The Gilded Age was created and written by Julian Fellowes (the mastermind behind the early twentieth-century drama Downton Abbey) and is set in 1880s New York City during the post-Civil War era of America.
The show's second season continues the ensemble's journey to finding their place in society, as Louisa Jacobson's Marian Brook lives out a secret life, Denée Benton's Peggy Scott assumes the role of a journalist at the New York Globe, and Carrie Coon's Bertha Russell finds a new ally.
Every Actor in The Gilded Age Season 2 Cast
Season 1 of The Gilded Age was praised by both critics and viewers alike largely for its dramatic story and writing but also due to the performances of many of the actors and the layered dimensions they brought to their respective characters.
That being said, here are the cast members and characters who appear in Season 2.
Louisa Jacobson - Marian Brook
After her father dies, Lousia Jacobson's Marian Brook is left with only $30 at the beginning of Season 1 of The Gilded Age.
However, after discovering that she is actually a member of an extremely wealthy family in New York City, she decides to contact her aunts Agnes and Ada and move from rural Pennsylvania to the city.
Season 2 finds Marian secretly teaching at a girls' school, St. Mary's, as an art teacher, much to her aunt's dismay. She also finds a new love interest in Agnes’ late husband’s nephew Dashiell, with whom she becomes romantically entangled over the season.
Denée Benton - Peggy Scott
Denée Benton's Peggy Scott is Marian's friend who elects to travel from Pennsylvania to New York City alongside her after Marian is robbed and has no money to pay for her train ticket.
Peggy is forced to stay in New York due to bad weather, which eventually works out for the best as Marian's aunt, Agnes, asks Peggy to be her secretary. Seeing as how she aspires to one day write a novel, Peggy accepts Agnes' proposal, thrusting herself closer to the ongoing conflicts.
However, in a twist during Season 1, the audience learns that Peggy actually gave birth to a child that her father put up for adoption, which is who she is currently searching for at the start of Season 2.
This twist is met with yet another in the Season 2 premiere: Peggy's son is dead. Having died of scarlet fever, the second season opens with Peggy attending her child's funeral.
Christine Baranski - Agnes Van Rhijn
Christine Baranski's Agnes Van Rhijn is one of Marian's rich aunts who live in New York City.
Agnes initially doesn't like the idea of allowing Marian to live with her and her sister, Ada, but she eventually tries to teach her niece the ways of the New York City elite.
After Marian exited the role, Baranski's character brings Peggy on as her personal secretary and even stands up for her following racist protests from Agnes' maid, Armstrong.
Cynthia Nixon - Ada Brook
Agnes' sister, Ada Brook, is played by actress Cynthia Nixon. Despite Agnes' worries about letting Marion come and live with them, Ada jumps at the opportunity.
Marian explains to Peggy that Ada is "kind but not clever," whereas Agnes is "clever but not kind." Season 1 proves Marian's comments to be true when it showcases that Ada is definitely more meek than Agnes on multiple occasions.
One of the Season 2 trailers teased that she might finally find a true lover after all these years of living with her sister, which seems to be coming to fruition with a new courtship from potential suitor Robert Sean Leonard.
Carrie Coon - Bertha Russell
Carrie Coon's Bertha Russell is part of the "new money" Russell family that just moved to New York City's 61st Street in hopes of becoming socially accepted by the city's "old money" elitists such as the Van Rhijns.
Bertha starts Season 2 by applying for an opera box at the Academy of Music, though her bid gets rejected. Despite this, she does manage to gain a partial allyship with the powerful Mrs. Astor.
Morgan Spector - George Russell
George Russell is played by Morgan Spector and is the husband of Bertha Russell.
George is known as a railroad tycoon, which is someone who was an overseer of major railroad construction, especially during the boom known as the Gilded Age.
Spector's character seems fairly mellow on the outside, but underneath lies a brutally ruthless businessman, explaining how he made himself and his family so rich.
Harry Richardson - Larry Russell
Harry Richardson's Larry Russell is the son of George and Bertha Russell and recently graduated from the illustrious Harvard University.
Larry spends a lot of Season 1 navigating life on 61st Street and even encounters Marian for the first time when he saves her dog, Pumpkin, from being hit by a car.
This leads to the two characters at least becoming interested in one another, much to Agnes' disappointment.
Blake Ritson - Oscar Van Rhijn
Blake Ritson's Oscar van Rhijn may be the son of Agnes van Rhijn, but he doesn't carry the same coldness toward the new Russell family that she does.
Opposite his mother, John actually embraces the Russell family when they move to 61st Street and seems to connect with Bertha's daughter, Gladys, even though he formed a secret relationship with a man by the name of John Adams.
Season 2 finds Oscar getting beaten up after flirting with a man at a bar. This eventually leads to him returning to Gladys after all and surprisingly offering her a proposal.
Taissa Farmiga - Gladys Russell
Taissa Farmiga's Gladys Russell is the one and only daughter of Bertha and Goerge Russell.
Unlike many characters in The Gilded Age, Gladys isn't ruthless or taking aim at anyone else just to bring them down.
However, there is a debutante ball (or coming-out party) for Gladys in the Season 1 finale of The Gilded Age which the Astors are not invited to.
Alongside that drama, Gladys and Larry Russell actually dance together at the party, which doesn't go over well with more than one person.
Simon Jones - Bannister
Simon Jones' Bannister is the personal butler to the van Rhijns, but he has not always been in the presence of wealth and the upper class.
It was revealed in Season 1 that Bannister was actually born extremely poor in England but was shipped to the United States by his grandmother when he was 14.
After learning American customs and working his way up the ladder, Bannister finally found a place with the van Rhijns.
Jack Gilpin - Church
Similar to Bannister, Jack Gilpin's Church is also a personal butler, but instead of serving the van Rhijn family, he is loyal to the Russells.
While Church is known for being extremely proficient at his job and duties to all members of the Russell family, he is especially close to Bertha to the point where he will do any and everything she wishes.
Going forward, Bertha will always know that she has at least one person she can trust in Church.
Taylor Richardson - Bridget
Taylor Richardson's Bridget is a housemaid, lady's maid, and kitchen maid for the van Rhijn family.
When Peggy first arrived in New York City with Marian, she openly expressed that she wasn't comfortable with a Black woman staying with them.
However, over time, Peggy and Bridget grow closer together, and the two even work together with Marian to help Mrs. Bauers (the cook) out of debt.
Donna Murphy - Mrs. Astor
Donna Murphy plays someone known as Mrs. Astor in The Gilded Age, but the character's full name is actually Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor.
Mrs. Astor is at the top of the totem pole in terms of New York City socialites and is the main force that tries to keep Bertha and the Russells out of the "old money" circle. However, in Season 1, Bertha actually has the last laugh when she doesn't invite the Astors to Gladys' coming-out party.
This dynamic has flipped now in Season 2, with Bertha finding her way into Mrs. Astor's good graces following her opera box rejection.
Debra Monk - Armstrong
Debra Monk's Armstrong is a lady's maid to Agnes van Rhijn, a position which makes her feel illustrious compared to the other servants of the house.
Like some of the other characters, Armstrong isn't too keen on bringing Peggy into the household when she first arrives and doesn't change her stance on the matter as Season 1 goes on.
It is revealed in Season 1 that Armstrong also cares for her elderly mother in her free time, which is another full-time job in and of itself, especially considering how ungrateful her mother is.
Celia Keenan-Bolger - Mrs. Bruce
Celia Keenan-Bolger's Mrs. Bruce is the housekeeper for the Russells and was hired by Bertha once the family moved to 61st Street.
Mrs. Bruce's duties include aiding Bertha in putting on parties for the elite of New York City, but their first At-Home party ends up being a failure as hardly anyone shows.
Erin Wilhelmi - Adelheid Weber
Erin Wilhelmi's Adelheid Weber begins Season 1 as a housemaid for the Russells but is later promoted to be the lady's maid for Gladys.
Like Mrs. Bruce, Adelheid started working for the Russells after they moved to their mansion on 61st Street, and she and Gladys form a friendly relationship with one another to the point where Gladys can count on Adelheid to cover for her when she wants to sneak out.
Patrick Page - Richard Clay
Richard Clay is George Russell's secretary in Season 1 of The Gilded Age, and the character is played by Patrick Page.
Richard is largely responsible for helping keep George's business afloat and also plays a large part in ensuring the Russells make as much money as possible.
He is a valuable asset to George and the railway business and will continue to be a powerful ally to the family in Season 2.
Kristine Nielsen - Mrs. Bauer
Kristine Nielsen's Mrs. Bauer is the cook for the van Rhijns and is known for being someone that the rest of the house staff look up to on multiple occasions.
Mrs. Bauer finds herself in debt at one point during Season 1 because of gambling, but after Bridget, Peggy, and Marian band together to help her, she goes back to being the kind, motherly figure that everyone knows her to be and offers her help in any way she can.
Sullivan Jones - T. Thomas Fortune
Sullivan Jones' T. Thomas Fortune, whose full name is Timothy Thomas Fortune, is an orator, journalist, editor, writer, and publisher for The New York Globe.
Timothy offers Peggy a position at The Globe after discovering her talents and guides her in certain stories to write.
Ben Ahlers - Jack Treacher
Ben Ahlers' Jack Treacher is a footman for the van Rhijns and often takes on the tasks that no one else wants to do.
Jack takes a special liking to Bridget during Season 1, and the two even go on a date that turns out to be less than successful in his eyes.
Kelley Curran - Turner
Kelley Curran's Miss Turner is the lady's maid for Bertha Russell, but unlike some other characters on this list, she is not nearly as loyal.
Miss Turner often talks about Bertha to other people behind her back and even tries to attract George at different points throughout Season 1.
If there is anyone in her household that Bertha should be wary of in Season 2, then it is definitely Miss Turner.
Kelli O’Hara - Aurora Fane
Aurora Fane is Agnes van Rhijn's niece and tries to befriend Marian when she arrives in New York City from Pennsylvania.
Aurora is married to Charles Fane, a wealthy banker in New York.
Douglas Sills - Baudin
Douglas Sills' Baudin is first presented as the French chef for the Russell family, but in a shocking plot twist, it is revealed that his name is actually Josh Borden and that he is from Wichita, Kansas.
Michael Cerveris - Watson
Michael Cerveris' Watson is the valet for the Russell family once they move into their house on 61st Street and is seen as mysterious by a lot of his co-workers.
However, Watson's past is never fully fleshed out, so perhaps some of the mystery surrounding him will be explored in Season 2.
Ben Lamb - The Duke of Buckingham
Ben Lamb stars as The Duke of Buckingham in The Gilded Age Season 2, who pops over from Britain.
The Duke plays a key role in Bertha's plans to get support due to the Metropolitan Opera running out of funds. Bertha manages to secure the Duke to stay at the Russells' while he is in Newport, winning one over on the Wintertons.
Jordan Waller - Oscar Wilde
Jordan Waller plays the real-life Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, appearing as a cameo in the Season 2 premiere.
Wilde shows up as a socialite who has a brief conversation with another fellow Oscar. His play, Vera, is also featured in the season's third episode.
New episodes of Season 2 of The Gilded Age release every Sunday on Max.