As Zoe Bartlet on television’s The West Wing, Elisabeth Moss played America’s first daughter as a woman of strength, independence, and resilience. Strong women have been a trademark of Moss’, whose career resurged with her work as Peggy Olson on Mad Men, for which she earned no less than six Emmy nominations.
So it should come as no surprise that Moss also excelled playing ahead-of-her-time feminist Heidi Holland in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway. Though she first appeared Off-Broadway in the Drama Desk-nominated play Franny’s Way and made her Broadway debut in 2008 with Speed-the-Plow, Moss’ star turn in the 2015 revival of Wasserstein’s play earned her a Tony nomination.
Though Moss has built a career in acting, she started out with aspirations of becoming a dancer. She studied ballet at the School of American Ballet and later at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. before becoming an actor.
In 2014, she won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of detective Robin Griffin in the miniseries Top of the Lake. Moss now leads the new Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale. Set in a dystopian near-future society where fertility rates have plummeted, Moss plays Offred, a handmaid who must submit to ritualized rape with her male master in order to carry children for him and his wife. After its first season, we’ll see if Moss can pull off the long-awaited win.
Tune in to the 69th Annual Emmy Awards September 17 on CBS.