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Kate O'Mara Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (5)

Born in Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Died in Sussex, England, UK  (ovarian cancer)
Birth NameFrances Meredith Carroll
Nicknames Merrie
Merrie Carroll
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Kate O'Mara was born Frances Meredith Carroll on August 10, 1939 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England. A hard-looking brunette with high cheekbones, Kate was the daughter of actress Hazel Bainbridge and John Carroll and prodded into performing as a child. Educated at the Aida Foster School, she began an early career as a speech therapist at a Sussex Girls' School, but her attraction to acting got the best of her and she switched gears, making her debut in a stage production of "The Merchant of Venice" in 1963 at age 24. She continued to appear in classical works throughout the next two seasons until television series spots started coming her way. Kate attracted gothic notice in Hammer Studio horror films as tawdry, darkly alluring femmes in both The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) and The Vampire Lovers (1970), but her film load over the years would remain sporadic.

She had remained focused on stage endeavours in the ensuing years and had appeared in many British television series as well as various femme fatales or shady ladies. She made little leeway in America but did appear as Joan Collins equally bitchy sister for one season of Dynasty (1981) in 1986. She was also delightfully vindictive in episodes of Doctor Who (1963) and Absolutely Fabulous (1992) in England. She relished a standout role in the long-running British soap opera Crossroads (2001). In the 1980s, she founded and toured in a theatre company (The British Actor's Theatre Company), which had continued running into the millennium. She had since published two books: "When She Was Bad" in 1991 and "Good Time Girl" in 1993. Kate O'Mara died at age 74 on March 30, 2014 after a short illness in a nursing home in Sussex, England.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Richard Willis (1993 - 1996) (divorced)
Jeremy Young (1961 - 1976) (divorced)

Trivia (13)

She gave birth to a baby boy on May 12, 1965, from a brief liaison with David Orchard, who she met on the set of No Hiding Place (1959). Being already a single mother at the time of his birth, she gave the baby up. He was adopted by a married couple, Derek and Joy Linde and named Christopher Linde.
She died from ovarian cancer in a nursing home in Sussex, UK.
Mother of Dickon Young (born January 1963; died December 31, 2012) by the actor Ian Cullen and Christopher Linde by the actor David Orchard. Aunt of Tam Williams and Amy Williams.
Has usually been romantically involved with men much younger than her. Her second husband, actor Richard Willis, was 18 years her junior. A more recent partner, actor Mark Noble, was 20 years younger.
Her father, John Carroll, was a Royal Air Force flying instructor; her mother, Hazel Bainbridge, was an actress. She lived mostly in boarding schools growing up due to her parents' long absences. Her younger sister, Belinda Carroll, is also an actress.
Married and divorced twice, her son Dickon came from an actor she had repeatedly refused to name during their respective lifetimes. Dickon was a set designer for The British Actor's Theatre Company which Kate founded in 1987.
She was one of several big name guest stars brought to Doctor Who (1963) in the 1980s by producer John Nathan-Turner. After first appearing opposite the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, in Doctor Who: The Mark of the Rani: Part One (1985), she was then brought back to introduce the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, in Doctor Who: Time and the Rani: Part One (1987), for which she was voted best actress by Doctor Who (1963) magazine readers that year. She then made her final appearance in the series when she was chosen as the principal villain in the Children in Need spoof Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (1993), which was made to mark the programme's 30th anniversary.
Her autobiography, "Game Plan; A Modern Woman's Survival Kit" was released on hardcover in 1990 by Sidgwick & Jackson.
Lived alone in a 17th-century cottage in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, England with her cat Perdita.
Sister-in-law of Michael Cochrane and Martin Cochrane. Ex-sister-in-law of Simon Williams.
Was a vegetarian and animal rights activist.
She was best known to American audiences for her role as Cassandra "Caress" Morell, the younger sister of Alexis Carrington Colby on Dynasty (1981).
Auditioned for the role of Sabella "Sable" Colby on The Colbys (1985) before being offered the role of Cassandra "Caress" Morell on Dynasty (1981).

Personal Quotes (5)

I would like to be where Diana Rigg or Judi Dench is, but I expect it is as good as it is going to get.
On the whole, I have quite a low opinion of men. I know I've always played man-eater parts but I'm really not a sexual animal and I've never had a voracious sexual appetite.
Whenever I get on stage, I feel safe and in control. Life can be so uncertain, but on stage I always know how a drama or crisis is going to end. Acting is a great comfort blanket, and has gotten me through countless personal crisis. I am a firm believer that the show must go on.
[on her desire to play the Rani, an evil Time Lady, in Doctor Who (2005) again] I'm a much older woman and there's a huge population of older people who, if they're watching television, they can't watch Hollyoaks (1995). If you put a much older woman in Doctor Who (2005), they can identify with it. I think it's quite an interesting concept and if you remember things like Grimm's Fairytales, the older woman is often the villainess, often the terrifying figure - why I do not know, but often she is. I think it's an idea to be exploited.
I have white hair now, but a lot of it, and I'm still very glamorous and so I won't disappoint, I hope! I'll still be wearing the tight leather trousers and high-heel boots, regardless of what age!

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