Tanya Franks

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Tanya Franks
Tanya Franks.jpg
Born Tanya Christine Franks
(1967-08-16) 16 August 1967 (age 47)
Woolwich, London, England
Occupation Actress, writer, producer
Years active 1986present

Tanya Christine Franks (born 16 August 1967 in Woolwich, London[1]) is an English actress, writer and producer, who is most known for starring roles on television in Family Affairs, The Bill, Pulling and the role of Rainie Cross in EastEnders. Franks is also the founder of Stock-pot Productions, a film and theatre production company. She returned to EastEnders in 2011 as a regular, but later departed and made a surprise return to the show in 2014.


Franks worked for 14 years in theatre both in the UK and abroad. Her roles included the title role in "Tess"[2] at The Kings Head Theatre in London for which was Time Out's Critics Choice, and Sylv in Steven Berkoff's 25th Anniversary production of "East" at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End and on tour. Tanya then rose to prominence when her TV career began in 2000, after being cast in the Channel Five soap opera Family Affairs as Karen Ellis.[3] Franks continued in the soap opera for three years, with storylines including a cancer scare, infertility, surrogacy, and a child custody battle, before leaving the series in 2003. In 2004, Franks was cast as DI Rowanne Morell in the long-running ITV1 police serial-drama The Bill.[4] Franks stayed with the serial for over a year, with her character investigating various murders of police officers and police corruption.

In 2005, Franks appeared as a guest lead in an episode of the BBC1 medical serial-drama Holby City [5] and in 2006, Franks appeared in an episode of the BBC1 drama series Doctors.[6]

In 2006, Franks starred opposite Sharon Horgan and Rebekah Staton in the BBC Three comedy series Pulling.[7] Franks was cast as Karen, a promiscuous, raunchy, aggressive primary school teacher, who drinks heavily and is not suited to her job, for which she was nominated at The British Comedy Awards in 2009. The sitcom ran for two series and a special feature episode, and gained a BAFTA nomination for best comedy series.

In July 2007, it was announced that Franks would play the role of Tanya Branning's sister, Rainie Cross in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders for a week-long stint from 2 August 2007. Franks returned to EastEnders as Rainie in January 2008,[8] and again in August 2010.[9] She returned again in April 2011, before departing once more later that year. She made a surprise return to the show on 16 June 2014.[10]

In 2008, Franks starred as Sandra Farrell in the BBC Two mocumentary The Cup.[11] In 2009, Franks appeared in an episode of the E4 teen drama Skins.[6] In 2010, she appeared in an episode of the BBC1 time-travelling drama Ashes to Ashes.[12] From September 2010 to August 2011, Franks starred as a series regular in the CBBC comedy serial Hotel Trubble. Franks also appears in Episode 7, Series 9 of New Tricks as literary agent Roxanne Guthrie. In 2013 she was a guest lead in an episode of "Pramface" as Fiona.[13] Tanya plays Richard Burton's wife, Sybil, in the 2012 made-for-television film Liz & Dick.[14] In 2013 Tanya played Lucy Stevens, sister to DC Ellie Miller played by Olivia Colman, in the award winning series Broadchurch

In addition to her television work, Franks has also appeared in further theatre roles, including leading roles at the Royal National Theatre in "Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads" by Roy Williams in 2004, "The Black Album" by Hanif Kureishi in 2009, and in the premier run of Really Old, Like Forty Five in 2010.[15] In 2013 she toured as Irene Adler in the new mystery "Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret",[16] and played the title role in Bertolt Brecht's "The Good Person of Sichuan" at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester.[17]

Franks founded Stock-pot Productions in 1993, a theatre, television, radio and film production company. Theatre credits included "Scenes of Shaw" at London's Theatre Museum starring Les Dennis and the late Paul Eddington; "Deckchairs" at London's Kings Head Theatre in which Tanya also co-starred. Co-productions included the national tour of "You Don't Kiss" and "All Fall Away" which the Guardian named Pick of the Week with Tanya playing the lead role at the Latchmere Theatre (now Theatre 503).[18] The company has made three short films, the last of which Franks wrote, produced, and starred in, entitled One Day. It was officially selected at several national and international film festivals and was Kodak best short film finalist. In addition to Franks, the film starred Tim McInnerny as well as Toby Stephens in a small part.[19]


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