Bessie Louvin
played by Chasten Harmon
  • Character bio
  • Actor bio

A perpetual outsider, local prostitute Bessie Louvin spent most of her childhood trying to escape from a hellish orphanage. And though those years of fending for herself have left her with an unparalleled resourcefulness, it didn’t leave her much in terms of personal security or financial independence. Now Bessie has come to Holden seeking both, though as a black woman in rural Iowa, obtaining either is no short order. To build a decent life for herself, Bessie is putting her lifetime of con artistry to work, manipulating every john, playing every angle, and even leveraging herself against her own biological father, whose standing in Holden would be tarnished if word of his bastard daughter hit town. But things change when Bessie receives a welcome surprise in Pinkerton detective, Creeley Turner. His consistent cash flow and need for a literate prostitute afford Bessie an opportunity she can’t let slip. And though at first Bessie plays him like any other john, she soon finds that Creeley and she are cut from similar cloth.

Chasten Harmon is a New York-based actress who holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama ('15). Having performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and a National Tour, Chasten is new to the screen, making her film debut last December in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson. Chasten has also appeared as a recurring guest star on Elementary, and has guest starred on Braindead and Pure Genius. She is thrilled to be bringing the role of Bessie Louvin to life in her first series regular role on the new USA drama Damnation, premiering November 2017.