite Rob Lowe in the political comedy Knife Fight.[10] She has participated in the "24 Hour Plays" in London, New York, and Los Angeles.[27]

Burrows has contributed her writing in diaries, book reviews, and newspaper and magazine articles for The GuardianThe Independent, and The Times and The New Statesman.[28][29]

French is her second language, having lived in Paris for five years as a teenager. She has performed in French on stage in Paris in The Powerbook and on French television.[30] Burrows is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.[10]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Burrows is a socialist and has spoken of her admiration for French Socialist politician Ségolène Royal.[31] She joined an anti-racism group when she was 11 years old and she went on to become the Vice President of the National Civil Rights Movement.[citation needed] Burrows is a campaigner for disabled rights and equality.[32]

For a number of years, Burrows was involved with film director Mike Figgis, and starred in some of his films, including Miss Julie. She was involved with bisexual actor Alan Cumming for several years, while Cumming was separated from his wife.[33] She was romantically linked with Irish actress Fiona Shaw.[7][34] The two appeared together in the National Theatre's production of The PowerBook, a play based on the novel of the same name by Jeanette Winterson, in which they played lovers.[35]

In 2006, the Independent on Sunday listed Burrows as the 90th most influential gay person in the UK.[36] In a 2003 interview, actor Alan Cumming said, "I was really lucky that the first relationship I had after [my divorce] was with Saffron, who's really... understanding and a broadminded person. And who's now, as I'm sure you know ... well, she bats for both teams too."[37][38]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Body Beautiful Model Short film
1993 In the Name of the Father Girl in commune
1995 Circle of Friends Nan Mahon
1995 The Big One Jules
1995 Welcome II the Terrordome Jodie
1996 Hotel de Love Melissa Morrison
1997 Lovelife Zoey
1997 Nevada Quinn
1997 One Night Stand Supermodel
1997 The MatchMaker Moira Kennedy Kelly
1999 Wing Commander Lieutenant Commander "Angel" Deveraux
1999 The Loss of Sexual Innocence English/Italian twin
1999 Deep Blue Sea Dr. Susan McCallister
1999 Miss Julie Miss Julie
2000 Assumptions Short film
2000 Timecode Emma
2000 Gangster No. 1 Karen
2001 Enigma (2001 film) Claire
2001 Tempted Lilly LeBlanc
2001 The Seventh Stream Mairead
2001 Hotel Duchess of Malfi
2002 Frida Grace
2002 Flashpoint Dara
2002 Hideous Man Short film
2003 The Galíndez File Muriel Colber
2003 Peter Pan Narrator Voice
2004 Krug Grace Krug Short film
2004 Troy Andromache
2004 Terrible Kisses Woman Short film
2006 Perfect Creature Lilly
2006 Klimt Lea de Castro
2006 Fay Grim Juliet
2007 Broken Thread Jenny
2007 Reign Over Me Donna Remar
2007 Marple: Towards Zero Audrey Strange
2007 Dangerous Parking Claire
2008 The Guitar Melody Wilder
2008 The Bank Job Martine Love
2009 Shrink Kate Amberson
2009 The Eastmans Dr. Anna Eastman
2010 Lawyers Anne Short film
2012 Small Apartments Francine
2012 Knife Fight Sophia


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Les cinq dernières minutes Daisy Smith Episode: "Meurtre en Ardèche"
1993 Full Stretch Episode: "Family Affairs"
1996 Karaoke Sandra Sollars
1996 Cold Lazarus Sandra Sollars
1996 Crucial Tales Sarah Brown Episode: "I Bring You Frankincense"
2007–2008 Boston Legal Lorraine Weller 20 episodes
2008 Wainy Days Lucy Episode: "Nan and Lucy"
2008 Agatha Christie's Marple Audrey Strange Episode: "Towards Zero"
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Dr. Norah Skinner 9 episodes
2009 Kings Death Episode: "The Sabbath Queen" (episode 8)
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Det. Serena Stevens 15 episodes
2011 Bones Ike Latulippe Episode: "The Finder" (season 6 episode 19)
2013 The Crazy Ones Helena Season 1 Episode 5: "She's So European"
2013 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Victoria Hand Season 1 Episode 7: "The Hub"

Awards and nominations[edit]Edit

Blockbuster Entertainment Award

  • 2000: Nominated, "Favorite Newcomer Actress" – Deep Blue Sea

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 2008: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" – Boston Legal
  • 2009: Nominated, "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" – Boston Legal
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