Tracie Bennett

Tracey Bennett (born 17 June 1961) is an English stage and television actress. She trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in Clapham, London. She played the role of Sharon Bentley in Coronation Street from 1982-1984 and then returning to the role in 1999.

Best known for her roles in theatre, both dramatic and musical, Bennett has received two Olivier Awards for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for her performances in the musicals She Loves Me and Hairspray with additional nominations for her work in High Society and Follies. Bennett was also nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Mrs Henderson Presents while her performance as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow earned her an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Play and a Tony Award nomination in the same category when the production transferred to Broadway.


Bennett's first major television role was in Coronation Street between 1982 and 1984 as Sharon Gaskell, the Fairclough's foster daughter. She returned to the role in 1999. She played dim-witted blonde Tracy Glazebrook in the pilot of Steven Moffat's sitcom Joking Apart (1991),[1] a role which she reprised for the subsequent two full-length series in 1993 and 1995.[2] She played Millandra in the film version of Shirley Valentine (1989).[3]

In the 1980s she appeared in several theatre productions at the Library Theatre in Manchester, including Blood Brothers, Breezeblock Park (both by Willy Russell) and the UK premier of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.

She appeared in She Loves Me at the Savoy Theatre in 1994,[4] for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award as Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.[5] She played Ida in Honk!, which won the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical.[6]

In 2003, she was praised[7] for her role in the London production of High Society, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2004. She appeared in Sex, Chips and Rock 'n' Roll at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in 2005,[8] for which she was nominated for a TMA Theatre Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.

In January 2006, Bennett joined the West End production of Les Misérables in the role of Madame Thénardier at the Queen's Theatre, which she continued to play to July 2007.[9]

In October 2007, she began her run in the role of Velma Von Tussle in the London premiere of the musical Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre.[10] She mentioned on a televised interview Alan Titchmarsh that it was a "great show" and that she enjoyed doing it, but also said it was exhausting, pointing out that to begin with, the wiring under her wig weighs 10 lbs, making some of the dancing difficult. In spite of this, her efforts were rewarded in March 2008, when she received her second Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for her performance.[11]

In February 2010, Bennett took on the role of Judy Garland in the first London production of Peter Quilter's play, End of the Rainbow. The production premiered with at Northampton's Royal Theatre, and subsequently transferred to London's West End. Bennett received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance.[12] The production transferred to Broadway in March 2012, with Bennett reprising her role.[13] For her performance in the Broadway production, Bennett received a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play,[14] and won the Outer Critics Circle Award[15] and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play.[16]

In 2013 she joined the cast of detective series Scott & Bailey as Sharon, the estranged mother of DC Bailey.[17]

In 2015 and 2016 she played Laura Henderson in the musical Mrs Henderson Presents and received a nomination for the Olivier Awards 2016 in the category Best Actress in a Musical.[18]

In 2017 she played the patient, Molly Drover, in long running BBC medical drama, Casualty.[19]

Also in 2017 she recorded two songs for the album Wit & Whimsy - Songs by Alexander S. Bermange (one solo and one featuring all of the album's 23 artists), which reached No. 1 in the iTunes comedy album chart.

In autumn 2017, she played the role of Carlotta in the National Theatre production of Follies by Stephen Sondheim, singing the song "I'm Still Here".[20] She returned to this production in February 2019 and is featured on the 2018 cast recording.



  • French Fries on the Golden Front (short) - Princess, Executive Producer (2004)
  • f2point8 (short) - Kika (2002)
  • Revenge of Billy the Kid - Boom Operator (1991)
  • Shirley Valentine - Millandra Bradshaw (1989)
  • Knights & Emeralds - Tina (1986)



Merrily We Roll Along - Manchester Evening News Award winner Breezeblock Park


  1. "'Joking Apart' Pilot Listing",, accessed 4 April 2012
  2. "'Joking Apart' Episode Six Listing, 11th February 1993", accessed 4 April 2012
  3. James, Caryn. "Review. 'Shirley Valentine'" The New York Times, 30 August 1989
  4. "Programme for 'She Loves Me', Savoy Theatre",; accessed 4 April 2012.
  5. "Olivier Winners 1995" Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 4 April 2012
  6. Profile Archived 18 November 2001 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 2 May 2015.
  7. " 'High Society' Archives" Archived 13 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 3 April 2012
  8. Meads, Glenn. "Review. 'Sex, Chips & Rock 'n' Roll'" Archived 29 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 6 July 2005
  9. "TV and stage actress Tracie Bennett joins the cast of Les Misérables from 17 January". Ticketmaster. 13 January 2006.
  10. "Reviews. 'Hairspray' " Archived 5 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 3 April 2012
  11. "Olivier awards 2008: nominations in full". The Guardian. London, UK. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  12. "Best Actress 2011". Olivier Awards. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  13. Hetrick, Adam."Stormy Weather": 'End of the Rainbow' Begins Broadway Run 19 March at the Belasco Theatre" Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine,, 19 March 2012
  14. Gans, Andrew.Broadway's Big Night! Neil Patrick Harris Hosts 66th Annual Tony Awards June 10" Archived 11 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine,, 10 June 2012
  15. Gans, Andrew. "Outer Critics Circle Winners Announced; Once and One Man, Two Guvnors Are Top Winners" Archived 16 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine,, 14 May 2012.
  16. Gans, Andrew. "'Once', 'Tribes', 'Follies', 'Salesman', Audra McDonald, Danny Burstein and More Are Drama Desk Winners" Archived 6 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine,, 3 June 2012.
  17. Jeffrey, Morgan (19 November 2012). "'Spooks' star Nicola Walker, Tracie Bennett for 'Scott & Bailey'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  18. Nominations by category 2016 Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  20. Gans, Andrew. "National Theatre’s 'Follies' Casts Its Carlotta" Playbill, 23 December 2016
  21. "Series 1, Episode 1". Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 7 January 2001. ITV1. Repeated 22 August 2016 on Challenge.
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