Sharon Small

About Sharon Small

Sharon's worked with some of the brightest and best Britain's got to offer, becoming a much-loved leading lady on the way. But it's not been a simple road to the top; for one thing she's far too pretty. Apparently.

When Sharon decided that she wanted to become an actor she certainly went to the right place; taking lessons at Kirkcaldy College which counts Scottish acting stars Ewan McGregor and Dougray Scott as alumni. And the lessons clearly paid off, as soon Sharon was cutting her teeth on long-running telly institutions. With The Bill, Taggart and Hamish Macbeth among her earliest appearances, Sharon wasted no time in winning plaudits for her starring roles in one-off dramas No Child of Mine and Bumping the Odds.

Sharon's breakthrough came when she landed a part in Sunburn as a holiday rep opposite Michelle Collins. Sharon's recurring role meant that, as well as topping up her tan, she was fast becoming a regular face on primetime TV. While the charms of the Algarve may have turned a lesser star's head, it was Sharon's pedigree in cop shows that won out when, in 2001, she bagged the role of DS Barbara Havers on The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. But it almost wasn't to be, and for the most unusual of reasons. Whilst most actresses are turned down because they aren't leading lady material, Sharon's good looks almost saw her lose out when Elizabeth George, the American author of the books which inspired the series, claimed that Sharon was too pretty to play Havers. Luckily Sharon's talent won Elizabeth over.

Sharon is indeed perfect for the part of Havers, not only due to her acting skills, but also the working class background she shares with her character. Born in Glasgow, Sharon's childhood wasn't filled with flights of fancy or pushy fame-hungry parents, and even at a young age the Scot could handle herself in a scrap. Her streetwise nature certainly helps when it comes to playing Barbara, whose matter-of-fact take on life and down-to-earth style couldn't be more different from her privileged colleague Inspector Lynley.

Following her huge success and popularity in Inspector Lynley, Sharon has been working harder than ever, landing roles on the big screen in Dear Frankie and About A Boy, as well as continuing to win legions of admirers in drama shows including Cutting It, and Rebus, not to mention becoming a Mistress in the recent BBC series. Now what would Havers make of that?