Jay Anstey

Jay Anstey is a South African actress who is best known for her portrayal of Charlie Holmes on SABC 3’s soap opera, Isidingo. She left that show and her character was taken over by newcomer Michaella Russell. Jay Anstey has since starred on the feature film, Sleeper’s Wake and appeared on e.tv’s Scandal!.

Jay Anstey
Born Jay Anstey
February 13, 1991
South Africa
Education TUT
Occupation Actress
TV Personality
Since 2006 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Jay Anstey was born in the city of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It is understood that her other name is Jessica.

She was raised in in Craighall Park by her mother who is a former ballerina and her father who is an actor.

Jay Anstey is a daughter of famed South African actor, Martin Anstey (father) and former ballerina Penny Anstey (mother). She has a sister named Amy Anstey who also works in the television and film industry.

She attended Pretoria Technikon after finishing matric. There she studied a National Diploma in Dramatic Arts, this is according to The Citizen article. Pretoria Technikon is what is known today as Tshwane University of Technology as a result of a merger of three established institutions.

In 2006, still a teenager, Jay Anstey portrayed the character of Katie Vos in the Tim Robbins and Derek Luke fronted feature film, Catch a Fire. The film is the earliest known work of hers and there she was credited as Jessica Anstey.

In 2007 she appeared in a French feature titled Les deux mondes where she portrayed the character of Jana. Once again in that film she was credited as Jessica Anstey. In 2011 she portrayed the character of Petronella on an episode titled “Something Wicked” on CBBC’s television series, Leonardo. This same year Jay Anstey joined SABC 3’s long running soap opera, Isidingo, where she portrayed the character of Charlie Holmes which is the role that brought her to public attention.



Isidingo, Sleeper’s Wake and Other Work, 2011 – to date

In 2011 Jay Anstey was cast on SABC 3’s soap opera, Isidingo, where she portrayed the character of Charlie Holmes, a daughter of policeman named Eddie Holmes (portrayed by Paul Buckby). The role of “Charlie Holmes” brought Jay Anstey to public attention, “Before this, I remember telling people that I was an actress and they’d go ‘hmmm, sure’,” she was quoted saying about portrayal of Charlie Holmes on Isidingo.

In 2012 she co-starred in a South African feature film, Sleeper’s Wake, as Jackie Venter alongside Lionel Newton and Deon Lotz. The film is based on the book of the same name by South African author Alistair Morgan. “There are sex and nudity scenes and at times I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’, Jay Anstey said of her experience on the film.

“It was scary and I had to let go of a lot of things. I had to put on 5kgs for the part and it showed. I didn’t just strip for the sake of getting naked and causing a scene … it served a purpose in telling the story. My family aren’t allowed to see this movie … especially my dad because he’s friendly with Lionel (Newton) with whom I did the sex scene,” she told Get It.

In 2012 Jay Anstey appeared on a Canadian feature film, Inescapable, as Muna. The films stars Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson and Marisa Tomei. She has previously appeared on e.tv’s soap opera, Rhythm City, as Chrizette and on the second season of the South African drama series, Snitch.

In 2013 she feature in the fifth season of Tropika Island of Treasure which took place in Jamaica. She featured alongside fellow celebrities; AKA, Da L.E.S., Mario Ogle, Pearl Thusi, Phuti Khomo and the late Reeva Steenkamp†. In late 2013 Jay Anstey competed in the sixth season of Strictly Come Dancing SA alongside professional dance Tsholo Mohohlwane. In 2014 she appeared on e.tv’s Scandal! where she acted alongside her real life father, Norman Anstey.




Year Title Role Notes
2006 Catch a Fire Katie Vos Minor Role, Feature Film
2007 Les deux mondes Jana Minor Role, Feature Film
Unknown Rhythm City Chrizette Soap Opera
Unknown Snitch Unknown Drama Series
2011 Leonardo Petronella Guest Role, TV Series
2011 – 2013 Isidingo Charlie Holmes Lead Role, Soap Opera
2012 Sleeper’s Wake Jackie Venter Lead Role, Feature Film
2012 Inescapable Muna Minor Role, Feature Film
2013 Tropika Island of Treasure 6 Herself Contestant, Reality Show
2013 Strictly Come Dancing SA Herself Contestant, Dance Competition Show
2014 Scandal! Katie Minor Role, Soap Opera




Personal Life

Jay Anstey is in a relationship with Top Billing presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee; in July 2015 the couple appeared on an episode of Top Billing while on vacation at iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the north of the KwaZulu-Natal province where they confirmed their romance.  She is a vegetarian, I’m a bush child. A bit of a hippy … like my parents. They’re vegan, I’m vegetarian. We even grow our own fruit and veg,” she was quoted by Get It.