Daniela Denby-Ashe

Last updated 09 January 2020

Daniela Jolanta Denby-Ashe

Born: Wednesday 9th August 1978 (age: 44)

Curtis Brown (agent)

Daniela Denby-Ashe is an English actress, best known for playing the character Janey Harper in the sitcom My Family.

Denby-Ashe began studying ballet at age 2 1/2, then at a later stage tap; from the ages of 10 to 16, she attended Corona Theatre School. Her early career included television adverts and the role of playing Saffy's daughter in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous in 1995. Other early appearances included The Bill and the Channel 4 sitcom Desmond's.Her father, Mirosław Pszkit (pronounced "Pshkeet"), is a native of Poland, who reportedly came to Britain at the age of 12. Daniela Denby-Ashe's French mother, Jola, was born in Britain. Denby-Ashe speaks English, French and Polish. When her parents got married, they reportedly used the telephone directory to search for a suitable English-sounding surname, as people could not pronounce "Pszkit." One found "Denby," the other found "Ashe," they couldn't decide which to use, so they used both and double-barrel.

Daniela Denby-Ashe made one of her first appearances in the 1990 video Nursery Rhymes 2 by Pickwick Video Group. She was first seen on television in an advert for KP Skips ("All that fizzin' and meltin'"), which then led her to her big break when, in 1995, she got the role of Sarah Hills in EastEnders. She played this character until 1999.

The following year, she got the role of Janey Harper in a new BBC sitcom called My Family. Denby-Ashe took a break from My Family for the fourth series in 2003, but returned to this role in 2004. The eleventh and final series began airing on BBC One on 17 June 2011.

In 2004, she took the lead female role of Margaret Hale in the BBC drama adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South, and in 2006 played Mary in the Torchwood episode Greeks Bearing Gifts. Her other television roles include Office GossipRescue MeIs Harry on the Boat?, and The Afternoon Play. In 2005, she appeared in the Radio 4 comedy Ring Around the Bath.

Denby-Ashe has also performed at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and Criterion Theatre, London in The Countess and in Motortown at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre.

In 2007, Denby-Ashe starred as Robert Maxwell's secretary in Maxwell, a BBC drama about his life. In December 2008 she appeared in BBC Four's supernatural drama series Crooked House. In April 2009 she appeared in Series 4 of the BBC drama series Waterloo Road as a deceitful supply teacher, Jem Allen. Denby-Ashe also starred in a Midsomer Murders episode which aired on Wednesday 13 October 2010.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA