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Rigby in September 2011
26 September 1989 |
St Helens, Merseyside, England, UC
Emma Catherine Rigby (born 26 September 1989) is an English actress. She is best known for playing the role of Hannah Ashworth in long-running soap opera Hollyoaks, and Gemma Roscoe in BBC One drama series Prisoners' Wives, which was broadcast in 2012.
Rigby was born in St Helens, Merseyside, and has one older sister, Charlotte. She attended De La Salle High School in St Helens, but left in 2006 to focus on her role as Hannah Ashworth in Hollyoaks. Despite her busy filming schedule in Hollyoaks, Rigby received 9 A/A* in her GCSE exam results.
Rigby's first acting role was Lisa Gunstone in Born and Bred. Before getting the role as Hannah Ashworth in Hollyoaks, she had a few minor roles and appeared in popular soap Brookside as Elena Jones. In addition to acting, Rigby has also done some modelling work. In 2005, Rigby got the role as Hannah Ashworth in Hollyoaks at the age of 15. She was given praise and recognition for her anorexia storyline, in which she was nominated for various awards.
In November 2008, Rigby announced she was leaving Hollyoaks to pursue other projects, and would remain on-screen until June 2009. However, after meetings with soap bosses, it was later confirmed that Rigby had extended her contract for an additional six months and would remain on-screen until February 2010. Her final episode was broadcast on 11 February 2010. In July 2010, Rigby made her debut in the West End psycho-sexual thriller musical Wolfboy. She had a non-singing part, playing the role of nurse Cherry. She received positive feedback from critics. In 2011 Rigby starred as Brandy Mulligan in online series Becoming Human. She also had a main role in British horror film Demons Never Die as Samantha and then later on in 2011 she had a minor role in the first episode of C4 comedy Fresh Meat as Rachel. In 2012 she had a guest role in Pramface as Mike's Blind Date Carrie-Ann.
In December 2011 it was announced that Rigby would be starring in brand new six-part drama series Prisoners' Wives along with Jonas Armstrong. The show's first episode aired on 31 January 2012 with Rigby playing Gemma Roscoe, a young pregnant girl whose life falls apart when her husband is arrested for murder. The sixth and final episode of the series was broadcast on 6 March 2012.
In January 2013 Rigby appeared in episode four of Ripper Street as Lucy Eames.
|2009||A Kingdom without a King||Alicia Waterstone||Short|
|2011||Demons Never Die||Samantha Rearden|
|2002–2003||Brookside||Elena Jones||3 episodes|
|2003||Born and Bred||Lisa Gunstone||1 episode|
|2005–2010||Hollyoaks||Hannah Ashworth||Regular role, 3 October 2005 – 12 February 2010
Nominated for Most Popular Actress at the National Television Awards 2007
Winner for Best Actress at the British Soap Awards 2008
Nominated for Best Dramatic Performance at the British Soap Awards 2008
Nominated for Best Storyline for Hannah's Anorexia at the British Soap Awards 2008
Nominated for Sexiest Female at the British Soap Awards 2009
|2009||Hollyoaks Later||Hannah Ashworth||5 episodes|
|2011||Becoming Human||Brandy Mulligan|
|2011||Fresh Meat||Rachel||1 episode|
|2012||Prisoners' Wives||Gemma Roscoe||6 episodes|
|2013||Ripper Street||Lucy Eames||1 episode|
|2013||The Job Lot||Chloe||1 episode|
|2013–present||Once Upon a Time in Wonderland||Red Queen||Lead role|
Awards and nominations
In 2007, at the age of 17, Rigby was nominated for Best Actress in the British Soap Awards (being 1 year too old to qualify for consideration for Best Dramatic Performance for a Young Actor/Actress), but did not make it to the final four. She was also nominated for Most Popular Actress at the National Television Awards. A year later, she won The British Soap Award for Best Actress and was nominated for Best Dramatic Performance, but lost out to Jo Joyner.
Rigby's portrayal of Hannah Ashworth's battle with anorexia attracted praise. The Daily Mail TV critic, Jaci Stephen, wrote on 24 November 2007 that the Hollyoaks storyline had "taught her more than any drama or documentary on anorexia has ever done". Stephen also admitted some of Hannah's scenes had moved her to tears.
Rigby won best storyline for Hannah's eating disorder at the annual Hollyoaks awards. She was up against John Paul and Craig's affair, The "Who pushed Clare?" storyline, and Kris and Jess's relationship.
At the All About Soap Bubble Awards in April 2008, Rigby won an award for the "I'm a Survivor - Bravest soul in soap" category.