(b. 1967) is a Scottish
actress most famous for her starring roles as Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers on The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
(opposite Nathaniel Parker
) and Trudi Malloy on Mistresses
. Subsequently she guest-starred on Downton Abbey
and was featured on Kidnap & Ransom
's second series.
Her lesser-known roles include Cara Rossi on Glasgow Kiss
, Titania the Faery Queen in the ShakespeareRe-told
's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and Laura Maitland on Murderland
. Guest credits include The Bill
, New Tricks
, Silent Witness
, Call the Midwife
, Law & Order: UK
, and a trifecta of Scottish classics in Hamish Macbeth
, Doctor Finlay
, and Rebus
She has also worked on film (About a Boy
, Dear Frankie
) and, much more notably, the stage (Lear
, When Harry Met Sally
, Men Should Weep
), including work at the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company
(Arden of Faversham
). A talented actress who is always convincing no matter the role, she deserves a lot more recognition
than she currently gets, although after Mistresses
and Downton Abbey
her star seems to be on the rise.
Her early drama training took place at Adam Smith College in Kircaldy, whose alumni include Ewan MacGregor and Dougray Scott; after completing that, she packed up and moved to London, graduating from the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 1989. Fittingly for a native Scot, she made her television debut on Taggart
A classically trained lyric soprano, she has also performed in, among others, The Threepenny Opera.
She currently lives in London with her partner Dan and their two children.
Applicable Tropes Include:
- Ability over Appearance: Sharon was supposedly too pretty to play the plain Barbara Havers, but absolutely nailed the character in the pilot and won author Elizabeth George completely over. Small's performance is to this day lauded as one of the best aspects of the series.
- British Accents
- The Cast Showoff: She got to show off her gorgeous voice when she performed "Carrickfergus" at the end of her guest spot on Doctor Finlay.
- Fake Brit: Well, fake Englishwoman anyway, as Barbara Havers. Her natural accent is quite different.
- Like Brother and Sister: Nathaniel Parker has outright said that he sees Sharon as his little sister.
- Oblivious to Love: Apparently, it took her awhile to clue in to the fact that her now-partner was in love with her; when she finally did wise up, she relates that she emailed him with, "Here's my number. Give me a call."
- Playing Against Type: Sharon's most famous roles are all sympathetic characters - since even if you do sort of want to punch Barbara Havers a lot for being so bitchy, it's easily understandable where she's coming from. So when she portrays an abusive mother in No Child of Mine, she does it so believably the result is horrifying.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: See True Love is Exceptional, below.
- Scotland: Glaswegian, but not, to our knowledge, violent.
- Shrinking Violet: Although she's apparently quite energetic and "chatty" at home, she is terribly shy in interviews and with the public and avoids the spotlight as much as she can. She says that this is part of the reason she became an actor - she's able to escape into the character.
- True Love is Exceptional: "Artistic types" were her thing. It... didn't quite work out that way.
- Voice Types: Classical lyric soprano.