Born: November 2, 1972
Famous for: playing no-nonsense barmaid Ronnie Mitchell in hit BBC soap EastEnders
Brighton, United Kingdom
Born in Brighton, and raised in Edinburgh by her model mum and stepfather former self-confessed wild child Samantha Womack (née Janus) is the niece of George Best's former wife, Angie. Following a stint on the QE2 with her resident choreographer grandmother, she trained at London's Sylvia Young Theatre School. And in 1991 she represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest with A Message To Your Heart – finishing joint tenth. Here first love, though, is acting. She built her career in shows such as The Bill and Press Gang before landing the role of Mandy in comic sitcom Game On. She remained with the programme until it ended in 1998. Other small screen credits include Babes In The Wood, Liverpool 1 and paranormal series Strange. After a role on the West End stage as Miss Adelaide in Guys And Dolls, she signed up in May 2007 to play troubled Mitchell sister Ronnie in EastEnders. On the home front Samantha, who'd previously been married to Italian Mauro Mantovani, tied the knot with her Liverpool 1 co-star Mark Womack in May 2009. The couple have two children – Benjamin, born in February 2001, and daughter Lily-Rose, who arrived in April 2005.