Helen Baxendale

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Helen Baxendale
Helen Baxendale.jpg
Helen Baxendale in 2009
Born Helen Victoria Baxendale
(1970-06-07) 7 June 1970 (age 44)
Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actress, film producer
Years active 1991–present
Partner(s) David L. Williams

Helen Victoria Baxendale (born 7 June 1970) is an English actress of stage and television, best known for her roles in Cold Feet, Friends, Cardiac Arrest and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman.

Early life[edit]

Baxendale was born on 7 June 1970 in Pontefract,[1] West Riding of Yorkshire.[2][3]

She grew up in Shenstone, Staffordshire and wanted to be a ballet dancer when she was younger. She trained at the Elmhurst School for Dance but dropped out at 17 in favour of an acting career. She moved to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and then worked at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre from 1992–1994.

Career[edit]

It was via Glasgow Citizens' Theatre that she was cast in the hospital TV series Cardiac Arrest (although it was not her first television role). Her role as Dr. Claire Maitland earned her a Scottish BAFTA nomination in 1995.

She was one of the stars of the popular TV series Cold Feet, playing Rachel Bradley, a role which garnered her a British Comedy Award nomination in 1997 in the pilot episode. She also starred in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, playing Cordelia Gray, and made notable recurring appearances on the American series Friends as Ross Geller's girlfriend, wife and finally ex-wife Emily Waltham, which gave her wide exposure on American network television. Other notable roles include Lorna Johnson in Truth or Dare (in which John Hannah also starred), Caroline Meagher in The Investigator (alongside Laura Fraser), and Julie Matthews in Curt Truninger's Dead by Monday.

She was nominated for another Scottish BAFTA in 1997 for her role as Lorna Johnson. Dead by Monday won the Angel Award for Best Film at the Monaco International Film Festival in 2003 and the Portland Festival of World Cinema award for best feature film in 2001.

On-stage, Baxendale starred as Christine in Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie, and in 2005 appeared as Romy, the eponymous title role in The Woman Before at the Royal Court alongside Nigel Lindsay, Saskia Reeves, Tom Riley and Georgia Taylor but has also played various roles including that of Ophelia in Hamlet (the Marovitz Hamlet) along with Henry Ian Cusick. For her 1993 performance in Soldiers at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, she was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award (best classical actor under 30).[4] In 2009 Baxendale played Lara in Amongst Friends alongside Aden Gillett and Emma Cunniffe at Hampstead Theatre.[5]

She played Pandora Braithwaite in Adrian Mole: the Cappuccino Years in 2001 and "Maggie" in the multiple award-winning Bolse Vita. She also appeared in Saving Nellie, a physics programme running on Teachers TV. In 2007 to January 2008 she starred in Swimming with Sharks alongside Christian Slater at London's Vaudville Theatre.[2] In 2008 and 2009 she has also appeared in several TV adverts for Morrisons, a British supermarket chain.[6]

In January 2011, she co-starred with Trevor Eve in the three-part ITV drama Kidnap and Ransom, filmed on location in South Africa.[7] Later in the same year, she starred as DCI Marion Bettany in Val McDermid's radio crime drama Village SOS.[8]

In 2010 Helen Baxendale appeared in the pilot episode of Dirk Gently as Susan Harmison. In 2012 she reprised her role in the second episode of the commissioned first and only series. She then appeared in the Inspector George Gently episode "The Lost Child" alongside Mark Gatiss.

She currently stars in Cuckoo as Lorna, the mother in-law of the titular Dale 'Cuckoo' Ashbrick.

Personal life[edit]

Baxendale has been with her partner David L. Williams since her Glasgow days and together they have three children: Nelly, Eric, and Rudi.[9] Her first pregnancy was written into An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and her second was written into the fourth series of Cold Feet.[9]

Her first pregnancy (coupled with the fact that her country of residence was Britain, rather than the USA) meant that her character was written out of Friends earlier than the writers had originally intended. Baxendale appeared in only 14 episodes, despite her character dating, marrying, and then divorcing Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), one of the show's main characters.[9][10]

Filmography[edit]

Film & television
Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Marshal Anita Television film
1993 Euphoric Scale Short film
1993 The Good Guys Miss Lomax Episode: "All for Love"
1993 Casualty Emma Episode: "Give Us This Day"
1994 Cardiac Arrest Dr. Claire Maitland 1994–1996; 27 episodes
— Nominated: BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actress in Television (1995)
1994 Love's Lost Hour Hilary Short film
1995 Dangerfield Tara 'Crystal' Jackson Episode: "The Call Girl"
1996 Crossing the Floor Ruth Clarke Television film
1996 Truth or Dare Lorna Johnston Television film
— Nominated: BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actress in Television (1997)
1996 In Suspicious Circumstances Queen Elizabeth I Episode: "An Evil Business"
1996 Bolse vita Maggie
1997 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Cordelia Gray 4 episodes
1997 Cold Feet Rachel Bradley 1997 (pilot), 1998–2003 (series); 32 episodes
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
— Nominated: British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress (1997)
1997 The Investigator Sgt. Caroline Meagher Television film
1997 I'd Like a Word With You Joan Direct-to-video
1997 Macbeth Lady Macbeth
1998 Friends Emily Waltham 1998–1999; 14 episodes
2000 The Servant Girl Television film
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Lisa
2000 Tales from the Madhouse The Servant Girl Television mini-series; episode: "The Servant Girl"
2001 Adrian Mole: the Cappuccino Years Pandora Braithwaite 6 episodes
2001 Dead by Monday Julie Matthews
2002 Flyfishing Sam
2002 Lost in the Snow Lily Short video
2003 Skagerrak Stella
2003 Murder in Mind Helen Robbins Episode: "Justice"
2006 The Only Boy for Me Annie Television film
2007 Dead Clever Sarah Television film
2008 Agatha Christie's Marple Mary Dove Episode: A Pocket Full of Rye
2009 Lewis Caroline Episode: "Counter Culture Blues"
2010 Dirk Gently Susan Harmison 2010–2012; 2 episodes
2010 Beyond the Pole Becky
2010 Big Mouth Mum Short film
2010 The Rendezvous Voice
2011 Kidnap and Ransom Angela Beddoes 2011–2012; television mini-series; 6 episodes
2011 Anonymous Anne de Vere
2012 Inspector George Gently Frances Groves Episode: "The Lost Child"
2012 - present Cuckoo Lorna Thompson 12 episodes
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Elizabeth Cole Episode: "Curtain"
2014 Death In Paradise Sasha Moore 1 episode series 3
2014 The Secrets 1 episode

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/witter/article1133643.ece Helen Baxendale actress, Witter, Sunday Times 30 September 2012
  2. ^ a b Jarvis, Alica-Azania (10 November 2007). "The 5-minute interview: Helen Baxendale". The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2007. A common misperception of me is...that my birthday is on Valentine's Day. It's on 7 June. 
  3. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005. Volume 2d, page 1778.
  4. ^ Fowler, Rebecca. "Triumphant first acts". Sunday Times. 13 March 1994.
  5. ^ Lyn Gardner Amongst Friends The Guardian, Thursday 28 May 2009
  6. ^ Better than Half Price British Strawberries at Morrisons Advert, Ad - Morrisons - Video Clip
  7. ^ Deans, James (8 February 2010). "Trevor Eve to star in ITV1 thriller". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 8 February 2010.
  8. ^ BBC Press Office (4 August 2011). "Network Woman's Hour Drama – Village SOS". Press release. Retrieved on 7 August 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Laws, Roz (13 April 2009). "Helen Baxendale gets the balance right after Cold Feet and Friends". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror Midlands).
  10. ^ Bright, Kevin S.; Marta Kauffman; David Crane. (2004). Friends: The Complete Fourth Season DVD audio commentary for "The One with Ross's Wedding". [DVD]. Warner Home Video.

External links[edit]