American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Lily Rabe (born June 29, 1982) is an American stage and film actress, that has been an integral member of the American Horror Story ensemble with her numerous roles in the series.


Rabe was born in 1982 in New York City, New York in the Upper West Side. She is the daughter of playwright David Rabe and actress Jill Clayburgh. She has a younger brother, Michael Rabe, an actor and playwright, and an older half-brother, Jason Rabe, a musician.

On stage, she has appeared in the Broadway revival of Steel Magnolias, and as Portia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice.

She guest-starred on the Ryan Murphy-created "Nip/Tuck" and on three shows in the L&O franchise in unrelated roles; "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU, and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent". She was also in two episodes of "Medium" and three episodes of "The Good Wife".

She has two films in development, biopic The First she will play silent film actress and pioneer businesswoman, Mary Pickford[1] and the Phil Joanou directed horror mockumentary The Veil. She returned to TV to star in the ABC sci-fi drama series "The Whispers" in 2015. Unfortunately, it was not picked up for a second season. In 2016, she starred in the comedy-drama film, "Miss Stevens" as the title character.

Work on American Horror Story[]

She first appeared as ghostly socialite Nora Montgomery in Murder House. Rabe returned as Sister Mary Eunice, a shy nun possessed by Satan in Asylum and Freak Show. In Coven and Apocalypse, she portrayed bohemian witch Misty Day and the ghost of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Hotel.

In Roanoke, she portrayed Shelby Miller, a victim of a colonial haunted house and, along with Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding, Jr., stars in all episodes of the season.

Rabe later portrayed the vengeful ghost of Lavinia Richter in 1984. In February 2020, Ryan Murphy confirmed her return for Double Feature. Lily Rabe starred in both parts, or "features": she portrayed Doris Gardner, a former teacher surviving in an artistic retreat in "Red Tide", and a fictional take on Amelia Earhart, a famous aviator in the second part, "Death Valley".

So far, all the characters Lily Rabe portrayed are responsible to someone else's death in some capacity. Rabe also never portrayed a character surviving the season they were introduced into without undergoing at least some drastic change to their nature.


  • Along with Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, Rabe is one of three cast members to feature in nine seasons of American Horror Story. Her only absence was in Cult.
  • She has played alongside "AHS" co-star Finn Wittrock in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • She received a Tony nomination for her performance as Portia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice.
  • Lily Rabe is one of the twenty-five cast members that portrayed the same character in different seasons.
  • Despite two of Rabe's characters having a primary plot surrounding their motherhood, both cases are shown to be significantly flawed. Nora Montgomery is shown to have a lack of maternal instinct and merely obsesses over the loss of her child, whilst Lavinia Richter's sense of favoritism is evident in her treatment of Benjamin and Bobby.


Episode appearances for Lily Rabe
Story or Series Character Episodes
Murder House Nora Montgomery
Asylum Sister Mary Eunice
Coven Misty Day
Freak Show Sister Mary Eunice Orphans
Hotel Aileen Wuornos
Roanoke Shelby Miller
Apocalypse Misty Day
1984 Lavinia Richter
Double Feature: Red Tide Doris Gardner
Double Feature: Death Valley Amelia Earhart