Cynthia "Cindy" Cunningham (previously Savage, Hutchinson, Longford and Nightingale) is the mother of Holly Cunningham, Hilton Cunningham and Alfie Nightingale. She is portrayed currently by Stephanie Waring and previously by Laura Crossley.


Stephanie Waring has called Cindy a "manipulative bitch", but has also said she has a "vulnerable side".


On her sixteenth birthday, Cindy sleeps with Lee Stanley (Nathan Valente). She soon finds that she is pregnant but, scared, tries to hide it. She gives birth in secret and abandons her daughter. Her father Gordon Cunningham (Bernard Latham) tells Cindy she has responsibilities and forces her to look after the baby, whom she names Holly Cunningham (Katie Hynes). Right after giving birth to Holly, she was devastated when Gordon's daughter Dawn Cunningham dies of leukemia. Cindy grows depressed and attempts to suffocate Holly; however, Gordon's daughter Jude Cunningham (Davinia Taylor) stops her from proceeding and makes her realise that she truly loves her daughter.

Relationship with Sean TateEdit

After uneasy years of caring for Holly, Cindy and local decorator Sean Tate (Daniel Pape) begin dating. Secretly, though, Sean mistreats Holly. He is caught, locking her in a fridge by Gordon's son Max Cunningham (Matt Littler). The social services get involved in Cindy's motherhood when Holly is burnt by a firework. Cindy sees no other option but to leave the country with Holly and Sean to get the social services off of her back. However, Holly does not have a passport and therefore, Sean immediately dumps a stranded Cindy and leaves the pair. Cindy returns to the village and begins to adapt to the life of a single mother.

Relationship with Ben DaviesEdit

Cindy settles into her new business venture, "Steam Team" and she falls in love with Ben Davies (Marcus Patric). Cindy and Ben's relationship struggles after she cheats on him with Dan Hunter (Andrew McNair) and Sam "O.B." O'Brien (Darren Jeffries). After beginning work at The Loft, Cindy leaves Holly asleep in the cloak room, where she finds and swallows an ecstasy tablet. After Holly is rushed to hospital, Cindy realises the social services will soon be involved. Cindy then decides to flee the country to avoid having Holly taken from her. On her dash to the airport, Cindy runs over Anna Green (Lisa Kay) with her car. Shocked, Cindy leaves Anna for dead and leaves for Spain.


Cindy is revealed to have bipolar when she starts seeing her late lover Rhys Ashworth around Hollyoaks. This remains on a low down for a while until she becomes attracted to her daughter's boyfriend Jason Roscoe. Cindy starts writing erotica based on two people called 'Mason' and 'Mindy' (Jason and Cindy). When Jason is at the police station, Cindy wears a wedding dress and thinks the two will get married. Jason tries to tell her that he is seeing Holly, but Cindy feels old and unattractive.


  • 2011-2014: Cindy fans herself as a staircase builds up behind her.
  • 2014-2016: She throws butterflies into the screen and then smiles.
  • 2016: Cindy stands of the balcony and lets go of red balloons. (Jude added next to her upon her return.)