Lorraine Stanley - things you didn't know about the EastEnders star

Lorraine Stanley plays Karen Taylor
Lorraine Stanley returns to Secrets to share some more stories (Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron)

From celebrity crushes to auditioning for Coronation Street, there is plenty to learn about EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley...

Actress Lorraine Stanley has become a household name since joining EastEnders in June 2017 as the legendary Karen Taylor.

Despite cementing her role as Albert Square's motor-mouth mum, Karen has proved to have a heart of gold who would do anything for her kids.

Lorraine has been through highs and lows as her Walford alter-ego, most recently losing her eldest daughter, Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer) who was tragically killed by her abusive husband, Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith).

Most fans of the actress will know that:

  • She's very close to her on-screen family in real life
  • She does a great Nick Cotton impression
  • She won a Women Film Critics Circle Award with the cast of Suffragette for Best Ensemble

But what else do we know about Lorraine Stanley? Here are several things you probably don't know...

1. Lorraine has been in EastEnders before 

While we might know and love Lorraine as Walford's mouthy Karen Taylor, the actress actually first appeared in the soap back in 2016. Lorraine played the role of Thelma Bragg, the mother of Linzi Bragg, for eight episodes. Linzi was at the centre of Jay Brown's underage sex storyline when she tricked him into thinking she was older. Loraine also played the role of a young Mo Harris in EastEnders spin off Pat and Mo in 2004.

More: Steve McFadden - things you didn't know about the EastEnders legend 

2.  Lorraine is very close to her mum

A photo posted by on

The EastEnders actress grew up win Portsmouth with her mum, June, father, David, and her three sisters. Lorraine's parents split when she was 10 years old, and she is very close to her mum, who she took to the British Soap Awards with her last year. Speaking of her mum, Lorraine told Inside Soap: "She is the most caring person I know. She has always put us first in every way, she's a selfless, kind, fun, patient and hard-working mum."

3. She's a very proud mum

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Lorraine often delights fans with pictures of her gorgeous young daughter, Nancy, who she shares with partner Mark Perez. Nancy was born on 26th October 2015 and Lorraine even announced her birth on social media.

More: Things you didn't know about Emmerdale star Zoe Henry 

4.  She went to school with Emma Barton

A photo posted by on

These days Lorraine is better known to soap fans as EastEnders' Karen Taylor, while Emma Barton plays Walford's Honey Mitchell, but the pair go way back and were friends before they joined EastEnders. The pair went to a performing arts college in Portsmouth called South Downs College together and have been friends ever since.

5. She is a famous film star

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Before Lorraine joined EastEnders, she was best known for playing the lead role in 2006 film, London to Brighton. Lorraine has also starred in countless other films including Made in Dagenham and Eden Lake. The actress has also appeared in numerous TV shows like The Bill, Casualty, Call the Midwife, Holby City and Doctors.

6.  She's had a secret soap addiction

Kylie and Jason Neighbours

Lorraine once had a crush on Jason Donovan (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: Getty Images)

While Lorraine might have cemented herself as a much-loved part of Eastenders, she has admitted that there is another soap she never used to miss an episode of. The actress told Inside Soap: "I loved Neighbours. I had a few crushes when I watched it including Guy Pearce and Jason Donovan (Ramsay Street's Mike Young and Scott Robinson).

7.   She once auditioned for Coronation Street 

Coronation Street

Lorraine auditioned for Coronation Street before joining the cast of EastEnders (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: ITV)

Before landing the role as the matriarch of the Taylor family in EastEnders, Lorraine auditioned for a role on rival soap, Coronation Street. The actress admitted to Inside Soap: "I did a character with a northern accent for a read through, but when I got there on the day I just couldn't do it. I can only do it when I'm messing around!"

Lorraine Stanley's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actress....

How old is she?

Lorraine Stanley's age is 44. She was born on 28th June 1976.

Is she in a relationship?

Lorraine Stanley has been with partner Mark Perez since 2014.

Does she have children?

Lorraine Stanley and her partner Mark have a daughter called Nancy, who was born in 2015.

Where was she born?

Lorraine Stanley was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Instagram: @lorraine_stanley_

Twitter: @loustar76

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings. 

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Main picture credit: BBC

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.