The heartbreaking truth about Cilla star Sheridan's past

Sheridan Smith is
wowing everyone in her latest TV role as Cilla Black, even the real life Cilla is a
huge fan – she reportedly sent a bouquet of flowers to congratulate her on her

But the hugely
talented actress is hiding a heartbreaking secret. Sheridan‘s brother
Julian died from cancer when he was 18. She was just eight at the time.

In his memory
Sheridan has a tattoo on the inside of her wrist – a pair of angel wings with a

She finds it hard to talk about him in interviews but her next role is a drama called The C-Word, which celebrates the life of her friend Lisa Lynch, who
died last year after a five-year battle with breast cancer. Sheridan shaved her hair off for the role.

We cannot wait
to see what is bound to be an incredibly moving performance. In the meantime let’s
delve into her past and get to know the super-nice celebrity a bit better…

She isn’t a
classically trained actress

‘I spend most
of my time feeling like I’m totally blagging it through life,’ Sheridan has admitted.
‘I didn’t go to drama school. I just wing it. And I honestly do feel out of my
depth. So I keep my head down. I don’t want anybody to spot I’m not a real

She had an
intense on-off relationship with Gavin & Stacey co-star James Corden

Their emotional two-year
affair came to an end in 2009 and was a rollercoaster.

James says it
was always ‘true love or deepest heartbreak’ adding that Sheridan is
‘absolutely intoxicating to be around.’

‘I loved her
more than I ever knew was possible. Each time we got
back together the love would be more intense; and then, of course, the break-up
would be all the more heart-breaking,’ he added.

She’s been
single for four years

Since splitting from her last boyfriend, Reg TravissAmy Winehouse‘sformer
lover – Sheridan admits that at 33 she has started to feel broody.

passionate about her pets

A pug called
Barry Manilow, a Japanese Spitz named Trish, and Enid, a Chinese shar pei.

‘I’ve become a
crazy dog lady from Crouch End,’ she has said. ‘What man wants to take on three
dogs as well as me? Dogs are more loyal than men. And they’re less trouble. I’m
happy with the dogs.’

Her mum and dad
are in a country ‘n’ western duo

Her parents,
Marilyn and Colin Smith are called The Daltons. Sheridan has sung on stage in
the local clubs with them since she was four – standing on a stool so the
audience could see her.

She has celeb admirers aplenty

Director Trevor Nunn and comedian David Walliams and Hollywood superstars
Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman have lavished their praise on her acting
skills. Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon count themselves among her fans and
let’s not forget Cilla Black

Back in 2011
Dustin Hoffman came backstage during her stint in Flare Path and reduced her to
tears with praise for her performance. He then cast her in his first film as a director, Quartet alongside
Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon.

And Phillip Schofield tweeted during Cilla ‘what a talent’.

SEE PICTURES Check out Sheridan Smith‘s changing hair

SEE PICTURES Sheridan Smith in Celebrities without makeup

Sofia Zagzoule