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Heather Craney (born 1971) is an English actress, known for portraying Joyce Drake in Vera Drake, Alison Weaver in Life of Riley and Emily Holroyd in Torchwood.



Craney was born in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire.[1]

Her family lived in Darlington for two years during the 1980s, where Craney attended Hummersknott School. She attended Stapleford Community Primary School,[1] Sawston Village College and Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridgeshire,[2] and went on to study English and drama at Liverpool Hope University, graduating in 1992.[3] She trained in Acting and Musical Theatre at the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 1995.[3]


Craney has appeared in the Mike Leigh films Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002) and Vera Drake (2004), for which she was nominated for the 2005 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her other film credits include Drinking Crude (1997), Loop (1997) and Dangerous Parking (2007).

On television, Craney played Alison Weaver in the sitcom Life of Riley, and Cheryl Matthews in EastEnders. She also played Emily Holroyd in the Torchwood episode "Fragments". She has also appeared in Silent Witness, The Bill, Holby City and the television films The Mark of Cain and Ahead of the Class.

Craney's theatre credits include Death of an Elephant, Dangerous Corner, Sugar Mummies, Stoning Mary and Passion Play, at the Donmar Warehouse.[3]


List of television performances
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Silent Witness DI's Receptionist 2 episodes: Divided Loyalties: Parts One and Two
2002 The Bill Kirsty 1 episode: Episode 058
2005 Ahead of the Class Nadine Television film
2005 Holby City Melissa Finch 1 episode: Bird on a Wire
2007 The Mark of Cain Brenda Tate Television film
2007 Coming Up Sarah 1 episode: In the Dark
2007 Holby City Amy Bonner 1 episode: Lovers and Madmen
2008 Torchwood Emily Holroyd 1 episode: Fragments
2009–11 Life of Riley Alison Weaver Series regular
2010 Holby City Lucy Weir 3 episodes: Future Shock, Losing Game, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
2011 EastEnders Cheryl Matthews 6 episodes
List of film performances
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Drinking Crude Julie
1997 Loop Cashier
1999 Topsy-Turvy Miss Russell
2002 All or Nothing Silent Passenger
2003 " Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl " Young Elizabeth Swann
2004 Vera Drake Joyce Drake Nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2004 Dangerous Parking Marlene
2004 Tales of the Fourth Dimension Short film


List of stage performances
Year Production Venue Role Notes
1996 Death of an Elephant Orange Tree Theatre Sandra
1999 Dangerous Corner Watford Palace Theatre Olwen
2000 Passion Play Donmar Warehouse Rebecca / Ruth
2004 Still Life / The Astonished Heart Liverpool Playhouse Dolly Messiter
2005 Stoning Mary Royal Court Theatre Ego
2006 Sugar Mummies Royal Court Theatre Kitty
2007 I Like Mine with a Kiss Bush Theatre Annie
2007 Joe Guy Soho Theatre Monique Christie / Helen Blake
2010 Women, Power and Politics Tricycle Theatre Mags / Kim
2014 Made in Dagenham Adelphi Theatre Clare
2017 Consent[4] Royal National Theatre Gayle


  1. ^ a b "Heather to star at the Baftas". Cambridge News. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Ex-student shines in acclaimed film". Cambridge News. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Profile – Heather Craney Mandy Actors; retrieved 12 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Consent". Royal National Theatre. Retrieved 8 April 2017.

External linksEdit