Jessie Wallace

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Jessie Wallace
Born Karen Jane Wallace
(1971-09-25) 25 September 1971 (age 42)
Enfield, North London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present
Children 1

Jessie Wallace (born Karen Jane Wallace; 25 September 1971) is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal as Kat Slater in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Early life

Wallace was born at 204 Durants Road, Enfield, North London,1 to James, a telecommunications engineer, and Annette, a secretary.2 Her parents divorced when she was aged three and, unusually, she and her sister were raised by their father (however, she did see her mother at weekends).2 She adopted her stage name after her late grandmother.3

Career

After schooling, Wallace trained as a make-up artist at the College of North East London in Tottenham and worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company for two years. She met and became friends with actor Iain Glen, who helped her apply for London drama college The Poor School, from where she graduated in 1999. While undertaking auditions - including for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, she worked as a real life barmaid at her local pub, The Royal Oak in Loughton, Essex.4

Her first television appearance was in an episode of the ITV police drama series The Bill in 1999. Wallace is best known for playing the role of Kat Slater in BBC One soap opera EastEnders between 2000 and 2005.5 In Summer 2008, Wallace said she hadn't ruled out a return to EastEnders. In February 2010 it was announced that Shane Richie was returning as Alfie Moon, leading to large amounts of speculation as to whether Jessie would also be returning. On the 9th February 2010 the BBC confirmed that Jessie Wallace would be returning to EastEnders, reprising her role as Kat Slater. She and Alfie returned to screens in the Autumn of 2010.6

During her break from EastEnders, Wallace made television guest appearances, including once as Kat Slater, in the 2005 French & Saunders Christmas special. On 17 February 2006, Wallace was the "guest host" of an edition of the Channel 4 programme The Friday Night Project. She appeared in the one-off BBC1 television dramas A Class Apart opposite Nathaniel Parker, The Dinner Party with Lee Evans and Alison Steadman. After visiting Hat Trick Productions with her agent, and singing an impromptu version of Marie Lloyd's song The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery, she was offered the lead role in Miss Marie Lloyd – Queen of The Music Hall for BBC Four.7

Wallace made her West End theatre debut, replacing Denise van Outen in the role of "Maureen" in Rent remixed at the Duke of York's Theatre from 27 December 2007 until 2 February 2008.8 Wallace played Amy Kriel in the third series of ITV1's Wild at Heart, and starred in a run of the play Haunted at the Arts Theatre from 24 May.910

Wallace competed with partner Darren Bennett in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing which began on 20 September 2008. She was eliminated in week 4.11

Wallace toured the UK in the 25th Anniversary production of Stepping Out by Richard Harris, playing the role of Sylvia.12

Wallace appeared as British sex symbol of the 1960s and 70s Pat Phoenix, in The Road to Coronation Street, a one-off documentary exploring the origins and conception of Coronation Street, to mark the show's 50th anniversary in December 2010.13

Wallace is a patron of the theatre charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.14

Personal life

After coming to fame in EastEnders, her personal life became the focus of many tabloid newspapers. She entered the soap cast in the later stages of a three-year relationship with Majorca based ex-criminal, Paul Whitworth. After being warned by BBC executives, she split with Whitworth, and had a holiday romance with 25 year-old American, Andy Burton, who immediately sold his story.4

Wallace was once suspended from EastEnders by the BBC for excess drinking, partying, and adverse publicity, she returned to the soap, but was then stopped by police and arrested for driving one and half times over the limit. The BBC offered her counselling and while attending County Court for sentencing, she was accompanied by policeman, Dave Morgan, in case she was accosted by fans. The couple started dating, and then moved in together after Wallace confirmed she was pregnant. Wallace gave birth to daughter, Tallulah Lilac, on 2 November 2004, but the couple split up shortly afterwards, with Wallace's lawyers placing a gag order on Morgan.15

In a later tabloid story in late 2007, whilst Wallace was filming Wild at Heart in Johannesburg with her cousin, Jonathan and daughter Tallulah, her best friend, Stefan, suggested she still regularly took ketamine,16 Wallace admitted, at one point, taking drugs, but denied taking them since the birth of her daughter.17

Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Category Film or series Character
2001 Nominated British Soap Awards Sexiest Female EastEnders Kat Moon
Won British Soap Awards Best Newcomer
Won National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Newcomer
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Newcomer
2002 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance
Nominated British Soap Awards Hero Of the Year
Won British Soap Awards Best Single Episode
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won Inside Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
2003 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Won National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Family (The Moons)
2004 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated British Soap Awards Best On Screen Partnerhip
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Couple (with Shane Ritchie)
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
2005 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Nominated British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
2006 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Exit
2011 Won British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Won British Soap Awards Best On Screen Partnerhsip
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won All About Soap Awards Best Actress
Won All About Soap Awards Best Baby Drama
Won TRIC Awards TV Soap Personality
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Nominated BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actress The Road to Coronation Street Pat Phoenix
Nominated TV Times Awards Favourite Soap Star EastEnders Kat Moon
2012 Nominated National Television Awards Outstanding Serial Drama Performance EastEnders Kat Moon
2013 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress EastEnders Kat Moon
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Single Episode

References

  1. ^ Jessie Wallace interview, BBC One Show - 9 May 2008
  2. ^ a b http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Kat-Wallace-Britains-Exciting/dp/1844542238#reader_1844542238
  3. ^ Dempster, Sarah (9 May 2007). "Little Miss Saucy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "The Jessie Wallace Story". Daily Mirror. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  5. ^ "National Television Awards". thecustard.tv. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  6. ^ "Eastenders celebrates 25 years". RTÉ News. 9 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Jessie Wallace: The former Eastenders star becomes queen of the music hall". London: The Independent. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03. dead link
  8. ^ "Wallace takes Rent from Van Outen". Official London Theatre Guide. 12 December 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Jessie Wallace is 'Wild At Heart'". digitalspy.co.uk. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  10. ^ "Haunted - The play". hauntedtheplay.com. Only Hope Productions Ltd. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  11. ^ Simpson, Richard (13 October 2008). "Tearful Jessie Wallace gets booted off Strictly as judges say she'd be better off on a football pitch". Daily Mail (London). 
  12. ^ "Wallace, Capron & Ashe Stepping Out for 25 Years". Terri Paddock. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace nominated for Coronation Street Bafta". Amy Duncan. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "About Us". The Music Hall Guild. Retrieved 2010. 
  15. ^ "Jessie Wallace:I'm happy to be a single Mum now". Sunday Mirror. 15 May 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-04. dead link
  16. ^ "EastEnders star accused of excessive drinking and drug use". Now Magazine. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  17. ^ "Jessie Wallace admits taking drugs". Sky News Entertainment. 10 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 

External links


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