Amanda Burton: who is Silent Witness and Brookside actress, how old is she, who is her character Sam Ryan?

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Amanda Burton has reprised her iconic role as Sam Ryan for the Silent Witness 25th anniversary season

Amanda Burton is a prolific actress known for starring in dozens of British shows and made for TV movies.

Her body of work includes the iconic roles of Heather Black in Brookside and Sam Ryan in Silent Witness.

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Burton took on leading roles in TV shows at a time when men dominated the top billings, and has worked in the screen industry across five decades.

Amanda Burton as Sam Ryan in Silent WitnessAmanda Burton as Sam Ryan in Silent Witness
Amanda Burton as Sam Ryan in Silent Witness | BBC/David Emery

The actress has made good money through her work - estimates of Burton’s net worth vary wildly although in all cases she is estimated to be worth several million pounds, with LADBible putting the star’s net worth at £12 million.

Who is the award-winning actress, what are her most iconic roles, and what else has she been in? Here is everything you need to know.

Who is Amanda Burton?

Amanda Burton is a 65 year old actress who was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1956.

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After leaving Northern Ireland aged 18, she moved to Manchester where she studied drama at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre for three years.

While studying in Manchester she met Jonathan Hartley, a theatre technician, who she married in 1976. The couple divorced six years later.

In 1989, Burton married photographer Sven Arnstein and they had two daughters together, Phoebe and Brid. Burton and Arnstein divorced in 2004.

Both of Burton’s daughters now work in the screen industry - Brid had written several short films, and Phoebe has directed three shorts and worked in the camera department on several projects.

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Burton has scores of TV roles under her belt but she began her acting career in theatre.

Her first TV role was on Brookside and she has since appeared in many popular shows and films.

The role for which she is most recognisable is that of Sam Ryan in the forensics drama Silent Witness.

It was for this role that she was nominated for, and won three, National Television Awards.

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Who is Sam Ryan in Silent Witness?

Sam Ryan was one of the original characters in Silent Witness, appearing on the very first episode of the show.

Ryan is a forensic pathologist from Northern Ireland and was the leader of the original forensics team working at The Lyell.

Major storylines for the character included experiencing an attempted rape, the death of her mother and the implication of a family member in a murder.

Amanda Burton has reprised her role as Sam Ryan for the 25th season of Silent WitnessAmanda Burton has reprised her role as Sam Ryan for the 25th season of Silent Witness
Amanda Burton has reprised her role as Sam Ryan for the 25th season of Silent Witness | BBC/David Emery

After the seventh season of the show Burton decided that it was time to move on with her career and left the role.

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Ryan was written out of the show - the character returned to Northern Ireland and her lab partner Leo Dalton replaced her as the team leader at The Lyell.

However, 17 years after leaving Silent Witness, Burton reprised her role for the 25th season of the show.

The new season opened with an assassination at the launch of Sam’s new company, prompting her to call on the team at The Lyell for help.

However, in the first episode of the new season, it became apparent that Sam knew more than she was letting on.

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What else has Amanda Burton been in?

Burton’s first screen role was as Heather Black soap opera Brookside from the first episode in 1982 and stayed in the role for three years.

Following Brookside, Burton took on the role of DC Margaret Daly in crime comedy series Boon, and had small roles in several other series.

She had a string of one episode appearances in Frederick Forsyth Presents, Van der Valk, The Storyteller: Greek Myths, Stay Lucky, Lovejoy, Minder, and Medics.

She starred as Dr. Beth Glover in several seasons of the medical drama Peak Practice between 1993-1995, before taking on the role of Sam Ryan in Silent Witness the following year.

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After Silent Witness, she starred in a series of eight TV crime movies called The Commander, in which she played the leading role of Commander Blake.

Burton also appeared in 27 episodes of school-based drama Waterloo Road as the head teacher Karen Fisher.

Her more recent roles include playing June Bamber in the crime drama miniseries White House Down, Katherine Maguire in mystery series Marcella, and Lady Shelton in historical series Anne Boleyn.

Burton’s cinematic roles include playing the mother prison biopic Bronson alongside Tom Hardy, and Susan in the drama film Body of Water.

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