Denise was born in Portsmouth and inherited a dose of wanderlust from her Dad and a love of music from her Mum. She got her equity card with the Actor's Touring Company in the early ‘80s performing plays around the globe, including the South American continent, Israel, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Orkney Isles. Later in England, she landed her first acting break in the title role of a Pam Gems’ premiere of La Pasionaria at the Newcastle Playhouse. There she met Josie Lawrence and Kate McKenzie and their love of late night carousing led to the formation of Denise Black and the Kray Sisters, a 3 girl harmony trio who went on to become Edinburgh festival darlings of the late ‘80s.
In 1990 Denise made her television debut in Casualty as a street hooker with a bite on her thigh and has since made appearances in Queer As Folk, Cucumber, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Bad Girls, Robin Hood, Doc Martin, Small Island, Sensitive Skin, To The Ends Of The Earth, Dalziel and Pascoe, New Tricks, No Angels, Holby City, Midsummer Murders, A Touch of Frost, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Where The Heart Is, Peak Practice, The Vice, and The Bill to name but a few. Also Fred Schepesi’s great film Last Orders.
Denise’s theatre credits include: Kindertransport (Nottingham Playhouse); Machinal (Almeida); The Cherry Orchard (Chekhov re-imagined by Gary Owen) (Sherman Theatre); Winter Hill (Wertenbacker) (Bolton Octagon); Pack (Finborough Theatre); Sisters - a vertabim play about muslim women (Sheffield Crucible); Bedroom Farce (Ackbourn) (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Long Road (Stephenson) (Soho Theatre); Aristo (Sherman) (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Seagull (Chekhov) (Royal Court); Martha in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (Albee) (Liverpool Playhouse); title roles in Yerma (Lorca) and Mrs Warren’s Profession (Shaw) (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Mistress (Wesker) (Sherman Theatre Cardiff); The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband (Nottingham Playhouse and Plymouth Theatre Royal); Goneril in King Lear (Ludlow Festival) and title role in La Pasionaria (Gems) (Newcastle Playhouse).