Jennifer Ehle is the only child of the American writer John Ehle and the English actress Rosemary Harris. She went to eighteen different schools, including the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She married the American writer Michael Ryan in 2001, and they have a son, George, and a daughter, Talulah.
Her first screen role was in The Camomile Lawn, in which she and her mother played the female lead at different ages. She has worked on stage in Royal Shakespeare Company productions, in London's West End, and on Broadway.
Jennifer Ehle's Scores