Soap Star - Movie Star: Emmerdale
You're sitting there watching a movie and all of a sudden you get a shock as you recognize one of the actors, but not from another movie but a soap opera of all things. Now that maybe not be so surprising in America but in Britain when you see an actor from the ITV soap "Emmerdale" in a movie alongside a Hollywood star, well that is a bit of a surprise. So here is a tribute to the actors of Emmerdale who might surprise you to know have starred in some big movies and alongside some big stars.
Freddie Jones aka Sandy Thomas is probably the one Emmerdale actor which most people won't be surprised about as you just have to listen to his booming theatrical voice to know that this guy must have been around the industry for many years. But the amount of movies which Freddie Jones has appeared in and the calibre of actors he has appeared alongside will surprise many. Here is are just a few of the movies and stars he has worked with; "Firefox" alongside Clint Eastwood, "The Elephant Man" alongside Anthony Hopkins, "Antony and Cleopatra" alongside Charlton Heston, "Wild at Heart" with Nicolas Cage as well as "Dune" with Kyle MacLachlan.
As the very proper Edna Birch it is hard to imagine Shirley Stelfox playing any other character, although she does have the distinction of having appeared in both of Britain's other prominent soaps "Eastenders" and "Coronation Street". But Stelfox has appeared in some curious movies and roles such as in "Personal Services" alongside Julie Walters, or as a bunny girl in "Carry on at Your Convenience" or even the more surprising role of The Whore in "Nineteen Eighty-Four".
Having just mentioned one Carry on movie I will mention another as Patrick Mower who stars as Rodney Blackstock also starred in "Carry on England" back in the 70s. In fairness Mower appeared in much better movies than just "Carry on England" but also some very curious ones as well such as the Italian movie "Frivolous Lola".
Natalie J. Robb
Natalie J. Robb must play one of the sexiest farmers on TV as Moira but it is Robb who got me on to this strange fascination with soap stars who have made movies as it was the surprise sight of Robb in "The Shepherd" alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Now in fairness "The Shepherd" is one of Van Damme's many direct to video movies but I doubt there are many stars of British soap operas who have worked alongside Van Damme and not just as a face in the crowd.
Now to my knowledge Nick Miles part in a certain movie was just a small part but when you are in a movie directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio it is surely worth a mention. Yes the man who plays truck driving Jimmy King appeared in the 2002 movie "The Gangs of New York".
Chris Bisson is not only known for playing Jai in Emmerdale but fans of Coronation Street will also remember him as Vikram Desai in the years 1999 - 2002. But Bisson whilst also appearing in countless TV shows such as "Doctors" and "Casualty" also appeared in one of the best British comedies of the 90s when he played Saleem Khan, one of Om Puri's many children in the hilarious "East is East".
As Eric Pollard Chris Chittell is part of the unforgettable double act of Val and Eric but Chittell has appeared in some surprising movies including some 70s erotica. But look beyond those and Chittell has had parts in "Zulu Dawn" which starred Burt Lancaster and Peter O'Toole as well as playing one of Sidney Poitier's rebellious students in the classic "To Sir, with Love", he is the one who picks up the broken leg from the vaulting bench to attack the sadistic games teacher.
You can't mention Eric Pollard with out talking about Val and that brings me to the unforgettable Charlie Hardwick. With her extremely recognizable voice it is hard not to miss Hardwick's performance in British comedies "Purely Belter" and the brilliant "Billy Elliot".
Like with Nick Miles Steve Halliwell who everyone loves as Zak Dingle only had a small part in a movie but it was a big movie. Halliwell played a Plastercast Courier in "The Fourth Protocol" which starred Michael Caine.
I could honestly keep on going because over the years "Emmerdale" has attracted numerous actors who have appeared in some memorable movies such as Patsy Kensit, Anna Friel, Maxwell Caulfield and Amanda Donohoe who amongst her various movie roles appeared in the unforgettable although very strange "The Lair of the White Worm".
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