A long-standing mystery has been the identity of the actress seen naked in the first episode of Channel 4's Skins from 2007. She plays the woman who is seen flaunting herself at her bedroom window as seen by teenager Tony from the house opposite, making a daily early morning exhibition of herself to the exasperation of her husband. She has a bit of dialogue and is called "Miriam" by her husband, but did not get a credit.
|Uncredited "Miriam" from episode 1 of Skins|
I've previously mentioned this query on the blog in the post Actresses to be Identified #1
The other day I stumbled upon the answer on the Vintage Erotica Forum (VEF) site. Tucked away on a thread dedicated to the 90s model Louise Downie, a user identified her as being the uncredited woman in Skins.
Of course I needed to check it out to see if the identification passed reasonable scrutiny. Fortunately the VEF thread for Louise Downie included some scans from a men's magazine layout she did which proved useful.
Probably the most persuasive bit of supportive evidence can be seen in this comparison in which a tattoo on her left hip seen in the modelling shot is also sported in the same position by "Miriam".
Her face appears to be similar enough so as not to cast any obvious doubt. Some copy shown on the magazine scans mentions that she had just appeared in the film Scandal which was from 1989. So the gap between those modelling pictures and the Skins images would be approximately 17-18 years. This would seem to fit in with "Miriam" looking to be in her latter 30s.
There is a noticeable difference between the size of her right and left areola which can be seen in both Louise Downie's 1989 modelling pictures and in the 2007 Skins scene.
So all in all the identification seems to be a good one with enough indications fitting together to make coincidence seem unlikely.
I think this can therefore now be considered solved.
If anyone comes across any online articles or interviews that help support it further then please let me know.
One thing I did find: The public-facing information on what seems likely to be her Facebook account (going by the accompanying picture) states she lives in Bristol. This is where Skins was filmed.
As well as being a model Louise Downie appeared in topless bit-part roles in several films and TV shows in the late 1980s and early 1990s when she was a younger woman.
Here are some of those appearances:-
Visions of Ecstasy (1989)
A controversial short, banned until recently, in which she plays a nun called St Teresa of Avila.
Bye Bye Baby (1992)
A C4 film in which she plays a stripper
The very first story of Cracker entitled "The Mad Woman In The Attic" in which she plays a murder victim. Her scenes from Cracker are a bit gruesome, playing a blood-soaked corpse in a train carriage, so I'll just show the missing person's photo of her that was seen during the story.
Splitting Heirs (1993)
Playing a stag-do stripper (credited as Louise Downey)
If she did appear in the final cut of Scandal as stated then she has never been spotted and certainly wasn't credited. She may possibly have been one of the background participants in the orgy sequence, or perhaps one of the dancers in Bridget Fonda's troupe.
And according to IMDB she also played a stripper in a 1989 episode of Casualty. I haven't seen that although I would guess it's perhaps unlikely she was actually seen topless in that.