Samia Ghadie plays Maria Connor
Samia Maxine Ghadie, born 13 July 1982 in Eccles, near Manchester, plays Maria Connor on Coronation Street.
Samia made her acting debut when she was 11, appearing in an episode of Cracker. She then guest-starred on Children's Ward, Heartbeat, Doctors, and the children's series Life Force.
Samia's big break came in 2000, when she beat Suzanne Shaw and Kimberley Walsh to the role of Maria Sutherland in Coronation Street, where she has been at the centre of some of the show's biggest story lines in recent years.
Samia was placed 52nd in the 2003 FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World, and voted sexiest female by the readers of Inside Soap magazine in 2005. In the same year she impersonated Holly Valance in a celebrity version of Stars In Their Eyes, which she won.
Samia married Matthew Smith, a property developer, on 10 September 2005 after a seven-month engagement, They currently reside on the outskirts of Congleton in Cheshire, and had a baby daughter in October 2009.
First appearance on Coronation Street in the UK:
19 May 2000: Maria was working at her father's kennel business when Tyrone Dobbs enquired about breeding from his dog Monica.