Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson; born 15 November 1972) is an English actress and writer. She was known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007.
She is possibly best known as one of the creators, writers and stars of the British sitcom Spaced.
She lives in London with her husband Adam Hynes, whom she met when she was 18, and married in 2002. They have three children.
Hynes was born in Lewisham, London, on 15 November 1972, but grew up in Brighton, where she attended Dorothy Stringer High School. As a teenager Hynes was part of the National Youth Theatre company, and she made her stage début with the company in Lionel Bart's Blitz in 1990. In 1992–3 she played a season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In the same year she appeared in Peter Greenaway's 1993 film The Baby of Mâcon, playing the first midwife. For the first fourteen years of her career, she used her maiden name as a stage name. Early in her career she teamed up with future Spaced co-star Katy Carmichael in a comedy double-act called The Liz Hurleys, appeared in two productions at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and played parts on television in the nursing drama Staying Alive (1995-1997) and short-lived sketch shows Six Pairs of Pants, (Un)natural Acts and Asylum - where the Spaced team (Stevenson, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) first assembled. She also guest starred in the first ever episode of Midsomer Murders in 1997.
From 1998-2000 she played the supporting role of Cheryl in the hit sitcom The Royle Family and reprised the role for special episodes in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Also in 1999, she co-wrote and starred in Spaced. Her London theatre début was in April 2002, playing the tough ex-prisoner "Bolla" in Jez Butterworth's The Night Heron at the Royal Court. In 2004 she played a minor part as Yvonne in horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, again working with Pegg and Wright. In the same year she was also cast as Magda, friend of the titular character, in the Hollywood sequel Bridget Jones' Diary 2 also called Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason. In 2005 Hynes took the lead role in the BBC One sitcom According to Bex (which she thought was so bad that she sacked her agent for putting her up to it), and had a starring role in British comedy Confetti alongside Jimmy Carr, Martin Freeman, and Mark Heap.
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