Elizabeth Carling Biography
Elizabeth Carling is an English actress and singer born on 20th October 1967 in Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England. She is popularly known for her role as Dr Selena Donovan in Casualty.
Elizabeth Carling Age
Elizabeth was born on 20th October 1967 in Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England (51 years as of 2018)
Elizabeth Carling Sister
Elizabeth Carling has a twin sister Laura Ashurst who was diagnosed with cancer in August 2001 after she found a lump in her right breast. She was treated with a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and a five year course of Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy drug.
Three years later the cancer returned and she underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She continued to be well for the next three years but during an appointment with a spinal surgeon, who was seeing her about lower back pain, the MRI showed that the cancer had spread to other parts in her body and now she had secondary cancer which was incurable. She was given a prognosis of 2 years and she immediately began chemotherapy treatment immediately followed by the drug letrozole. Laura however surpassed her prognosis and as of October 2017 she celebrated her 50th birthday with her twin sister Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Carling and Neil Morrissey
Elizabeth was engaged to Neil Morrissey and they lived together for seven years until they separated when she realised that he was having an affair with Holywood actress Racheal Weisz.
Elizabeth Carling Casualty
Elizabeth Carling played Dr Selena Donovan on the TV series Casualty from 2003 to 2007. She quit the series in 2007 to focus on her self after the death of a close friend that made her re-assess her life and realise she did not want to devote it to work.
“I decided last autumn that I didn’t want to do another year. A very dear friend of mine died suddenly. He was only 40. I am 40 this year. I thought: ‘Do you know what? Life is just passing me by’. I’m becoming a workhorse and it’s difficult to sustain relationships and to see a lot of family and friends when you’re working on a show that goes out 48 weeks of the year. It was a big decision, but I just woke up one morning and thought, ‘This isn’t right for me any more’.”
Elizabeth Carling Goodnight Sweetheart
Elizabeth Carling played the role of Phoebe Baamford from season 4 to 6 for 32 episodes in the British sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart which is a time travelling comedy. The show follows Gary Sparrow who lives in London with his wife during the 1990s, but after discovering a time portal he finds he can go back to the 1940s, to the same area, at the time of the Second World War. As he travels back and forth between the two periods, he meets another woman in the 1940s era and begins to lead a double life. Only his best friend Ron knows about Gary’s dual existence, and he tries to help him along the way whenever the time traveller struggles between his two worlds.
Elizabeth Carling Movies and TV Shows
- 2016 – Present: Our Girl
- 2011: Vera
- 2003 – 2007: Casualty.
- 2009: The Damned United
- 2000: Border Cafe
- 1995 – 2003: Barbara
- 1994: Crocodile Shoes
- 1993 – 1999: Goodnight Sweetheart
- 1986 – 1995: Boon
- 1993 – 2003: Barbara
- 1996: Crocodile Shoes II
- 1987: The Bill
Elizabeth Carling Songs
- As Time Goes By
- Goodnight Sweetheart
- Big Noise From Winnetka
- I’ll Be Seeing You
- Grown Man’s Lullaby
- It Had To Be You
- The Man I Love
- Murder He Says
- All Of Me
- Our Love Is Here To Stay
- It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Ain’t Got That S
- Bringing Out the Best in Me
- Blue Moon
- Ain’t Misbehavin’
- Long Ago (And Far Away)
- It Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got the sw
- Long Ago
Elizabeth Carling Interview About Her Role on Goodnight Sweetheart
Elizabeth Carling Interview
You lived with Neil Morrissey for seven years. Have you got over the break up?
Elizabeth Carling: I’ve not lived with anyone since Neil. I’ve been in love again, although not with anyone I was meant to be with long term. It’s a couple of years now since I’ve dated, but I am ready – even though it makes me feel like a nervous teenager. Life can be pretty lonely and I’m ready to share it with someone.
Is it true that when you found out that Neil was having an affair with Rachel Weisz, you lost two stone in weight with grief?
Elizabeth Carling: Yes. Now I think who was that person? My other relationships have ended without that kind of drama. These days, my head is made of sterner stuff. Women know the enormity of the consequences of their partner having an affair, so sometimes they brush it under the carpet, but I wanted an honest relationship.
Do you hope there’s still time to meet someone and have a family?
Elizabeth Carling: I’m a realist. I don’t want to have a baby and raise it on my own. I want to meet a lovely man and have a child with him. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m so grateful for what I do have. I guess you could call me the eternal optimist.
Where is your sanctuary?
Elizabeth Carling: My home – a two bedroom flat in north London. I love where I live. There’s a secret stairway to the garden and my retreat out there is a gorgeous summer house. I can spend hours in there, reading and thinking. Best of all, working on Casualty gave me the means to pay off the mortgage, so it really is all mine. I own it, lock, stock and barrel. Whenever I’ve been away working, I love coming back to my home. It’s my oasis and I adore living there.
Why did you decide to leave Casualty?
Elizabeth Carling: I had a great three years, but it’s hard work – filming goes on 48 weeks of the year in Bristol. I was becoming a workhorse, and it’s difficult to sustain relationships and to see family and friends when you’re working all the time. It was a big decision, but I just woke up one morning and thought, ‘This isn’t right for me any more.’
During the time I was on the show, I missed the weddings of two close friends and the funeral of another, who died suddenly at 40. That confirmed for me that life is far too short, and I didn’t want to be tied to a long-term filming commitment then. Although I still felt quite traumatised playing my character’s death scene.
What did you do next?
Elizabeth Carling: I was offered a theatre role in Darlington and I jumped at the chance, because it meant I could stay with my parents, who still live in Middlesborough, where I was born. My father, Freddie, is a retired process operator for ICI and my mother, Norma, used to work as a receptionist at a pathology laboratory at Middlesbrough General Hospital. Being at home with them was like being a student all over again. Every morning, I’d make a packed lunch to take into the theatre with me. I really enjoyed that time.
But then you got caught up in a medical drama of your own, when your sister’s breast cancer returned two years ago.
Elizabeth Carling: I have no words for the shock we all felt. Laura was first diagnosed just before we turned 34 and, at first, I felt helpless. I’m the eldest, by ten minutes, and I’ve always felt protective of her.
Privately, I was in tears, but, as a family, we don’t wallow in bad news. We pulled together and looked after each other. Laura’s youngest child, Jack, was only a baby then, and I vividly remember him spitting out the soup I was trying to spoon into him on one of my visits home. Laura had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy, and we hoped that was the end of it.
But Laura later had to undergo a mastectomy. That must have been tough for you and your family.
Elizabeth Carling: It was time to pick up our weapons and go into battle again. I think Laura was beyond inspirational as she coped with surgery that struck at the very heart of her femininity and sexuality, even though she had reconstruction surgery at the same time. Her example of courage and bravery made it easier for us. There was no self-pitying or histrionics from her.
How did you cope?
Elizabeth Carling: I moved into Laura’s home to help out and support her and her husband, Paul and two children, Megan and Jack. She started chemotherapy the week before Christmas 2007 and it was a very difficult, surreal Christmas.
How did Laura cope?
Elizabeth Carling: The chemotherapy made her hair fall out and we went to London for a wig fitting. We both burst out crying when she tried on the auburn bobbed wig which came with the name Marla. It was unbearable to watch her getting painfully thin, and suffering from debilitating stomach cramps during the four months of chemotherapy, which ended last April.
Is Laura now in remission?
Elizabeth Carling: Yes, we got the news we had all prayed for in September – the treatment had worked. I was so proud of Laura my heart almost burst.
You were born in Middlesbrough. Did you enjoy going back up North to shoot your new film The Damned United?
I still try and spend as much time as I can in my home town to be with Laura and the rest of my family. Then I don’t feel so isolated from them.
What was it like playing a real-life character – Brian Clough’s wife Barbara?
Elizabeth Carling: This role had my name written all over it. We are both from Middlesbrough for a start and the accent is very specific and difficult to learn if you’re not from the area. And my mum was in the Girl Guides with Barbara.
To look like her, there was a lot of backcombing and heavy eye make-up, and Barbara’s distinctive beauty spot was painted on. This was before the era of Wags. That craving for attention and celebrity was foreign to Barbara, who was a devoted wife and mother of three.
Barbara has spoken out against the film. She doesn’t feel it is true to what happened. What do you think?
Elizabeth Carling: The film portrays an entertaining, lighter side of Clough, and the dark side, the excessive drinking, the jealousy isn’t explored except for his fierce ambition. He’s a legend – and all the best ones are flawed. He was absolutely loved in Middlesbrough, though.
Didn’t you meet Brian once before he died of cancer in 2004?
Elizabeth Carling: Yes, he made a guest appearance in Boon, the drama which gave me my big break. I was only 21 and it was a big deal meeting him. I still have the photo that was taken of us together.
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