Gillian Taylforth is an English actress, reality star, and author who is best known for playing Kathy Beale on the hugely popular British soap EastEnders, as well as playing Jackie Pascoe-Webb in Footballers’ Wives, and Sgt. Nikki Wright in The Bill.
Along with her acting career, Taylforth has also appeared on a few reality shows over the years. From where she was born and raised to publishing a memoir, here are five fast facts about the actress.
Who Is Gillian Taylforth?
Taylforth was born on August 14 in Islington, London, England, where she was raised. She attended William Tyndale Junior School and Barnsbury Secondary School for Girls, as well as Kingsway College of Further Education and the Anna Scher Theater School. She started acting in the ‘70s but worked as a secretary on the side in order to pay the bills.
Taylforth was cast as Kathy Beale in EastEnders in 1985 and stayed with the show until 1998. She then made guest appearances in 1999 and 2000, but her character ended up dying off-screen in 2006. However, despite the character’s death, Taylforth returned to the show as Kathy in February 2015 and has been back ever since.
Taylforth has been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008, but she was voted off in Week 2. The actress was then a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 and was the fourth person to be eliminated from the house.
Taylforth wrote an autobiography in 1995 called Kathy and Me. In the book, Taylforth opens up about her childhood, what it was like growing up, how she got into acting, and what her life in the spotlight has been like. She also opened up about EastEnders and working with her different co-stars over the years — a must-read for any fan.
Getting Personal With Gillian Taylforth
While working on EastEnders in the early days, Taylforth dated her castmate, Nick Berry (ex-Simon Wicks). She then started dating Geoff Knights in the late ‘80s and they had a daughter in 1992. She sadly suffered a miscarriage in 1996 and then had an abortion in 1997 after scans showed her unborn child was carrying severe abnormalities. However, she welcomed her second child in 1999.