Jane Danson was born Jane Dawson, 8 November 1978 is an English actress. She is best known for playing the role of Leanne Battersby in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street from 1997 to 2000 and then from 2004 onwards. Her other TV roles include Children’s Ward (1995-1997), The Grand (1997) and The Bill (2002-2003). For her role on Coronation Street, she won the 2011 British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance.
She was born in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. At the age of 11, Danson made her television debut under the name Jane Dawson in the 1991 Alan Bleasdale series G.B.H. playing the part of Eileen Critchley.
From 1995 to 1997, Jane played the role of Paula in the ITV children’s television drama Children’s Ward. In 1996, she also appeared in Out of Tune, a British children’s sitcom which was shown on CBBC. She also made an appearance in the first episode of the BBC’s Hetty Wainthropp Investigates which was aired in January 1996.
In 1997, she landed parts in the ITV period drama series The Grand, in which she played the role of Monica Jones for seven episodes, and then in the top-rated ITV soap opera Coronation Street, playing teenager Leanne Battersby. The Battersby family were dubbed the “Neighbours From Hell” and made an immediate impact on the long-running show’s loyal audience. She left the show in 2000 — a year which also saw her win the Rear of the Year award — not long after a harrowing storyline that saw her character become a drug addict.
Jane’s next role was as a nurse in the drama series A&E, before joining the cast of ITV police drama The Bill in 2002. Danson portrayed Gemma Osbourne, the first lesbian police officer in the show’s history. However the role was short-lived and she left in 2003.
In 2004, she rejoined the cast of Coronation Street, reprising the role of Leanne. In early 2006 it was announced that she was pregnant and she left Coronation Street at the end of July for maternity leave. She returned to filming in January 2007, making her first appearance back on screen in March of that year.
Jane appeared in the second series of Soapstar Superstar in January 2007.