June 18, 1964
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Linda Davidson (born 18 June 1964 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian-British former actress, writer and a media corporate[clarification needed]. She played the wayward punk, Mary Smith in the BBC soap opera, EastEnders. Mary was one of the serial's original characters and Davidson played her from March 1985 to May 1988. Away from EastEnders Davidson has appeared in various television programmes and on stage. However, she stopped performing in the late 1990s. She went on to work in digital media for the BBC and Channel 4, then became a director of business strategy for Discovery Communications in the 2000s. By 2011, she had founded the "a.bridge collective", a network of broadcast and digital media industry experts.
Prior to her corporate career, Linda Davidson was an actress and dancer (her mother was a soloist with the Ballet Rambert). She attended drama school, the Italia Conti Academy in London, and moved into television acting.
Her big television break came in 1984, when she secured the role of Mary Smith, in the fledgling BBC serial drama, EastEnders; she first appeared on-screen as Mary in March 1985. During Davidson's time on the show her character was involved in storylines about prostitution, unemployment, drugs and the confiscation of her child, Annie, by social services. She quit EastEnders in 1988, when she was offered a Steven Berkoff play.
Davidson went on to act in First of the Summer Wine (1988); Bulman; Casualty (1990); House of Elliot (1992); Maria's Child (1992); The Bill (1993); and 10 x 10: The Guinea Pig (1998). She also appeared in various theatre productions; notably, she played the role of Columbia in the first West End revival of The Rocky Horror Show (1990).
Davidson developed an interest in writing and worked as a TV sit-com writer, director and voiceover specialist. Some of her stories were published and she had several scripts for film and television optioned, but ultimately the projects did not go ahead.
Her interest in writing and the internet signified the next stage of her career. She wrote for BBC Online, making contributions to Tomorrow's World and Good Homes online. In the mid 90s she was in charge of all the BBC's drama websites, including the EastEnders website. She also worked as the editor of E4 Interactive in the 2000s. She progressed to work on programmes for emerging digital channels. At Channel 4, she secured investment and helped launch; 4Dating, T4 and 4Music. Meanwhile, she commissioned award winning animation Action Stan and BAFTA nominated multi-player game, Tank Wars. Davidson also teamed up with the drama and entertainment departments to co-create Fiction Lab at the BBC.
Later she moved to Discovery Communications as Global Production Director (digital) and then Director of Business Strategy for IT and Business Operations. Davidson later founded and is Managing Director of the "a.bridge collective", a network of broadcast and digital media industry experts. In June 2014 Davidson also took on the role of Operations Director for Social Media Marketing Agency Legend Engage, and is now a Non-Executive Director for them. Davidson is currently launching a data-driven advertising technology business for Channel 4 and was shortlisted for Woman of the Future Award 2014.
Davidson, daughter of Alan Davidson, emigrated from Canada to Southport, Merseyside, England as a child. She now resides in London. During the 1980s, she dated Nejdet Salih, her co-star on EastEnders who played Ali Osman. She now has a partner with whom she has a son.
Selected television roles
|1988–1989||First of the Summer Wine||Anita Pillsworth|
|December 1987||Crimewatch UK||Lynda Hunter|
- "Square are they now?". The Sun. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- "a.bridge". Linked in. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Kingsley, Hilary (1990). The EastEnders Handbook. BBC books. ISBN 9780563362920.
- "EastEnders stars - where are they now?". What's on TV. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Latchem, Tom (2006-07-16). "SQUARE ARE THEY NOW?". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Richard O'Brien's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW The Whole Gory Story:1990 London Revival Cast". Sanityfortoday.com. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "SQUARE ARE THEY NOW?". The People. 2006-02-19. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Whatever Happened To...? Linda Davidson; Nicola Methven goes behind the scenes". Daily Mirror. 27 October 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2011.