Maria Friedman, 42, is the daughter of concert pianist Clair and violinist Leonard Friedman. The family travelled all over
Europe, and Maria's schooling suffered. She worked as a tea girl
and a receptionist before becoming a backing singer. Now one of musical theatre's biggest talents, she has won two Olivier
awards and has performed all over the world with leading orchestras. She is currently in Ragtime at London's Piccadilly Theatre. She lives in London with her partner and two sons.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? An undisturbed lie-in.
What is your greatest fear? A disturbed lie-in.
With which historical figure do you most identify? Emmeline Pankhurst - she represented a movement that has allowed me a certain
amount of independence today.
Which living person do you most admire? My mother - a constant source of inspiration.
What has been your most embarrassing moment? I sang a song with one breast out.
What is your greatest extravagance? My garden.
Where would you like to live? Anywhere - as long as family and friends are near.
What makes you depressed? Mild compliments.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? I'm not as toned as I'd like to be.
What is your most unappealing habit? Finishing someone else's thought and sentence incorrectly.
What is your favourite smell? Sweet peas.
What is your favourite word? Hope.
Should the royal family be scrapped? Yes.
Do you believe in capital punishment? No - big time.
Do you believe in monogamy? Wherever possible.
Have you ever said 'I love you' and not meant it? Yes.
What is your greatest regret? That I never had time to be a student.
How do you relax? Walking.
How often do you have sex? When the need arises.
What would your motto be? When in doubt - fall off the back of a sofa.
Do you believe in life after death? Yes.