Jennifer Ann "Jenny" Agutter (born 20 December 1952) is an English film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress in the mid 1960s, starring in the BBC television series The Railway Children and the film adaptation of the same book, before taking adult roles and moving to Hollywood.
She played Jessica 6 in Logan's Run, Jill Mason in Equus, Alex Price in An American Werewolf in London, and Joanne Simpson in Child's Play 2. Since the 1990s she has worked in sound recording, and she is a patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. After a break from acting she has appeared in several television series since 2000, including the British series Spooks.
Agutter was born in Taunton, Somerset, England. She is the daughter of Catherine (née Lynam) and Derek Brodie Agutter, a former British Army officer and entertainment organiser. As a child, she lived in Dhekelia (Cyprus) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaya). She was discovered at Elmhurst Ballet School when a casting agent looked for a young English-speaking girl for a film. She did not get the part, but he recommended her to the producers of East of Sudan (1964).
Agutter came to television audiences as Kirsty in the twice-weekly BBC series, The Newcomers. The character Kirsty was the daughter of the new managing director of Eden Brothers, the fictional firm that was at the center of the series. Agutter could appear only during school holidays. At this stage of her career she was listed in credits as Jennifer.
Later she played Roberta in The Railway Children and played the same part in Lionel Jeffries' 1970 film of the book. Her ingenuousness led to a more serious role in the thriller I Start Counting (1969). She also won an Emmy for her television role as Fritha in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of The Snow Goose (1971).
Agutter moved into adult roles, beginning with Walkabout (1971), playing a teenage schoolgirl lost with her younger brother in the Australian outback. She auditioned for the role in 1967 but funding problems delayed filming until 1969. The delay meant Agutter was 16 at the time of filming, which allowed the director to include nude scenes. Among them was a five-minute skinny-dipping scene, which was cut from the original US release. She said at the 2005 Bradford Film Festival at the National Media Museum that she was shocked by the film's explicitness but remains on good terms with director Nicolas Roeg.
Agutter moved to Hollywood at 21 and appeared in a number of films over the next decade, including The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Logan's Run (1976), Equus (1977) (for which she won a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress), Sweet William (1980), and An American Werewolf in London (1981).
Since 1990, Agutter has brought up her son and her work has been largely in sound recordings. She has also worked in support of charities, notably the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, of which she is a patron (she is also a carrier of the disease). She was a guest in series 6 of Red Dwarf, and appeared in the TV series TECX, The All New Alexei Sayle Show, and And the Beat Goes On. In 2000, she made her third appearance in The Railway Children, produced by Carlton TV and this time playing the mother. In 2002, Agutter featured in the BBC television series Spooks and in 2007, she starred in the first episode of the new series of David Jason's ITV television series Diamond Geezer. In 2007, she also guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio drama The Bride of Peladon. She appears as Sister Julienne in the 2012 television series Call the Midwife.
Agutter has stated that the innocence of the characters she played in early films, combined with the costumes and nudity in later adult roles such as Logan's Run (1976), Equus (1977) and An American Werewolf in London (1981), are "perfect fantasy fodder".
Agutter has appeared in numerous theatre productions since her stage debut in 1970, including stints at the National Theatre in 1972-73, the title role in a derivation of Hedda Gabler at the Roundhouse in 1980, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982-83. She is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.
Agutter remained single until 1989, when at an arts festival in Bath, Somerset, she met Johan Tham, a Swedish hotelier who was a director of Cliveden Hotel in Buckinghamshire. They married on 4 August 1990. Their son Jonathan was born on 25 December 1990. They live in London. Agutter owns a second home in Cornwall at the Lizard. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for charitable services.