Rachel Shenton

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Rachel Shenton
Rachel Shenton.jpg
Rachel Joy Shenton

(1987-12-21) 21 December 1987 (age 32)
Caverswall, Staffordshire, England
OccupationActress, screenwriter
Years active2004–present
Chris Overton (m. 2018)

Rachel Joy Shenton (born 21 December 1987) is a British actress and screenwriter. She played Mitzeee Minniver on the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, and made her American TV debut on ABC Family drama Switched at Birth in Season 3 as Lily Summers, remaining until the show's finale in Season 5. Shenton also appears in BBC2 comedy White Gold. In 2018, she won an Academy Award for her short film The Silent Child.


Shenton was born in Stoke-on-Trent and has lived in the suburb of Caverswall. She attended two high schools, one in Cheadle. After High School Shenton went on to study Performing Arts at Stoke-on-Trent College (Burslem Campus). In between studying and acting roles, she volunteered at her local charity Deaflinks.[1] Shenton's acting career began with small recurring parts in various television series such as Holby City and Waterloo Road.[2] She also filmed various television commercials for the Ministry of Defence, DFS and Sega Superstars Tennis and appeared in two British films.[3] She continued recurring appearances in 2008 appearing in Nickelodeon's series Genie in the House and Five's Sophia's Diary, playing Sofia's wayward sister 'Trisha'.[3]

In April 2010, it was announced that Shenton had been cast in Hollyoaks as Mitzeee Minniver, an aspiring glamour model.[4] Shenton described her character as being the complete opposite of her.[5] Her casting came as part of new producer Paul Marquess' major revamp of the serial. Before her character had appeared on-screen Shenton received media attention for her image, with tabloids reporting on her likeness to Cheryl Cole.[6] Shenton described the attention and comparisons as "very flattering".[7] On 20 December 2012, Shenton announced her decision to leave Hollyoaks. Shenton's final scenes as Mitzeee aired on 15 February 2013, when the character moved to the United States.

On 28 April 2014, it was announced that Shenton would make her US television debut in season 3 of the ABC Family drama Switched at Birth, playing young student teacher, Lilly Summers. Shenton went on to shoot season 4 and 5 which was when the show ended. The final season aired in February 2017.

In March 2018, a short film Shenton wrote and starred in, The Silent Child, won the Academy Award for live action short film at the 90th Academy Awards.[8][9]

In March 2019, Shenton joined the cast of BBC2 comedy series White Gold playing Alpha Female Joanne Scott, alongside James Buckley and Joe Thomas.

Personal life[edit]

When Shenton was twelve, her father became deaf after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Following the death of her father, Shenton learned British Sign Language. In 2011, Shenton was made ambassador for the National Deaf Children's Society and she continues to raise awareness of deafness in the UK.[10][11] In March 2011, Shenton completed a skydive in aid of National Deaf Children's Society.[12] In February 2012, Shenton announced that she was due to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the charity.[10] In May 2011, Shenton helped to launch a social networking website for deaf people named "Viewtalk".[13] In October 2012, she climbed the BT Tower in aid of Action on Hearing Loss.[14] She was engaged to director Chris Overton.[15] They were married in October 2018.



Year Film Role Notes
2004 Kiss & Tell Claire Short film[16]
2005 Holby City Katrina Hobsbawn 1 episode: "Doing the Right Thing" (7.52)[17]
Agnosia Tania Short Film[16]
Xlitherman Shade Girl Feature Film[16]
2006 Doctors Sadie Slade 1 episode: "Positively Blooming" (7.115)[17]
2007 Waterloo Road Courtney 3 episodes[17]
Doctors Jade Hearn/Robertson 1 episode: "Careers Day" (9.111)[17]
2008 Storyville English storyteller Ident[16]
Sophia's Dairy Tricia 1 episode[16]
Genie in the House Amy 1 episode: "Curse of the Genie Ring" (3.09)[17]
2009 Money Kills Anya Feature film[16]
2010–13 Hollyoaks Mitzeee Minniver Regular cast member (234 episodes)[2]
23 July 2010 – 15 February 2013
2011 Blood and Bone China Anna Fitzgerald 10 episodes
2014–2017 Switched at Birth Lily Summers 19 episodes
2017 The Silent Child Joanne Also writer
2019– White Gold Joanne Scott BBC2 and Netflix comedy series
2019 A Very British Christmas Jessica Bailey Hallmark style

Voice over[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2005 NSPCC Eye Opener Abused teenager Voice over[3]
2006 Bulldog Broadband Presenter Voice over[3]
2009 Selston Cosmetic Clinic Presenter Voice over[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 British Soap Awards Sexiest Female[18] Hollyoaks Nominated
All About Soap Bubble Awards Best Newcomer[19] Hollyoaks Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Soap Newcomer[20] Hollyoaks Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Best Newcomer[21] Hollyoaks Nominated
2012 Inside Soap Awards Sexiest Female[22] Hollyoaks Nominated
National Television Awards Serial Drama Performance[23] Hollyoaks Nominated
2017 London Independent Film Festival Best Actress The Silent Child Won
Overcome Film Festival Won
Academy Awards Best Live Action Short Film[24] Won


  1. ^ Harp, Hayley (16 April 2010). "Rachel joins Hollyoaks as girl looking for fame". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Mitzeee (played by Rachel Shenton)". E4. Channel 4 Television Corporation. July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rachel Shenton – Reasume". RachelShenton.com. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  4. ^ Green, Kris (12 April 2010). "'Hollyoaks' announces raft of new castings". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  5. ^ Missim, Mayer (22 June 2010). "Shenton: "Mitzeee's the opposite of me"". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Cheryl Cole lookalike Rachel Shenton to join Hollyoaks as wannabe WAG". Metro. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  7. ^ Green, Kris (16 July 2010). "Rachel Shenton (Mitzeee, 'Hollyoaks')". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  8. ^ "10 Live action shorts advance in 2017 Oscar race". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 11 December 2017.
  9. ^ Colin Paterson (20 January 2018). "The Silent Child: From Hollyoaks to Hollywood?". BBC News.
  10. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (9 February 2012). "'Hollyoaks' Rachel Shenton plans Kilimanjaro charity climb". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  11. ^ Lagnado, Alice (19 December 2011). "Rachel Shenton, who played Mitzeee in the television series Hollyoaks, said she adored playing a character so different from her". Action on Hearing Loss. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  12. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (28 March 2011). "'Hollyoaks' stars complete charity skydive". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Hollyoaks star launches 'deaf Facebook'". Liverpool Echo. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Oaks' Shenton reaches new heights". MSN. 27 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Deaf British girl's film wins an Oscar". BBC News. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Spotlight: Rachel Shenton". The Spotlight. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Rachel Shenton". IMDb. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  18. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (7 March 2011). "British Soap Awards 2011 voting opens". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  19. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (27 March 2011). "In Full: All About Soap Bubble winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  20. ^ Wrightman, Catriona (18 May 2011). "In Full: TV Choice Awards 2011 – Nominees". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  21. ^ Love, Ryan (11 July 2011). "In Full: Inside Soap Awards 2011 Nominees". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  22. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (17 September 2012). "'Coronation Street' leads Inside Soap Awards 2012 shortlist". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  23. ^ Wrightman, Catriona (27 September 2011). "National Television Awards 2012: The nominees". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  24. ^ Dodd, Rachel (23 January 2018). "Adorable Little Deaf Girl From Plymouth Gets Nominated for an Oscar". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2018.

External links[edit]