|Born||Rachel Joy Shenton
(1987-12-21) 21 December 1987
Rachel Joy Shenton (born 21 December 1987) is an English actress who has appeared in a number of British television series and films. She is most well known for her role as Mitzeee Minniver on the Channel 4 teen drama Hollyoaks. Shenton made her American TV debut on ABC Family drama Switched at Birth in Season 3 as Lily Summers and stayed until the show’s finale in Season 5. Shenton also appears in BBC2 comedy White Gold. In 2018, she won an Academy Award for her short film The Silent Child.
Shenton was born in Stoke-on-Trent and has lived in the suburb of Caverswall. She attended two high schools, one in Cheadle. In between acting roles she volunteered at her local charity Deaflinks. Shenton’s acting career began with small recurring parts in various television series such as Holby City and Waterloo Road. She also filmed various television commercials for the Ministry of Defence, DFS and Sega Superstars Tennis and appeared in two British films. She continued recurring appearances in 2008 appearing in Nickelodeon’s series Genie in the House and Five’s Sophia’s Diary, playing Sofia’s wayward sister ‘Trisha’.
In April 2010 it was announced that Shenton had been cast in Hollyoaks as Mitzeee Minniver, a wannabe glamour model. Shenton described her character as being the complete opposite of her. Her casting came as part of new producer Paul Marquess‘ major revamp of the serial. Before her character had appeared on-screen Shenton received media attention for her image, with tabloids reporting on her likeness to Cheryl Cole. Shenton described the attention and comparisons as “very flattering”. On 20 December 2012, Shenton announced her decision to leave Hollyoaks. She has described the experience as an “amazing two years” of her life. Shenton’s final scenes as Mitzeee aired on 15 February 2013, when the character moved to the United States.
On 28 April 2014 it was announced that Shenton would make her US television debut in season 3 of the ABC Family drama Switched at Birth, playing young student teacher, Lilly Summers. Shenton went on to shoot season 4 and 5 which was when the show ended. The final season aired in February 2017. In October 2017, Shenton joined the cast of BBC2 comedy series White Gold playing Alpha Female Joanne Scott, alongside James Buckley and Joe Thomas.
When Shenton was twelve, her father became deaf after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Following the death of her father, Shenton learned sign language and qualified as an interpreter. In 2011 Shenton was made ambassador for the National Deaf Children’s Society and she continues to raise awareness of deafness in the UK. In March 2011, Shenton completed a skydive in aid of National Deaf Children’s Society. In February 2012, Shenton announced that she was due to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the charity. In May 2011, Shenton helped to launch a social networking website for deaf people named “Viewtalk”. In October 2012, she climbed the BT Tower in aid of Action on Hearing Loss. She is engaged to director Chris Overton.
|2004||Kiss & Tell||Claire||Short film|
|2005||Holby City||Katrina Hobsbawn||1 episode: “Doing the Right Thing” (7.52)|
|Xlitherman||Shade Girl||Feature Film|
|2006||Doctors||Sadie Slade||1 episode: “Positively Blooming” (7.115)|
|2007||Waterloo Road||Courtney||3 episodes|
|Doctors||Jade Hearn/Robertson||1 episode: “Careers Day” (9.111)|
|Sophia’s Dairy||Tricia||1 episode|
|Genie in the House||Amy||1 episode: “Curse of the Genie Ring” (3.09)|
|2009||Money Kills||Anya||Feature film|
|2010–13||Hollyoaks||Mitzeee Minniver||Regular cast member (234 episodes)
23 July 2010 – 15 February 2013
|2011||Blood and Bone China||Anna Fitzgerald||10 episodes|
|2014–2017||Switched at Birth||Lily Summers||19 episodes|
|2017||White Gold||Joanne Scott||BBC2 and Netflix comedy series|
|2017||The Silent Child||Joanne||Also writer|
|2005||NSPCC Eye Opener||Abused teenager||Voice over|
|2006||Bulldog Broadband||Presenter||Voice over|
|2009||Selston Cosmetic Clinic||Presenter||Voice over|
Awards and nominations
|2011||British Soap Awards||Sexiest Female||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|All About Soap Bubble Awards||Best Newcomer||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|TV Choice Awards||Best Soap Newcomer||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|Inside Soap Awards||Best Newcomer||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|2012||Inside Soap Awards||Sexiest Female||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Serial Drama Performance||Hollyoaks||Nominated|
|2017||London Independent Film Festival||Best Actress||The Silent Child||Won|
|Overcome Film Festival||Won|
|Academy Awards||Best Live Action Short Film||Won|