Rula Lenska was born Countess Roza-Marie Leopoldyna Lubienska on 30th September 1947 in St. Neots of Polish parents who had fled the travails of their homeland, their family estate having been confiscated by Communist forces. Following her education at an Ursuline College in Kent, she became an actress gaining her first notable starring role in Rock Follies in 1976, she appeared in many popular television series such as Robin of Sherwood, Doctor Who, EastEnders, To The Manor Born and Minder where she met her second husband, actor Dennis Waterman.
On stage she has appeared in The Vagina Monologues, Seven Deadly Sins, Four Deadly Sinners and 84 Charing Cross Road. A practising Buddhist, she campaigns on conservation issues.
On Coronation Street she played Claudia Colby, the "friend" and rival of Audrey Roberts, originally making intermittent appearances between December 2009 and May 2011, before reprising the role on a regular basis between July 2018 and April 2020.