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Katheryn Winnick Biography – Hollywood ‘Martial Arts’ Queen

Real Name: Katheryn Winnick
Profession: Actress
Birthplace: Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Education:  York University
Citizenship: Canada, United States

Katheryn Winnick (born December 17, 1977) is a Canadian actress. She is known for her starring roles in the television series Vikings (2013–2020), Wu Assassins (2019), and Big Sky (2020–2023), and her recurring role on the television series Bones (2010–2011). She also starred in the films Amusement (2008), Choose (2010), A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2012), The Art of the Steal (2013), Polar (2019), and The Marksman (2021).

Katheryn Winnick Biography
Born December 17, 1977 (age 46)
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Years active 1999–present
Education  York University
Citizenship Canada, United States

Early life

Winnick was born in Etobicoke, Ontario, and is of Ukrainian descent. She spoke Ukrainian as her first language and did not begin speaking English until she was eight years old. She began training in martial arts at age seven, and obtained her first black belt at 13. By age 21, she had started three Taekwondo schools. She taught Taekwondo and self-defense to actors while completing her degree in kinesiology at York University, Toronto. Winnick studied at and is an alumna of the William Esper Studio.

Winnick started acting as a young girl at her community centre in Toronto. She had directed plays in her high school and won a scholarship for drama and directing while attending Richview Collegiate Institute.


Winnick entered the film industry by teaching martial arts to actors on movie sets; the experience inspired her to pursue professional acting. She was then cast as a series regular on Student Bodies.

Since then, she has appeared in many films, including Stand Up GuysFailure to LaunchLove & Other Drugs, and Killers. She has guest-starred in numerous television shows, most notably House, The GladesBonesLaw & OrderLaw & Order: Criminal IntentCSICSI: NYCSI: MiamiCriminal MindsPerson of Interest, and Nikita. In Bones, she portrayed Hannah Burley, a war correspondent who had been posted to cover the war in Afghanistan and becomes a love interest for main character Seeley Booth.

Winnick starred in the comedy-drama film Cold Souls, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2009. In 2011, she was cast in a guest role on The CW’s spy drama Nikita. In 2013, she starred in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III and appeared in the comedy The Art of the Steal. She also joined History Channel’s Vikings, starring in the role of Lagertha, a legendary figure in Viking history. In July 2017, Winnick stated on her Twitter account that she had been cast for a role in what was thought to be a film project, and that it would be announced at the San Diego Comic-Con International. She was later revealed to be cast as a main character in the Nazi Zombies mode of the video game Call of Duty: WWII.

In July 2018, it was announced that Winnick had been cast in the series regular role of Christine “C.G.” Gavin on the Netflix seriesWu Assassins. In February 2020, Winnick was announced to play the starring role of Jenny Hoyt on the ABC crime drama series Big Sky.

PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 19: Actress Katheryn Winnick of the film “Cold Souls” poses for a portrait at the Film Lounge Media Center during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2009 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Carr/Getty Images)

Personal life

Winnick stated she is “an American citizen as well as a Canadian” citizen.

In March 2022, Winnick, together with her mother, created the charity “The Winnick Foundation” to raise funds for the needs of Ukraine. In November 2022, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs banned Winnick from entering Russia, as well as 99 other Canadians, in response to international sanctions.



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Biohazardous Jennifer
2002 Smoking Herb Marcia
The It Factor Herself
Fabled Liz
Two Weeks Notice Tiffany
2003 What Alice Found Julie
2004 50 First Dates Young Woman
Satan’s Little Helper Jenna Whooly
Going the Distance Trish
Our Time Is Up Waif Short film
2005 Hellraiser: Hellworld Chelsea
2006 Cloud 9 Olga
Kiss Me Again Chalice
Failure to Launch Melissa
2007 When Nietzsche Wept Lou Salome
2008 Amusement Tabitha
2009 Cold Souls Sveta
2010 Tranced Cleo
Radio Free Albemuth Rachel Brady
Choose Fiona Wagner
Killers Vivian
Love & Other Drugs Lisa
2011 Bat $#*! Crazy Girlfriend
2012 Stand Up Guys Oxana
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III Ivana
2013 The Art of the Steal Lola
2017 The Dark Tower Laurie Chambers
2018 Speed Kills Emily Gowen
2019 Polar Vivian
2020 Wander Elsa Viceroy
2021 The Marksman Sarah Pennington
Flag Day Patty Vogel Also co-producer


Year Title Role Notes
1999 PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Suzie Episode: “Sacrifices”
Student Bodies Holly Benson Recurring role, 5 episodes
2000 Relic Hunter Roselyn Episode: “Nine Lives”
2001 Screech Owls Brianna Styles Episode: “Face Off”
2002 Tracker Laura 2 episodes
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Karyn Bennett Episode: “Seizure”
2003 Oz Liesel Robson Episode: “4giveness”
Wild Card Kendall Episode: “Hell Week”
10-8: Officers on Duty Lucy Johnson Episode: “Lucy in the Sky”
2004 CSI: Miami Nicole Harjo Episode: “Rap Sheet”
1-800-Missing Julie Snyder Episode: “In the Midnight Hour”
2005 CSI: NY Lisa Kay Episode: “Corporate Warriors”
Trump Unauthorized Ivana Trump Television film
2006 Criminal Minds Maggie Lowe Episode: “Somebody’s Watching”
13 Graves Amy Television film
2007 House Eve Episode: “One Day, One Room”
Tipping Point Nina Patterson Television film
Law Dogs Lisa Bennett Television film
2008 Law & Order Sarah Shipley Episode: “Excalibur”
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Carrie Conlon Episode: “Faithfully”
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Maureen Martin Episode: “One to Go”
2010 The Gates Kat Russo Episode: “Identity Crisis”
2010–2011 Bones Hannah Burley Recurring role, 11 episodes
2011 The Glades Valerie Dorman Episode: “Lost and Found”
Nikita Kelly Episode: “Partners”
2012 Transporter: The Series Darcy Daniels Episode: “Hot Ice”
2013–2020 Vikings Lagertha Main role
2015 Person of Interest Frankie Wells Episode: “Skip “
2019 Wu Assassins Christine “C.G.” Gavin Main role and also co-executive producer
2020–2023 Big Sky Jenny Hoyt Main role

Video games

As a director

  • Wu Assassins (2019), episode: “Legacy”
  • Vikings (2020), episode: “Valhalla Can Wait”

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Refs.
2012 Beverly Hills Film Festival Best Actress Children of the Air Won
2014 Canadian Screen Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Vikings Nominated
Women’s Image Network Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Vikings Nominated
2015 Critics’ Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Vikings Nominated
Golden Maple Awards Best Actress in a TV series broadcast in the U.S. Vikings Nominated
Women’s Image Network Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Vikings Nominated
2016 Women’s Image Network Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Vikings Nominated

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