Helen Victoria Baxendale
7 June 1970
|Partner||David L. Williams|
|Children||3; including Nell Williams|
Helen Victoria Baxendale (born 7 June 1970) is an English actress of stage and television, known for her roles as Rachel Bradley in the British comedy drama Cold Feet (1997–2003), and Emily Waltham in the American sitcom Friends (1998–1999).
Baxendale's early stage credits include The Soldiers at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, which earned her a 1993 Ian Charleson Award nomination. Her other television credits include Cardiac Arrest (1994–1996), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1997–1999), Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (2001), Cuckoo (2012–2019), and Noughts + Crosses (2020).
She grew up in Shenstone, Staffordshire, and attended King Edward VI School, Lichfield. She wanted to be a ballet dancer and trained at the Elmhurst School for Dance, until dropping out aged 17 in favour of an acting career. She moved to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, then worked at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre from 1992 to 1995.
Via her work at Glasgow Citizens' Theatre, Baxendale was cast in hospital TV series Cardiac Arrest, though it was not her first television role. Her performance as Dr Claire Maitland earned her a Scottish BAFTA nomination in 1995. Her role as Rachel Bradley in the TV series Cold Feet garnered her a British Comedy Award nomination. She starred in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, playing Cordelia Gray. The Independent stated: "her early roles were defined by icy cool, sleek bobs and ironic detachment." 
Aged 27 Baxendale was cast in a recurring role in Friends as Ross Geller's girlfriend, wife and ultimately ex-wife Emily Waltham. She appeared in fourteen episodes throughout Season 4 and early Season 5.
Other notable roles include Lorna Johnson in Truth or Dare alongside John Hannah, 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. She played Pandora Braithwaite in Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years in 2001 and "Maggie" in the multiple award-winning Bolse Vita. She appeared in Saving Nellie, a physics programme running on Teachers TV. From 2007 to January 2008 she starred in Swimming with Sharks alongside Christian Slater at London's Vaudeville Theatre.
In 2010, Baxendale appeared in the pilot episode of Dirk Gently as Susan Harmison. In January 2011, she co-starred with Trevor Eve in the three-part ITV drama Kidnap and Ransom, filmed on location in South Africa. Later in 2011, she starred as DCI Marion Bettany in Val McDermid's radio crime drama Village SOS. In 2012 she reprised her role in the second episode. She then appeared in the Inspector George Gently episode "The Lost Child" alongside Mark Gatiss. From 2012 to 2019, she starred in Cuckoo as Lorna, the mother in-law of the titular Dale 'Cuckoo' Ashbrick. In 2020 she played housekeeper Meggie McGregor in Noughts + Crosses.
Baxendale starred as Christine in Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie, and in 2005 appeared as Romy, the title role in The Woman Before at the Royal Court alongside Nigel Lindsay, Saskia Reeves, Tom Riley and Georgia Taylor. She played Ophelia in Hamlet (the Marovitz Hamlet) alongside Henry Ian Cusick. She was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award (best classical actor under 30) for her 1993 performance in Soldiers at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. In 2009 Baxendale played Lara in Amongst Friends alongside Aden Gillett and Emma Cunniffe at Hampstead Theatre.
Baxendale has been with her boyfriend David L. Williams since her Glasgow days. Together they have three children. Her first pregnancy was written into An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and her second was written into the fourth series of Cold Feet.
Due to Baxendale's first pregnancy, and the fact that she lived in the UK rather than the US, her character was written out of Friends earlier than the writers had originally intended. She appeared in only 14 episodes, despite her character dating, marrying, and divorcing Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), one of the show's six leads.
|1993||The Marshal||Anita||Television film|
|Euphoric Scale||Short film|
|The Good Guys||Miss Lomax||Episode: "All for Love"|
|Casualty||Emma||Episode: "Give Us This Day"|
||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|
|Truth or Dare||Lorna Johnston||Television film |
— Nominated: BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actress in Television (1997)
|In Suspicious Circumstances||Queen Elizabeth I||Episode: "An Evil Business"|
||An Unsuitable Job for a Woman||Cordelia Gray||10 episodes|
||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|
|I'd Like a Word With You||Joan||Direct-to-video|
||Friends||Emily Waltham||recurring; 14 episodes (Seasons 4 and 5)|
|2000||The Servant Girl||Television film|
|Ordinary Decent Criminal||Lisa|
|Tales from the Madhouse||The Servant Girl||Television mini-series; episode: "The Servant Girl"|
|2001||Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years||Pandora Braithwaite||6 episodes|
|Dead by Monday||Julie Matthews|
|Lost in the Snow||Lily||Animated film|
|Murder in Mind||Helen Robbins||Episode: "Justice"|
|2006||The Only Boy for Me||Annie||Television film|
|2007||Dead Clever: The life and Crimes of Julie Bottomley||Sarah|
|2008||Agatha Christie's Miss 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|
|Beyond the Pole||Becky|
|Big Mouth||Mum||Short film|
|2011||Kidnap and Ransom||Angela Beddoes||2011–2012; television mini-series; 6 episodes|
|Anonymous||Anne de Vere|
|2012||Inspector George Gently||Frances Groves||Episode: "The Lost Child"|
||Cuckoo||Lorna Thompson||33 episodes|
|2013||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Elizabeth Cole||Episode: "Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case"|
|2014||Death in Paradise||Sasha Moore||Episode: "Death of a Detective"|
|The Secrets||Julie||Episode: "The Visitor"|
|2016||Midsomer Murders||Rose Lancaster||S18E1: "Habeas Corpus"|
|2020||Noughts + Crosses||Meggie McGregor||6 episodes|
|2020||Agatha and the Midnight Murders||Agatha Christie|
- Edmonds, Mark (30 September 2012). "Helen Baxendale, actress". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
- Jarvis, Alica-Azania (10 November 2007). "The 5-minute interview: Helen Baxendale". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
A common misperception of me is...that my birthday is on Valentine's Day. It's on 7 June.
- Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005. Volume 2d, page 1778.
- "Helen Baxendale: 'Nobody asks me to do sex scenes now, which is a great relief'". 22 April 2022. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
- Deans, James (8 February 2010). "Trevor Eve to star in ITV1 thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- BBC Press Office (4 August 2011). "Network Woman's Hour Drama – Village SOS". Press release. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- Fowler, Rebecca. "Triumphant first acts". Sunday Times. 13 March 1994.
- Gardner, Lyn (28 May 2009). "Amongst Friends". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "Cabin Pressure S1E3 - Cremona". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 3 December 2022.
- Laws, Roz (13 April 2009) including actress Nell Williams. "Helen Baxendale gets the balance right after Cold Feet and Friends". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror Midlands). Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- 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.
- "Meet the cast of BBC One's Noughts and Crosses". Radio Times.