Updated 11th March 2003

Donna Windsor

Sophie Jeffery appeared in Middlemarch, playing Letty Garth before joining Emmerdale as the original Donna Windsor. For more on Sophie SEE BELOW

Eithne's Profile of Donna

IMDB entry: Sophie Jeffrey
[Profile Of Donna On Official Site]

Character: Donna Windsor

Parents: Viv, mother and Vic, father (deceased)

Siblings: Kelly, half sister and Scott, half brother

Age: born 1985/1986. The script has been changed. In December 1994, she was 9 years old indicating that she was born in 1985. This age seems to be consistant through to 1997 at least as she was going to Secondary School in 1996. However the scripts have subseqeuntly changed her birth year to 1986 to fit her in with today's brat pack.

(In the episode of 27th December 1994, she said she was nine years old). She is the only one of the Winder children that a birth date hasn't been given for.

First Appearance: August/September 1993

Played by: Sophie Jeffrey (1993-1997) and Verity Rushworth (1998- )


Donna Windsor is the youngest in the Windsor family. She is a little spoilt, but not as devious as Kelly, or as wild as Scott. Donna has a habit of going away for long periods of time without being seen on screen. In 1993 when she first arrived she got drunk with her siblings. Donna was distraught when the truth came out about Vivís affair with Terry, and Donna was torn between her parents. She eventually moved into the Woolpack with her mother. When Kelly went missing in 1997 Donna was upset, although she later helped Kelly meet Tom. Later that month Donna was lead a little of the rails by Andy Sugden, who persuaded her to skip school and go joyriding in Leeds with him and Robert. After this Viv started her war against Andy and the Sugden family.

In 2001 Donna lost her virginity to Marc, and was one of the teenagers involved in the hit and run. Marc dumped Donna because Viv told Angie about Marc sleeping with Donna. Later Donna was upset that Marc and Eve were together. Donna had to do community service as punishment for the hit and run, but was devastated when Marc was sent to prison.

About Sophie Jeffrey: The original Donna left the show in 1997 to continue with her school work

About Verity Rushworth: Verity is the second actress to play Donna. She has also appeared in an October 1997 episode of ITV drama Heartbeat.

Taken from the Emmerdale Companion (1998) by Anthony Hayward:-

"Being uprooted from London to the countryside was not a pleasant experiance for the youngest of the Windsor family, Donna. She was given a ride on a tractor that toppled over, shot in the head by her brother, Scott, attacked by a vicious dog, and had to be rescued from Kim Tate's blazing stables on the night of the Emmerdale air disaster. Her mother Viv's affair with Terry Woods and sister Kelly's romance with her teacher also helped to unsettle her.

'She has definately changed,' says Sophie Jeffery, who plays Donna. 'She used to be a goody-goody, but her parents splitting up altered things. Donna liked Terry but didn't want his relationship with her mum to go any further. Then when she was drinking in the pub with Robert Sugden and Andy Hopwood Terry was supposed to be looking after her, but he went to see the newspaper reporter, Helen Ackroyd, and as a result Donna had Alcoholic poisoning.

Sophie started her career by joining the Sylvia Young Theatre School, in London, with her elder sister, Claire, and brother, Ben. All three of them soon found work, Sophie's first television appearance was in a commercial for W. H. Smith, in bed opening a Christmas stocking. By the time Sophie joined Emmerdale at the age of nine, she had already appeared on television in 'Micahel Winnner's True Crimes', If you See God Tell Him and Middlemarch in which she played Lettty Garth and Ben appearred as her screen brother.

'The Victoria costumes in Middlemarch were gorgeous,' recalls Sophie. 'I had a blue dress and a white hood and Ben had tights and breeches. We filmed in a house in Peterborough that was really spooky - we're sure it had a ghost. We took photographs there and later saw images of a woman in them whn they were developed.'

Sophie auditioned for Emmerdale a week after finishing work on Middlemarch. She felt bad about pipping her best friend to the post in getting the part of Donna. Her mother, Kim, who chaperones her to the studios, has apeared as an extra in the serial. Animal-lover Sophie - who has nine cats, two dogs, two budgerigars and five goldfish - has an ambition to appear in Animal Hospital."

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