Emma Rigby was born in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. A trained ballerina and dancer, she began her professional acting career full time at 14 on Chanel 4’s Hollyoaks, playing Hannah Ashworth. At 16, Emma also gained 9 A* grades at GCSE. She is known for her work in films The Physician, and The Counselor and as The Red Queen on ABC’s TV series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
2016 saw Rigby make a return to British television after a three-year absence with a guest appearance on Death in Paradise. Also in 2016 she had a minor role in US thriller television remake of Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? which premiered on Lifetime on June 18. In the summer of 2016, Rigby signed on for her first female lead in a US film, starring as Angie in romantic comedy A Cinderella Christmas. It was filmed during that summer and released in December of the same year. She also shot American crime thriller drama American Violence, playing Olivia Rose, which was released in early 2017.