How Did Claire Holt Rise To Prominence as an Actress and Why Did She Divorce Her First Husband?

To fans of The CW’s The Originals, Claire Holt is the badass and romantic Rebekah Mikaelson. To fans of Pretty Little Liars, she is Samara Cook, and as for Australian viewers who saw her grow as an actress on H20: Just Add Water, she will always be the proficient swimmer, Emma. All three fanbases are representations of Claire Holt’s enduring legacy on television, and the ability to connect with the audience through her performances. It is a skill she learned on the job in her native Australia and carried across the Pacific to the United States, where she gained international fame as a TV star.

Claire Holt Launched Her Career in a Children’s TV Show

To have a career that features not one, but three credits in major television with popular reach is an achievement for any actor. Claire Holt’s appearances in CW’s The Vampire Diaries and The Originals put among actors who got the rare chance of appearing in multiple popular TV projects. When she made her debut in The Vampire Diaries as Rebekah Mikaelson in 2011, it was the culmination of the hard work that had defined a life that began on June 11, 1988, in Brisbane, Queensland in Australia.

She was born to John Holt and Ann Holt, along with three siblings – David, Rachel, and Madeline. Claire grew up in Brisbane, Queensland. Early into her formal education life, Claire Holt got diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) in the first year of her high school education. Her hyperactivity caused her to participate in several physical activities like water polo, volleyball, and swimming. Those who have seen her in The Originals are familiar with how much of a badass she is, but she is equally a badass in real life – she has a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do.

A year after she graduated from Stuartholme School in 2005, she made her debut on camera for a children’s television series by Network Ten, H2O: Just Add Water. She starred in two seasons of the show, although the show ran for a third season. She opted to star in another film, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow. After she appeared in the film in 2009, she starred in Mean Girls 2, playing the character Chastity Meyer in 2011.

2011 was Claire Holt’s Breakout Year

2011 turned out to be a great year for Claire Holt’s career. She got cast in The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, the ABC drama mystery. She debuted her character, Rebekah Mikaelson on The Vampire Diaries, in the third episode of the third season. Holt would later go on to appear 37 more episodes over three years between the third and fifth season.

Claire Holt
Claire Holt with Ian Somerhalder in Vampire Diaries: image source

As Rebekah, Claire played the empathetic second daughter of the show’s original Vampire family. She spent her life in search of love and fear of her ruthless half-brother, Klaus Mikaelson. Although her character found its footing in the spin-off, The Originals, her interspersed appearances on TVD made her a fan favorite. However, her character was not always well-received by critics who did not appreciate her tragic love arcs.

In the same year, she debuted in another popular drama, Pretty Little Liars, although with considerably lesser impact. She starred as Samara Cook in a five-episode story arc that began towards the end of the first season and wrapped in the early parts of the second. Claire Holt also made her first appearance in a feature-length film, in the TV movie, Mean Girls 2 as Chastity Meyer. Created as a follow up to the big screen original, Mean Girls 2 was poorly received, among audiences and professional critics. As of August 2020, it has a 4.1 rating on IMDb from 20,000+ reviews.

Later Years and Continued Success of CW’s The Originals

In between her time on The Vampire Diaries, Claire Holt starred in Blue Like Jazz. In the big-screen comedy-drama, she played Penny, as the female lead of the Kickstarter-funded film. Unfortunately, the heart and effort that went into the making of them were not rewarded at the box office or by critics. The film received poor reviews and currently holds a 5.9 rating in IMDb. It also failed at the box office, making a global gross of $595,018 on a $1.2 million budget.

As Claire Holt’s struggle to find success in film continued, she made further television appearances and expanded her presence in 2013 with a series-regular role in The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. After the sixteenth episode of bringing Rebecca Mikaelson to life in the first season, Claire Holt exited the show as a series regular. She did, however, continue appearing in each season as a guest role until the show’s end in 2018.

Throughout the series’ 92 episodes, she starred in 37 of them. Her only award recognition came via the show in 2014, for Choice TV Actress, from the Teen Choice Awards. Throughout her time on The Originals, she continued her search for film success with 47 Meters Down in 2017. Her swimming skills came in handy in her lead role as Kate in the survival thriller, 47 Meters Down, but it was not enough to make it a critical hit. It was, however, a commercial success, making $62 million on a $5.3 million budget.

Since the CW show ended in 2018, she has made further film appearances in The Divorce Party, A Violent Separation, and Painted Beauty. While Claire Holt played a lead role in all of them, neither of them was a commercial or critical success.

A Modest Career for a Modest Net Worth

Despite making her debut more than a decade ago, Claire Holt has been unable to find significant success in a leading capacity. Her biggest onscreen accomplishments have come playing supporting characters in The Originals and The Vampire Diaries and one successful leading role in the film, 47 Meters Down.

As a result, the actress has been unable to command a huge amount in salary. With just over 15 credits in her filmography, she has only been able to amass a modest net worth of $500,000.

Holt’s First Marriage Ended Over ‘Irreconcilable Differences’

We are not exactly sure of when their relationship began. Regardless, after a presumably long period of dating, Claire Holt announced her engagement to Matt Kaplan, a television producer, on July 14, 2015. The excited actress shared the news on a now-deleted Instagram post. About one year into their engagement, the couple rang the wedding bell, on April 29, 2016. The couple had a lovely wedding, with Holt in a strapless dress and her husband in a blue suit. Unfortunately, the joys of marriage did not last for the couple.

Claire Holt
image source

Just before they celebrated their first anniversary, Matt Kaplan filed for divorce on April 27, 2017. According to his filing, the couple separated on April 24. Claire Holt’s filing, however, put their separation on April 27 and requested a change of her last name back to Holt. Both cited irreconcilable differences in the divorce papers. However, subsequent development suggests the couple may have gotten divorced over an affair by Holt.

Seven months after their divorce, Claire got engaged to the real estate executive, Andrew Joblon. It is not impossible that Holt and Joblon met, began a relationship, and got engaged within a few months. But the speed of the chain of events and swiftness of the divorce is cause for a few raised eyebrows. Expectedly, neither of these has been confirmed by either Holt or Kaplan.

Claire Holt Has A Child with Andrew Joblon

It may not have started on an ideal note, but Claire Holt’s relationship with Andrew Joblon has yielded fruits. Shortly after getting engaged on December 3, 2017, Holt suffered a miscarriage in March 2018. Later in the year, in August 2018, they got married. Two months after, she announced she was pregnant again.

The couple finally gave birth to their first child, a son, James Holt Joblon, on March 28, 2019. About one year after, on April 3, 2020, she announced again that she was expecting her second child, a girl, due later in the year. Aside from their son and soon-to-arrive daughter, the couple also has a dog named Teddy.


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