BIRTH NAME: Victoria Smurfit
DATE OF BIRTH: March 31, 1974
BIRTH PLACE: Dublin, Ireland
HEIGHT: 5’8″ (1.73 m)
ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
MARITAL STATUS: dating Alistair Ramsden; Douglas Baxter (3 August 2000 – 2015) (divorced)
CHILDREN: Flynn Alexander Baxter, born November 7, 2008; Ridley Belle Baxter, born May 2, 2007; Evie Dorothy Baxter, born November 2, 2004
She was educated at two Anglican schools, Saint Columba’s College, Dublin and St. George’s School, Ascot, England. She did an A level in theater studies and then won a spot at Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre School at age 17, when her father gave her the ultimatum to either get into drama school or get a job.
In September 1995, she landed her first cinematic role, as Annagh, in the movie ‘The Run of the Country’. The drama was one of seven cinema movies made for the Sony owned Columbia Pictures and it portrays the relationship between a short tempered policeman and his rebellious son that becomes even more strenuous when the young man falls for a “wrong” girl.
In 1996 she was cast as Annabel in ‘The Leading Man’, which had its USA premiere on March 6, 1998.
In 1997, Victoria introduced herself to television viewers on the BBC mini-series ‘Ivanhoe’. Based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott, it was a produced by the BBC and A&E Network and consisted of six 50 minute episodes, airing from 12 January . 16 February 1997. Victoria portrayed Lady Rowena.
In 1997, she appeared as Helen in the romantic comedy ‘So This Is Romance?’ opposite John Hannah.
In 1998 she was cast as Hannah Randall in the BBC One dramatic television mini-series ‘Berkeley Square’. Set in 1902, it focused on three young women who are employed as nannies by wealthy families living on exclusive Berkeley Square in the West End of London. It had 10 episodes and aired from 10 May . 19 July 1998. Victoria starred opposite Clare Wilkie and Tabitha Wady.
Her breakthrough role came in 1998, on the BBC television series ‘Ballykissangel’, where she gained fame for her portrayal as Orla O’Connell. She appeared in a total of 24 episodes, over the course of seasons 4 and 5 (1998-1999).
In 2000, she appeared in the highly acclaimed drama ‘The Beach’, directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland, which was adapted for the film by John Hodge. She starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Guillaume Canet, Robert Carlyle and Tilda Swinton.
In 2000, she also played Clodagh in the British comedy ‘The Wedding Tackle’. She came back to the small screen as Dr. Helen Ferryhough, in ‘North Square’, a 10 episode British
television drama series written and created by Peter Moffat, and broadcast by Channel 4 from October 18 to December 20, 2000. Starring an ensemble cast, including Phil Davis, Rupert Penry-Jones, Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd, the programme is set around the practice of a barristers’ chambers in Leeds.
Victoria married advertising executive Douglas Baxter on 29 July 2000 in Surrey, England, and they have three children: Evie Dorothy, Ridley Belle and Flynn Alexander.
From 2000-2001, she got a recurring role as Jane Fitzpatrick in ‘Cold Feet’, a British comedy-drama television series produced by Granada Television for the ITV network. She appeared in 3 episodes over the course of seasons 3 and 4.
In 2002, she played Claire in the drama ‘The Last Great Wilderness’.
In 2002, she portrayed Suzie in the Oscar nominated British-French-American comedy-drama film, ‘About a Boy’. She played opposite Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, and Rachel Weisz. The film was theatrically released on 26 April 2002 by Universal Pictures and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In 2003, she played Nina, a Nazi villainess, in ‘Bulletproof Monk’, an American action comedy film directed by Paul Hunter in his directorial debut, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Seann William Scott, and Jaime King. The film is loosely based on the comic book by Michael Avon Oeming, where a Tibetan monk becomes a mentor to a young street kid whom he can teach to protect a scroll.
In 2003, she returned to the small screen as DCI Roisin Connor, a conflicted detective, in ‘Trial & Retribution’, a feature-length award-winning ITV police procedural television drama series that first aired on ITV1 on 19 October 1997 and ran for 12 seasons and 44 episodes until 13 February 2009. Victoria made her debut in season 7. David Hayman stars as the main protagonist of the series, DCS Michael “Mike” Walker. Throughout the series, he has two main sidekicks: DI Pat North (Kate Buffery) and DCI Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfit). The complete series was released on DVD on 14 July 2014.
In 2004, she appeared in episode 5 of the first season of the ‘The Alan Clark Diaries’ series as Clark’s Mistress.
Victoria gave birth to her first child, daughter Evie Dorothy Baxter in Dublin, Ireland on November 2, 2004, with her now estranged husband Douglas Baxter.
In 2006, she portrayed Olivia Keeling in ‘The Shell Seekers’, a British-German mini-series starring Academy Award-winners, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell. An 183 min adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher’s 1987 novel of the same name, it premiered on Germany’s ZDF on December 25, 2006, and in the United States on the Hallmark Channel on 3 May 2008.
On May 2, 2007, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Ridley Belle Baxter, with her now estranged husband Douglas Baxter.
On November 7, 2008, she gave birth to her third child, a son named Flynn Alexander Baxter, with her now estranged husband Douglas Baxter.
In 2009, she portrayed Dr. Edel Swift in ‘The Clinic’, an Irish primetime television medical drama series produced by Parallel Film Productions for RTE. She appeared in 5 episodes of season 7.
In 2010, she appeared as Ella Blunt in the British ITV television series ‘Agatha Christie’s Marple’, loosely based on the books and short stories by British crime novelist Agatha Christie. Her episode, 5×04 ‘The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side’, aired on May 23, 2010.
In 2011, she played Hilary in the TV movie ‘Honeymoon for One’, based on a woman who embarks on an unexpected adventure when she goes on her honeymoon to a beautiful Irish castle estate – alone.
In 2011, she also did the short ‘A Proper Send-Off’, which tells the story of a woman who carries the breast cancer gene, and the decisions she has to take with the support of her friends and family. Victoria played Natalie.
In 2012, Victoria and her family relocated to Santa Monica, California.
In 2012, she portrayed Sloane in ABC’s mystery thriller drama television series, ‘Missing’, starring Ashley Judd, Cliff Curtis and Sean Bean. Victoria’s episode, 1×03 ‘Ice Queen’, aired on March 29, 2012.
From 2013-2014 she returned to the small screen as a series regular – Lady Jayne Wetherby – in the British-American horror drama television series ‘Dracula’. The series, a re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, was produced by London-based Carnival Films. It aired in the United States on NBC and in the United Kingdom on Sky Living. The series was given a straight-to-series commitment of ten episodes but was canceled after one season. Victoria starred alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Katie McGrath, Jessica De Gouw. She was nominated for an IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Television for this role.
In 2014, she played Monica Giraldi in the CBS American police drama/mystery television series ‘The Mentalist’. Her episode, 6×22 ‘Blue Bird’ aired on May 18, 2014.
On May 28, 2014, she was cast as Monica in the biopic film ‘Amnesia: Who Are You?’. She was nominated for an IFS Award during the Independent Filmmakers Showcase IFS Film Festival, for Best Actress, which she won.
On July 18, 2014, she appeared as Emma in the drama ‘Among Ravens’ opposite Christian Campbell, Natalie Imbruglia, Russell Friedenberg and Amy Smart. It tells the story of a group of friends who reunite for their annual 4th of July weekend only to be confronted by Chad, a strange and beautiful nature photographer who begins to change their lives one by one.
In 2014, she portrayed Isabel Thoreau on USA Network’s original medical drama series ‘Rush’, starring Tom Ellis. Victoria’s episode, 1×02 ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’, aired on July 24, 2014.
In 2014, she was cast as Bex in the thriller ‘Bait’, opposite Joanne Mitchell. The film tells the story of two women, Bex and Dawn, who are trapped. They dream of taking control of their lives and owning their own upmarket cafe, but no one will give people them the opportunity.
In 2014, it was announced that she had been cast as the legendary Cruella de Vil in ABC’s fairy tale television series, ‘Once Upon a Time’. She appeared in a total of 14 episodes over the course of seasons 4 and 5 and she immediately became a fan favorite, so much so that she was brought back for a multi-episodes arc in season 5. Victoria’s version of Cruella is a witch who possesses the power to control animals. Her first appearance is in episode 4×11 ‘Heroes and Villains’, as part of the evil trio known as the Queens of Darkness: Ursula (Merrin Dungey) and Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten). Her last appearance is in episode 5×21 ‘Last Rites’. Before she was cast as Cruella, Victoria auditioned for the role of Colette, Belle’s mother. She was nominated for an IFTA Award during the Irish Film and Television Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama.
On February 20, 2015, it was announced that she had filed for divorce from her husband of 14 years, Douglas Baxter.
In 2015, she became an associate producer at the helm of the feature film ‘The Homecoming’, later renamed ‘Best Fake Friends’, in which she is also a leading lady. Victoria described it as “a Mean Girls for grownups. It’s a dramedy about how basically we don’t change, about 40-something women who think they’re still in their twenties and who are determined not to be invisible anymore.” She plays Nikki, the head mean girl, opposite Lauren Bowles’ Joy. The film had its USA debut on December 1, 2016.
In October 2015, Victoria and filmmaker Alistair Ramsden made public their romance.
Until 2015 she used to write an opinion blog for ‘The Dubliner’, which often featured anecdotes from her personal life.
Victoria supports and is a patron of the children’s NGO charity World Vision Ireland.
Her theater performances include Maire in Brian Friel’s ‘Translations’ at the Bristol Old Vic, ‘The Jungle Book’ for the RSC, and ‘Ten Rounds’ by Carlo Gebler at the Tricycle Theatre in London. She appeared on stage in Ireland for the first time as Carole in the hugely successful new play ‘October’ by Fiona Looney produced by Landmark Productions at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and Cork Opera House.
Victoria currently has two projects in post-production: ‘The Lears’, which focuses on world-renowned cutting-edge architect Davenport Lear. She plays Diana, Lear’s personal-assistant. The second project is the TV movie ‘MILK’, which follows three women as they chase self-fulfillment despite unexpected obstacles in and around Hollywood. Here she portrays Fran. She is also an executive producer for ‘MILK’.
Note: This is not an official biography. All information has been gathered from various interviews and
articles and is accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Biography © Victoria Smurfit Daily, 2017