SHE vowed she would never wear a corset again after her time on Downton Abbey but Jessica Brown Findlay slipped back into her old ways.
The young actress, who is best known as Lady Sybil Crawley in the award-winning period drama, is back on TV screens as BBC re-air period drama Harlots.
Jessica was born in Cookham, Berkshire, Jessica Rose Brown Findlay on September 13, 1989, to teaching assistant mother Beverley and financial adviser father Christopher.
Jessica was a pupil at the Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead and trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet.
At the age of 15 she danced with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season.
After leaving school she turned down several ballet schools and instead enrolled at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, London.
Jessica shot to fame as Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey
In her second year at the AES, she had three operations on her ankles but the third one went wrong and she was told she could never dance again.
Jessica then completed a Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
She started to go to the theatre in her spare time and decided to pursue a career in acting and told the Telegraph: “I began to see similarities between the two art forms and I thought, ‘God, the thing I loved most about ballet, the ability to convey emotion and reach an audience right there at the back of the gods applies to theatre, too.'”
Jessica got herself an agent and auditioned for a part in Niall MacCormick’s low-budget film Albatross – which she got.
Before Albatross was released, Jessica was cast as Lady Sybil Crawley in Julian Fellowes’ period drama series Downton Abbey.
She decided to leave the show after the third series to pursue other projects and and her character was killed off in childbirth.
The success of Downton in the UK and around the world got her noticed and she was cast alongside Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe in the film Winter’s Tale.
Jessica starred in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror as Abi Khan in the episode called Fifteen Million Merits.
She also landed roles in two miniseries – Labyrinth, an adaptation of Kate Mosse’s novel, and Jamaica Inn, a BBC production of Daphne du Murier’s gothic novel.
In 2015, she starred in Victor Frankenstein alongside Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy.
Jessica stars as young courtesan Charlotte Wells in the BBC series Harlots which continues TONIGHT (August 26, 2020) at 9pm on BBC Two.