Tanya Franks

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Tanya Franks
Tanya Franks.jpg
Born Tanya Christine Franks
Occupation Actress, writer, producer
Years active 1986present

Tanya Christine Franks 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 theatre and media 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"[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] Franks stayed with the serial for over a year, with her character investigating various murders of police officers and police corruption.

In 2005, Franks had a small role in the ensemble film Chromophobia,[4] and also appeared in an episode of the BBC1 medical serial-drama Holby City.[5] 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. The sitcom ran for two series and a special feature episode, and gained a BAFTA nomination for best comedy series.

In 2006, Franks founded Stock-pot Productions Ltd, a theatre, television, radio and film production company. In the company's first production, Franks wrote, produced, and starred in One Day, a short film shown at several international film festivals. In addition to Franks, the film starred Tim McInnerny as well as Toby Stephens in a small part.[8] In May 2008, Stock-pot Productions, Franks' company, announced it was producing a feature-length film, Fly Me, to be written by Franks and directed (as was One Day) by James Barriscale. Toby Stephens is to have a lead role, and the film will also co-star Tim McInnerny.[9]

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,[10] and again in August 2010.[11] 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.[12]

In 2008, Franks starred as Sandra Farrell in the BBC Two mocumentary The Cup.[13] 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.[14] From September 2010 to August 2011, Franks starred as a series regular in the CBBC comedy serial Hotel Trubble.

In addition to her television work, Franks has also appeared in further theatre roles, including starring in the premier run of Really Old, Like Forty Five at the Royal National Theatre in 2010.

Franks plays Richard Burton's wife, Sybil, in the 2012 made-for-television film Liz & Dick.[15] Franks also appears in Episode 7, Series 9 of New Tricks as Roxanne, agent to Luke Oswald and Sean Docherty.


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