Laura Donnelly was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1982. Donnelly spent her childhood appearing in the Irish ballets mounted by renowned dancer Patricia Mulholland. Firmly settled on her future as an actor, Donnelly would graduate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Musical and Dramatic Art in 2004 and almost immediately landed a co-starring role in a 2005 production of the David Mamet three-hander "Boston Marriage" with the b*spoke theatre company. She would make her screen debut that same year with roles on "Sugar Rush" (Channel 4, 2005-06) and "Casualty" (BBC, 1986-). And though the actor would continue to find roles on screen in projects like the thriller "Dread" (2009), she would find the most substantial roles on stage during this period, starring in "Dancing at Lughnasa" at Belfast's Lyric Theatre in 2007 and in "Romeo and Juliet" at Open Air Theatre at Regents Park in 2008. She undoubtedly garnered the most buzz for her acclaimed performance in Jez Butterworth's "The River" at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012, and Donnelly and Butterworth began a romantic partnership around this time as well. She moved with the production as it made the leap to Broadway, and though she was cast as Jenny Fraser on the hugely popular series "Outlander" (Starz!, 2014-) in 2014, she continued to collaborate with Butterworth on the stage. Their next project came in 2017 when Butterworth wrote the play "The Ferryman" loosely inspired by the disappearance of Donnelly's own uncle during "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. The play was a smashing success at the Royal Court Theatre, transitioning to the West End and eventually to Broadway, and Donnelly's performance was lauded by critics. She next took a role in the biopic "Tolkien" (2019) before starring on the science fiction series "The Nevers" (HBO, 2020-).