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Emma Cunniffe

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Emma Cunniffe
Born (1973-07-03) 3 July 1973 (age 50)
Chester, England
Rufus Jones
(m. 2008)

Emma Cunniffe (born 3 July 1973) is an English film, stage and television actress.

Early life[edit]

Cunniffe was raised in Frodsham, Cheshire and attended Frodsham High School.[1] She was in the local Frodsham panto group whilst growing up and was once in a pantomime with Gary Barlow. Originally it was dance she was into, until she went to theatre school at the age of 13 and fell in love with drama. [2]


Her television credits include Hetty Wainthrop Investigates (Chrissy in 'Safe as Houses', 1996), The Lakes (BBC 1997, 1999), "Biddy" in a TV adaptation of Great Expectations, All the King's Men, Clash of the Santas, alongside Robson Green and Mark Benton, Clocking Off (BBC), and Flesh and Blood with Christopher Eccleston.[3] She played DS Tina Murray in New Tricks (S3:E4 Diamond Geezers, 2006.). She also appeared in the sixth series Doctor Who episode "Night Terrors", alongside the Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith. She appeared in the BBC documentary The Genius of Mozart as Constanze, Wolfgang's wife. In 2009, she played Carol Boynton in the ITV adaptation of Appointment with Death, in series 11 of Agatha Christie's Poirot. In mid-2014, she played DS Hawthorn in Coronation Street, investigating the circumstances of the attack on and subsequent death of Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) and on 5 January 2015, she played Kenzie Calhoun's mother, Ailsa in Waterloo Road

On stage, she won the UK Theatre Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in The Master Builder in 2000.[4] Her other stage work includes Tales from Hollywood, Losing Louis at the Trafalgar Studios in London and in 2006 Women Beware Women for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.[3] She was nominated for "what's on stage" award in 2011 for her role as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible at Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.

In 2015 she appeared as Mabel Grayson in the BBC TV series Father Brown episode 3.9 "The Truth in the Wine". The same year, she appeared as the eponymous monarch in the RSC's production of Helen Edmundson's Queen Anne.[5] In September 2019, she appeared in four episodes of Doctors as Dr Janet Fielding.

Personal life[edit]

Cunniffe lives in London with her husband, Rufus Jones, whom she married in 2008.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Cuts Karen TV film
1997 The Ruby Ring Noreen/Nellie TV film
1998 Among Giants Barmaid
1999 Great Expectations Biddy TV film
Underground Caz TV film
Dreaming of Joseph Lees Red-Haired Girl
Tube Tales Drained Young Woman TV film
All the King's Men Peggy Batterbee TV film
2000 Blue Murder Vanessa TV film
Innocents Sharon Peacock TV film
2001 The Whistle-Blower Kathy Enfield TV film
Love or Money Samantha TV film
2002 The Cry Christine Rearden TV film
Plain Jane Jane TV film
Flesh and Blood Cath Broughton TV film
2004 Rabbit on the Moon Tania Bower
Undone Laura Short film
2005 Cherished Claire Connolly TV film
2008 Clash of the Santas Alice TV film
2014 MOTH (Man of the House) Ruth Short film
2016 Their Finest Ettie Uncredited
2020 Miss Marx Laura Marx
2021 The Mezzotint Mrs. Filcher TV film


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Woof! Minicab Girl Episode: "Get Me to the Church"
Cracker Sarah Jennings Episode: "The Big Crunch"
1995 The Upper Hand Nurse Episode: "Second Thoughts"
Dangerfield Penny Noakes Episode: "The Norfolk Holiday"
The Bill Annie Barlow Episode: "A Quiet Night In"
1996 The 10%ers Vanessa Series 2
A Touch of Frost Michelle Robins Episode: "Paying the Price"
Hetty Wainthropp Investigates Chrissie Episode: "Safe as Horses"
Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's... Avril Episode: "Don't Dilly Dally on the Way"
Life After Birth Alison Series regular, 6 episodes
1997 Dalziel and Pascoe Karen Spillings Episode: "Exit Lanes"
1997–1999 The Lakes Emma Kavanagh Series regular, 13 episodes
1998 Maisie Raine Cheryl Slayburn Episode: "A Blast from the Past"
2002 Clocking Off Kim Anderson Recurring role, 3 episodes
2004 The Genius of Mozart Constanze Mozart Mini-series, 3 episodes
Silent Witness Rosa Christie Episode: "Body 21"
2006 New Tricks D.S. Tina Murray Episode: "Diamond Geezers"
Holby City Hazel Keel Episode: "Just Another Day"
2007 John and Karen Karen TV short
2008 Banged Up Abroad Camilla Episode: "Nightmare in Chechnya"
Agatha Christie's Poirot Carol Boynton Episode: "Appointment with Death"
Place of Execution Ruth Hawkin Mini-series, 3 episodes
Casualty Karen Clarkson Episode: "Someone's Lucky Night"
Midsomer Murders Sally Fielding Episode: "Blood Wedding"
2009 The Bill Maggie Reaney Episode: "Fall Out"
2011 Casualty Detective Inspector Joanne Collins Episode: "Boys Will Be Boys"
Doctor Who Claire Episode: "Night Terrors"
2012 Good Cop Eva Bays Mini-series, 1 episode
2013 The Other Child Emma Beckett Mini-series, 2 episodes
Jo Anabelle Episode: "Place Vendôme"
Southcliffe Annie Gould Mini-series, 3 episodes
Moving On Louise Episode: "Hush Little Baby"
2014 Coronation Street D.S. Hawthorn Recurring role, 13 episodes
2015 Father Brown Mrs. Mabel Grayson Episode: "The Truth in the Wine"
Waterloo Road Ailsa Calhoun Recurring role, 2 episodes
Inspector George Gently Anita Magath Episode: "Gently Among Friends"
Holby City Elaine Owen Episode: "Spiral Staircases"
Lewis Bryony Willet Episode: "One for Sorrow"
2016 Midsomer Murders Reverend Melissa Ackers Episode: "Habeas Corpus"
2017 Unforgotten Janet Recurring role, 4 episodes
2019 Doctors Dr. Janet Fielding Recurring role, 4 episodes
2020 Silent Witness Jess Fisher Episode: "Deadhead"
Endeavour Rosemary Prince Episode: "Raga"
Roadkill Sydney Mini-series, 4 episodes
2021 The Irregulars Laura Machin Episode: "The Ghosts of 221B"
Agatha Raisin Fran Tamworthy Episode: "Kissing Christmas Goodbye"
The Mezzotint Mrs Filcher Television film
2023 Doctors Christine Barker-Smith Episode: "A Matter of a Moment"[7]

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Venue Ref
1996 Hamlet Ophelia UK Tour [8]
1997 Caravan Kelly Bush Theatre, London [9]
1999 The Master Builder UK Tour [10]
2001 Tales from Hollywood Donmar Warehouse, London [11]
2002 A Buyer's Market Rosie Delaware Bush Theatre, London [12]
2003 Les Liaisons Dangereuses Madame de Tourvel Bristol Old Vic, Bristol [13]
Twelfth Night Viola Royal Exchange, Manchester [14]
2004 Major Barbara Major Barbara Undershaft Royal Exchange, Manchester [15]
2005 As You Like It Rosalind Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh [16]
Losing Louis Bobbie Ellis Hampstead Theatre, London & Trafalgar Theatre, London [17]
2006 Women Beware Women Isabella Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon [18]
The Glass Room Tara Hampstead Theatre, London [19]
2007 The Entertainer Jean The Old Vic, London [20]
2008 Three Sisters Masha Royal Exchange, Manchester [21][22]
2009 Educating Rita Rita Citizens Theatre, Glasgow [23]
Amongst Friends Caitlin Hampstead Theatre, London [24]
2010 The Crucible Elizabeth Proctor Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London [25]
Dumb Show Liz Rose Theatre Kingston, Kingston upon Thames [26]
2011 Edward II Isabella of France Royal Exchange, Manchester [27]
A Doll's House Nora Helmer The Lowry, Salford [28]
2012 The Conquest of the South Pole La Braukmann Arcola Theatre, London [29]
2013 Proof Claire Menier Chocolate Factory, London [30]
Wendy & Peter Pan Mrs. Darling Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon [31]
2017 Queen Anne Anne, Queen of Great Britain Theatre Royal Haymarket, London [32][33]
2018 The Art of Success Louisa Rose Theatre Kingston, Kingston upon Thames [34]
The Taste of the Town Mrs. Bascombe Rose Theatre Kingston, Kingston upon Thames [35]
2021 Romeo and Juliet Nurse Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London [36]


  1. ^ Flint, Rachel (23 July 2013). "Frodsham born Emma Cunniffe will be performing in Ibsen's ground-breaking play A Doll's House this February". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Frodsham's Emma Cunniffe - Playing in a Doll's House". Great British Life. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Emma Cunniffe". Drama Faces. BBC. Archived from the original on 23 June 2006.
  4. ^ "UK Theatre Awards Previous Winners". 1999. UK Theatre Association. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Cast and creative | Royal Shakespeare Company". Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  6. ^ Taylor, Sarah (6 June 2010). "Emma Cunniffe: In the closet". Express. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  7. ^ Timblick, Simon. "Doctors spoilers: Sid Vere makes a SURPRISE discovery!". What to Watch. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Emma Cunniffe". Conway Van Gelder Grant. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  9. ^ Butler, Robert (16 November 1997). "THEATRE: FUN AND LOSSES ON OUR SUMMER HOLIDAYS". Independent.com. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  10. ^ Gardner, Lyn (12 October 1999). "The Master Builder". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  11. ^ "TALES FROM HOLLYWOOD". Free Library. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  12. ^ Koenig, Rhoda (10 April 2002). "A Buyer's Market, Bush Theatre, London". Independent.com. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  13. ^ "What's on in March". BBC. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ Gardner, Lyn (19 September 2003). "Twelfth Night". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  15. ^ Hickling, Alfred (19 May 2004). "Major Barbara". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  16. ^ Gardner, Lyn (21 September 2005). "As You Like It". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  17. ^ Nightingale, Benedict (26 January 2005). "Losing Louis". The Times. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  18. ^ McMillan, Peter (2 March 2006). "Women Beware Women - Swan, Stratford". Worcester News. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  19. ^ Billington, Michael (29 November 2006). "The Glass Room". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  20. ^ "The Entertainer at the Old Vic". London SE1. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Emma Cunniffe in Chekhov's Three Sisters". North Wales Live. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  22. ^ "I've been lucky'". Manchester Evening News. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2019. UPDATED January 13, 2013
  23. ^ "Performing in Educating Rita is like going back to school for me, says star Emma Cunniffe". Daily Record. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  24. ^ Gardner, Lyn (28 May 2009). "Amongst Friends". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Emma Cunniffe". Open Air Theatre. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  26. ^ Gardner, Lyn (11 April 2010). "Dumb Show". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  27. ^ Hickling, Alfred (13 September 2011). "Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  28. ^ Bowen, Rick (28 February 2011). "Review: A Doll's House @ Lowry, Salford". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  29. ^ Gardner, Lyn (1 May 2012). "The Conquest of the South Pole – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  30. ^ Barnett, Laura (24 March 2013). "Proof – review". The Guardian. The Observer. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  31. ^ Peterson, Tyler (15 October 2013). "Full Cast Announced for Royal Shakespeare Company's Fiona Button & Sam Swann-Led WENDY & PETER PAN". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  32. ^ Mountford, Fiona (11 July 2017). "Queen Anne, theatre review: A real summer treat all round". Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  33. ^ Billington, Michael (1 December 2015). "Queen Anne review – pain and passion of a monarch's fight to rule with grace". The Guardian.
  34. ^ "HOGARTH'S PROGRESS: THE ART OF SUCCESS". Rose Theatre. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  35. ^ "First Look: Hogarth's Progress The Taste of The Town". Theatre Weekly. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  36. ^ Macdonald, Brendan (29 June 2021). "Review: Romeo and Juliet at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre". Exeunt Magazine. Retrieved 5 February 2022.

External links[edit]