Simons in 2016
|Born||Rita Joanne Simons
10 March 1977
|Other names||Rita Silveston|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, model|
|Known for||Roxy Mitchell on EastEnders (2007–2017)|
|Spouse(s)||Theo Silveston (2004–present)|
Rita Joanne Simons (born 10 March 1977) is an English actress, singer, and model from London, who is known for playing Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2007 to 2017, when her character was killed off. For her performance on the show Simons received many accolades, including the 2008 National Television Award for Most Popular Newcomer.
Simons was born to Susan (née Franks) and Mark Simons. Both of her parents are Jewish. She has an older brother, Ben. Through her paternal aunt's marriage, Simons is the niece of multi-millionaire businessman Lord Sugar, who is best known in the BBC reality series The Apprentice.
In August 2006, she married hairdresser Theo Silveston, whom she met through a friend when she was 19. They have twin daughters. Simons is best friends with co-star Samantha Womack, who played her on-screen sister Ronnie Mitchell. In March 2008, The Sun reported that Simons was diagnosed with scoliosis disorder, which causes the spine to bend side to side, and is the reason why Simons is two inches shorter than she should be.
Before her acting career, Simons was in the band Girls@Play, who had a couple of hit singles before splitting up. Their songs included "Airhead" and a cover of Mel and Kim's "Respectable". Simons then joined a different group called Charli with three other members, including Shar from the Paradiso Girls, and released a single titled "Feel Me".
On 11 May 2007, it was announced that she would be joining the cast of EastEnders as Roxy Mitchell, alongside Samantha Womack who played Roxy's sister Ronnie Mitchell. Of her role, Simons said: "I've always watched EastEnders and it's been my dream to become part of the Mitchell family." Simons temporarily departed from EastEnders in late 2015 (the character departed from screens from 1 January to 4 May 2016), allowing the actress to take part in a Snow White pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, over the 2015/16 Christmas and New Year period. In August 2016, it was announced that Simons had quit EastEnders along with Samantha Womack and that they would be both departing in an "explosive" storyline in 2017. Her on-screen character Roxy Mitchell drowned in a swimming pool in an episode broadcast on New Year's Day 2017, along with her sister Ronnie. Simons is set to appear as Paulette Bonafonte in Legally Blonde the Musical in September 2017.
In December 2009, Simons visited her old secondary school, Watford Grammar School for Girls to open the Christmas fair. In December 2010, Simons launched the RNID Christmas Concert where she announced that her five-year-old daughter, Maiya is deaf. In July 2011, Simons held an autograph session at the St Nicholas Primary School summer fair in Elstree. In December 2011, Simons hosted the annual Action on Hearing Loss concert along with the Mayor of Camden. The actress appeared on a Big Star's Little Star episode, broadcast on 1 April 2015, and went on to win £13,000 for charity.
|2008||2008 National Television Awards||Most Popular Newcomer||Won|
|2008 Inside Soap Awards||Best Newcomer||Won|
|2008 Digital Spy Soap Awards||Best Newcomer||Won|
|Best On-Screen Partnership (with Samantha Janus)||Won|
|2008 TV Now Awards||Favourite Newcomer to Irish (with Samantha Janus)||Won|
|2008 British Soap Awards||Best Newcomer||Nominated|
|Best On-Screen Partnership (with Samantha Janus)||Nominated|
|2008 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards||Best Newcomer||Nominated|
|2009||2009 All About Soap Bubble Awards||Fatal Attraction (with Robert Kazinsky)||Nominated|
|2009 TV Now Awards||Favourite Female Soap Star||Nominated|
|2011||2011 British Soap Awards||Sexiest Female||Shortlisted|
- "Samantha Janus lands EastEnders role". Digital Spy. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
- Neil, Beth (30 April 2008). "EastEnders Roxy on being a mum and the Square's biggest slapper". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Rita Simons". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
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- "EastEnders star suffering from scoliosis". The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. 18 March 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 228. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "'Charli' Music Video W Shar From The Paradiso Girls!". YouTube. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Westbrook, Caroline (26 May 2007). "Sugar's niece joins Enders". Jewtastic. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
- "The Mitchell Sisters". Daily Mirror. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
- Britcher, Chris (11 January 2016). "Marlowe Theatre panto smashes box office records as Snow White packs a punch". Kent News. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "EastEnders' Rita Simons and Samantha Womack's explosive exit". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (1 January 2017). "EastEnders kills off Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell with a grisly swimming pool ending". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Minn, Hayley (2 January 2017). "Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell's EastEnders death explained: How they actually drowned". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- "Watford Grammar School For Girls" (PDF). Watford Grammar School For Girls. December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- Nathan, Sara (24 December 2010). "EastEnders star Rita Simons reveals heartbreak over deaf daughter Maiya at RNID Christmas carol concert". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Darlington, Josh (14 July 2011). "Eastenders star Rita Simons helps raise money for St Nicholas Primary School in Elstree". Borehamwood & Elstree Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- "National Television Awards: The Winners". Digital Spy. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
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- Green, Kris (21 March 2008). "Digital Spy Soap Awards 2008: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Favourite Newcomer to Irish". TV Now. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008.
- "Rita Simons Winner of best newcomer TV Now Awards 2008 held at the Mansion House Dublin, Ireland". Alamy. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "The British Soap Awards 2008: The Winners". Digital Spy. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Rita Simons – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "All About Soap 'Bubble' winners announced". Digital Spy. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Favourite Female Soap Star". TV Now. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009.
- "British Soap Awards 2011: The Winners". Digital Spy.