Caitriona Balfe Cast as Claire Fraser in ‘Outlander’ TV Series

Caitriona Balfe

Fans of the book series and the upcoming TV series on Starz now have their Claire (Beauchamp Randall Fraser).  Author Diana Gabaldon tweeted the news minutes ago that Caitriona Balfe will be playing the time traveling heroine who meets future husband, Jamie Fraser, in the 1700s.

Here is what Diana said about Caitriona:

”Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did,” Gabaldon said. “The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’  She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks.”


And here is what Ronald D. Moore had to say about her:

“The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show.  Outlander is told from Claire’s point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her,” said Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore.  “Caitriona wasn’t on anyone’s radar, she wasn’t on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special.  Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we’d found our Claire.  At its heart, Outlander is the story of two people — Claire and Jamie — their loves and losses, their adventures and tragedies, and now we finally have them both.”




It has been a lengthy search that apparently included multiple screen tests.

Caitriona Balfe was born in Ireland in 1979.  According to IMDB, she just recently started acting in major productions in 2010.  She can be seen in the upcoming Escape Plan as well as Now You See Me, Super 8, and Crush.  She has also appeared on the TV series H+.  If you Google Image her, she was/is apparently also a model.

The first photo below was the other photo attached to the press release.  The one at the top of the post is the other photo.

*Update* Another official photo of Caitriona Balfe has been added below.


Caitriona Balfe

Caitriona Balfe 2 caitriona-027-3 Caitriona Balfe 3 caitriona_balfe_3 caitriona_balfe_6


Source: Starz, IMDB

  • Susan Smallwood

    Will there be colored contacts involved in the filming of the show to emulate Claire’s whiskey colored eyes? It always stuck with me. Her eye color. Most heroines have “deep blue, the color of the ocean” eyes and yet, here is a character with a version of brown and very much attractive, and strong and amazing.

    • April

      Of course she’ll have contacts 🙂 Agree–the sherry eyes are important!

  • April

    Caitriona Balfe will make a fantastic Claire, I think! Thrilled with the choice. And if Diana Gabaldon says she is Claire, I’m not one to argue with the writer who brought her to life.

    I can’t wait to see her in full wardrobe and make up. I think she will pair nicely with Sam Heughan–and as she is easy on the eyes–hopefully she will bring a male audience to view the shows along with their significant others.

    Caitriona has received a lot of support from the fan=base–I’ve not heard one person quibble about her as Claire.

  • Karen Bischoff-Smith

    Facially I think she’s perfect but she looks far to skinny without enough curves. Hopefully they will be adding some curves!

    • Patty

      Good luck with the wish for curves. Heaven forbid we have a woman with curves as a heroine on tv… also, remember how much Jamie loved Claire’s ‘fine wide arse?” sorry, Claire was not skinny.

  • Jamie dees

    I’m very disappointed they didn’t change her eye color. I’ve read every book twice and listened to them all through audible and I feel like Claire’s amber/whiskey colored eyes were too important of a detail to be left undone. After all, how will the lack of her amber colored eyes be addressed if/when we get to Dragonfly in Amber in the tv series? I also thought that her hair should be more dark golden red? Past that she’s wonderful as Claire. Just not physically the image I had in my head.

  • scmaize

    She is lovely. However, she doesn’t look that much like the description of Claire. She is 5’10 rather than 5’6, she has black hair instead of brown and she has blue eyes instead of golden eyes. Heughan looks so incredibly like the description of Jamie. He may have had to dye his hair and bulk up for the role, but now he’s perfect. To the person talking about Claire’s body type… Claire does say (in the book) that she’s 5’6″ and weighs “9 stone”, which would be 126 pounds. No idea what Caitriona weighs. I saw another board where several people said they thought the actress playing Jenny would have been better as Claire than Caitriona, but I don’t know what to think about that. Their comments were after watching most of the Season One episodes.