Helen Baxendale born Helen Victoria Baxendale (7 June 1970) is an English actress of stage and television, known for her roles as Rachel in the British comedy-drama Cold Feet (1997–2003), and Emily in the American sitcom Friends (1997–98).
Baxendale's early stage credits include The Soldiers at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, which earned her a 1993 Ian Charleson Award nomination. Her other television credits include Cardiac Arrest (1994–96), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1997–2001), Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (2001), and Cuckoo (2012–present).
Baxendale has been with her boyfriend David L. Williams since her Glasgow days and together they have three children. Her first pregnancy was written into An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and her second was written into the fourth series of Cold Feet.
Her first pregnancy (coupled with the fact that her country of residence was Britain, rather than the USA) meant that her character was written out of Friends earlier than the writers had originally intended. Baxendale appeared in only 14 episodes, despite her character dating, marrying, and then divorcing Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), one of the show's main characters.