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Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire looks incredible in unearthed video

Find out about the Happy Valley actor's early career here

sarah lancashire at bafta
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
Updated: 31 January 2023
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Sarah Lancashire is adored for her role as no-nonsense Sergeant Catherine Cawood in BBC's Happy Valley – but the actress had quite the career before appearing in the popular police drama.

Prior to appearing in Happy Valley, the star was already famed for her roles in TV shows like Coronation Street and Last Tango in Halifax, but Sarah has also enjoyed success on the stage. Check out the video below to see her singing Nobody from Betty Blue Eyes at the 2012 Olivier Awards…

WATCH: Sarah Lancashire wows on stage at the Olivier Awards

When Sarah first started acting in the 1980s, she earned her stripes by performing in theatre shows like Blood Brothers and The Beauty Game. The star even landed her "big break" when she once again appeared in Blood Brothers as Linda, but this time on London's West End at the Albery Theatre.

By the mid-1990s, she was perhaps best known for her role as Raquel Wolstenhulme in Coronation Street. Sarah played the part from 1991 until 1996 and even appeared in the spin-off film Coronation Street – The Cruise, which focused on Raquel and Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy)'s honeymoon.

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Sarah Lancashire pictured in Bloomin Marvellous in 1997© Photo: Getty Images

Sarah has enjoyed huge success in her career

Sarah then left theatre work behind as she raised her three children, but the actress did pick up stage work later in her career. She would return to the West End in 2005 after landing the role of Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly theatre.

By 2011, she had landed the role as Joyce Chivers in Betty Blue Eyes and was nominated at the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Sarah Lancashire stands in front of police van in Happy Valley© Photo: BBC

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Theatre work aside, Sarah's TV career went from strength to strength. In 2012, she began appearing in Last Tango in Halifax alongside Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi and Nicola Walker. Sarah's part of Caroline earned her a nomination for the TV BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, which she would win in 2014.

For her iconic role of Catherine Cawood, Sarah was nominated twice at the BAFTAs, once in 2015 and 2017, with the second year being the year she won.

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