Anna Louise Friel (born 12 July 1976) is an English actress. Born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of English television programmes. She played Beth Jordache in the Channel 4 soap Brookside, and portrayed the first lesbian kiss in a British soap opera in January 1994. She made her West End theatre debut in London in 2001 and has subsequently appeared in several productions, including in an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.
Friel made her film debut in 1998 in David Leland's Land Girls and has since made a number of films such as A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), Timeline (2003), Land of the Lost (2009), and Limitless (2011). Outside of film, she played the role of Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in the ABC comedy series Pushing Daisies, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2008.
She is the recipient of a number of awards, including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009). She has also appeared in music videos and television and print media advertising campaigns and is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Bolton. In 2016, Friel starred in the ITV/Netflix crime drama, Marcella, as the titular role, for which she was awarded an International Emmy Awards for Best Actress. A second series premiered in March 2018.