Jessica Harris (actress)

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Jessica Harris
Born 1981 (age 36–37)
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1980s–present

Jessica Harris (born 1981) is an English actress.


Jessica Harris was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England to Miles and Jo Harris. She grew up in the nearby towns of Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall, and attended Calder High School in Mytholmroyd. She graduated from the Calderdale College in Halifax with a National Diploma in Performing Arts. She later attended the Arts Educational School in London on a scholarship.[1]


Harris made her television debut in the late 1980s when she appeared in the children's educational series How We Used to Live, produced by Yorkshire Television. She later appeared in other Yorkshire series, such as Heartbeat.[1]

She has had other major television roles in Linda Green (as Katy Green), Burn It (as Kelly) and Thieves Like Us (as Mel). On stage, she has appeared in Bottle Universe (October–November 2005, Bush Theatre), Wuthering Heights (York Theatre Royal, June 2007) and The Pornographer Diaries (Edinburgh, August 2007). In 2009, she played Desdemona in a national tour of Othello, opposite Lenny Henry.[2] Her performance in Othello was praised by Kate Kellaway of The Observer, who described her as "charming",[3][4] and Georgina Brown of The Mail on Sunday praised her performance of the death scene.[5]

Harris has appeared in the ITV police drama The Bill three times. She first appeared in 2002 as Karen Best, the sister of cast regular PC Gary Best. The role was a recurring one and she appeared in a number of episodes for a year. She next appeared in 2007 as an inmate who has an affair with a prison officer. Harris's most recent role in the series came in 2009 when she appeared as Cathy Menal, a sister of murder victim.


Year Title Role Other notes
1995 Heartbeat Vicki 1 episode: "Sophie's Choice"
1998 Heartbeat Maureen Dodds 1 episode: "Love Me Do"
The Broker's Man Jane 1 episode: "Kith and Kin"
2000 Cold Feet Student Two 1 episode: Series 3, Episode 2
2001 Peak Practice Teri 1 episode: Series 12, Episode 1
Linda Green Katy Green Recurring role, 9 episodes, 2001–2002
2002 Holby City Kate McIntyre 1 episode: "The Love That Binds"
Sparkhouse Tessa Gillespie
The Bill Karen Best 4 episodes, 2002–2003
2003 Heartbeat Kelley 1 episode: "The High Life"
Burn It Kelly Main cast member
2004 The Royal Shirley Baird 1 episode: "Hold on Tight"
Doctors Jess Simons 1 episode: "Run Baby Run"
Conviction Hayley Bryant 1 episode: Series 1, Episode 3
2005 Fat Friends Joanne Simpson 1 episode: "Icing on the Cake"
2006 Holby City Kerry Peters 2 episodes: "I Am Not What I Am" and "Conscience"
Wire in the Blood Sally Hayter 1 episode: "Time to Murder and Create"
Doctors Katrina Thompson 1 episode: "Year of the Rat"
Strictly Confidential Vicky Melton 1 episode: Episode 3
2007 The Bill Evie Barnes 1 episode
Thieves Like Us Mel Recurring role
2009 Being Human Becca 1 episode: Series 1, Episode 1
The Inbetweeners Michelle 1 episode: "Will's Birthday"
Heartbeat Ruthie Abbott 1 episode: "Cashing In"
The Bill Kathy Merrill 1 episode: "Twist of Fate"
2012 Starlings Katie Recurring role


Year Title Role Director Performance history
2005 Bottle Universe Lauren Sue Dunderdale Bush Theatre, 12 October–12 November 2005[6]
2006 Billy Liar Rita Phil Wilmott Made in Liverpool/Liverpool Playhouse, 3–25 February 2006[7]
2007 Cocoa Girl Chris White Theatre 503, 20 April–5 May 2007[8]
Wuthering Heights Catherine Earnshaw/Linton Sue Dunderdale Theatre Royal, York, 2–23 June 2007[9]
The Pornographer Diaries Female roles Kate McCarthy Have a Word Productions/C venues, Edinburgh Festival, 1–27 August 2007.[10]
2008 Harper Regan Justine Ross Marianne Elliott National/Cottesloe Theatre, 16 April–9 August 2008
2009 Othello Desdemona Barrie Rutter West Yorkshire Playhouse, national tour, February–December 2009.


  1. ^ a b Staff (13 February 2009). "Working with Lenny Henry is a serious business". Evening Courier (Halifax: Johnston Press).
  2. ^ Hawkins, Pauline (26 January 2009). "I'm playing Lenny Henry's missus: Hebden Bridge actress gets big Othello break with star". Evening Courier (Halifax: Johnston Press).
  3. ^ Kellaway, Kate (20 September 2009). "I'm getting an 'F'... could it be fraudster?" The Observer (Guardian News & Media): p. 14 (Observer Review section).
  4. ^ Callan, Paul (21 September 2009). "First Night Review: Othello". Daily Express (Express Newspapers).
  5. ^ Brown, Georgina (27 September 2009). "The misfits at the top Table". The Mail on Sunday (Associated Newspapers): p. 22.
  6. ^ Thaxter, John (17 October 2005). "Bottle Universe". The Stage. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  7. ^ Baldock, Carole (9 February 2006). "Billy Liar. The Stage. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  8. ^ Smith, Alistair (23 April 2007). "Cocoa. The Stage. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  9. ^ Berry, Kevin (6 June 2007). "Wuthering Heights. The Stage. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  10. ^ Austin, Jeremy (7 August 2007). "The Pornographer Diaries. The Stage. Retrieved 26 January 2009.

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