Stephanie Lawrence was a English actress best known for her work in the British theater. She was born December 12, 1949 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, the daughter of singer George Kent and dancer Gladys Kent. She was raised Hayling Island where she was close friends with wind-surfer Peter Chilver. She trained in theater at the Arts Educational School in Tring (now Tring Park School for the Performing Arts) and made her debut in The Nutcracker at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1962. At the age of 12, she became a member of the corps de ballet at the Royal Festival Ballet at the age of 12 with plans of becoming a ballerina, but her plans were delayed after a bout of pneumonia.
At 16, she made her debut playing the part of a rollerskating tap dancer in "Forget-Me-Not Lane" later appearing in the musical, "Bubbling Brown Sugar." She was briefly a member of the dance troupe, Pan's People, which appeared on "Top of the Pops" between 1977 and 1980. This led to other TV appearances, such as a role in the opening "Shelaylee Brothers" segment of the December 26, 1978 episode of "The Benny Hill Show" opening, another roles in "The Vocal Touch," which was a showcase for her talents as a singer and actress, as well as "Night Music," "Six Fifty-Five," "Des O'Connor Tonight," Pete Sayers' "Electric Music Show," "The Two Ronnies," "Wogan," "It's Max Boyce," "Pebble Mill at One" and "The Les Dawson Show." In 1979, she recorded a duet with Johnny Mathis called "You Saved My Life."
She was cast as Eva Peron in the musical "Evita" in 1980, a role she left in 1981 to create the title role of Marilyn Monroe in "Marilyn! the Musical," which won her outstanding reviews and the Best Actress of the Year Award from the Variety Club of Great Britain as well as a nomination from the Society of West End Theater Awards (now the Laurence Olivier Awards). Becoming one of the leading female musical theater performers in London, she had the role of Pearl in the original London production of "Starlight Express" and appeared in a musical version of "The Blue Angel" at the Bristol Old Vic. In 1986, she had a dramatic role in "The Owl and the Pussycat" with Peter Davison, following up with a role in the film "Buster" with Phil Collins, Julie Walters and Larry Lamb. Her other film credits include "The Likely Lads" and the 1989 film version of "The Phantom of the Opera."
In 1987, Stephanie created the part of Louise in the musical, "Time," later taking a role in "Kiss Me Kate" at the Savoy Theater. Over Christmas of 1988 into early 1989, she played Cinderella, opposite Lionel Blair and toured with the musical, "Blues in the Night" in 1990, following with a three-year in the revival of Willy Russell's "Blood Brothers." She was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.
Her last role in the West End was in "Cats" in 1998, but she was forced to leave the show after a fall down a staircase, receiving critical injuries. She married her long-time companion, Laurie Sautereau, in 2000 and passed away November 4, 2000 from liver disease, found by Sautereau at their London home.