First gaining attention from British audiences as Maria Lucas on the BBC miniseries “Pride and Prejudice” (1995), actress Lucy Davis, the daughter of noted comedian and actor Jasper Carrott, became famous for portraying patient receptionist Dawn Tinsley on the comedy hit “The Office” (2001-2003), which was brought to America via a BBC cable channel. After the success of “The Office,” in America, versatile Davis moved to Los Angeles where she played Lucy Kenwright on the dramatic comedy series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (2006-2007). On the big screen, the British import is perhaps best known as one of the stars of the successful horror film “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and since her move to California, has acted in such films as “The TV Set” (2006), “Shades of Ray” (2008), “Bob Funk” (2008) and “All About Steve” (2009). Davis is also recognized for playing Hayley Tucker on the BBC radio soap “The Archers” (1995-2004) and has appeared in the series “Married Single Other” (2010) and “The Mentalist” (2010). She will appear as Stephanie in the upcoming horror comedy “Some Guy Who Kills People” and Evie in Robert Cavanah’s “The Cellar.”
Davis has been married to fellow actor Owain Yeoman since December 2006. She is a diabetic and had a kidney transplant in 1997. In late 2005, she was rushed to the hospital for kidney failure, but has since recovered.
Childhood and Family:
Lucy Davis was born on January 2, 1973, in Solihull, West Midlands, England. Along with her three siblings, Jake, Hannah and Jenny, she was raised out of the spotlight in Knowle, Birmingham, England by her famous father, actor/comedian Jasper Carrott, and his wife Hazel. Young Lucy knew she wanted to be like her dad and took part in school plays and attended acting classes at the Birmingham Youth Repertory Theater. At age 18, she auditioned and was accepted to the renowned Italia Conti Drama school, but later transferred to the Carlton TV Junior Workshop. She was also educated at The Sixth Form College in Solihull, West Midlands.
Lucy relocated to Los Angeles in early 2005 and a year later met Welsh actor Owain Yeoman. The couple married on December 9, 2006, at St. Paul's Cathedral in London where royalty often marries. They were allowed to marry there because Lucy's father is a recipient of an OBE. Some of the guests at the wedding included “The Office” stars Ewen Macintosh, Joel Beckett, Mackenzie Crook and Martin Freeman.
Shaun of the Dead
The daughter of popular British comedian and actor Jasper Carrott, Lucy Davis made her acting debut in her school's production of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” She went on to hone in on her craft with the Birmingham Youth Theater and in the 1990s, landed guest roles in such series as “The Detectives,” “Blue Heaven” and “Casualty.”
It was while she attended the Carlton TV Junior Workshop that Davis won the role of Maria Lucas on the BBC miniseries remake of “Pride and Prejudice” (1995), opposite Coin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, David Bamber and Julia Sawahla. Before long, she was hired to play Hayley Tucker on the long running BBC radio soap “The Archers,” a gig she held from 1995 to 2004. She went on to appear in the biopic film “The Gambler” (1997), starring Michael Gambon, and stared as Old Noshie in the children's series “The Belfry Witches” two years later.
Unfortunately for Davis, her efforts in establishing a budding career were cut short by health problems. Three years after suffering from kidney failure, she underwent a kidney transplant in 1997, which needed a long recovery. While in recovery, Davis battled diabetes, which caused her weight to fluctuate.
Davis recovered and in 2001, landed the regular role of the receptionist Dawn Tinsley on the popular British comedy series “The Office,” alongside Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Ewen MacIntosh, Ben Bradshaw, Emma Louise Manton and Philip Pickard. After two seasons, the series was imported to the cable channel BBC America and went on to score success there. It became one of the few abroad comedies to find a dedicated U.S. viewer audience and received a Golden Globe in 2004 in the category of Best Comedy. While working on “The Office,” Davis also portrayed Susie on the TV film “Come Together” (2002), appeared as a maid in the dramatic film “Nicholas Nickleby” (also 2002), which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, and guest starred in several shows, including “Murder in Mind,” “Holby City” and “The Afternoon Play.” In 2004, she received media attention for declining a role opposite Cameron Diaz in the comedy “In Her Shoes,” and instead, took on the role of Dianne in Edgar Wright's horror movie “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), which became a cult hit. The same year, she also had a small role in the British comedy “Sex Lives of the Potato Men” and provided the voice of Sundance the Pig for the TV film “The Legend of the Tamworth Two.”
After a supporting role alongside Rupert Graves, Malcolm McDowell and Jennifer Jason Leigh in the motion picture “Rag Tale” (2005), which screened at several film festivals, Davis headed to Los Angeles to further her career. Within a short time, she was cast in “The TV Set” (2006), with David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, and the Tim Hill directed sequel “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” (2006), in which she voiced Abby. She next appeared in two episodes of the TV series “Ugly Betty” (2006) and played a recurring role on the Aaron Sorkin created show “Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip” (2006-2007). Costars of the latter series included Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford and Steven Weber. In 2007, she played Nora in an episode of “Californication,” starring David Duchovny. She also appeared in the romantic comedy “Shades of Ray” (2008), which was written and directed by Jaffar Mahmood, and as Janet in the comedy “Bob Funk” (2009), opposite Rachael Leigh Cook. Davis will soon be seen in writer Ryan A Levin’s upcoming “Some Guy Who Kills People” and as Evie in the horror film “The Cellar.”