Emma Rigby

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Emma Rigby
Emma Rigby with a fan.jpg
Rigby in September 2011
Born Emma Catherine Rigby
(1989-09-26) 26 September 1989 (age 27)
St Helens, Merseyside, England, UK
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2002–present

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, Gemma Roscoe in BBC One drama series Prisoners' Wives and as the Red Queen in American fantasy-drama Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.


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 2005, Rigby got the role as Hannah Ashworth in Hollyoaks at the age of 15.[1] 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.

For a brief time Emma turned from acting to modelling shooting a campaign with Rory Lewis Photographer in Late February 2010.[2] 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.[3] 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. Also in the true story film called Plastic.[4]

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.[5][6] In 2013 Rigby appeared in episode four of Ripper Street as Lucy Eames,[7] and in episode one of The Job Lot,[8] she was also cast in a lead role as the Red Queen in the U.S. television series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.[9][10][11] She was number 98 on FHM 100 Sexiest of 2015.[12] 2016 saw Rigby make a guest appearance on Death in Paradise.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
2009 A Kingdom without a King Alicia Waterstone Short
2010 Talk Eloise Short
2011 Analogue Love Maggie Short
2011 Demons Never Die Samantha Rearden
2013 The Physician Rebecca
2013 The Counsellor Tony's Girlfriend
2014 Endless Love Jenny
2014 Plastic Frankie
2016 Actors Anonymous Bree
2016 A Hundred Streets Rose
2016 A Christmas Stocking


Year Title Role Notes
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 5 episodes
2011 Fresh Meat Rachel 1 episode
2012 Prisoners' Wives Gemma Roscoe 6 episodes
2012 Pramface Carrie-Ann 1 episode
2013 Ripper Street Lucy Eames 1 episode
2013 The Job Lot Chloe 1 episode
2013–2014 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Red Queen/Anastasia Lead role
2016 Death in Paradise Laura Hagen Episode 5.1
2016 Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Vampire Television Movie

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 to Jo Joyner.[14]

Her portrayal of Hannah Ashworth's battle with anorexia attracted praise. The Daily Mail's television 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. She 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.[15] 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.[16]


  1. ^ Miles, Tina (29 September 2015). "Hollyoaks 20th anniversary: Some of the soap's sexiest actresses". liverpoolecho.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Emma Rigby Photoshoot Rory Lewis Photographer http://rorylewisphotography.com/blog/emma-rigby-photoshoot/
  3. ^ "TV Review: BECOMING HUMAN; for whom the school bell tolls". whatculture.com. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Lily Allen's Little Bro Alfie Stars Alongside Emma Rigby, Will Poulter In 'Plastic' | MTV UK". mtv.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Collinson, Dawn (31 January 2012). "Ex-Hollyoaks star Emma Rigby on her new BBC1 drama Prisoners' Wives". liverpoolecho.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Emma Rigby talks about her new role in BBC's Prisoners' Wives". St Helens Star. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "'Ripper Street' episode four review". digitalspy.com. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Russell Tovey, Emma Rigby for ITV comedy". digitalspy.com. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (4 April 2013). "Emma Rigby Cast In ABC's 'Once Upon A Time' Spinoff As Red Queen". deadline.com. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Emma Rigby talks 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland's' Red Queen". hypable.com. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' star Emma Rigby loves 'deliciously evil' role". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Paul Nicholls joins Death in Paradise". digitalspy.com. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  14. ^ Hollyoaks triumphs, Metro.co.uk; accessed 7 March 2014.
  15. ^ The Hollyoaks Awards 2007 » Hollyoaks » Channel 4; accessed 7 March 2014.
  16. ^ all about soap awards, channel4.com; accessed 7 March 2014.

External links[edit]