March 20, 1979
Before co-starring in the "Sex and the City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries" (CW 2013), British television and film actress Freema Agyeman was best known for her role as Martha Jones in the BBC science fiction television series "Doctor Who" (BBC 1963-89; 2005- ) and its spin-off series "Torchwood" (BBC 2006-11). Her multi-cultural background helped her avoid typecasting, making it possible for her to play a wide variety of roles.Frema Agyeman was born March 20, 1979 in London, the second child of Iranian immigrant Azar Agyeman and Ghania native Osei Agyeman. When Agyeman began her professional acting career, she changed her name to the more phonetic spelling of "Freema." Although her mother was Muslim and her father a Methodist, Agyeman was raised as a Catholic, attending the Our Lady's Convent RC High School. She spent the summer after graduating high school attending classes at Anna Scher Theatre School before she honed her craft studying performing arts and drama at the Middlesex University, where she graduated in 2000.Agyeman made her on-screen debut as Lola Wise in the British soap opera series "Crossroads" (ITV 2001-03), which was followed by a series of guest appearances in long-running British series like "Casualty" (BBC 1986- ) and "Silent Witness" (BBC 1996- ). In 2006, Agyeman landed her breakthrough role as Martha Jones in the famed science fiction series "Doctor Who." She auditioned three times for the show and displayed a level of versatility that impressed the show's producers, which prompted them to cast her in the enviable role as the Doctor's companion, replacing Billie Piper. Following the exposure of scoring a lead in one of Britain's greatest TV shows, Agyeman reprised her role as Martha Jones in the show's spin-off, "Torchwood," and in the animated movie "Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest" (2007)."Doctor Who" opened plenty of doors for Agyeman. While the series was in full swing, she was cast as Tattycoram in the Emmy-winning miniseries adaptation of Charles Dickens's "Little Dorrit" (BBC 2008). After her final series of "Doctor Who" wrapped, Agyeman sat in on live trials and consulted her law-degree-holding sister in preparation for her next regular television role as Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips in the British version of the popular American legal drama "Law & Order" (ITV 2009-14). In 2013, Agyeman co-starred in her first American series, The CW's "The Carrie Diaries," the prequel to the popular "Sex and the City" (HBO 1998-2004). In the 1980s-set prequel, she played the laid-back Larissa Loughlin, an editor at Interview magazine who serves as mentor to a teenage Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb).