Laila Rouass is an English actress best known for playing Amber Gates in the series ‘Footballers' Wives’ and Sahira Shah in ‘Holby City.’ She has also been a contestant on the reality TV dancing competition ‘Strictly Come Dancing,’ alongside Anton Du Beke, in which she finished fourth. Born to an Indian mother and a Moroccan father, Rouass is of mixed ethnicity. She initially worked in the Indian entertainment industry where she was a VJ on Channel V, MTV, TNT and BBC. She made her movie debut with Feroze Nadiawala’s ‘City of Dreams.’ After moving back to UK, she became famous for playing Bollywood actress Amber Gates in ITV1’s ‘Footballers' Wives.’ Apart from her acting skills, Rouass also became known for her gorgeous looks and stunning statue-like figure. She has been counted amongst the Sexiest Women in the World by FHM on two consecutive years. The beautiful actress also serves as a patron for the NGO Save the Children.
Laila Rouass started her career as a VJ for the Indian channels MTV and Channel V during the 1990s. In 1999, she starred as Nandita in the feature film ‘Split Wide Open’. Dealing with the water issues in the slums of Mumbai as well as pedophilia, the film has been one of the most controversial Bollywood films. This was followed by her role in ‘Bawandar,’ a biographical film based on the true story of the rape victim Bhanwari Devi from Rajasthan, India.
In 2001, Rouass starred in the British soap opera ‘Family Affairs’. The following year, she played Maya in Shekhar Kapur’s war drama ‘The Four Feathers’. From 2004 to 2006, she portrayed Amber Gates in the drama series ‘Footballers' Wives’ for which she garnered wide recognition. The actress did the films ‘Shoot on Sight’ and ‘Freebird’ in the late 2000s.
In 2009, Rouass joined the cast of the British sci-fi drama series ‘Primeval’ and also participated in season 7 of BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ alongside dancer Anton Du Beke. The following year, she featured in two episodes of ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ and also had a regular role in BBC One’s ‘Spooks’. From 2011 to 2012, she starred as Sahira Shah in the medical drama series ‘Holby City’. During this time, the actress also did the “sword and sorcery” flick ‘Conan the Barbarian’.
The year 2014 saw Rouass in an episode of ‘Midsomer Murders’. This was followed by her roles in the drama series ‘The Royals’, ‘Stella’ and ‘The Lodge’. In 2018, she played Lauren in the British miniseries ‘Safe’. Currently, she is one of the presenters of Channel 4’s ‘TV Book Club.’
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Family & Personal Life
Laila Rouass was born on 22 June 1971 in Stepney, London, England to an Indian mother and a Moroccan father.
From 1990 to 2003, she was married to Abdeslam Rouass. Following her divorce from him, she underwent a religious ceremony with businessman Nasir Khan, though she never married him legally. In 2006, Rouass became pregnant, and the couple separated briefly before reconciling. They had a daughter in 2007. The couple broke up once again in 2008.
In February 2012, Rouass began dating snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan. The two got engaged a year later and have been together since then. She is a cousin of actor Rachid Sabitri.