best known for her roles as Zoe Reynolds in Spooks (2002–04) and Alex Drake in Ashes to Ashes (2008–10) and Lady Agnes in the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs (2010–2012). Hawes is also known for voicing various roles in video games, such as the iconic Lara Croft from the long-running Tomb Raider series. She is also well known for the charity work she does for CHASE hospice care for children in Surrey.
Hawes first came into the public eye in the early 1990s, in Troublemakers and the 1997 BBC costume drama, The Moonstone. She has since appeared in many other television dramas, including Dennis Potter's Karaoke (BBC One/Channel 4, 1995), Heartbeat (ITV1, 1995), The Beggar Bride (BBC, 1997), as the young Diana Dors in the biopic, The Blonde Bombshell (ITV, 1999), Othello (ITV, 2001), A Murder is Announced (ITV, 2005), ITV drama After Thomas (2006) and BBC drama Spooks. She is the former face of Boots No 7 cosmetics and has appeared alongside David Mitchell and Robert Webb in the BAFTA award winning That Mitchell and Webb Look. In 2010 she appeared in a 6-part drama for ITV called Identity as Detective Superintendent Martha Lawson; and as the leading role 'Lady Agnes Holland' in the re-launch of Upstairs, Downstairs for the BBC.