Happy birthday Jenna Coleman
Happy birthday Jenna ColemanReuters

The epic journey of the legendary time-travelling Doctor Who might not have been that much interesting if he was not accompanied by his companion Clara Oswald, brought to the small screen by actress Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Born on April 27, 1986, Coleman has played the role of Doctor's companion in the long-running British science-fiction TV series "Doctor Who" from 2012 to 2015. She first appeared in Series 7 of the show and has served as companion of two incarnations of the Doctor, played by Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.

Coleman's other notable works include the role of Jasmine Thomas in British soap opera "Emmerdale" and Annie Desmond in 2012 TV series "Titanic." As the 30-year-old actress celebrates her birthday, here are some lesser-known facts about her:

She had a tough time after "Emmerdale"

Jenna has said it was hard for people to see her in a different role after her exit from the TV series. She was rejected by London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and had to work in bars for a living. However, she decided to move to Hollywood and it paid off.

She dropped "Louise" from her name

Talking about her shortened name, which she uses everywhere now, Jenna said: "The boring truth is that people have never really called me Jenna-Louise and I just found it very strange because I started to do more interviews and go places where people I didn't know kept calling me Jenna-Louise. It sounded odd to me."

She credits Peter Capaldi for her success

When asked how portraying the role of the Doctor's companion on the show changed her as an actor, Jenna replied: "I think working with Peter has made me...not be scared of a right and a wrong—trying to do as many options as possible for the edit, exploring as much as possible and throwing ideas in the air and seeing where it takes you."

She has no family background of acting

Jenna hails from Blackpool, England. She apparently loved acting since a very young age. However, she added that it was never in the family. She played a bridesmaid at the age of 11 in "Summer Holiday," which starred Darren Day, and turned down an offer from New York University to play the role of Jasmine in "Emmerdale."

She has dated "Game of Thrones" actor Richard Madden

Jenna and Richard were known as a sci-fi couple as Jenna was in "Doctor Who" and Richard in "Game of Thrones." They have said that they loved watching each other's shows. However, the couple has reportedly separated now.

Source: BT.com