Sally Hawkins (born April 27, 1976) is a British actress best known for her performance as Susan in the Academy award-nominated Mike Leigh production Vera Drake (2004).
The daughter of well known authors and illustrators of children's books, Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, she was raised in Dulwich, south-east London where she attended James Allen's Girls' School (JAGS) graduating in 1994. Hawkins then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), graduating in 1998.
Her theatre appearances include Much Ado About Nothing (2000), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2000), Misconceptions (2001), Country Music (2004) and as Adela in David Hare's version of Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba in 2005. Hawkins made her first notable big screen performance as Samantha in another Mike Leigh film, All or Nothing in 2002. She also appeared as Slasher in the 2004 production of Layer Cake. Her first major television role came in 2005 when she played Susan Trinder in the BAFTA nominated BBC drama Fingersmith, an adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel of the same name; she co-starred with Imelda Staunton, as she had in Vera Drake. Since then she has gone on to star in another BBC adaptation, Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky. In 2006, Hawkins returned to the theatre, appearing at the Royal Court Theatre in Jez Butterworth's play The Winterling.
Professing a love for comedy, Hawkins has appeared in three episodes of the BBC hit comedy series Little Britain. She has also contributed her writing skills and voice to the BBC Radio 4 series Concrete Cow.