Born and raised in Nottingham, England, Samantha Morton had a tumultuous childhood. Separated from her parents by social services, Morton was raised in the English foster care system. At a young age, she found acting as an outlet, enrolling in the Central Junior Television Workshop when she was 13, and soon after began appearing on screen. Her first credits came in 1991 in supporting roles on the series' "Soldier Soldier" (ITV, 1991-97) and "Boon" (ITV, 1986-1992). Morton began to come into her own in the mid 1990s when she landed her first series leading role on "Band of Gold" (ITV, 1995-1997), played the title role in "Jane Eyre" (ITV, 1997), and the lead female role in the adaptation of "The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling" (BBC, 1997). In 1999, Morton broke through to international audiences with her role as a mute woman opposite Sean Penn in the Woody Allen film "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999). The film earned her universal accolades and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for an Academy Award® as well as a Golden Globe, among others. 2002 was another landmark year for the actress, earning further praise for her roles as the crucial 'precog' in "Minority Report" (2002), starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, as well as a leading role in "In America" (2002), which earned her an Oscar nomination, this one for Best Actress. Morton continued to work in supporting roles, but also found time to direct her first film "Unloved" (2009), a semi-autobiographical story that she also wrote. In 2016, Morton earned accolades as one of the chief antagonists in "Fantastic Creatures and Where to Find Them" (2016). The next year she began a series regular role, playing a madam on the period show "Harlots" (Hulu, 2017-).