Reclusive soap stars who disappeared from TV including Hollyoaks bombshell who made FHM’s sexiest women three times | The Sun

THEY were once on our screens every night, but these soap stars have ditched the limelight in favour of a quieter life.

From the Hollyoaks bombshell who quit showbiz to marry a pop star and become a yummy mummy, to the Corrie 'superbitch' who had an affair with a notorious gangster, we take a look at where these reclusive soapies are now.

Jacqueline Chadwick – Corrie

With her short blonde bob, Coronation Street star Jacqueline Chadwick looks unrecognisable from her days as a brunette soap superbitch. 

The 48-year-old played scheming Linda Baldwin in Corrie and Tina Dingle in rival soap Emmerdale.

But her life off-screen was just as dramatic as any soap plot when she became embroiled in a five month affair with notorious Birmingham gangster Christopher Stone.

After the birth of their daughter Alexandra in 1997, she was desperate to keep him away from her so kept his name off the birth certificate. 



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Her daughter was part of the reason she quit Corrie in 2001, later admitting motherhood turned her into a “recluse” as she doted on her so much.

“I was so in love with her I didn't go out for a year,” she told The Mirror. “I didn't even go out for my birthday.

"I became a recluse and suddenly I didn't want to do anything but be with her. It was unhealthy for her and me.”

Jacqueline went on to marry hubby Simon Chadwick, and the pair share a child. After having two kids she abandoned her acting career for good because she wanted to keep her kids “out of the limelight”. 

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In 2004 she founded a drama workshop, dubbed The Jacqueline Chadwick Academy of Performing Arts, and she published her first crime novel, In The Still, in 2017. 

One year later she told her Twitter followers she was suffering from two painful health conditions – a herniated disc and sciatica.

Carly Hillman – EastEnders

Carly, now 40, is best known for playing Nicky di Marco, the younger sister of protective brothers Beppe and Gianni, and best pal of character Sonia Jackson on EastEnders. 

Throughout her two-year spell on the soap, she tackled some hard-hitting storylines – including the time her maths tutor sexually assaulted her. 

She left the soap over 20 years ago and went on to star in sitcom Harry and Cosh and Soapstar Superchef. 

Like many retired soap stars she became a firm fixture on the pantomime circuit, landing roles in Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and Aladdin. 

In 2009 she took a break from acting to focus on family life – welcoming two daughters with husband Ben Probert.

In recent years, the beauty has seemingly decided to focus her efforts on her singing career and can be booked for weddings. 

Jodi Albert – Hollyoaks

Stunning Jodi was catapulted to fame when she joined Hollyoaks in 2002 as sultry Debbie Dean.

An instant hit with fans, the actress made it onto the annual list of FHM's 100 Sexiest Women three times.

In 2005 she scooped the gong for Sexiest Female at the British Soap Awards.

Later that year she left Hollyoaks and went on to appear in TV shows including Casualty and British film Popcorn opposite ex-EastEnder Jack Ryder.

But she shunned the celebrity circuit after marrying Westlife singer Kian Egan in 2009. 

The pair went on to have three children and are raising them by the sea in Ireland. 

Jodi – now 40 and the ultimate yummy mummy – often shares adorable snaps of her family and their idyllic life to her 143k followers on Instagram. 

In 2016, she told Irish radio station RTE she loves the quiet life, adding: "As I got older and we had children I just really wanted to be part of a community.”

Elize du Toit – Hollyoaks

Elize shot to fame as Izzy Davies in Hollyoaks and stayed for four years between 2000 and 2004, making a brief return in October 2007.

She also had parts in James Bond film Skyfall and Doctor Who, but took a break from acting to concentrate on motherhood. 

In 2010 the now 42-year-old wed actor Rafe Spall – son of screen legend Timothy Spall – and the pair had three children. 

They were married for 13 years before their shock split in 2021. Last year Rafe, 39, reportedly struck up a romance with his screen spouse Esther Smith in Apple TV comedy Trying.

One onlooker said: “They gave the impression of being a couple who have been together for some time.”

Jonathan Wrather – Corrie and Emmerdale

Jonathan Wrather looks completely different after quitting fame to kickstart his juicing business. 

The 54-year-old father-of-two – best known for playing murderous rapist Pierce Harris in Emmerdale and ex-con Joe Carter in Corrie – has grown his hair long after leaving soapland in 2020. 

He now runs a coffee and juice bar called Remedy on the Park, offering plant-based wellness lattes, fresh raw cold pressed juices and smoothies.

Jonathan said moving to Alderley Edge in Cheshire from London five years ago with a young family inspired him to make a change.

"We spent a lot of time in the village park,” he wrote on his company’s website. “Around the same time I began juicing and became intrigued by the health benefits that can be gained from drinking raw cold pressed fruit and vegetable juices.”

Jack Ryder – EastEnders

With his spiky hair and grey stubble, Jack looks unrecognisable from his heartthrob days as Jamie Mitchell in the popular BBC soap.

The actor – known for his blue eyes and floppy curtains – made his Albert Square debut in November 1998 at the tender age of 17. 

In December 2002 his character was killed in a tragic car accident, leaving fans devastated. 

Around this time he married Corrie star Kym Marsh; the pair separated six years later but ‘remain friends’. 

Today the 41-year-old prefers life behind the camera and is a film and theatre director. 

He is also a father to Marnie, two, with his long-term partner Ella and published his first children’s book, Jack’s Secret World, in 2020. 

Georgia May Foote – Corrie

Former Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote retrained as a nail technician in 2021 after quitting the Cobbles in 2015 and a stint on Strictly in 2015.

The 32-year-old, best known for her role as Katy Armstrong, launched her own beauty business GMF Nails.

Two years on, and her nail business is still going through strong but according to her social media she still dips her toes in acting and voiceover work. 

Deborah McAndrew – Corrie

Deborah played Rovers Return barmaid Angie Freeman on Corrie for four years in the Nineties.

Her character left Weatherfield for Mexico in 1993, before reappearing three years down the line. She left for good in 1998.

She had a handful of other acting roles but these days is an award-winning playwright.

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Happy to stay out of the limelight, Deborah even turned down the chance to return to Corrie in its script department.

In 2017 she admitted: "I didn't want to be a storyliner, even though I'd enjoyed it and leaned a lot from it. I wanted to write the drama."

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