Tamzin Outhwaite

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Tamzin Outhwaite
Tamzin Outhwaite 2015.jpg
Outhwaite at the 2015 Oliver Awards, April 2015
Born Tamzin Maria Outhwaite
(1970-11-05) 5 November 1970 (age 46)
Ilford, London, England, UK
Nationality British
Other names Tamsin Outhwaite
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Spouse(s) Tom Ellis (m. 2006; div. 2014)
Children 2
Awards British Soap Award - Sexiest Female
2000 EastEnders - Mel
1999 EastEnders - Mel
National Television Award - Most Popular Newcomer
1999 EastEnders - Mel

Tamzin Maria Outhwaite (/ˈθwt/; born 5 November 1970) is a British actress from London. Since coming to national notice playing Melanie Owen in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders from 1998 until 2002, she has since starred in both theatre and television productions, including army series Red Cap and crime drama New Tricks.[1]

Early life[edit]

The daughter of Anna (née Santi) and Colin Frank Outhwaite, born in Ilford, London, Tamzin has two younger brothers, Kes and Jake Outhwaite. She was educated at Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green.

Outhwaite attended the Stagestruck Theatre Company as a teenager, taking part in several productions during the mid-1980s. While at school, she studied part-time at Sylvia Young Theatre School and on leaving school in 1987, she joined the London Studio Centre to study drama and dance, where one of her friends was television presenter Lucy Alexander.[2]


On graduation from the London Studio Centre she started her career in the theatre, taking roles in productions including Grease and Oliver!, and work at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, before landing bit parts in television series The Bill and Men Behaving Badly.

She found national fame in 1998 when she was cast as Melanie Healy in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. Her first appearance was aired in October 1998 and her final one was in March 2002. During nearly four years in Walford, Outhwaite's feisty character was central to many explosive storylines. Outhwaite left EastEnders in 2002, shortly after the departure from the soap of co-star Martin Kemp, who had played her on-screen husband Steve Owen. She stated in 2006 that she wouldn't rule out returning to EastEnders.[3]

Since quitting the serial, she has starred in leading roles in Out of Control, and the BBC army drama Red Cap, which she played until the series ended in 2004. After this she went on to star in a number of television dramas, including Hustle, Final Demand, Walk Away and I Stumble and Frances Tuesday. She fronted an advertising campaign as part of a one million pound contract with cosmetics company Avon; she also modelled the Spirit range at Debenhams in 2004.[citation needed]

In 2005 Outhwaite starred opposite Wesley Snipes in the unsuccessful direct-to-video film 7 Seconds. In 2006, she starred in the ITV series Vital Signs (as a frustrated mother who decides to leave her dreary job at the supermarket and enroll in medical school) and in the BBC series Hotel Babylon as hotel manager Rebecca Mitchell. A second series aired in spring 2007. Outhwaite did not appear in the third series of Hotel Babylon in order to focus on other projects.[citation needed]

In October 2006 she had a starring role in the film thriller Backwaters, set in India; the film has yet to be released in the UK, but is available on DVD in America under the title Betrayed by Passion. On 12 January 2007, she guest-hosted episode two of the fourth series of The Friday Night Project on Channel 4. She can also be seen in U2's music video for their song "Even Better Than the Real Thing"; not "Mysterious Ways" as has been incorrectly reported. She plays a VJ in the video.[citation needed]

She appeared in a revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, the film Cassandra's Dream,[4] and the ITV drama series, The Fixer, which was shown in March and April 2008.[5]

Outhwaite and her ex-husband were the winners of the ITV charity gameshow All Star Mr & Mrs Christmas Special on 20 December 2008. In the feature film, Radio Cape Cod, she plays a radio interviewer who has a new love entering her life and whose daughter, played by Tamzin Merchant, is experiencing her first love.

In 2009, she played the lead in the sci-fi crime series for the BBC entitled Paradox,[6] which first aired on BBC1 on 24 November 2009.

In 2010, she appeared in Over the Rainbow, a talent show casting for Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage production of The Wizard of Oz. In the same year, she was a member of the judging panel on the UK television programme Don't Stop Believing broadcast on Five.

From November 2009 to March 2010 Outhwaite starred in Sweet Charity which moved to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket after a successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Outhwaite appeared in the ITV 2011 Christmas special Fast Freddie, The Widow and Me as fraudster Patsy Morgan.

In 2012, Outhwaite appeared in the film Great Expectations as Molly.

In May 2013, Outhwaite appeared as Captain Alice in "Nightmare in Silver", an episode of the seventh series of Doctor Who. She also appeared as Esther in "Endless Night", an episode of Agatha Christie's Marple.

She joined the cast of the popular BBC TV comedy-drama series New Tricks as DCI Sasha Miller, replacing Amanda Redman as head of the team in the show. Outhwaite had earlier appeared in series 9, episode 6 of the show, guest-starring as a different character who is brought to justice at the end of the episode.

Outhwaite has been cast to play Teresa Phillips in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in March 2016. [7]

Personal life[edit]

Outhwaite lives in London. From 2006 to 2014 she was married to actor Tom Ellis. They have two daughters Florence Elsie Ellis (born 2008) and Marnie Mae Ellis (born 2012).[8] It was announced in 2013 that the couple had separated and the following month, Outhwaite filed for divorce, citing Ellis's infidelity as the grounds for dissolution of the marriage.[9][10][11]

Outhwaite was the subject of an episode of BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? shown on 21 August 2014.[12] Her mother is of Italian heritage.[13] Her maternal great grandfather Adelmo Santi and his eldest son Pietro Santi were born in Barga, Italy, and became naturalised British citizens in 1957, living first in Glasgow, Scotland, and then settling in Fishburn, England, with a thriving ice cream business.[14]


External links[edit]