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Ruthie Henshall ( Valentine Ruth Henshall) is is an English singer, dancer and actress best known for her work in musicale theatre. Henshall attended the Laine Theatre Arts school in Epsom, Surrey before making her first professional appearance on stage in 1986. Her appearance in the 1987 production of Cats marked her West End debut.
Ruthie Henshall was born in Bromly, South East London in England. Her father was a journalist. Her first ambition was to be a professional ballet dancer, but she lacked the necessary physique. Her sister, Noel, died in 2007 of a drugs overdose while living in San Francisco. Ruthie dated Prince Edward "solidly" for two years, but "on and off for five years", before becoming engaged to actor John Gordon Sinclair. After she took the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway, they broke up, after which Henshall admitted going through a process of excessive drinking and considering suicide.
She then met Tim Howar, theatre actor and lead singer of the band Van Tramp, and her male co-star lead in the West End production of Peggy Sue got married. The couple married in 2004 and have two children together, Lily Amalia (born 16 February 2003) and Dolly Olivia (born 14 January 2005.They lived close to her parents on the Essex/Suffolk border.
The couple announced their split in August 2009, with Henshall stating that she remains "good friends" with Howar. They divorced in January 2010.