Updated 17th March 2003

Sarah Sugden nee Conolly One Two

The original Sarah Sugden

Madeleine Howard


Appeared: 1988-2000

IMDB entry for: Alyson Spiro (1994-2000)

IMDB entry for:Madeleine Howard (1988-1994)

nee Conolly
2nd wife of Jack
Born: 25 March 1952
Married: 19 May 1994 Jack Sugden
Died: (in barn fire)16 November 2000

Sarah Sugden died tragically in a fire started by her adopted son Andy, she was in the farm barn hiding with her lover Richie.

Children: Victoria Sugden, Andy Sugden (adopted), stepson Robert.

The first Death in Emmerdale Farm was that of Sharon Crossthwaite (played by Louise Jameson). She was raped and murdered by Jim Latimer on 30th January 1973. Latimer was jailed for life and served 18 years in prison.
When Latimer was released in 1991 he set out for revenge. He kidnapped Sarah Connolly because he held a grudge against her then boyfriend Jack Sugden. Jack had been a witness for the prosecution at his trial back in 1973. Latimer held Sarah captive in a disused building, but she remained cool and was eventually released unhurt.

The following is based on a profile in the book "The Emmerdale Family Album" (by Michael Heatly and Published by Boxtree Paperback - 30 June, 1995 ):-


Sarah Connolly first appeared in Emmerdale as a travelling librarian. Very much the professional single woman, she was determined to enjoy her free and easy lifestyle to the full with a host of friends of both sexes and a refusal to be tied down. It was this sparky independence that both attracted Jack Sugden and, when he couldn't change her. frustrated him! For her part, Sarah herself was confused by the attraction of Jack, who stood for a great many things she despised - commitment, exclusively' and a quiet domestic life surrounded by an extended family.

Local opinion claimed that Sarah's attitude was -at least partly - responsible for driving him back int the arms of his old flame Marian Wilks. Yet on his return from Italy in 1989 for Jackie's funeral, it was Sarah he sought as someone he could talk to rather
than stay with his family at the farm, She urged him to sort things out once and for all with Marian, which he did - and after Marian refused lo come to England with him he returned alone.

Sarah, meanwhile, continued to Iead her busy social life, but she and Jack gradually saw more and more of each other. Alarm bells rang when she insisted on going on her annual Christmas/New Year skiing holiday with a group of friends including Gerry, a casual boyfriend, but on her return Sarah surprised everybody including, perhaps, herself -when she moved in with Jack.

At first she steadfastly clung on to her social li£c altogether - and equally steadfastly refused to have anything to do with the farm. She remained aloof from the Sugdens next door. She stopped Annie's habit of wandering in through the connecting door by simply nailing it up, declaring that she was used to living alone, not sharing a house with Jack and Robert, never mind Annie, Joe, Kate, Mark, Rachel and Lucy the dog!

The closure of the mobile library service in June 1990 represented a major threat to Sarah's independence. She was predictably annoyed when Jack went behind her back and offered her services to Amos and Witks at the Woolpack, but at length accepted the part-time job with good grace and also agreed to help out on the farm when the Sugdcns found themselves shorthanded.

Drama struck after Chris and Kathy Tate's wedding in 1991 when Sarah was kidnapped by Jim Latimer, a recently released murderer with a grudge against Jack that dated back to the trial. He held her captive in a disused building, but she reacted with characteristic good sense and the situation was, happily, resolved peacefully.

Sarah involved herself in family matters with a will, tackling Mark about his shoplifting and admitting that she had done the same herself, as a teenager. She acquired local notoriety early 1992 by hosting a 'raunchy underwear party' which attracted the men as eagerly as the ladies, while an outing to the dry ski slope at Skipdale that same year suggested she hadn't given up hope of changing her man - even though Jack outperformed her and she ended up twisting her ankle!

Jack and Sarah's relationship seemed as solid as most marriages, even though she declined his ritual proposals of marriage delivered each year on the anniversary of their meeting. Robert, Jack's child from his marriage to Pat, came to regard Sarah as
a surrogate mother, and finally accepted her as Mum.

Sarah, Jack and Robert

The birth of their daughter Victoria Anne, named after the child's two grandmothers, in early 1994, seemed to set the seal on their relationship which had survived the collapse of the original Emmerdale farmhouse and financial problems that had beset the farming operation during the early-1990s depression. Though she hadn't seen herself as a farmer's wife, Sarah was finally married to Jack in May 1994, at the age of 42. Soon after, they were brought even closer together when Victoria was taken seriously ill with ahole in her heart. Thankfully, after a long stay in Leeds hospital, she returned home, recovered.

Sarah & Jack with their newborn daughter

This was not the end of the story for Jack & Sarah and of course they did not live happily ever after, please see Sarah Sugden Part Two

Profile Index

Full Cast & Characters Index

Emmerdale Home Page