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 before starring 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, where 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 musicals Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors and Legally Blonde. 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.
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 and Western 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 an A* in performing arts at GCSE. 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 then completed further education at John Leggott College in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. Her great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Doubleday, was a respected and well-known banjo player in Yorkshire and later played as a trio with his daughters, May and Harriet, in The Darrell Trio.
Film and television
From 1999 to 2000, Smith played Emma in The Royle Family. She played Janet 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 was so desperate to become cabin crew, she impersonated a flight attendant. 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 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.
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 was once in a relationship with James Corden, which ended in June 2009. In an interview in March 2010, she revealed that she and Scottish actor Ross McCall had begun dating after a 10-year friendship. However, in August the same year, she stated that they had separated due to the pressure of a long-distance relationship.