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Daniela Denby-Ashe (born August 9th, 1978) is an English actress.
Daniela Denby-Ashe was born in London in 1978, and she has a brother two years her junior. Her father, Miroslaw Pszkit (pronounced "Pshkeet"), was born in Poland and came to the United Kingdom aged 12. Daniela Denby-Ashe`s mother, Jola was born in the UK, her mother was French and father Polish. As a result Daniela Denby-Ashe is Trilingual. As her parents were getting married, they used the telephone directory to search for a suitable English-sounding surname, as people couldn`t pronounce Pszkit. One found "Denby", the other "Ashe" and as they couldn`t decide which to use, they decided to double-barrel the two surnames.
Denby-Ashe began studying ballet at the age of two and a half, then at a later stage tap, from the ages of 10 to 16, she attended Ravenscourt Theatre School. Her early career included television adverts and playing Saffy`s daughter in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous in 1995. Other early appearances included The Bill and the Channel 4 sitcom Desmond`s.
Daniela is a big supporter of Manchester United and goes a lot to Old Trafford to watch games.
Daniela Denby-Ashe was first seen on television in an advert for KP Skips ("All that fizzin` and meltin`"), which then led her to her big break when, in 1995, she got the role of Sarah Hills in EastEnders. She played this character until 1999. The following year, she got the role of Janey Harper in a new BBC sitcom called My Family. Denby-Ashe took a break from My Family for the fourth series in 2003, but returned to this role in 2004.
In 2004, she took the lead female role of Margaret Hale in the BBC drama adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell`s North and South, and in 2006 played Mary in the Touchwood episode Greeks Bearing Gifts. Her other television roles include Is Harry on the Boat?, Office Gossip, Rescue Me and The Afternoon Play. In 2005, she appeared in the Radio 4 comedy Ring Around the Bath. Denby-Ashe has also performed at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and Criterion Theatre, London in The Countess and in Motortown at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre.
In 2007, Denby-Ashe starred as Robert Maxwell`s secretary in Maxwell, a BBC drama about his life. In December 2008 she appeared in BBC Four`s supernatural drama series Crooked House.
In April 2009 she appeared in Series 4 of the BBC drama series Waterloo Road as a deceitful supply teacher, Jem Allen.
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Full Name at Birth
Daniela Jolanta Denby-Ashe
Claim to Fame
Daniela Denby-Ashe (born 9 August 1978) is an English actress, best known for playing the character Sarah Hills in the soap opera EastEnders, Margaret Hale in the period drama North and South and Janey Harper in the sitcom My Family. She also played the character Lorraine Donnegan in the drama series Waterloo Road after previously playing a different character, "Jem Allen" in one episode a few years earlier.
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