Helen Baxendale is an English TV, film, and stage actress.
Like many girls, she wanted to be a ballet dancer, training at the Elmhurst School for Dance, but she gave that idea up when she was 17 in favor of acting. She trained at the world famous Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and then worked at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre from 1992-1994. It was from the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre that she was cast in the British Hospital TV Series Cardiac Arrest
, although that was not her first television role.
She was the star of the popular TV series Cold Feet
playing Rachel Bradley. She also starred in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
playing Cordelia Grey, and made notable recurring appearances on the American hit series Friends
as Ross Geller's' girlfriend/wife/ex-wife Emily Waltham. Her appearance on the comedy hit show introduced her to American audiences.
Perhaps her most cult TV role would be that of Dr. Claire Maitland in Cardiac Arrest
. She was nominated for a BAFTA (Scotland) in 1995 for her role as Dr. Claire Maitland and for a British Comedy Award in 1997 for her role as Rachel Bradley.
Other notable roles include Lorna Johnson in Truth or Dare
(in which John Hannah also starred), Caroline Meagher in The Investigator
, and Julie Matthews in Dead By Monday
She was nominated for a BAFTA (Scotland) 1997 for her role as Lorna Johnson. Dead By Monday
won the Angel Award for Best Film in the Monaco International Film Festival in 2003 and the Portland Festival of World Cinema Award for Best Feature Film in 2001.
She also appeared on stage as Christine in Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie
, but has played various roles including that of Ophelia in Hamlet
(the Marovitz Hamlet) along with Henry Ian Cusick. She was a finalist for the 1993 Sunday Times-Royal National Theatre Ian Charleson Award (best cal actor under 30).
She also played Pandora Braithwaite in Adrian Mole - the Cappuccino Years
and Maggie in the multiple award-winning Bolse Vita
Helen solved the dilemma of mixing acting and pregnancy by going ahead and having children anyway. Her first pregnancy was written into An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
and her second was written into Cold Feet
, even though her character, Rachel Bradley was supposed to be infertile.