Piper Lawson Biography & Facts
Billie Paul Piper (born Leian Paul Piper, 22 September 1982) is an English actress, filmmaker, and former singer. She first appeared as a performer in Scratchy & Co at 13. She originally became famous as a singer and released her debut single "Because We Want To" at 15, which made her the youngest female artist ever to enter at #1 on the UK Singles Chart. Her follow-up single "Girlfriend" also entered at number one. In 1998, Piper released her debut studio album, Honey to the B, which was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. Following a second album which spawned her third UK #1 single, "Day & Night", Piper announced in 2003 that she had abandoned her music career to focus on an acting career.Piper appeared in the BBC One sci-fi series Doctor Who in the role of Rose Tyler, companion to The Doctor as a regular between 2005 and 2006, and additionally in 2008, 2010, and 2013. Piper starred as the high-flying escort Belle de Jour in the television drama series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007–2011). She also starred as Brona Croft/Lily in the Showtime horror series Penny Dreadful (2014–2016) and as Karen Mars in Netflix Original series Collateral (2018) for which she was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress. Piper co-created and starred in the Sky Atlantic series I Hate Suzie (2020–present) for which she earned a BAFTA nomination for a Best Actress in 2021. Her film roles include Things to Do Before You're 30 (2004), Mansfield Park (2007), City of Tiny Lights (2016) and Eternal Beauty (2019).
Piper has starred in five plays since 2007 and won the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her performance in Yerma, described as a "generation's best". She went on to win a total of six Best Actress awards for that one performance, including the Olivier Award, making Piper the only actor to have won six out of an available six Best Actress awards for a single performance.
Early life and education
Piper was born in Swindon, Wiltshire on 22 September 1982. Her first name, Leian, was legally changed to Billie on 25 April 1983 by her parents, Mandy Kane Kent and Paul Victor Piper. She has one younger brother and two younger sisters. She studied at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London and Bradon Forest School in Purton, Wiltshire.
Music career (1998–2003)
Piper's career began when she was selected to appear on the Saturday-morning children's television show Scratchy & Co. She later landed a role in a television commercial promoting the pop magazine Smash Hits. She was offered a record deal at the age of 15, and in 1998, became the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK Singles Chart with "Because We Want To", released under the stage mononym "Billie". Her follow-up single "Girlfriend" also debuted at number one.
Piper's debut album Honey to the B was released immediately afterwards, and entered and peaked at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone along with a platinum certification, and a double platinum certification in New Zealand, where it peaked at number three on the New Zealand Albums Chart. However, Honey to the B found limited success in other territories, such as Australia, where it entered and peaked at number 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart despite the success of "Honey to the Bee", and in the US it went almost completely unnoticed, peaking at number 17 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.At the 1998 Smash Hits Poll Winners' party, Piper was nominated for Best New Act (for which she came second, it being won by B*Witched) and won Princess of Pop (she was the first to win this award). She then released "She Wants You" as the third single from the album. The song reached number three. "Honey to the Bee" was released as the fourth single from the album; like the previous single, it reached number three. At the same time, "She Wants You" was released in the US, reaching number 9 on the "Hot Club Dance Play" chart.
In 1999, Piper was nominated for two BRIT Awards and won two awards at the 1999 Smash Hits Poll Winners' party, although she was reduced to tears at the latter ceremony after being booed by fans of Ritchie Neville, whom she was dating at the time. She then started to tour and release in Asia. The singles and the album were released during mid-to-late 1999. In August of that year, the follow-up to "Because We Want To" was released in Japan, a single comprising "Girlfriend" and "She Wants You" combined. She recorded a song for Pokémon: The First Movie titled "Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can)".
During that time, Piper recorded her second album. She decided to release further records under her full name of Billie Piper. She returned to the Singles Chart in May 2000 with her third number-one single "Day & Night". She waited until September to release "Something Deep Inside", which reached number four, but her success waned. In October 2000, Piper released her second album, Walk of Life, which reached #14 in the UK Album Chart, but quickly fell off the charts and was certified silver in the UK. The album only charted in two other countries: New Zealand, where it reached #17 only, and Australia, where it was a minor success and peaked at #23. In Piper's autobiography, she states that the album was a "commercial bomb". The song "Walk of Life", the final single off this album, was released in December 2000 and reached #25 in the UK Singles Chart.
In February 2001, Piper appeared in court to testify against a woman named Juliet Peters. Peters was charged with, and eventually convicted of, stalking as well as making numerous threats against Piper and members of her family. Peters received psychiatric treatment as part of her sentence. According to her autobiography, Piper was reluctant about the court case, but was pushed by her parents and her label. She also stated in the book that this was why "The Tide Is High" was not released as a single, writing: "The court case succeeded in doing what I alone could not – cutting the ties. Without it I might have been tempted back."
In January 2007, BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles started a campaign to get "Honey to the Bee" back into the top 100 on download sales as a way of testing out new chart rules that favour download sales. The campaign was successful, with "Honey to the Bee" re-entering the official UK singles chart at #17, eight years after it was first released.
In 2004, Piper appeared in the films The Calcium Kid and Things to do Before You're Thirty. Shortly before starting work on Doctor Who, she had a starring role in the horror film Spirit Trap, released in August 2005 to poor reviews. In November 2005, she starred as Hero in a BBC adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, updated for the modern-day in a similar manner to the Canterbury Tales series in which she featured, with Hero now being a weather pres.... Discover the Piper Lawson popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Piper Lawson books.