Sally Julia Dexter (born 15 April 1960) is an English actress of stage and screen. She won the 1987 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer for Dalliance. Her other West End stage credits include the musicals Oliver! (1994), Sister Act (2010), and Billy Elliot the Musical (2013). Her television credits include the ITV soap opera's Night and Day from 2001 to 2003, and Emmerdale since 2017.
Dexter was educated at Chiltern Edge School, King James's College (now Henley College) at Henley-on-Thames, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Her many onscreen appearances have included A Touch of Frost, Dalziel and Pascoe, and Family, as well as the long-running Night and Day. As a stage actress, Dexter has appeared in both straight plays and musicals in London's West End. In 1987, she won the Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer in Theatre, for her performance in the 1986 production of Dalliance. Her other credits include Nancy in Sam Mendes's 1994 revival of Oliver! at the London Palladium opposite Jonathan Pryce. For her highly acclaimed performance in Oliver!, she received an Olivier Award nomination. The Variety reviewer wrote: "If this 'Oliver!' creates any star, it should be RSC alumna Sally Dexter, whose blowsy, huge-voiced Nancy is the career-making performance this actress has long deserved."
Other roles include Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot the Musical opposite Leon Cooke for 12 months, leaving the show to standing ovations, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth opposite Rufus Sewell, Anna in the original production of Patrick Marber's Closer and Regan in King Lear. She spent several years playing roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the Royal National Theatre, London.
She starred in Bad Girls - the Musical at the Garrick Theatre, London in 2007, and can be heard on its original cast recording along with the London Palladium cast recording for Oliver!, and as Madame Giry on the concept cast recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. She took over in the role of Mother Superior in the London Palladium production of Sister Act from September to October 2010.
She co-wrote and created the three-part BBC comedy drama series Sugartown, starring Tom Ellis, Sue Johnston and Miranda Raison in 2011. She was cast as Gertrude opposite Michael Sheen in Ian Rickson's Young Vic production of Hamlet, previewing in October 2011.
Dexter starred as the White Witch in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Threesixty Theatre in Kensington Gardens until 9 September 2012.
In 2017 Dexter appeared in the BBC TV series Father Brown episode 5.3 "The Eve of St John" as Selina Crow. Also in February 2017 she joined the Emmerdale cast as Faith Dingle. She also appeared in the comedy Horror movie The Attack of the Adult Babies and in the BBC TV series Poldark.
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