Melissa's Heartbeat Page - Character Information

Dr Kate Rowan

(Niamh Cusack)

Kate in her surgery
A somewhat more glamorous Dr Rowan!

About the character

Dr Kate Rowan, Nick's wife, worked in a major London teaching hospital before she chucked it in to move to the country and practise as a GP. Kate is a dedicated GP who cares deeply about her patients.

Kate is committed to availability of birth control for women (particularly the Pill), and this occasionally causes problems for her.

Whilst pregnant with baby Katie, Kate developed acute leukaemia.
Kate died at home after contracting pneumonia.

Niamh Cusack as Rosalind in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of As You Like It (Barbican Theatre, 1996)
Niamh Cusack as Rosalind (1996) Barbican Theatre. Photo from London Theatre Guild page.

About the actor

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on 20 October 1959, Niamh Cusack comes from an acting family. She is the daughter of Cyril Cusack, and sisters Sinead, Sorcha and Catherine are all actors as well. Her first name is pronounced Neeve.

Niamh trained to be a flautist, and worked as one for a while when married to Roland Saggs the cellist (they divorced later). After signing up for a Saturday drama class, she decided that it was acting and not music that she wanted to do, and spent one year at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She has mostly worked on stage, with Heartbeat her main TV role. She takes her acting very seriously, and researches characters thoroughly. Hilary Bonner reports that she spent time with 1960s GPs to study for her role as Kate.

Between seasons, Niamh returned to stage acting, including some time with the Royal Shakespeare Company. (see picture)

Niamh left Heartbeat after she fell pregnant (yes it was a real bump).

In early 1997, she was appearing at the Barbican Theatre in London as Rosalind in "As You Like It". (Thanks to Lesley for this info!)

Sonia tells me that she also played Beatrix Potter in a children's show. The show starts with her writing the story then goes into animation. It's very sweet

Marie advises: Niamh Cusack was Juliet opposite Sean Bean in 1986-87 and if you'd like a couple of lovely pictures of her looking very young, try The Compleat Sean Bean. Follow STAGE PERFORMANCES to Romeo and Juliet, then to 'PROGRAM'.

The six-part 1999 series, Always and Everyone (also known as St Saviour's), stars Martin Shaw and Niamh Cusack. Niamh plays an emergency room doctor - a far cry from Kate Rowan!
A fan writes: And who, in the first episode, should play Niamh's philandering husband? The actor--I missed his name--who played philandering Rex Hawkins in the 1997 Heartbeat Christmas episode, The Queen's Message. Of course, Niamh was no longer in HB at the time, but, talk about your six degrees of separation!

The Robson Green/Niamh Cusack show Rhinoceros is featured on the Meridian TV website. It looks like it was made by Anglia.

Niamh has also appeared in The Closer You Get (2000), in the 1998 mini TV series Colour Blind based on the novel by Catherine Cookson, and in Cause of Death (TV, 1997).

Return to Characters

Return to Melissa's Heartbeat Page

Copyright © Melissa Rogerson 1997-2000.
This page was constructed by Melissa Rogerson. I'd love to include any extra information you can send me.