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Leanna Rose Cavanagh is a major anti-villainous antagonist of the long-running British soap opera Emmerdale. She appeared as a major antagonist in 2018 and an anti-hero in 2019-2021 and a posthumous protagonist in 2022.
She was portrayed by Mimi Slinger.
Leanna Cavanagh first came to Emmerdale in 2018 when her father Liam continues to work at the village as the local general practitioner. Thereupon she appears as a spoiled and bratty schoolgirl who often causes trouble and also despises her father's new relationships ever since her late mother, Lara, died back when Leanna was merely a younger child.
In 2018, Leanna had already made enemies with her stepmother Maya Stepney and warns her boyfriend's son Jacob Gallagher about her. Jacob dismisses Leanna's thoughts on Meena, but they later have a relationship after Leanna later finds out in 2019 that Maya is a paedophile who ended up sexually abusing Jacob for months. She also clashes with her soon-to-be-stepdaughter Gabby Thomas after the latter's mother Bernice Blackstock begins dating Liam, much to Leanna's disgust.
That same year, Leanna causes a major incident when she tricks fellow schoolgirls Amelia Spencer and Sarah Sugden along with Sarah's relative Noah Dingle into stealing the car that belonged to local businessman Graham Foster. As Graham is already having a hard time with the events surrounding both his spousal employer Kim Tate and Noah's half-brother Joe Tate, whom he worked for as his right-hand man, Leanne takes the opportunity to joyride in Graham's car. However, disaster strikes when they end up running over Graham and try to cover up the incident. Although Graham recovers and has no idea who the perpetuators were, Noah ends up grassing Leanna to the police after admitting the truth to PC Mike Swirling. Leanna is cautioned but released without charge.
Over the next few years, Leanna continues to clash with Liam's relationships whilst at the same time dating Jacob. This goes well until Liam ends up marrying Jacob's adopted mother Leyla Harling, and they clash about it. In response to Jacob's argument, Leanna begins dating local resident Billy Fletcher and confronts Jacob over his reaction to this. Leanna soon comes into conflict with Billy's old girlfriend, Meena Julta, after Jacob warns her about Meena's ulterior motives. Leanna soon stumbles on evidence regarding Meena's nefariousness and attempts to flee from her, but hurts her ankle and is cornered by Meena at a bridge.
Almost immediately, Leanna confronts Meena over the death of her best-friend Nadine Butler and concludes that Meena killed Nadine all along. Meena confesses to Nadine's murder before attacking Leanna, who attempts to fight back. Unfortunately, Leanna fails and is overpowered before Meena then ultimately pushes Leanna off the bridge to the stream. Leanna lands her head on the rock, and she dies in front of a taunting Meena before the latter walks back to the village.
- Leanna's bratty attitude has received criticism from viewers, although her storylines and character development have received good reviews.
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