Where is Sarah Lancashire from, does she have children and who is her husband?

All you need to know about the NTA-winning, Happy Valley crime busting cop

Sarah Lancashire split layout with Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood
(Image credit: Getty/ BBC)

Happy Valley fans who were perched on the edge of their sofas for season finale of the BBC One drama, and those who only just discovered the actress after her bombshell National Television Award wins, are wondering where is Sarah Lancashire from, does she have children and who is her husband?

The nail-biting six-part series three  was filmed in and around the Calder Valley, and while there are so many questions about the series - from why did Alison kill her son to how did becky die? A lot of interest has turned to the leading lady herself, Sarah Lancashire who plays hero/kick-ass cop Sergeant Catherine Cawood.

It's no surprise as to why people are drawn to the actress. As well as Happy Valley winning an NTA for best series, Sarah herself got onto the stage as she picked up not only her award for Best Drama Performance but also the coveted Special Recognition Award which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in British television and is given to those who have made a significant contribution to British television over a number of years. 

So for those who have been fans for decades, and those who have only just discovered Sarah Lancashire, here we look at all you need to know about the actress...

Where is Sarah Lancashire from?

Sarah Lancashire is from Oldham. She was a twin born on 10th October 1964, to her parents, dad Geoffrey, a Coronation Street scriptwriter, and mum Hilda, who worked as his PA. She has three brothers - one older, one younger and the third is her twin. Sarah, 58, studied at Oldham Hulme Grammar school between 1976 and 1981, and only considered a performing arts career when she won a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the age of 18, when she realised she enjoyed acting having graduated in 1986.

Sarah Lancashire acting portrait from 1995

(Image credit: Getty)

Does Sarah Lancashire have any children?

Yes, Sarah Lancashire has three children - her first son Thomas, was born in 1987, followed by her second son Matthew in 1989 to husband Gary Hargreaves. And her third son Joseph, was born in 2003 to her second husband Peter Salmon.

Who is Sarah Lancashire's husband?

Sarah Lancashire's husband is Peter Salmon - a television executive who she met while she was playing Raquel Watts on Coronation Street. He was employed by Granada Studios at the time but it was actually several years later, in 2000 when they started a romantic relationship. He proposed to her during a romantic Easter break in New York back in 2001 and they went on to marry at a low-key ceremony held at Langar Hall, Nottinghamshire. Two years later, Sarah's third child - her first with Peter, was born.

Prior to marrying Peter, Sarah married to music lecturer Gary Hargreaves when she was aged 22. He was 11 years her senior and her first serious boyfriend having met four years earlier. Speaking about her first marriage, she told The Telegraph, "I got married only because I was pregnant. Simple as that. I am a very traditional girl and was horrified at the thought of having a child out of wedlock. I didn't want a child of mine to be different or have fingers pointed at."

In 2001 she stated that though her first marriage lasted ten years she claimed it "was 10 years longer than it should have done". In 1995 she separated from Hargreaves and the couple would later divorce.

She has also spoken out about suffering from depression.

Sarah Lancashire and husband Peter Salmon

(Image credit: Getty)

How old is Sarah Lancashire? 

Sarah Lancashire is 58-years-old and was born on 10 October 1964, making her a Libra. She was born into a a great family for an aspiring actress but, despite the fact that her father was a television scriptwriter for iconic shows such as the soap opera Coronation Street, Sara did not begin her own acting career until 1986 when she graduated from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Even when she did begin her foray into acting, she started small and didn't cash in on her father's fame. She began acting in local theatre while making money by teaching drama at Salford University. Her big break came in 1991 when she took on the iconic role of the barmaid Raquel in Coronation Street. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sarah Lancashire

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

What awards has Sarah Lancashire won?

Sarah Lancashire has won many awards throughout her acting career and most recently picked up the NTA award for Best Drama Performance for her portrayal of Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley and she also snagged the NTA's Special Recognition Award on the same night for her lifelong contribution to British television. 

Sarah adds her 2023 NTA wins to an already impressive haul of trophies, the most prestigious of which include; two BAFTA's, one for Best Actress for Happy Valley in 2017 and the other for Best Supporting Actress for Last Tango in Halifax in 2014, a Golden Nymph Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Happy Valley in 2015, and two NTA's for Best Drama Performance for Happy Valley in both 2015 and 2017. 

She was also awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to drama.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)