We all know and love Shannon Esra as the bold, ruthless, and no-holds-barred lawyer Sandra Stein, who fights tooth and nail for her clients. This character has starred in Mzansi Magic’s The River, The Queen, The Throne, Gomora, as well as MNET’S latest telenovela, Legacy. After her successful role as Candice on MNET’s Still Breathing, Shannon delivered an unparalleled performances as Samantha Hugo, on the new hit drama series, Lioness.
Growing up in Johannesburg, Shannon Esra was cast in her first professional acting role at16, playing Siri in the feature film I Dreamed of Africa, alongside Kim Basinger and Daniel Craig.
In 2003, Shannon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and found herself debuting in her first professional theatre production at Pieter Torien’s Monte Casino Theatre that same year. It may come as a surprise that the theatre is where she first cut her teeth; but it was her portrayal of Neets in Dorothy Ann Gould’s 2004 theatre production “Japes”, which garnered Shannon The Naledi Award for Best Performance by a Newcomer/Breakthrough (Female), as well as a Fleur du Cup nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Shannon’s other TV credits include the misguided, cult-following, self-mutilating girlfriend of Kyle Ortlepp, Yvette Meyer in Isidingo; the lead role of Caz O’Donough in MNET’s drama series Snitch; she was a main credited cast member in the second and third seasons of the SABC3 drama series Hard Copy, playing hard-edged journalist Kim Smollen; as well as Samantha Mazur in The Lab. Shannon returned to Isidingo in 2015 where she played Angelique Scott (yup, she’s played two different characters on the same show!); Shannon starred alongside Eric Stoltz, playing his estranged and embittered ex-wife, in the International Sci-Fi mini-series The Triangle; and she also played the romantic lead Katie in Darryl James Roodt’s rugby feature film Number Ten. In 2007, Esra made Bollywood history by being the first Caucasian female in a starring role, which saw her in a star-studded cast, as one of the six heroines in the Bollywood film Salaam-E-Ishq. Shannon also starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe in BBC 2’s highly anticipated, The Game Changers in late 2015. Midway through 2016, Shannon was on set with Lawrence Fishburne, in the BET Biopic, Madiba.