Eve Myles (born 26 July 1978) is a Welsh actress. She graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2000. Later that year, she began portraying Ceri Lewis in the Welsh language drama series Belonging, a role she would play until the end of the series in 2009. Myles’ early UK television credits included the 2001 miniseries Tales from Pleasure Beach, the 2003 television drama Colditz and, as servant girl Gwyneth, the 2005 Doctor Who episode “The Unquiet Dead.”
Her appearance in Doctor Who led to her winning a lead role in the science fiction drama’s spin-off series Torchwood, in which she portrayed the character Gwen Cooper between 2006 and 2011. Myles role in Torchwood earned her a Bafta Cymru award for Best Actress in 2007. Myles also reprised the role of Gwen in the 2009 and 2011 series of Torchwood Radio Plays as well as in 2015 as part of the Torchwood (Big Finish series). Myles subsequent television credits include the 2008 miniseries Little Dorrit, the 2008 premiere episode of the fantasy drama Merlin and the 2013 drama series Frankie in which she played the title role. In 2014 she was cast in the second series of the crime drama series Broadchurch portraying the character of Claire Ripley. In 2011 she voiced one of the main characters in the video game Dragon Age II.
An accomplished theatre actress, Myles won an Ian Charleson Award in 2004 for her performances in Royal Shakespeare Company productions of the plays Titus Andronicus and The Taming of the Shrew. Further theatre credits include Henry IV, Part I and II at the National Theatre in 2004, and the role of Emma in the first UK run of Zach Braff’s play All New People in 2012.
Myles was born in Ystradgynlais, Powys, Wales. She attended Ysgol Maes Y Dderwen, where she was in the same class as fellow actor Richard Corgan, and the year below Steve Meo. She grew up with a strong interest in boxing, although she gave up the sport after breaking her knuckle by punching a wet sandbag. After training as an actress and gaining a Bachelor of Arts in acting at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff in 2000, Myles moved to London.
In 2000 Myles took on the central role of Ceri Owen (née Lewis) in the BBC Wales drama Belonging. Her longest role to date, Myles played Ceri from the series’ first episode through to its final series in 2008; returning for a one-off special in 2009. In 2001, Myles undertook a role in the television film Score and the TV miniseries Tales from Pleasure Beach. From 2003, Myles based herself in Stratford upon Avon, initially playing Lavinia in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Titus Andronicus, for which she received the Sunday Times Ian Charleson award in 2004. She has also played Bianca in The Taming of The Shrew and in 2005, appeared opposite Michael Gambon in Henry IV, Part I and II at the National Theatre. Myles appeared in the ITV drama Colditz in 2005.
She took a supporting role in the Doctor Who episode “The Unquiet Dead,” playing servant girl Gwyneth. This brought her to the attention of Lead Writer Russell T Davies, who would progress to create and produce Torchwood. Considering her to be “one of Wales’ best-kept secrets,” Davies wrote the role of Gwen Cooper in Torchwood specifically for Myles. Speaking on her casting, Myles stated that having the part written for her was like having her “own personal Oscar.” Gwen, an audience surrogate character, is characterised by Myles as Torchwood’s “social worker,” who “can run and fight and stand in her own corner and win.” Her role in Torchwood also led to Myles making a second appearance in Doctor Who, for its Fourth series’ finale, alongside Torchwood co-stars John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd. Myles has appeared in every episode of Torchwood.
Myles also appeared in the premiere episode of Merlin, called “The Dragon’s Call” where she played Lady Helen of Mora and Mary Collins, a witch who impersonated her. Her performance in this role was described positively by Anthony Head, who said that ‘she did it dead straight and very scarily. There was one moment she was delivering a speech to me in full prosthetic make-up… The French background artists didn’t speak English but burst into applause at the end because they were moved by the emotion of it.’
She portrayed the character of Maggy Plornish in Andrew Davies’ 2008 adaptation of Little Dorrit, which later went on to win seven Emmy awards. Early 2008 also saw the actress host a radio show centred around Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe and narrate a short story, Sorry for the Loss by Bridget Keehan, both airing on BBC Radio Wales.
2009 saw her star in the award winning independent Welsh film A Bit of Tom Jones as well as the one-off Drama, Framed, for BBC Wales, alongside Trevor Eve. In July 2010, Myles announced she would appear in an original BBC Cymru Wales TV series, Baker Boys, co-written by Helen Raynor and Gary Owen and airing in early 2011. 2011 also saw Myles provide the voice of the Dalish elf Merrill in the Bioware video game Dragon Age II. In July 2011, to coincide with Torchwood’s fourth series Myles presented part of a BBC Wales Documentary entitled Wales and Hollywood, which featured the actress travelling to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to find the Welsh talent honoured there.
In 2012 Myles returned to the stage in Zach Braff’s play All New People, which ran for ten consecutive weeks at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre following runs at the Manchester Opera House (8–11 February 2012) and the King’s Theatre in Glasgow (14–18 February). In 2013 she took the title role in the BBC1 drama Frankie, filmed in Bristol, which follows the life of a district nurse who cares more about her patients than her own life.
In August 2016, Myles stars alongside Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes and Rufus Sewell in the ITV drama Victoria, which follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. She portrays Mrs Jenkins, the Queens personal dresser.
Awards and recognition
Myles was among many others nominated for Wales online Dafftas best actress and won for her role as Frankie with almost 45% of the votes. Myles was nominated for and won Wales’ sexiest woman in 2013.
Myles has been nominated for a total of six BAFTA Cymru awards, winning one. In 2002, 2003, and 2009, Myles was nominated for Best Actress in the BAFTA Cymru Awards for her role as Ceri on the BBC Wales drama Belonging.
In 2007, Myles won the BAFTA Cymru Best Actress award for her portrayal of Gwen Cooper in Torchwood’s first series, a role she also received Best Actress BAFTA Cymru nominations for in 2008 and 2010. In 2010, Myles won the Best Actress award in the SFX Reader’s awards poll, and was crowned best actress in the 11th annual Airlock Alpha Portal Awards. For her role as Gwen Cooper in Torchwood: Miracle Day, Myles was nominated for a Satellite Awards in the Best Television Actress category. and reached the shortlist for the 2012 UK National Television Awards.
In 2006, Wales on Sunday named Myles as its “Bachelorette of the Year.” Myles also regularly ranks highly in the Western Mail’s annual list of the 50 sexiest women in Wales. In 2005, the Western Mail ranked Myles seventh whilst she ranked fifth in 2008, 7th in 2009, 8th in 2010 and 10th in 2011.
In June 2010, Myles was honoured with a fellowship from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
Myles met Bradley Freegard at the National Youth Theatre in 1994, and they married in Italy on 18 May 2013. Myles and Freegard have two children; Matilda Myles Freegard, born 10 November 2009, and Siena Myles Freegard, born on 11 February 2014.
Filming Torchwood’s fourth series in 2011 saw Myles relocate with her family to America’s Hollywood Hills, living “literally underneath the Hollywood sign.” Myles has described California as the “land of dreams,” and her experience filming the fourth series of Torchwood in Hollywood as the best year of her life, adding that she would love to spend more time there as an actress if possible.
Last updated: February 2017