Nicholls-Eden in 2010
Susan Yvette Nicholls
23 November 1943
Mark Eden (m. 1993)
Susan Yvette Nicholls-Eden (born 23 November 1943) is an English actress, known for her long-running role as Audrey Roberts in the British soap opera Coronation Street. Having played Audrey on a recurring basis for six years from the character's debut in 1979, she joined the cast permanently in 1985. She won the 2000 British Soap Award for Best Comedy Performance and the 2003 British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance.
Notable roles for Nicholls-Eden prior to Coronation Street include, Crossroads from 1964–68 and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin from 1976–79. She also appeared on Broadway in the 1974 revival of the comedy London Assurance.
Susan Yvette Nicholls-Eden was born in Darlaston, Staffordshire. She was educated at the School of St Mary and St Anne (now known as Abbots Bromley School for Girls), and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (BA.Hons in Performing & Dramatic Arts)
Nicholls-Eden first became known as Marilyn Gates on Crossroads, a role she played from 1964-68. A song she first sang on the programme, "Where Will You Be?", charted on 3 July 1968, eventually reaching number 17 in the UK Singles Chart.
Nicholls-Eden's second single was less successful and she embarked on a career in a cabaret, performing her solo act all over the country. She returned to the stage in a variety of popular plays and pantomimes. During the 1970s, she had two very different stints abroad. In Vienna she sang between strip acts at a nightclub while in 1976 she toured America and Canada with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London Assurance, finishing with a six-week run on Broadway.
She played the role of the secretary, Joan Greengross (later Webster and Millbeck) in the sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–79) and its sequel The Legacy of Reginald Perrin (1996), as well as Nadia Popov in Rentaghost and Mrs Muddle in Pipkins (1973) and appeared as Derinda Forbes in police drama The Professionals; episode "The Acorn Syndrome" (1980).
She has played Audrey in Coronation Street as an occasional visitor since April 1979, and a full-time permanent character since 1985.
- British Soap Awards 2000 (Best Comedy Performance)
- British Soap Awards 2003 (Best Dramatic Performance)
- British Soap Awards 2003 (Hero of the Year)
Nicholls-Eden's father was Sir Harmar Nicholls, later Lord Harmar-Nicholls, the former Conservative MP for Peterborough (1950–1974) and MEP for Greater Manchester South (1979–1984), and subsequently a life peer; she is thus entitled to be addressed as "The Honourable Susan Nicholls-Eden". Nicholls-Eden has been married to Mark Eden, who also appeared as Alan Bradley on Coronation Street until 8 December 1989.
In 2011, while watching an episode of Coronation Street, Sister Anna Bianconi-Moore, a Senior nurse at the dermatology department at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, noticed a mole on Nicholls-Eden's shoulder. The nurse contacted the show immediately via e-mail to express her concerns. Nicholls-Eden was seen by Dr Zeena Islam - Coronation Street's in-house doctor, who referred her to a skin cancer specialist, where she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After the mole was surgically removed, ITV contacted Bianconi-Moore to inform her on the situation, and she was invited to the Coronation Street set to meet Nicholls-Eden.
Nicholls-Eden is said to be very close to Jack P. Shepherd who plays her on-screen grandson. In an interview, Sue has said that she treats him like "her own son".