Michelle Fairley is a Northern Irish actress, best known for her roles as Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Dr. Ava Hessington in multiple episodes of USA Network series Suits, and as terrorist Margot Al-Harazi, a main antagonist in 24: Live Another Day.
Fairley was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, to publicans Theresa and Brian Fairley. She attended a Roman Catholic grammar school. As a teenager, she became a member of the Ulster Youth Theatre. Upon graduation, she moved to Belfast where she honed her skills with the repertory company Fringe Benefits, alongside a fellow alumnus of the Ulster Youth Theatre, Conleth Hill.