Who Is Carra Patterson? 5 Things to Know About Elsbeth's Kaya Blanke Actress

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Elsbeth, Carra Patterson

Here are five things to know about Carra Patterson, who will portray stoic and ethical NYPD officer Kaya Blanke in the upcoming CBS and Paramount+ series Elsbeth.

The show follows an astute and unconventional attorney named Elsbeth Tascioni (played by Carrie Preston), who is assigned to shadow the NYPD as they work to solve crimes. 

Fans of CBS' The Good Wife will recognize the character as she first made her debut towards the end of the flagship show's first season.

5 Things to Know About Elsbeth's Carra Patterson

Elsbeth's Carra Patterson

Carra Patterson Got Her Masters at NYU

Carra Patterson got her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) at New York University (NYU) from its graduate acting department.

Going back further, the 5’6” actress was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida. While she keeps a tight lid on her birth year, she celebrates her birthday on January 31.

Patterson shared with Broadwayworld that “her mother was only 16 when [she] was born:”

“My mother was only 16 when I was born, so she was a teenage parent, but she took my brother and me to college with her, so I spent many of my early years growing up on a college campus. Education was always very important in our household. We eventually settled in Atlanta, Georgia, which is where I attended college. I got my bachelor's degree from Georgia State University and my MFA from NYU's graduate acting department.”

In an interview with Georgia State University, the actress admitted that without her degree, she might not be where she is today:

“I thought, ‘I just need to get to New York or L.A.’ I didn’t think I needed a degree to be an actor… But, looking back, I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not pursued my degree."

Carra Has Performed on Broadway

In 2017, Carra Patterson performed at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre as Rena in the play Jitney.

The story of Jitney takes place in the late 1970s and follows five cab drivers dealing with their personal struggles while facing the possibility of their taxi company shutting down.

While speaking with Pop Entertainment in 2017, Patterson happily noted that she had “studied Rena since [she] was a teenager:”

“I’ve studied Rena since I was a teenager. Since I first decided to become an actor. It’s the one, August Wilson... His writing has so many beautiful, black, strong female characters, but Rena is the one who I felt closest to. I think it’s because she’s one of the younger of his women. Being a young teenager, it was easy for me to relate to her experience. I felt very close to this character for years.”

“I was making as many phone calls as I could,” she continued, explaining how hard she tried to get the role:

“When I heard 'Jitney' was headed to Broadway, I was making as many phone calls as I could. I just felt like I had to just try to be a part of this. There were a lot of women who were fighting to get their hands on it as well, but I was just like, “I want to see how close I could get [to her]. It would just be an honor even to get close.” I feel very blessed to be able to play this part and bring it to life on Broadway.”

For Patterson, the most pivotal moment of the play “was the ending,” which “always takes [her] breath away:"

“Personally, it was the ending. The final moment. I don’t want to give it away, but it’s that moment. The whole play is beautiful. You don't really know what’s coming. But the final moment in the play, even just hearing it read; it always takes my breath away. That is most profound to me.”

Some other theater productions she‘s been a part of include, This Land Was Made, Significant Other, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.

Turn & Hooch's Reboot Wrote Carra's Pregnancy into the Show

In Disney+'s 2021 reboot of Turner & Hooch, a show following a cop and his K9 partner, Carra Patterson starred as Jessica Baxter, an intelligent and cunning U.S. Marshal.

The show was actually filmed in the middle of the pandemic while Patterson herself was pregnant. While the character wasn't originally pregnant, the production decided to incorporate it in the new reboot instead of trying to hide it.

While speaking with Georgia State University in an interview, the actress praised the show for writing into the series "really well:"

"I was very pregnant during filming... In a lot of shows, they try to hide it, but they wrote it into this one really well."

Carra Named Her Daughter After Her Role in Rustin

In the 2023 Netflix film Rustin, Carra Patterson portrayed the iconic Coretta Scott King, Civil Rights leader, activist, and wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

The film follows Colman Domingo's Bayard Rustin, who orchestrated the 1963 March on Washington.

After her time in the film as Coretta, the star revealed in an Instagram post that she ended up naming her own daughter after the iconic Civil Rights activist:

"A true joy when purpose & profession align... Telling stories that inspire hope & playing Black women who made positive contributions to Our history is why I chose this path. Stepping in the shoes of Coretta Scott King for a brief moment was truly an honor. The scope of her life, her journey with Martin & all she accomplished after his death… I was so moved I decided to name my daughter after her:) Colman is absolutely BRILLIANT & the entire cast makes this story SOAR! Go see it y’all."

In a separate post, she also offered up heaping handfuls of praise to co-star Colman Domingo after his Oscar nominations:

"Beaming with JOY! The life of an artist is not easy. But seeing artists who hustled get their flowers is truly a beautiful sight. Congratulations to OSCAR Nominee [Colman Domingo], Da’Vine [Joy] who was beautiful in both 'Rustin' & 'Holdovers'!... And a Huge Congrats to THEE [Danielle Brookes]... Congratulations to all these phenomenal artists & all the Academy Award nominees!!"

Carra Next Stars in Evil Season 4

Carra Patterson will next be seen in Paramount+'s Evil Season 4.

The show follows a skeptic forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers' Dr. Kristen Bouchard) who teams up with a journalist-turned-priest (Mike Colter's David Acosta) to help solve crime rooted in supernatural origins.

For its upcoming fourth season, Patterson will be playing a character named Emily Reinhardt.

The story is set to follow the intense Season 3 cliffhanger, which could lead to the literal Anti-Christ being born—a notably bad development for planet Earth. Sadly for the heroes over on Evil, somehow, that'll undoubtedly be far from the only threat the team will face in its final season.

[ Evil Season 4: Release, Cast & Everything We Know ]

Fans looking to keep up with Carra Patterson on Social Media can find the actress on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

Elsbeth can be watched on CBS or streamed on Paramount+.

Catch up on other Paramount+ news:

Halo Season 2 Release Date Schedule of Episodes (Confirmed)

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1923 Season 2: Release, Cast & Everything We Know

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.