Inggeris Singer – Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon (born 14 May 1976) is an English singer, television personality and Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress.
McCutcheon had minor success as one third of the pop group Milan in the early 1990s; however, it was her role as Tiffany Mitchell in BBC’s EastEnders that made her a household name in the UK in 1995.
McCutcheon left the series at the end of 1998 to embark on a pop career, this time as a solo artist. She had international success, reaching #1 in 5 countries with her debut single “Perfect Moment”.
She released three albums to varying degrees of success, but her pop career stalled due to the poor reception of her third album in 2002.
She has since appeared in various television programmes, in films such as Love Actually as ‘Natalie’, and on stage in My Fair Lady, where her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle won her a Laurence Olivier Award in 2002. She released her autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is? in 2000.
McCutcheon was born at the Salvation Army Mother’s Hospital in Hackney, London, when her mother, Jenny Tomlin, was 20.
She endured a turbulent early childhood due to the abusive and irrational behaviour of her drug addict father, Thomas Hemmings.earliest memory of her father is him dangling her over a balcony by her ankles, 30 feet up in the air, threatening to drop her unless her mother did what he wanted.
Despite Hemmings leaving when McCutcheon was 2 years old, he would return periodically to threaten her mother so her early years were spent running and hiding in order to escape him.
When McCutcheon was nine, her mother won sole custody and an injunction was made against Hemmings seeing McCutcheon until she was 18.
When McCutcheon was 10, her mother met and married window cleaner John McCutcheon (the father of Martine’s younger brother) which led to Martine taking her stepfather’s surname.
She knew she wanted to be a performer from a young age but, as her family couldn’t afford the fees for a drama school, she had to find an alternative method to learn her trade.
McCutcheon met a woman at a local dance class who had been to the Italia Conti stage school, and she suggested that the school would be a good environment for her. After a persuasive letter from McCutcheon, a Church of England trust agreed to sponsor her.
She trained after school and every Saturday (learning tap, ballet, jazz, and drama) in order to catch up with the more privileged children who were competing with her for a place at the prestigious school.
At the age of 12 McCutcheon obtained her first acting role and was paid £350 to appear in an American television commercial for the drink, Kool-Aid, which was followed by modelling assignments and bit parts in TV shows such as in the ITV police drama The Bill.
She also appeared in the music video for the song “Caribbean Blue” by Irish singer Enya. By the time she was 15, she had formed an all-girl group, ‘Milan’, with two fellow students and landed a record contract and a gig touring as the ‘warm up’ group for the British Boyband, East 17.
Milan were reasonably successful. They entered the dance charts three times but were not successful enough for McCutcheon who didn’t like playing in seedy clubs and ended up leaving the group
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