Emmerdale’s Sophie star Martha Cope’s life including former EastEnders role

As Emmerdale welcomes another newcomer to our screens as part of an exciting new storyline involving characters Gail Loman and Ryan Stocks, fans at home have been struck with a wave of deja vu, as they recognised the actress Martha Cope from her other soap roles!

Martha’s mysterious character Sophie, made her first appearance in the soap on Thursday’s visit to the Dales, when she sought out Gail to update her on the condition of someone named Oscar.

As the episode progressed, it was soon revealed that Oscar was actually Gail’s teenage son and had been adopted by Sophie when he was just one week old – in a tragic soapland twist however, it was also revealed that he was battling an illness that would require a bone marrow transplant in order to survive.

Begging Gail to get tested to see if she could save Oscar’s life, his birth mum agreed – but Gail did omit one crucial detail as she lied about no longer being in contact with Oscar’s dad, Ryan.

The arrival of Martha in such a hard hitting and emotional storyline struck a chord with many viewers watching at home, however several fans couldn’t quite place which rival soaps she had appeared in before.

Here we take a closer look at Martha’s exciting life off screen, including her impressive rival soap appearances…

Early Life

Born in St.Pancras, London in 1970, Martha Cope inherited her love of performing from her parents, Renny Lister and Kenneth Cope who were both talented actors.

Kenneth in particular enjoyed a star studded soap career, when he starred as Jed Stone in Coronation Street and as Ray Hilton in Brookside, while Renny is best known for a wealth of TV appearances throughout the 60’s and 70’s, with her debut feature film appearance being 1961’s The Curse of the Werewolf.

Raised in London alongside her two brothers, Martha began to hone her craft as an actress until finally making her TV debut in 1994 when she starred in ITV police series The Bill.

A number of other small roles followed, including in Casualty, Out of the Blue , Peak Practice and Men Behaving Badly, over the years, but one of her main callings appears to be soap roles.

Soap Career

During her professional career, Martha has appeared in a number of high profile soap operas, including three of the UK’s most iconic soaps, Emmerdale, EastEnders and Coronation Street.

Her first soap role came in 2000, wen she appeared in BBC daytime medical soap, Doctors in a guest role, something she would reprise 5 times as 5 different characters over the following two decades.

Two years after appearing in Doctors, Martha bagged an exciting main role in Channel 5 soap opera Family Affairs as the character Anna Gregory, a role she would go on to hold for over a year, much to the delight of viewers at home.

Following her departure from Family Affairs, Martha later went on to make her first appearance in Emmerdale, as the character of DC Morden in 2013.

She would then appear in 10 episodes over the course of the next year, directly tied into a storyline involving the investigation into who had burnt down Home Farm.

After leaving Emmerdale in 2014, Martha moved on to a new role in EastEnders as Melissa Phillips, a two episode guest role that paved the way to a more substantial role with the soap just a few short years later.

In 2015, she added yet another soap credit to her belt when she began to appear in Coronation Street as Kevin Webster’s girlfriend Joanne.

Appearing for just six episodes in total, Martha’s time on the show was short-lived, but it did allow her to follow in the footsteps of both her parents who had previously appeared in the soap.

In 2021, Martha made her return to EastEnders, this time as the character of Sandy Gibson, the mother of Dotty Cotton.

Appearing for 11 episodes, Sandy was last seen in September 2022, but the door was however left open for her to return in the future.

Hollywood Role

As well as enjoying a colourful soap career, Martha has also previously graced the silver screen, when she appeared in 2004 remake Alfie, alongside Jude Law.

In the comedy drama film, Martha played one of the Bright Young Things.

Personal Life

Not too much is known about Martha’s private life as she prefers to keep it away from the public domain, however she is often seen out and about with friends on social media, something which reveals she enjoys socialising and travelling when she’s not on screen.

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