A native of Essex, England, Michelle Dockery graduated from England's Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2004. She then spent 14 months at London's National Theatre before she landed her breakthrough role as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion at London's renowned Old Vic Theatre.
A jazz singer, Dockery and her Downton Abbey on-screen mother Elizabeth McGovern share a passion for music. They have recorded together and Dockery has appeared with McGovern's band Sadie and the Hotheads for several festival appearances.
Dockery's other television credits include Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather, the British trilogy Red Riding, Masterpiece's Return to Cranford and The Turn of the Screw. She appeared in the 2011 feature film Hanna, and is slated to appear in Tom Stoppard's upcoming Anna Karenina alongside Masterpiece alums Keira Knightly (Doctor Zhivago) and Matthew Macfadyen (Any Human Heart).