Bess Rous is an American actress best known for her starring role as Ivana West, the chief technology officer of Silicon Valley prodigy Erich Blunt's company, in the crime drama television series Murder in the First.
Rous was born and raised in New Jersey. At the age of 15, she moved away from home when the opportunity arose for her to further pursue her training as an ice dancer at the prestigious Ice Skating Science Development Center in Newark, Delaware.
She attended public high school in the mornings and was privately tutored in the remainder of her academic studies. She graduated from The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where she earned a bachelor's degree in acting. She also earned a certificate from The London Academy of Theatre in London, England.
Rous' theatre credits include originating roles in Beth Henley's The Jacksonian (Geffen Playhouse), Sarah Treem's The How and the Why (McCarter Theatre), Anastasia Traina's From Riverdale to Riverhead (Studio Dante), Ross Maxwell's Open House (NY International Fringe Festival) and playing Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (Roundhouse).
On the big screen, Rous has had roles in Darkroom, What Just Happened and The Hungry Ghosts. For television, she has played recurring roles in Mad Men and Gossip Girl. Her guest-starring credits include Southland, The Mentalist, Emily Owens M.D., Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, Army Wives, Third Watch and Loving Leah.
In addition to her acting work, Rous is certified by the Alzheimer's Association Speaker's Bureau, where she serves as a volunteer in helping to educate and assist patients and their families who have been stricken by the disease.