Bracknell as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale
Alison Rosalind Bracknell
12 July 1964
|Died||15 September 2019 (aged 55)|
|Alma mater||Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art|
Alison Rosalind Bracknell (12 July 1964 – 15 September 2019), known professionally as Leah Bracknell, was an English actress, known for her role as Zoe Tate in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale (1989–2005), for which she was nominated for the 2002 National Television Award for Most Popular Actress and won the 2006 British Soap Award for Best Exit. She was also a qualified teacher with the British School of Yoga and designed and produced a jewellery line.
Born in Westminster, London, Bracknell was the daughter of English television director David Ian Bracknell (1932–1987) and Chinese-Malaysian actress Li-Er Hwang. Her parents met while filming The World of Suzie Wong in Hong Kong in 1959. David was an assistant director and Li-Er played the part of "Wednesday Lu" in the film. The adopted name "Leah" is an anglicization of her mother's name "Li-Er". Bracknell grew up in London and Oxford and spent a year in New Zealand and Fiji.
Bracknell first appeared on the TV series The Chiffy Kids in 1976, which was directed by her father, David. After leaving Emmerdale, she returned to the theatre and appeared as Mrs Manningham in Gaslight and Strangers on a Train.
In 2008, she joined the touring Theatreworks production of Turn of the Screw to play the lead role, that of the governess. She also appeared in the TV dramas Judge John Deed, Casualty 1907 and in the daytime soap Doctors. In June 2007, she joined the cast of ITV1 daytime soap The Royal Today as Matron Jenny Carrington.
Within two years of leaving the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art she was cast in the ITV1 soap opera, Emmerdale playing the role of vet and land owner, Zoe Tate. She appeared in the programme for 16 years (with breaks, including two spells of maternity leave) until leaving the series in 2005. She was initially only due to leave the series for nine months but did not return. The character was the first lesbian in a British soap and at the time was one of the longest-featured gay characters on television.
Bracknell won the 'Best Exit' award at the British Soap Awards in May 2006 for her exit from the role of Zoe Tate. In 2002, she was nominated for 'Most Popular Actress' at the National Television Awards and "Best Dramatic Performance" at the British Soap Awards.
In October 2016, Bracknell said she had been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer. A fundraising appeal to pay for experimental treatment in Germany hit its target of £50,000 within three days. She appeared on This Morning and Loose Women to talk about her cancer and determination to fight it.
|1976||The Chiffy Kids||Unnamed||1 episode|
|1989–2005||Emmerdale||Zoe Tate||Series regular|
|2007||Judge John Deed||Dr. Mary Moon||2 episodes|
|2007||Doctors||Jennifer Bryant||1 episode: "Brotherly Love"|
|2008||The Royal Today||Jenny Carrington||Main role|
|2008||A Touch of Frost||Caroline Frost||2 episodes|
|2009||Doctors||Stella Davids||1 episode: "Great Expectations"|
|2011||DCI Banks||Maria||1 episode: "Playing with Fire: Part 1"|
|2011||Doctors||Amanda Lord||1 episode: "Awake"|
|2015||A Dark Reflection||Isabelle Morris||Film|
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