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Hayley Elizabeth Atwell was born on April 5, 1982 in London, England. Named after actress Hayley Mills, her parents are both motivational speakers. Her father is from Kansas City, Missouri, and his mother from England, so Hayley has dual citizenship. Her father is also part Native American, and works part time as a shaman. Although her parents divorced when she was just two, she split time between the both of them, living with her father in Kansas City during the summers. He would teach her things such as how to read tarot cards and they would spend time in sweat lodges in order to help Hayley get in touch with her feelings, something which helped her immensely as an actress.
Hayley trained to be an actress at The Guildhall School of Drama and Music, where she graduated from in 2005. From there, she began acting on British television, mostly on TV movies such as "Whatever Love Means" and "Mansfield Park." Her first big break, however, came in the form of a mini-series called "The Line of Beauty" in 2006. In 2007, she added her first feature film to her resume when she starred in Woody Allen's "Cassandra's Dream" alongside Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. She would next star in "The Duchess" with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes the next year.
While her acting career continues to grow, she is most famous here in the U.S. for her role as British agent Peggy Carter in Marvel's superhero film "Captain America: The First Avenger." She is set to reprise the role in 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." However, her role will most likely not be as prominent.
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