But the brunette was wracked with mental health problems after becoming a household name in the Emmerdale cast and has bravely spoken out about the ordeal.
“It was a hard time for me, terrible,” she said, ahead of her return to the show in the New Year after a whopping 17 years away.
I had the most chronic anxiety and panic attacks, I just couldn’t come up for air. I had to leave – I would’ve gone crazy. On top of working five days on week on set filming, Lisa also juggled nightclub appearances at weekend dressed as her beloved character.
She credits the latter for boosting her confidence and says she feels more resilient than ever having overcome her demons and given up booze.
“It has taken 17 years to find Lisa, love Lisa and enjoy being me,” she went on. Now I have learned to love myself, I can go back and play Mandy and know she isn’t going to take over again,” she told The Mirror.