Most of us know that Dame Helen Mirren, Rachel Riley and the Tointon sisters hail from Southend but there are plenty of famous faces that also come from our fine town that you might not be aware of…


The TV historian and author is known for his popular BBC History of Britain series as well as best-selling books such as The Embarrassment of Riches.

Southend Standard:

Schama, who was knighted in 2018 was born in Marleybone, London, but his family moved to Southend in the mid-1940s when he was just a small boy.

The historian has spoken about his love of growing up and “being made” in Southend and enjoying the non-kosher delights of the seafront’s "flaccid, vinegar-saturated chips" and "cylinders of Day-Glo-pink rock candy".

Today he lives and works in New York where he is a professor of history and art history at Columbia University.


Any Game of Thrones fan will instantly recognise the stunning Nathalie Emmanuel.

The actress is best known for playing Daenerys Targaryen’s right hand woman Missandei, in the blockbuster HBO fantasy series.

Southend Standard:

The 31-year-old star also had part in the Maze Runner films and starred in the TV mini- series Four Weddings and Funeral.

Emmanuel grew up in Southend where she attended Westcliff High School for Girls and has spoken fondly of her love for her hometown.


If you’ve ever seen The Sound of Music (and who hasn’t?) you’ll recognise Richard Haydn.

Southend Standard:

He has a starring role, playing Max Detweiler the 1965 blockbuster musical. He’s the one who entices the Von Trapp family to sing and he spars perfectly against stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer throughout the film.

Haydn grew up in Southend and was a pupil at Southend High School for Boys before he was discovered by Noel Coward and whisked off to Hollywood. He enjoyed a successful career in TV and films.

Haydn died in 1985 at the age of 80 at his home in Pacific Palisades, California.


Essex and England Cricket legend Trevor Bailey was born in Westcliff in December 1923. He grew up in Leigh where he learnt to play cricket on the beach.

Southend Standard:

With the nickname ‘Barnacle Bailey’ he went on to become one of the best British cricketers of all time and to this day remains the only cricket player since the Second World War to score more than 2,000 runs in a season and take 100 wickets- a feat he achieved in 1959.


Former UK number 1 tennis player Lloyd was at the top of his game in the mid-1980s. Before his success on the court he attended Southend High School for Boys.

Although he never won a Grand Slam singles title, Lloyd did win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles partnering Australia's Wendy Turnbull.

Southend Standard:

In 1979, Lloyd married the World No. 1 female player, American Chris Evert (who became Chris Evert-Lloyd).

The media-styled "golden couple" of tennis enjoyed several years in the limelight before an eventual divorce in 1987. Since the 1990s, Lloyd has been a commentator and analyst for the BBC's Wimbledon tennis coverage.