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Billie Paul Piper, born Leian Paul Piper, is a British actress, singer and dancer who portrays Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein on Showcase's Penny Dreadful.

BiographyEdit

Piper was born in Swindon, Wiltshire. Her first name, Leian, was legally changed to Billie on 25 April 1983, by her parents, Paul Victor Piper and Mandy Kane Kent. She has one younger brother, Charley, and two younger sisters, Harley and Elle. She studied at the Sylvia Young Theatre School and Bradon Forest School.

Piper's career began when she was selected to appear on the Saturday morning children's television show Scratchy & Co. She later landed a role in a television commercial promoting the pop magazine Smash Hits. She was offered a record deal at the age of 15, and in 1998 became the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK Singles Chart with "Because We Want To", released under the stage mononym "Billie". Her follow-up single "Girlfriend" also debuted at number one.

In the autumn of 2003, it was announced that Doctor Who would be resurrected in 2005; the casting of Piper as Rose Tyler, a travelling companion to the ninth incarnation of The Doctor (to be played by Christopher Eccleston), was announced in May 2004. Piper won the Most Popular Actress category at the 2005 and 2006 National Television Awards for her work on Doctor Who. BBC News named her one of its "Faces of the Year" for 2005, primarily due to her success in Doctor Who. At The South Bank Show Awards in January 2006, she was awarded The Times Breakthrough Award for her successful transition from singing to acting. In March, the Television and Radio Industries Club named her as the best new TV talent at their annual awards ceremony. In September, she was named Best Actress at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards.

On 11 May 2014, Showtime aired a new horror series called Penny Dreadful in which Piper plays Brona Croft, a poor Irish immigrant who is trying to escape a dark past. In the show's second season, Brona is resurrected by Victor Frankenstein as "Lily". She was nominated for "Best TV Supporting Actress" in the 2015 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. The show was renewed for a third season which she began filming on 17 September 2015.

TriviaEdit

  • Refused to take any money from her divorce settlement with Chris Evans.
  • Chris Evans bought her a red sports car worth over £100,000 after they had been dating for just three days. She couldn't even drive.
  • During her singing career she suffered from insomnia due to the pressure of fame.
  • Daughter of builder Paul Piper.
  • Her ex-husband Chris Evans is a popular and wealthy radio DJ in England.
  • On April 25, 1983, her name was officially changed to Billie Paul Piper, by her parents, Paul Victor Piper and Mandy Kane Kent.
  • Gave birth to her first child at age 26, a son Winston James Fox on October 21, 2008. Child's father is her second husband, Laurence Fox.

FilmographyEdit

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Evita Girl wanting Juan Perón's autograph Uncredited
1996 The Leading Man Uncredited
2004 The Calcium Kid Angel
2005 Things to Do Before You're 30 Vicky
2005 Spirit Trap Jenny
2007 Mansfield Park Fanny Price
2010 Animals United Bonnie Voice
2010 The Raven Raven Short film[2]
2016 City of Tiny Lights Shelley Post-production[3]
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Billie Wants You Herself Documentary
2002 Victoria Wood with All the Trimmings Painted-by-Numbers Contestant
2003 The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Alison Crosby
2004 Bella and the Boys Bella
2005 ShakespeaRe-Told: Much Ado About Nothing Hero
2005–06, 2008, 2010, 2013 Doctor Who Rose Tyler Series 1, Series 2, Series 4, 2008–10 specials, 2013 specials
2006 The Ruby in the Smoke Sally Lockhart
2007 Top Gear Herself Series 9, Episode 6
2007 The Shadow in the North Sally Lockhart
2007–11 Secret Diary of a Call Girl Hannah Baxter 32 episodes
2010 A Passionate Woman Betty Miniseries
2012 True Love Holly 1 episode
2014 Playhouse Presents: Foxtrot Badger Playhouse Presents special
2015– Penny Dreadful Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein 18 episodes

AppearancesEdit

Season 2
"Fresh Hell": "Verbis Diablo": "The Nightcomers": "Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places": "Above the Vaulted Sky":
Appears Appears Absent Appears Appears
"Glorious Horrors": "Little Scorpion": "Memento Mori": "And Hell Itself My Only Foe": "And They Were Enemies":
Appears Appears Appears Appears Appears
Season 3
"The Day Tennyson Died": "Predators Far and Near": "Good and Evil Braided Be": "A Blade of Grass": "This World Is Our Hell":
Absent Appears Appears Absent Absent
"No Beast So Fierce": "Ebb Tide": "Perpetual Night": "The Blessed Dark":
Absent Absent Absent Absent

ReferencesEdit