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What Other Movies, Shows Has Suits Star (and Duchess of Sussex) Meghan Markle Been In?
Before she was The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was an actor on the hit legal drama.
As the many, many people binging Suits know, before she was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was Rachel Zane, one of the main characters of the USA Network legal drama. Since her marriage to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Markle has, understandably, become better known as a Royal rather than an actress. Here’s everything you need to know about the Suits star-turned-Duchess.
What Was Meghan Markle’s Early Life Like?
Rachel Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles on August 4, 1981. Her mother, Doria Ragland, was a former makeup artist and a social worker while her father, Thomas Markle Sr., was a somewhat prominent television lighting director and director of photography. Markle is mixed race, as her mother is Black and her father white. When she was 2 years old, her parents split, and they divorced four years after that. Markle has since become estranged from her father and her half-siblings, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr.
Though she occasionally visited the sets of the daytime soaps her father worked on as a child, Markle did not pursue a career as a child actor. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 with a double major in theater and international studies, and she pursued but ultimately did not go through with a career in politics. With the exception of a background role in an episode of General Hospital, which her dad worked on, Markle did not start acting until after college.
What shows & movies has Meghan Markle acted in?
Markle’s first real role came in 2004 when she was a guest star on an episode of the sci-fi legal drama Century City. She also had roles in episodes of The War at Home and CSI: NY in 2006. Her most prominent role on TV in the ‘00s, though wasn’t exactly acting but as one of the “briefcase girls” from the NBC game show Deal or No Deal. There are 34 episodes of the future Duchess of Sussex holding a briefcase that may or may not contain a hefty figure of prize money.
She had small roles in the 2010 films Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me, and The Candidate, and she also was in the first two episodes of the sci-fi series Fringe’s sophomore season and the 2011 movie Horrible Bosses. It was in 2011, though, when Markle was cast in Suits, where she played one of the main characters for the first seven of the show’s nine seasons. Rachel Zane, Markle’s character, was a talented paralegal despite her struggles to pass the LSAT, and most of her arc across the seven seasons she’s in focuses on her attempts to become an attorney and her relationship with protagonist Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams).
While Rachel and Mike eventually get married in the show, it is not the most famous wedding that Markle has been a part of … obviously.
When did Meghan Markle start dating Prince Harry?
Prior to meeting Prince Harry, Markle had been married to film producer Trevor Engelson, but they divorced in 2014 after 10 years of marriage. In 2016, Markle and Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend and they connected on Instagram. (Stars! They’re just like us!)
Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement in November 2017, and Markle announced her intention to quit acting and become a British citizen. The pair were married on May 19, 2018, in a lavish Royal Wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Many of Markle’s former Suits co-stars attended the event.
What has Meghan Markle done since the wedding?
Markle spent two years doing official Royal duties alongside Prince Harry, traveling to dozens of countries, and the pair welcomed their son, Archie, on May 6, 2019. All the while, Markle faced an onslaught of criticism and harassment — much of it racist — from the British press and others. In January 2020, Markle and Prince Harry announced they were stepping back from Royal duties, not quite renouncing their titles but distancing themselves from the Royal Family and giving up the financial support that came with it. After what’s known as Megxit (a play on Brexit), the pair took to primarily living in the United States. Their daughter, Lilibet, was born on June 4, 2021.
Though she’s quit acting (and essentially quit being a professional Royal), Markle still works. She narrated the 2020 Disneynature's documentary Elephant, and in September 2020, Markle and Prince Harry signed a deal with Netflix. An animated series called Pearl that Markle was set to co-produce for the streaming service fell through, but in 2022 the docuseries Harry & Meghan debuted on Netflix. They’ve also worked with Spotify, and Markle had a podcast called Archetypes that ran for 12 episodes starting in 2022 before Spotify canceled it. Markle also wrote The Bench, a New York Times bestselling picture book, in June 2021. The pair are also invested in non-profit and charity work.
To date, no other member of the Suits cast has married into the British Royal Family, but we will update this post when and if that changes.
Watch all nine seasons of Suits on Peacock.