Soap stunner Kara Tointon exploded into the nation's living rooms playing Albert Square's sexy screen siren and 'tart with a heart' Dawn Swann in EastEnders.
Voted 'Sexiest Actress' at the 2008 British Soap Awards, it's little surprise that she stole the heart of not one, but two of her EastEnders co-stars and bagged plenty of tabloid column inches during her high-profile relationships with James Alexandrou and Joe Swash.
At the age of 7, Kara started to go to speech and drama lessons at school. She did LAMDA exams and entered local music festivals doing poetry recitals.
Kara's first acting experience was playing the part of Brigitta in The Sound of Music at the Cliffs Pavilion in Essex for the local amateur dramatic society.
Her first paid job was in the panto Snow White at the age of 11 - she was one of the child dancers.
Her first TV appearance was in EastEnders in 1994 as an extra, playing Sonia's school friend.
In 2000 after leaving school, she won a part in the Channel 4 drama Teachers. It was this job that convinced Kara that she should make acting her full-time career.
In 2002, Kara appeared in Dinotopia, followed in 2004 by a role in Mile High. She then joined the cast of Dream Team as Gina Moliano, a role she played until 2005.
Almost as soon as she left Dream Team it was announced she would be joining EastEnders as Dawn Swann, the sister of Mickey Miller (Joe Swash).
During her four years on EastEnders, Kara's character conned the residents of Albert Square into paying for breast implants, was kidnapped and held hostage by her lover who planned to give her an enforced caesarean, had a brief affair with Phil Mitchell, and was involved in a long-running 'will-they-won't-they' plotline with Garry Hobbs (played by last year's Strictly contestant Ricky Groves). Kara left EastEnders in 2009, saying she would love to return one day.
Kara was born in Basildon in Essex. Her younger sister Hannah is also an actress and has appeared in Hollyoaks.
She dated James Bourne from the band Busted from the age of 15 until she won her role on EastEnders.
If she wasn't an actress, Kara says she would have gone to Art College instead. She's 27 years old and is 5' 5" tall.
As well as winning the Sexiest Actress gong at the National Soap Awards in 2008, Kara was also nominated for 'Most Popular Actress' at the National Television Awards in 2007.
She has appeared in adverts for McDonalds and Diamond, and in 2009 she was unveiled as the face of Michelle for George underwear at Asda.
Are you a fan of Kara and Artem?
Why not join in the discussion at Kara & Artem's Blog page - the home of "Team Kartem"!
Kara Tointon will be dancing with Artem Chigvintsev.