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Emily OBrien JPI LARGE

Emily O'Brien

Role Jana, Y&R

Show The Young and the Restless

The 411


BIRTHPLACE: Bedfordshire, England


YEARS ON SHOW: 2006-present


A native of Bedfordshire, England, Emily O’Brien moved to the States at the age of 10. The self-professed “theater girl” promptly began performing and studying acting. She appeared in plays at Carlsbad High School and at MiraCosta College, where she majored in theater. Her hard work paid off when she was named a finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Competition in 2005.

Upon moving to Los Angeles, O’Brien landed bit roles in the horror film Séance, and on the television series WHAT ABOUT BRIAN? and THE REALITY SHOW. She landed her big break when she was cast on YOUNG AND RESTLESS in 2006 as Jana Hawkes, a quirky young woman with a penchant for all things goth, who landed a job at the local coffeehouse and ended up falling in love with its owner, Kevin.

O’Brien has a supporting role in the upcoming feature film, Coma. The thriller, which stars Michael Madsen, is set to be released in late 2008. Her official Web site is

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Random facts

  • Constantly teased about her English accent upon moving to America, O'Brien forced herself to lose it by the time she was 14, only to have to resurrect it for her role as Jana on Y&R.
  • Was cast in a music video for the group Fall Out Boy that ran on MTV.
  • Has worked as an acting coach for young children.
  • Cites Audrey Hepburn as an icon she has always looked up to.
  • Speaks fluent Persian, as well as French and Spanish.

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