Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and has a mixed ethnic heritage. During her studies at Northwestern University, she began playing small roles in American television series and films. From 2011 to 2017, she played Rachel Zane on the American legal drama series Suits. An outspoken feminist, Markle has addressed issues of gender inequality, and her lifestyle website The Tig featured a column profiling influential women. She represented international charity organizations and received recognition for her fashion and style, releasing a line of clothing in 2016.