Freema Agyeman (/ /; born Frema Agyeman on 20 March 1979) is a British television and film actress who is best known for playing Martha Jones in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and its spin-off series Torchwood. Following her departure from Doctor Who and guest spots in BBC programmes Survivors and Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012. She has made her U.S. television debut in the CW show The Carrie Diaries.
Her mother, Azar, is Iranian and her father, Osei, is Ghanaian. They divorced when she was a child. She has an older sister, Leila, and a younger brother, Dominic.Although her mother is Muslim and her father Methodist, Agyeman grew up to be a practising Roman Catholic. She attended Our Lady's Convent RC High School, a Catholic school in Stamford Hill and during the summer of 1996 she studied at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. She studied performing arts and drama at Middlesex University, graduating in 2000. She has martial arts skills, which prompted speculation that she would bring a more physical approach to the role of the Doctor's companion. The tattoo she has on her upper arm is symbolic of her ancestry, containing the Persian word "raha", meaning "free", under an image of a butterfly. She endorses Divine Chocolate, a fairtrade corporation that works with Ghanaian cocoa farmers.