Esther "Essie" Davis (born 1970) is an Australian actress.
Born and raised in Hobart, Tasmania, she is the daughter of locally famed artist George Davis. She emerged from the Old Nick Company at the University of Tasmania in the late 1980s. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney.
Her acting career began with the Bell Shakespeare company when, straight out of NIDA, she was cast as Juliet in the 1993 production of Romeo and Juliet.
Her film career started with her role in the all-Australian 1995 movie Dad and Dave: On Our Selection, which starred Geoffrey Rush, Leo McKern, and Joan Sutherland. Her biggest movie roles are in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, director Richard Flanagan's 1998 Tasmanian film The Sound of One Hand Clapping, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.
In 2003 she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her UK performance in the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire. In 2004 she starred in a Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. In 2005 she appeared as Mrs. Nellie Lovett in the BBC production of Sweeney Todd with Ray Winstone.
In the 2008 film Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger she plays Esther's controlling mother. Also in 2008, she appeared in the film Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The same year, Davis played Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Davis returned to Tasmania to launch the Tasmanian Theatre Company in 2008 and help support local theatre while encouraging youth to continue participating in the arts. In 2011, she received a Logie Award nomination for her role as Anouk in The Slap. Since February 2012, Davis has played the central character in ABC Television's high-rating costume drama, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
Davis married Justin Kurzel in 2002. They have two children.
The Custodian (1993) as Jilly
Lilian's Story (1995) as Zara
Dad and Dave: On Our Selection (1995) as Kate
River Street (1996) as Wendy
Blackrock (1997) as Det. Gilhooley
Water Rats, "Dead or Alive" and "Blood Trail" (both 1997) as Senior Detective Nicola Bourke
The Two-Wheeled Time Machine (1997) as Young Alice
The Ripper (1997, TV) as Evelyn Bookman
The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1998) as Jean
Kings in Grass Castles (1998, TV miniseries) as Mary Costello
Murder Call, "Deadfall" (1998) as Judy St. John
Halifax f.p.: "The Spider and the Fly" (2000, TV) as Alison Blount
Corridors of Power, episode #1.4 (2001) as Sophie
Young Lions, 2 episodes in 2002 as Julie Morgan
The Pact (2003) as Helene Davis
Enter the Matrix (2003) (video game) as Maggie
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) as Maggie
After the Deluge (2003, TV miniseries) as Beth
Temptation (2003, TV) as Julie
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) as Catharina Vermeer
Code 46 (2003) as Doctor
The Matrix Revolutions (2003) as Maggie
Isolation (2005) as Orla
The Silence (2005) as Juliet Moore
Sweeney Todd (2006, TV) as Mrs. Nellie Lovett
Charlotte's Web (2006) as Mrs. Arable
Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger (2008) as Grace Blueburger
Australia (2008) as Catherine Carney Fletcher
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010) Voice only as Marella
South Solitary (2010) as Alma Stanley
Cloudstreet (2010) as Dolly Pickles
Play School (2011) as herself
The Slap (2011, TV) as Anouk
Burning Man (2011) as Karen
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2012, TV) as Phryne Fisher
The Babadook (2014) as Amelia
A Poet in New York (2014) as Caitlin Thomas