Sheridan Smith, OBE (born 25 June 1981) is an English actress, singer and dancer.Smith came to prominence on television for her roles in comedy shows Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Love Soup, Gavin & Stacey, Grownups and Benidorm. She went on to star in television dramas like Mrs Biggs (for which she won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for playing Ronnie Biggs' wife), The 7.39 and Cilla (in which she played Cilla Black). Her film credits include Tower Block, Quartet, Powder Room and The Harry Hill Movie.
Smith made her West End debut in a National Youth Music Theatre production of Bugsy Malone and has performed in the musicals Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors and Funny Girl. She won two Laurence Olivier Awards in consecutive years, for Best Actress in a Musical as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde in 2011 and Best Performance in a Supporting Role as Doris in a revival of the play Flare Path in 2012. In 2017, she was nominated for the Best Actress in a Musical award for her work in Funny Girl.
Smith was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.
Smith was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Colin and Marilyn Smith who performed as a country music duo called the Daltons. She studied dance at the Joyce Mason School of Dancing from an early age. She later attended South Axholme Community School, where she received the highest possible grade in GCSE performing arts.
Though she never trained at a drama school, Smith was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1995–2001, performing a number of lead roles in productions such as Bugsy Malone, Pendragon and Into the Woods. She completed further education at John Leggott College in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.
Her great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Doubleday, was a respected banjo player in Yorkshire and later played as a trio with his daughters.
Film and television
From 1999 to 2000, Smith played Emma in The Royle Family. She played Janet Keogh in the long-running series Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps from 2001 until her departure from the show in 2009. In February 2003, she appeared in "Immediate Care", an episode of The Royal, where she played the part of Francesca Wheeler, a teenage girl who was suffering from leukemia. In 2004, she made a one-episode appearance in Mile High as Suzy, an airport cleaner who impersonates a flight attendant in an attempt to become cabin crew. She also featured in The Comic Strip's 2005 episode "Sex Actually" as Angie.
Smith played Cleo Martin in Love Soup (2005) and starred as Michelle, a hypocritical nutritionist, in three series of the sitcom Grownups (2006–2009). She has also appeared on The Lenny Henry Show as M.E. Westmocott, a role spoofing the various medical examiners on CSI. In the 2009 Two Pints of Lager Comic Relief special, which crossed over with Grownups, she played her characters from both series.
Smith has also appeared in a number of other shows including the BBC's Eyes Down, in which she played Sandy, and smaller parts in shows such as The Bill and Fat Friends. She featured as Rudi: Smithy's little sister in the second and third series of the BBC Three sitcom Gavin & Stacey. She guest starred in the Christmas 2008 episode of Lark Rise to Candleford. Since 2009, she has played Joey Ross in special seasonal episodes of Jonathan Creek, namely "The Grinning Man" (2009), "The Judas Tree" (2010), and "The Clue of the Savant's Thumb" (2013). She played Brandy in the third series of Benidorm.
During 2010, Smith acted as a mentor to the contestants of the BBC show Over the Rainbow. Sky Arts' Chekhov Comedy Shorts also featured Smith in 2010 when she starred as Natasha in The Proposal. She appeared in the 2011 film Hysteria, about the invention of the vibrator. For the factual hospital series Bizarre ER, she took over narration duties from Freema Agyeman. She appeared in the 2012 ITV film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel The Scapegoat.
In September 2012 Smith played the title role in Mrs Biggs, a five-part series on ITV. In 2013, she appeared in the Channel 4 series Dates. In January 2014, she starred in the two-part BBC drama The 7.39. In March 2014, she appeared in the ITV crime drama The Widower as the first wife of serial killer Malcolm Webster. Later that year, she featured in the series Who Do You Think You Are? and played Cilla Black in the three-part ITV drama series Cilla.
In 2015 she starred as cancer patient Lisa Lynch in the one-off BBC drama The C Word and as policewoman Jo Gillespie in the three-part ITV drama Black Work, which was nominated for a National Television Award in 2016.
Smith narrated the reality series Bear Grylls: Mission Survive from 2015. The show was nominated for a National Television Award in 2016 but was cancelled after two series. In February 2017, she starred in The Moorside, a BBC drama based on the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews in 2008.
She appeared in her own ITV music special in November 2017. Titled Sheridan, the one-off special presented by Alexander Armstrong saw her performing some of the songs from her album, and talking about her life.
In December 2017, Smith starred as evil step-mum, Sheila in the television adaptation of David Walliams' children's book, Ratburger. It was broadcast on Sky One .
In November 2016, Smith began filming for a new feature film The More You Ignore Me based on the novel written by Jo Brand which she will star in as the main character Gina, which is out July the 6th.
Smith will also star in new ITV drama Clean Break, the air date for the series is yet to be announced, Smith will play sassy office cleaner Sam.
Smith's theatre credits include the musical Into the Woods at London's Donmar Warehouse, and Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. She also played Audrey in the stage production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, from November 2006, with the production then transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre in March 2007. Following a successful run the production moved again at the end of June 2007 to the New Ambassadors Theatre, where its played until September 2007. Smith was nominated for the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the show.
Smith appeared as Vanessa in Tinderbox: a Revenge Comedy by Lucy Kirkwood at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush, in April 2008. Smith originated the role of Elle Woods in the musical version of Legally Blonde in its transfer from Broadway to London's West End in December 2009. Ex-Blue boyband member Duncan James played opposite Smith until June 2010, when he was replaced by Richard Fleeshman. Other cast members Smith has performed alongside include Aoife Mulholland as Brooke, Denise Van Outenas Paulette, Peter Davison as Professor Callahan and Alex Gaumond as Emmett Forrest. Her performance was well received, The Daily Telegraph describing her as: "blessed with vitality, warmth, great comic timing and sudden moments of touching vulnerability. She is infinitely more likeable than Reese Witherspoon in the film."
Smith was originally supposed to leave Legally Blonde on 23 October 2010, but she extended her run to 8 January 2011, when Susan McFadden took over the role. For her role in Legally Blonde, Smith won the WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was also nominated for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress and was the winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Between March and June 2011, she appeared in Trevor Nunn's production of Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket as Doris, a former barmaid married to a Polish count in the RAF. The production was part of the playwright Terence Rattigan's centenary year celebrations and also starred Sienna Miller and James Purefoy. For this role she won the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role, the 2011 Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress and the BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
As well as her role in Legally Blonde, Smith also performed the title role in the workshop productions of a new musical adaptation of Bridget Jones' Diary. On 5 April 2012, it was announced that Smith had decided to pull out of the musical, and would no longer be playing the title role, delaying the production of the show. From September to November 2012, Smith played the title role in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic, winning the 2013 Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Play. Shortly before collecting her award at the ceremony on 17 February 2013, Smith performed the original song "Stagey and Proud", which was written by Chris Passey and Amy Carroll.
From September to November 2013, she starred alongside David Walliams in a West End production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, as part of Michael Grandage's season of plays at the Noël Coward Theatre.
Smith starred in a new London production of the musical Funny Girl. It previewed at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 20 November 2015, opened on 2 December and ran until 6 March 2016. The show then transferred to the Savoy Theatre in the West End for a 12-week run, but extended through 8 October 2016. Sheridan Smith states in The Stage that she is married to the job. Smith continued with the role throughout its UK Tour.