“It taught me my trade on multi-camera, working with four cameras in a very quick speed, how to learn lines really quickly, how to be flexible and change lines when they re-write. I mean I wouldn't have had that training anywhere else so that really just prepared me for all of the other drama that happened afterwards.” Tamzin Outhwaite (on “EastEnders”)
British actress Tamzin Outhwaite is best known for playing Melanie Owen on the hit soap opera “EastEnders” from 1998 to 2002. She took home two British Soap Awards and a National Television Award for her work on the show. Since her departure from “EastEnders,” Outhwaite has starred in the TV series “Red Cap” (2003-2004), “Vital Signs” (2006), “Hotel Babylon” (2006-2007), “The Fixer” (2008-2009) and “Paradox” (2009) as well as the films “Out of Control” (TV, 2002), “Final Demand” (TV, 2003), “Frances Tuesday” (TV, 2004), “7 Seconds” (2005), “Backwaters” (2006) and “Radio Cape Cod” (2008). Her stage credits include “Grease,” “Oliver,” “Baby On Board,” “Breathing Corpses” and “Boeing-Boeing.”
Outhwaite is married to former “EastEnders” actor Tom Ellis and has one daughter, Florence Elsie Ellis (born in 2008). She and her husband were the winners of the ITV charity game show “All Star Mr & Mrs Christmas Special” on December 20, 2008. Her love life has also been linked to snowboarder Jamie Baker, disc jockey Steve Ellington and actor Dennis Rickman.
Childhood and Family:
Tamzin Outhwaite was born on November 5, 1970, in Ilford, Essex, England, to an Italian mother. She has two brothers, Kes and Jake. She joined the Stagestruck Theatre Company when she was 12 years old. After leaving Trinity High Catholic School in Woodford, in which she excelled in sports, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and studied drama and dance at the London Studio Centre in King's Cross, London. She graduated from the London Studio Centre.
In 2005, Tamzin became engaged to actor Tom Ellis (born in 1979). The couple married on June 11, 2006. On June 25, 2008, she gave birth to her first child, daughter Florence Elsie Ellis.
Tamzin is the cousin of TV producer Daniel Baldwin.
Radio Cape Cod
Young Tamzin Outhwaite was inspired to become an actress after watching Natalie Wood in “West Side Story.” As a teenager, she performed in several productions with the Stagestruck Theatre Company. The graduate of London Studio Centre went on to work in the theatrical musicals “Grease,” “Summer Holiday,” “Carousel” and Sam Mendes' revival of “Oliver” as well as the Stephen Joseph Theatre performances “They're Playing Our Song” and “Absent Friends.” She also joined the U.K. touring production of the musical “Baby On Board” in the late 1990s.
Outhwaite made her television debut in the British movie “The Mystery of Dr Martinu” (1993), which was directed by Ken Russell and starred Patrick Ryecart, Hannah King and Amanda Ray-King. She then landed guest spots in “British Men Behaving Badly” (1995) and “The Bill” (1996).
However, Outhwaite did not enjoy mainstream success until she was cast as Melanie in the popular BBC soap opera “EastEnders.” She appeared on the show from October 1998 to April 2002. For her performance, Outhwaite was awarded the British Soap Awards for Sexiest Female in 1999 and 2000 and received a nomination for Best Actress in 2002. She was also handed a 1999 National Television Award for Most Popular Newcomer and nominated for the Most Popular Actress Award the following year.
After leaving the soap, Outhwaite played Shelley Richards on the TV film “Out of Control,” which aired on BBC One on September 15, 2002. Directed and written by Dominic Savage, the film won the Best New British Feature Award at the 2002 Edinburgh International Film Festival and the RTS Television Award for Best Serials and Single Drama from the 2003 Royal Television Society. She next portrayed Natalie Taylor in the 2003 TV film “Final Demand,” opposite Liam Cunningham and Hazel Ellerby. On stage, she played Deirda in “Flesh Wound” at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2003.
It was also in 2003 that Outhwaite returned to a reoccurring role on the army drama “Red Cap,” which ran on BBC One between January 7, 2003, and February 12, 2004. She also signed a contract with Avon Cosmetics as their spokesperson.
Next up for Outhwaite, the actress guest starred in the BBC series “Hustle” (2004), worked with Paul Freeman, Alun Armstrong and Peter McNamara in the award winning TV film “When I'm Sixty-Four” (2004) and starred as Frances West in the made for TV film “Frances Tuesday” (2004). The following year, she played Claire Holmes in the ITV drama “Walk Away and I Stumble” and was cast as Kate in “Breathing Corpses,” a play by Laura Wade. Also in 2005, she made her Hollywood debut with the unsuccessful direct to video film “7 Seconds,” where she starred with Wesley Snipes.
In 2006, Outhwaite was cast as Rhoda Bradley in the ITV series “Vital Signs,” which ran from April 20 to May 25, 2006. In addition, she was cast as hotel manager Rebecca Mitchell on BBC’s “Hotel Babylon” (2006-2007). She then appeared in the TV film “The Catherine Tate Show Xmas Special” (2007) and a stage production of “Boeing-Boeing” (also 2007).
On the big screen, Outhwaite starred as Lili Taylor in the thriller “Backwaters” (2006), by director Jag Mundhra, appeared as Burn's date in the Woody Allen movie “Cassandra's Dream” (2007), which starred Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, and starred in the award winning film “Radio Cape Cod” (2008), which was directed and produced by Andrew Silver. She also starred in the short film “One Careful Owner” (2008).
From March 2008 to October 2009, Outhwaite played Rose Chamberlain in the ITV dramatic series “The Fixer,” opposite Andrew Buchan, Jody Latham, Liz White and Peter Mullan. After a hiatus for maternity reasons, she resurfaced as D.I. Rebecca Flint on the BBC science fiction series “Paradox,” which lasted from November 24 to December 22, 2009. Outhwaite has since been featured in various TV shows, including “Breakfast” (2009), “The Catherine Tate Show” (2009), “Angela and Friends” (2010), “Justin Lee Collins: Good Times” (2010), “Over the Rainbow” (2010), “The 5 O'Clock Show” (2010), “Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two” (2010) and “The Vanessa Show” (2011).
British Soap: Sexiest Female, “EastEnders,” 2000
British Soap: Sexiest Female, “EastEnders,” 1999
National Television: Most Popular Newcomer, “EastEnders,” 1999