Susan Penhaligon

Emmerdale’s Susan Penhaligon: 50-year career, writing and personal life

Her long-term partner is also an Emmerdale star!

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Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon is a renowned actress from stage and screen, with a glittering career stretching back more than 50 years.

She’s appeared in a long list of British television shows from Doctors to Wycliffe, as well as classic dramas A Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Bergerac, Upstairs Downstairs and Remington Steele.

Susan Penhaligon
Susan starred alongside Judi Dench in A Fine Romance (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

She also starred alongside Judi Dench in the sitcom A Fine Romance.

Why do people ask if Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon is still alive?

We’re pleased to report that she is in fine fettle, and still treading the boards despite many internet searches asking if she is still alive.

Susan’s also dabbled in writing – her novel For the Love of Angel – was published in 2008.

Read more: OPINION: 5 ways for Emmerdale to make Cain Dingle great again

Most recently she has starred as Mary Richards in a 2021 film called Into the Night, about the Penlee Lifeboat disaster of 1981.

Who is Susan Penhaligon married to?

Susan has been married three times. In 1971 she tied the knot with Nicholas Loukes and the pair divorced a year later.

She then married documentary film maker David Munro and they had a son called Truan Munro.

Susan Penhaligon
Susan’s television career took off when she starred in drama A Bouquet of Barbed Wire (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

In 1986, Susan married Duncan Preston – known to Emmerdale fans as Doug Potts and popular sidekick to legendary comedian Victoria Wood.

But the marriage went sour and the couple divorced six years later.

In a story straight from soap, though, Susan and Duncan rekindled their romance and they’re still together. Awww.

Who did Susan Penhaligon play in Emmerdale?

In 2006 Susan took on the role of Jean Hope, picking up from previous actress Julie Higginson.

Jean was Bob Hope‘s first wife and mum to his kids Dawn and Jamie.

Jean arrived in the village with a bang on Bob’s wedding day to Viv Windsor, determined to break up the happy couple – but she didn’t succeed.

And she even later had an affair with Dawn’s ex-husband Terry Woods when poor Dawn was in prison.

The romance drove a wedge between Dawn and her mum, and she planned to move to Cornwall to get away from Jean.

Susan Penhaligon
Jean had an affair with son-in-law Terry Woods (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Tragedy struck when Dawn was killed in an explosion at the Kings River show home – thanks to Jimmy King’s shonky repair work.

Jean was devastated to lose her daughter and later left Emmerdale with grandson TJ to go and live in Morocco.

Every now and then Jean gets a mention from Bob – normally when he’s joking about how many times he’s been down the aisle!

Susan and her secret sister

And in another soapy story, just a few years ago, Susan met a half-sister  she didn’t know existed – and who looks just like her.

The siblings – who share a dad – connected over social media. Susan’s new-found sister Karen is American and was born after their dad emigrated when Susan was 10.

And though lookalike Karen isn’t in showbusiness, both her children – Susan’s niece and nephew – have gone into acting.

How old is Susan Penhaligon?

Susan was born on July 3, 1949. That makes her 72 years old.

Want spoilers from Emmerdale? Entertainment Daily has a dedicated Emmerdale spoilers section for you to get your fix before the latest episodes air.

Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer