British actress born in Lichfield, England in 1969. Young Helen Baxendale wanted to be a ballet dancer, but eventually realized that she would never reach the level she aspired to. So she decided instead to pursue acting, that she originally considered a "sad second" to ballet. Baxendale was accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Her first employment after graduation was with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre from 1992 to 1994. She was nominated for the 1993 Ian Charleson Award for her performance in The Soldier. The Citizens Theatre was also were she met her husband, director David Elliot, with whom she now has two children, Nell and Eric.
It was her role as Dr. Claire Maitland in BBC's medical drama Cardiac Arrest that first got Baxendale public attention. In 1996, she was cast as Rachel Bradley in the pilot for the TV comedy-drama Cold Feet. She then made her first international appearance in Hungarian director Ibolya Fekete’s feature film Bolse Vita.
In 1997, Helen began work on her next project as private investigator Cordelia Gray in the first series of "An Unsuitable Job for a Woman", an adaptation of the novels by P.D. James. While promoting this series in Los Angeles in 1998, Baxendale was contacted by the producers of the American sitcom Friends. A year earlier, she had auditioned for the role as Ross' British love interest Emily Waltham, but the role had been offered to Patsy Kensit. Kensit, however, refused, and the role was eventually offered to Baxendale after all.
The producers of Friends wanted to make Baxendale a regular cast member, but she quickly discovered that she was pregnant and ended up being just a guest star on the show. A good thing for fans of the brilliant comedy-drama Cold Feet, as the pilot had now resulted in the commissioning of a tv series. Baxendale joined the original cast for six episodes, and the show then went on to be a smashing success with the public and critics alike and has finished its fourth season. The show revolves around three couples and their loves and friendships, and Baxendale plays Rachel, partner of Adam (Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt).
- I like Friends, but I don't watch that much telly', said Baxendale in an OK Magazine interview, stating that she got a bigger kick out of playing opposite Kevin Spacey in the movie Ordinary Decent Criminal.
Helen's sister Kate Baxendale is a tv writer.
Filmography from imdb.com:
Flyfishing (2001) - Sam
British Comedy Awards 2001 (2001) (TV) - Herself
"Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years" (2001) (mini) TV Series - Pandora Braithwaite
Dead by Monday (2000) - Julie
Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) - Lisa
"Cold Feet" (1998/II) TV Series - Rachel Bradley
The Investigator (1997) (TV) - Caroline Meagher
Macbeth (1997) - Lady Macbeth
"An Unsuitable Job for a Woman" (1997) TV Series - Cordelia Gray
Cold Feet (1997) (TV) - Rachel Bradley
Crossing the Floor (1996) (TV) - Ruth Clarke
Truth or Dare (1996) (TV) - Lorna Johnston
Bolse vita (1996) - Maggie
"Cardiac Arrest" (1994) TV Series - Dr. Claire Maitland
The Marshal (1993) (TV) - Anita