Born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland to locally renowned publicans Theresa and Brian Fairley. She attended a Roman Catholic grammar school. As a teenager, she became a member of the Ulster Youth Theatre, where she fell in love with acting. Upon graduation, she moved to Belfast where she honed her skills with the repertory company Fringe Benefits, alongside a fellow alumnus of the Ulster Youth Theatre, Conleth Hill.
She appeared in a range of British television shows, including The Bill, Holby City and Heartbeat. Some of her earlier roles were as Cathy Michaels on ITV1’s Inspector Morse in the episode titled “The Way Through The Woods” and as Nancy Phelan in Lovejoy in the episode 9 of Season 3 titled “Smoke Your Nose”.
She later took over the role of Mrs. Granger (Hermione’s Mother) in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films.
On 19 March 2010, it was announced that she would play the role of Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones replacing Jennifer Ehle who played the character in the original pilot episode. As the formidable matriarch of the Stark family she has been applauded as one of the most powerful and complex women on screen in recent years.
She was cast for the show after being seen as “Lady Macbeth” in a play opposite Ewan Mcgregor. She was part of the initial starring cast and remains a member of the starring cast for the second and third seasons.
Fairley and actor Keith Allen, co-star Alfie Allen’s real life father, previously played a married couple in the film The Others.
On 4 June 2013, E! news confirmed that she had joined the cast of the USA Network series Suits for its third season. Fairley will take on the recurring role of Ava Hessington.
Michelle looks forward to meeting all her fans at both the Brisbane and Adelaide 2013 Supanova Expos. There are signing* and photo* sessions throughout each Saturday (10.30am to 5.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 5pm) excluding breaks. Michelle is conducting a general admission Q&A each Saturday * Autograph ($50 each) and photograph ($60 each) fees apply.
Michelle will also be appearing with George R.R. Martin at the Sydney Opera House event and the Wheeler Centre event in Melbourne.
Please note that the “Winter is Coming” ticket now includes photo and autographs with Michelle in all cities.
- Guest confirmed health and other commitments pending