The Gilded Age: Who’s who in the cast of the new Downton Abbey-esque drama?

New series from ‘Downton’ creator Julian Fellowes features a fair number of recognisable faces

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 25 January 2022 19:28
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The Gilded Age trailer

The Gilded Age, a brand-new drama from Julian Fellowes, arrives in the UK tonight (25 January).

Billed as the “American Downton Abbey”, the series follows two stately houses in 19th-century New York.

In a three-star review for The Independent, Ed Cumming described the series as being “as lavish and watchable as you’d expect – but lacking the humour and charm of its predecessor”.

The first season of The Gilded Age will run for nine episodes. In the UK, the series can be watched on NOW and Sky Atlantic.

Airing in the US on HBO Max, the show features a distinguished cast of actors, many of whom viewers will recognise from their work elsewhere.

Here’s a breakdown of the main cast of The Gilded Age...

Christine Baranski as Agnes van Rhijn

Christine Baranski in ‘The Gilded Age’, and a press photograph

Baranski has impressed audiences with her work across film, TV and the stage, with her best-known roles including Tanya in Mamma Mia!, Mary Sunshine in Chicago and Dr Beverley Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. Before playing the old-fashioned socialite Agnes in The Gilded Age, she also earned a staggering 15 Emmy nominations, winning once for her role in the sitcom Cybill.

Cynthia Nixon as Ada Brook

Cynthia Nixon plays Ada Brook in ‘The Gilded Age'

Playing Agnes’s sister, Ada, is Cynthia Nixon, the actor and former New York gubernatorial candidate best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City (as well as its recent sequel, And Just Like That...). Nixon is also celebrated for her stage work. You can read The Independent’s interview with her from 2020 here.

Carrie Coon as Bertha Russell

Carrie Coon is best known for her roles in ‘The Leftovers’ and ‘Fargo'

Coon is a character actor best known for her role in the HBO series The Leftovers and FX’s Fargo, as well as appearances in blockbuster films Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Avengers: Endgame. In The Gilded Age, she plays Bertha, a moneyed social climber looking to disrupt the rigid conventions of police New York society.

Morgan Spector as George Russell

Morgan Spector also starred in the David Simon miniseries ‘The Plot Against America'

Spector plays “new money” robber baron George Russell. The actor is best known for main roles in Allegiance, The Mist and The Plot Against America. He also joined the hit anti-terrorism thriller Homeland in season seven as Dante Allen.

Denée Benton as Peggy Scott

Benton is already well established as a Broadway star

In The Gilded Age, Benton plays Peggy, an up-and-coming young writer. Viewers may recognise Benton from UnREAL. She is best known in the US for her stage work, which includes playing the role of Eliza Hamilton in the Broadway smash hit Hamilton.

Louisa Jacobson as Mariana Brooke

Louisa Jacobson plays the role of Marian Brook in ‘The Gilded Age'

Jacobson plays the destitute Mariana, who starts the series by re-acquainting herself with her estranged aunts. In real life, Jacobson is the daughter of Meryl Streep and sculptor Don Gummer. The Gilded Age marks her first TV credit, though she has performed on stage before, including as Juliet in a 2019 production of Romeo and Juliet at the Old Globe.

Also in the cast are Taissa Farmiga (The Final Girls), Blake Ritson (Endeavour), Simon Jones (A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Harry Richardson (Poldark), Thomas Cocquerel (Billionaire Boys’ Club) and Jack Gilpin (Billions).

Nathan Lane (The Lion King) and Jeanne Tripplehorn (Basic Instinct) are among the other actors to appear in a recurring capacity.

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