Catherine Russell (actress)

Catherine Russell (born 17 April 1965 in London) is a British stage, television and screen actress currently best known for her role as Serena Campbell in the BBC medical drama series Holby City.

Catherine Russell
Born (1965-04-17) 17 April 1965
Lambeth, London, England
Years active1986-present
Spouse(s)Richard Holmes
ChildrenSam Russell (comedian) Poppy Holmes (singer/songwriter)
FamilyMary Smith (mother)
Nicholas Smith (father)

Personal life

Russell's father was the actor Nicholas Smith best known for playing Mr Rumbold in the BBC sitcom "Are You Being Served". Her mother, Mary Smith was a social worker. She is married to film producer Richard Holmes whose films include "Shooting Fish"; "Waking Ned"; "The Ritual"; "God's Own Country" and "Eden Lake". They have two children, Sam Russell who is a stand up comedian and the founder member of the improvisational troupe "Shoot From the Hip" and Poppy Holmes who is a singer/songwriter. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama from 1983 to 1986 under George Hall.


Russell's credits are extensive and varied including being nominated for an Ian Charleson Award for her performance in Chekhov's Three Sisters. She has played leads in the West End, at the National, the Royal Court, Soho Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Lyric, Almeida Theatre, and the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

Much of her previous work was with the acclaimed director Max Stafford-Clark for his theatre company Out of Joint where, as well as Masha in Three Sisters, she created roles such as Tess in Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Break of Day, Rima and Phoebe in Robin Soans' Talking to Terrorists, Mrs Peacham and Bett Rock in Stephen Jeffreys' The Convict's Opera and Hildy in Stella Feehily's Dreams of Violence. Other work includes Raina in "Arms and the Man" at The Royal Exchange Theatre; Shirley Hornett in "Sailor, Beware!" at the Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith); Maudlin in the Almeida Theatre production of "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside"; Aggie/Clodia in Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott's "The Last Carnival"; award-winning Kevin Elyot's "The Day I Stood Still" directed by the renowned Ian Rickson for the Royal National Theatre and Mlle Guislaine de St.Euverte in "The Waltz of the Toreadors" opposite Peter Bowles directed by Angus Jackson at the Chichester Festival. Her most recent roles include Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest directed by Michael Buffong at the Curve theatre in Leicester; Rosie in the West End production of Mamma Mia! and Mrs Prentice in Joe Orton's What The Butler Saw also at the Curve theatre directed by Nikolai Foster.


Russell has starred in several television series including playing Hugh Bonneville's sister, Rachel Cazalet, in The Cazalets; Gemma Jones's daughter, Tish, in Chelworth; the title role of Elly Chandler in Chandler & Co with Barbara Flynn and subsequently Susan Fleetwood written by Paula Milne; Nathaniel Parker's wife, Helen, in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Martin Shaw's wife, Issy, in Always and Everyone. Other television includes guest appearances in Messiah, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Waking the Dead, Sherlock Holmes, Maigret, Silent Witness, Holding On and Pete versus Life (series one and two) with Rafe Spall. She has played Consultant Surgeon Serena Campbell in the BBC medical drama Holby City, since 2012.


Russell starred opposite Ian Hart in the film Clockwork Mice directed by Vadim Jean. She also made a comic, cameo appearance playing a colleague of Colin Firth's in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason directed by Beeban Kidron. Her other films include Solitaire for Two and Soft Top Hard Shoulder.

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