Emmerdale’s Jeff Hordley’s marriage to co-star after terrifying illness

Jeff Hordley scooped up the gong for Best Dramatic Performance at the 2023 British Soap Awards on 6 June.

The Emmerdale actor has been praised for his portrayal of bad boy Cain Dingle on the soap, who he has played since March 2000.

His character has been plagued by constant drama since his debut, including a string of failed romances, including an illicit relationship with his own cousin, and a couple of run-ins with the law.

Thankfully, actor Jeff Hordley’s life behind the scenes seems much more peaceful than that of his character.

The star, 53, originally hails from Crumpsall in Manchester and began acting in the early 90s.

He met his future wife, Zoe Henry, while they were both at drama school in 1994 and they’ve been together ever since.

The pair tied the knot in 2003 and now have two children – 18 year old Violet and 15 year old Stan.

Jeff has previously opened up about his relationship with his wife being love at first sight.

“I saw Zoe and realised she was the girl for me,” he explained.

Zoe and Jeff are pretty inseparable, considering the fact that they’re co-workers as well as a couple.

Zoe plays Rhona Goskirk on Emmerdale and became a show regular in 2005 after a few small appearances in 2001 and 2002.

In an interview in 2022, Zoe explained that she really enjoys working with her spouse and claims he helps her to make sure that they have “a laugh” in between takes “so upsetting stories don’t get you down too much.”

The actress added that if either she or Jeff is having a rough day at work, it helps as the other will “completely understand.”

But things haven’t always been smooth sailing for the family as, in 1996, Jeff received a devastating health diagnosis he says he feared he would “die from.”

The actor was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of just 26 after feeling “sick and tired” and “losing weight.”

He later admitted that he was petrified by the news as his mother had died of the illness in 1979.

However, doctors reassured him that it would be manageable and that his mother’s death had primarily been caused by surgery complications.


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