Monday, March 25, 2013

Jacqueline Hill (career biography)

Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) Dec 17 1929 to Feb 18 1993 (bone cancer)

Doctor Who credits
Played: Barbara Wright in 100,000 BCThe DaleksInside the SpaceshipMarco PoloThe Keys of MarinusThe AztecsThe SensoritesThe Reign of TerrorPlanet of GiantsThe Dalek Invasion of EarthThe RescueThe RomansThe Web PlanetThe CrusadeThe Space MuseumThe Chase (1963-65).
Played: Lexa in Meglos (1980).

Jacqueline Hill in her younger days,
probably the 1950s

Jacqueline in The Blue Parrot (1953)
Jacqueline made her screen acting debut at the age of just 23 in The Blue Parrot, directed by John Harlow for Nettlefold Studios. Released in October 1953, it focused on a nightclub in London's Soho which was at the centre of an undercover investigation into the murder of a small-time crook. Dermot Walsh plays American cop Bob Herrick who is visiting Scotland Yard and is taken under the wing of Superintendent Chester (played by Ballard Berkeley, later to play the eccentric Major in the sitcom Fawlty Towers). Bob meets Jacqueline's character, Maureen Maguire, who goes undercover to help investigate the crime. The film also starred Dad's Army's John Le Mesurier, Ferdy Mayne (father of Delta and the Bannermen's Belinda Mayne) and Edwin Richfield (The Sea Devils, 1972, and The Twin Dilemma, 1984). You can see some footage of The Blue Parrot (briefly including Jacqueline) on YouTube as part of a DVD trailer...

Following her film debut, Jacqueline appeared in the BBC's fantasy mini-series The Rose and the Ring, a now missing three-part adaptation for children of William Makepeace Thackeray's 1854 novel (broadcast between November 24th and December 8th, 1953, and adapted by Stanley Haynes). In it she played Fairy Blackstick, joined by David McCallum, Patrick Cargill, Kenneth Connor and Wilfrid Brambell. Timothy Bateson (The Ribos Operation, 1978) was also on the bill.

Newspaper cuttings publicising The
Legend of Pepito (1955)
On June 5th, 1955, Jacqueline appeared in her first of four BBC Sunday Night Theatre presentations. The Legend of Pepito was a folk tale by Ted Allan based on a story by B. Traven, and located in a village in Mexico. Jacqueline played Jeannie, and her co-stars included none other than future Master actor Roger Delgado, as well as Wolfe Morris (The Abominable Snowmen, 1967), Harry Towb (The Seeds of Death, 1969, and Terror of the Autons, 1971) and Margot Van Der Burgh (The Aztecs, 1964, and The Keeper of Traken, 1981). Also on the bill was Sam Wanamaker, father of Zoe (later to play Cassandra in 21st century Doctor Who). Interestingly, the producer was one Alvin Rakoff, who Jacqueline would go on to marry in 1958. The play was repeated on July 14th, but although the footage is now missing from the archives, Alvin Rakoff did retain telesnaps of the repeat taken by John Cura.

Jacqueline with her husband,
director and producer Alvin Rakoff
Just over two years later, on December 27th, 1955, Jacqueline appeared in another play produced by Rakoff for the BBC called Three Empty Rooms, written by Reginald Rose and co-starring Bernard Bresslaw (The Ice Warriors, 1967), Edwin Richfield (The Sea Devils, 1972, and The Twin Dilemma, 1984) and Cyril Shaps (The Tomb of the Cybermen, 1967, The Ambassadors of Death, 1970, Planet of the Spiders, 1974, and The Androids of Tara, 1978). Again, Rakoff retained photographs taken of this production.

The BBC Sunday Night Theatre play The Seat of the Scornful (now missing, but with surviving images) was another written by Ted Allan, this time a whodunnit based on the 1941 novel Death Turns the Tables by John Dickson Carr and broadcast on April 15th, 1956, and set in the fictitious seaside village of Tawnish. Another Rakoff production, it featured Jacqueline as Cynthia Lee, and co-starred William Lucas (Frontios, 1984), Graham Leaman (The Macra Terror, 1967; Fury from the Deep, 1968; The Seeds of Death, 1969; Colony in Space, 1971; and The Three Doctors, 1972-73), Dennis Edwards (The Romans, 1965, and The Invasion of Time, 1978) and Neil Wilson (Spearhead from Space, 1970).

Jacqueline Hill and Sean Connery
in Requiem for a Heavyweight
Alvin would also be the producer behind Jacqueline's next project, the BBC's Sunday Night Theatre 90-minute presentation Requiem for a Heavyweight (aka Blood Money), written by Rod Serling (best known for the US series The Twilight Zone). Here, Jacqueline played Grace Carney opposite a very young, pre-James Bond Sean Connery as Harlan "Mountain" McClintock, a retired boxer whose corrupt manager keeps putting him back in the ring. This was a remake of Serling's original American version broadcast in the States under the Playhouse 90 banner, which starred Jack Palance as McClintock. However, for the British remount (aired live on March 31st, 1957), Palance wasn't available, so Rakoff cast Connery instead. Also in the cast was Warren Mitchell, later to find fame as Alf Garnett in the sitcom Til Death Us Do Part. In 2014 an audio recording of this previously lost play was discovered in Alvin Rakoff's attic. Alvin said: "It was my habit in those days to take audio recordings of some of my better work. It was the only way of capturing it given that everything went out live. Sean was tall and strikingly handsome, an obvious star in the making, so I decided to take a copy for posterity, should my inkling come true. It is remarkable that the tapes survived, unharmed, for so long. It's also remarkable that I remembered them - they could easily have been left in the attic for another 60 years." Rakoff also retained some telesnaps taken by John Cura of this play.

Joyous Errand was a six-part BBC series written by Ian Dallas, adapted from the 1956 novel by Leeds journalist Denis Bowmaker Wylie, and broadcast between April 6th and May 11th, 1957. It starred Ernest Thesiger, Peter Arne, Ursula Howells and Kevin Stoney, with Jacqueline appearing as Carrie Dean. I can't find much more information about this play (or the novel) - and all six episodes are absent from the archives - but rather quaintly, an opinion piece appeared in the April 19th edition of the Spectator written by John Beavan saying: "The BBC Saturday serial Joyous Errand is, so far, less violent than most serials. This was the second instalment and I had missed the first one. Since there was no pick-up in the Radio Times, and none in the piece itself until it was halfway through, a good deal of it was wasted. Would it be bad television art simply to print a synopsis on the screen for the benefit of those frivolous viewers who have missed what has gone before?"

A newspaper cutting publicising Man
in the Corner, with Bill Nagy
On January 12th, 1958 Jacqueline appeared in a now-missing Armchair Theatre for ABC Weekend Television entitled Man in the Corner, written by Ernest Pendrell and directed by her fiance Alvin Rakoff (they would marry soon after). Her co-stars included the magnificently named Gaylord Cavallaro, Oliver Johnston and Bill Nagy, while Jacqueline played the character of Florence Miller. I'm not sure, but the picture further up the page of Jacqueline with Alvin Rakoff may well be from rehearsals for this play.

A few months later, on May 30th, 1958, Jacqueline was "in the corner" again in the now-missing ITV Playhouse presentation Poet's Corner. Her co-stars in this included Carry On actor Kenneth Connor, Harry Green, Israel Price, Tony Quinn and Gary Raymond, but Jacqueline's character name is not recorded online.

On August 6th, 1958, Jacqueline played Miss Willie (Wilhelmina) in the now-missing ITV Play of the Week The Curious Savage, adapted by Gerald Savory from John Patrick's 1950 play. Miss Willie is an admin assistant and nurse who works at the Cloisters psychiatric sanatorium because her husband Jeff (played by Lionel Blair) is a patient there. Because of an aircrash during the war, he does not remember that he is married to Miss Willie, but she hopes one day his memory will return. The play also featured Maggie Smith and Peter Sallis (The Ice Warriors, 1967).

Jacqueline with husband Alvin Rakoff
Jacqueline's final BBC Sunday Night Theatre was The Velvet Alley, broadcast on November 22nd, 1959 and now missing (but with surviving photos courtesy of director Alvin Rakoff). Written by Twilight Zone supremo Rod Serling, it had first been produced in the United States in January 1959 for Playhouse 90. Ernie Pandish (played by Sam Wanamaker) has tried to be a writer for years and has never made much money out of it, but now he seems likely to hit the big time. It's very much an expose about the entertainment industry, and is thought to be autobiographical for Serling. Jacqueline played Pat Pandish, and the play co-starred Patrick Allen, George Pravda (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68, The Mutants, 1972, and The Deadly Assassin, 1976), David Graham (Dalek voice actor) and John Abineri (Fury from the Deep, 1968; The Ambassadors of Death, 1970; Death to the Daleks, 1974; The Power of Kroll, 1978-79). For historical interest, eight clips of the American The Velvet Alley are viewable on YouTube.

Next up was an episode of The Flying Doctor, entitled Brainstorm, filmed in 1959 but not broadcast in London until May 1961. Greg Graham (series star Richard Denning) is summoned to the Ferguson homestead but on arrival is told his services are no longer required. Suspicious, he returns later to find one of the rooms completely wrecked. He then has to turn detective to help cure a man with a serious brain disorder. Jacqueline played Ellen Ferguson and Peter Dyneley her troubled husband Jeff. The episode also featured James Copeland (The Krotons, 1968-69) and Alan White (The Tenth Planet, 1966).

On May 7th, 1960, Jacqueline appeared in the Saturday Playhouse The Man Who Came to Dinner, broadcast from the BBC's Midlands studios. Originally a 1939 comedy play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart, it was adapted for television by Gilbert Phelps, and directed by Patrick Dromgoole. Leo McKern played Sheridan Whiteside, a famous author, broadcaster and expert on just about everything, who is invited to dinner by pompous small-town businessman Ernest Stanley (Stuart Nicol) - and stays rather longer than anyone anticipated when he slips on some ice as he arrives and injures his hip. Sheridan is then looked after by several professionals, including a doctor, a nurse, and the doctor's secretary Maggie Cutler, played by Jacqueline! The cast also included Jack May (The Space Pirates, 1969) and Barry Wilsher (The Faceless Ones, 1967).

The BBC's Sunday Night Play on October 23rd, 1960 was The Chopping Block by Vincent Tilsley, directed by Vivian Matalon, co-starring Glyn Houston (The Hand of Fear, 1976, and The Awakening, 1984), Ursula Howells and Barbara Young, with Jacqueline in the role of Jane. I can't find very much information out about this play (which is ironic, because it does exist in the BBC archives), but Jacqueline's next project was the now-missing 80-minute BBC play The Watching Cat, broadcast on April 3rd, 1961 and written by Pamela Fry. The interesting thing about this play is American Fry was contracted to write an adaptation of her own 1960 book, but it wasn't used, and instead an adaptation by none other than Anthony Coburn was used. He, of course, went on to write the very first Doctor Who story, 100,000 BC (1963). The Radio Times synopsis read: "The house is full of watching cats but only one of them watches over the secret that old Jeremiah Ellis hid before he died." Jacqueline played orphan Catherine Ellis, rather fittingly a young, single schoolteacher from a remote town who inherits a large house from an eccentric, previously unknown uncle. There she encounters an evil stepmother, an unstable half-sister and a tall, dark and handsome lodger. The play co-starred Ruth Dunning and Graydon Gould.

The Men from Room 13 was a detective thriller series on the BBC which ran between 1959-61, and Jacqueline was a guest star in a (naturally missing) three-part story called The Man Who Made Trouble, broadcast between July 8th-22nd, 1961. Jacqueline played Miss Angel in a story about two restaurant owners who want to escape a protection racket. Also starring were Brian Wilde, Kenneth MacKintosh and Peter Stephens (The Celestial Toymaker, 1966, and The Underwater Menace, 1967), while music was provided by Doctor Who theme arranger Ron Grainer and his sextet!

The Six Proud Walkers was on
the cover of the Radio Times
in March 1962
Jacqueline next appeared in the now lost BBC series The Six Proud Walkers, a mystery shown between March and June 1962 and written by Donald Wilson (co-creator of Doctor Who). The title is taken from the traditional song Green Grow the Rushes and each episode drew its title from a line in the song. Jacqueline played Sally Walker in The Nine Bright Shiners, The Rivals, The Lilywhite Boys, The Seven Stars, The Eighth Commandment and The Mulberry Accelerator, and her co-stars included Lana Morris, Tony Britton, Julia Lockwood, Derek Francis (The Romans, 1965), Andrew Sachs (later to play Manuel in sitcom Fawlty Towers), Terence Alexander (The Mark of the Rani, 1985), Philip Ray (The Seeds of Death, 1969), Kevin Stoney (The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66; The Invasion, 1968; Revenge of the Cybermen, 1975) and Alan Tilvern (Planet of Giants, 1964). The series graced the cover of the Radio Times in launch week, but sadly it did not feature Jacqueline.

On July 17th, 1962 Jacqueline appeared in her first of two episodes of the police series No Hiding Place, The Bank Job, in which she played Sonya Gardner. claims one or more sequences from this otherwise missing episode do exist, but this footage is not available online. Joining her on the bill was Tom Sheridan, who later had a minor role in the Doctor Who story The Rescue (1965).

Jacqueline next appeared in the BBC's sci-fi anthology series Out of This World in a story called Medicine Show (now missing!), written by Julian Bond from a story by Robert Moore Williams. Shown on August 4th 1962, it told the story of a medicine show which revisited a small American town, this time under new ownership. The strange new owners require seeds as payment in return for miracle cures. Hosted by horror giant Boris Karloff, the tale co-starred Raymond Adamson, Margo Cunningham and Nigel Arkwright, with Jacqueline playing Lil Harmon. This production had a strange effect on some of its audience as, following transmission, story editor Irene Shubik received many letters from those wanting to take advantage of the extraterrestrial medicine men's services!

Jacqueline as Yvonne Moncin in Maigret
Jacqueline next appeared in an episode of the BBC's Maigret, which starred Rupert Davies as Georges Simenon's French detective. In The Trap, broadcast on December 10th, 1962, a serial killer is at large in a working class district, his victims all women. Maigret soon identifies the murderer, but what intrigues him is the motive. This episode of the series was actually repeated twice (September 1963 and February 1964) and for a third time when chosen by Davies as his Star Choice in March 1969. This makes it all the more frustrating that the episode is missing from the archives, but at least we have a grainy image of Jacqueline playing Yvonne Moncin from it. She co-starred with series regular Ewen Solon (The Savages, 1966, and Planet of Evil, 1975), Neville Jason (The Androids of Tara, 1978) and Aubrey Woods (Day of the Daleks, 1972).

A lovely colour picture of Jacqueline
from the early 1960s
Jacqueline's last work before appearing on Doctor Who as Barbara Wright (she'd been contracted on July 31st) was on October 8th, 1963, in the ITV Play of the Week, The Fixers. According to, this play does exist in the Granada archives, and was adapted by Gerald Savory from the 1958 Stephen Becker novel Juice. It addressed the issues of individual responsibility and justice in a story about a fortysomething managing director who, after his third martini, knocks over a pedestrian on his way home, but finds that wealth and influence can have their benefits when you enter the legal system. Jacqueline played Helen Harrison, wife of main character Joe, played by Lee Patterson. Other actors involved included Bruce Boa, David Bauer and Guy Kingsley Poynter.

Between November 1963 and June 1965, Jacqueline played Doctor Who's schoolteacher assistant Barbara Wright in a total of 16 stories and became something of a household name through its popularity. She decided to leave the show in early April 1965, and on May 6th, she and William Russell (who was also leaving the show) went on location around London to take photographs for use in their departure episode, The Planet of Decision. Her final day on the Doctor Who set was June 4th, 1965.

Jacqueline with William Hartnell, William Russell and Maureen O'Brien
on set for her final Doctor Who story, The Chase

Jacqueline appeared in just one other production during her two years with Doctor Who, and it was her second film role, playing Sandy Lavery in The Comedy Man (released September 1964), once again directed by her husband Alvin Rakoff. The film concerned a jobbing actor who has never quite made it big, but who has one last stab at success in London when he records a hit TV commercial. It was based on a novel by Douglas Hayes and starred Kenneth More in the lead role, with assistance from Cecil Parker, Dennis Price, Billie Whitelaw, Norman Rossington, Angela Douglas (Battlefield, 1989), Frank Finlay, Gerald Campion (Shada, unbroadcast), Derek Francis (The Romans, 1965), Edwin Richfield (The Sea Devils, 1972, and The Twin Dilemma, 1984), Eileen Way (100,000 BC, 1963, and The Creature from the Pit, 1979), Hamilton Dyce (Spearhead from Space, 1970) and even Chubby Checker! You can watch the DVD trailer for the film here, but Jacqueline is not included...

Jacqueline with her children Sasha and John
After leaving Doctor Who, Jacqueline appeared in only one more production before leaving the acting profession to bring up her daughter and son, Sasha and John. It was second No Hiding Place, entitled You Never Can Tell Till You Try, broadcast on May 25th, 1966, which is (of course!) sadly missing from the archives - in fact, only 25 of the 236 episodes made are known to survive in some form. This episode starred Raymond Francis and Johnny Briggs, along with Michael McStay (The Seeds of Doom, 1976), Francis Matthews and Derek Francis (The Romans, 1965), with Jacqueline playing Sarah Paterson. Also on the cast list was a certain Barry Letts, who would go on to produce Doctor Who during the Jon Pertwee era, while the script editor was Louis Marks, who first wrote for Doctor Who in 1964 (Planet of Giants).

Jacqueline, aged 49, playing Margaret
Eden in Crown Court (1978)
Jacqueline took 12 years out of her acting career to bring up her children, and found it difficult to return to the profession as a 49-year-old woman at a time when there were so few roles for women of that age. Nevertheless, she secured a part in the legal series Crown Court, in the two-part story A Man with Everything (broadcast October 31st to November 1st, 1978). The plot concerned wealthy Kenneth Eden, who carried out voluntary work with his wife helping youngsters at a local children's home. But he finds himself accused of stealing a necklace from, and indecently assaulting, a teenager, which he denies. Geoffrey Palmer (Doctor Who and the Silurians, 1970; The Mutants, 1972; Voyage of the Damned, 2007) played Eden, and Jacqueline his wife Margaret, while co-stars included Tony Caunter (The Crusade, 1965; Colony in Space, 1971; Enlightenment, 1983), Peter Copley (Pyramids of Mars, 1975), Vernon Dobtcheff (The War Games, 1969) and Anne Reid (The Curse of Fenric, 1989, and Smith and Jones, 2007). The director was Richard Martin, who had handled several of Jacqueline's Doctor Who serials, so she no doubt felt comfortable, this being her first job in so long. Wonderfully, you can watch Jacqueline's performance in Crown Court on YouTube. A good place to start is when she's giving evidence at 1hr 00m 42s into this video:

Jacqueline as Lady Capulet in Romeo
and Juliet (1978)
The very next month, Jacqueline was back on our screen again, this time playing Lady Capulet in Alvin Rakoff's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, part of the BBC's ongoing Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (1978-85). Broadcast on December 3rd, 1978, the 168-minute epic also featured Patrick Ryecart (The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Celia Johnson, Michael Hordern, John Gielgud, Anthony Andrews, Alan Rickman (his TV debut), Esmond Knight (The Space Pirates, 1969), David Sibley (The Pirate Planet, 1978), Vernon Dobtcheff (The War Games, 1969), John Savident (The Visitation, 1982) and Jeremy Young (100,000 BC, 1963).

Jacqueline's next project was a return to Doctor Who, but not as Barbara Wright this time. In the four-part Tom Baker story Meglos, she played high priestess Lexa, leader of the religious Deons, broadcast between September 27th and October 10th, 1980. The studio recording of Meglos took place between June 25th and July 12th. Jacqueline can be seen in this clip from Meglos on YouTube:

On December 6th, 1982 Jacqueline appeared in series 8 of the medical drama Angels as Mrs Muirhead in a story written by Rosemary Mason and directed by Stephen Butcher. Unfortunately this episode is yet to reach DVD and the only information I can find on it is that it featured the end of Vicky Smith's obsessive search for her real mother. The episode also featured Pauline Quirke, Arthur Cox (The Dominators, 1968, The Eleventh Hour, 2010) and Stacy Davies (The Invasion, 1968, State of Decay, 1980). The producer was Julia Smith, who had directed two Doctor Who stories in 1966 and later went on to co-create soap EastEnders.

Jacqueline in Tales of the Unexpected:
The Luncheon (1983)
Jacqueline appeared in two episodes of the quirky series Tales of the Unexpected next. The first was The Luncheon, broadcast on June 18th, 1983, based upon a story by Jeffrey Archer. It tells the story of author Tony Medway (played by Bosco Hogan) who is invited to an expensive restaurant by the wife of an influential film producer to discuss making a film of his book. However, as his host Susan Mandeville (Gayle Hunnicutt) starts ordering pricier and pricier items off the menu, Tony starts to wonder if he's going to be able to afford this meal out at all. Jacqueline plays Melanie Litmayer, an American friend of Mandeville's. You can watch the episode on YouTube (fittingly, Jacqueline's first word in it is: "Susan!"), but unfortunately the footage is presented on a mock cinema screen, but it's still perfectly possible to view. Jacqueline appears at 11m 53s.

Jacqueline in Tales of the Unexpected:
Accidental Death (1984)
Her second Tales of the Unexpected was Accidental Death, broadcast on August 19th, 1984, about a couple of thieves who travel the country pretending to be market researchers but actually finding suitable homes to burgle. One such home they visit is that of Mrs Milvain, played by Jacqueline in what is a very small part. The episode also features Cyril Cusack, Andrew Ray, Lynsey Baxter and Giles Phibbs (The Sensorites, 1964), and was produced by Graham Williams, who produced Doctor Who between 1977-80. As with every episode of Tales of the Unexpected, it features a fabulous, memorable theme tune by Doctor Who theme composer Ron Grainer. Again, the episode is watchable in full on a pretend cinema screen here (Jacqueline appears at 3m in).

Jacqueline's penultimate screen acting work was in the Screenplay strand, a film written by Peter Buckman called All Together Now. Broadcast on BBC2 on July 9th, 1986, and directed by David Attwood, it was a comedy about a brass band having its weekly rehearsals upset by the arrival of a new recruit from the North, who "knows how to do things properly". It starred Clive Swift (Revelation of the Daleks, 1985, Voyage of the Damned, 2007) as the interfering trombonist James, and a very young Colin Farrell as conductor Matthew. Also in the line-up was Terry Molloy (the man behind the 1980s Davros), while Jacqueline played the part of tenor horn player Jenny.

Jacqueline's Spotlight picture after
she relaunched her career
Jacqueline's final acting work was as Mrs Mallard-Greene in the 11-part mini-series Paradise Postponed (1986), which was made by Euston Films, the company of her former Doctor Who producer (and friend ever since) Verity Lambert. It was written by John Mortimer and directed by her husband, Alvin Rakoff. The story was about a left-wing clergyman who dies and leave a great deal of his estate to a Conservative MP, and the plot revolves around why that might have been. There was a huge roll call of names on the cast list, including Paul Shelley (Four to Doomsday, 1982), David Threlfall, Michael Hordern, Annette Crosbie (The Eleventh Hour, 2010), Peter Egan, Richard Vernon, Zoe Wanamaker (The End of the World, 2005, New Earth, 2006), Thorley Walters, Colin Jeavons (The Underwater Menace, 1967, K9 & Company, 1982), Alan Rowe (The Moonbase, 1967, The Time Warrior, 1973-74, Horror of Fang Rock, 1977, Full Circle, 1980), Harold Innocent (The Happiness Patrol, 1988), Ann Davies (The Dalek Invasion of Earth, 1964 - and Jacqueline's good friend), Tom Chadbon (City of Death, 1979, The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Albert Welling (Let's Kill Hitler, 2011) and many, many more! Footage from the series can be found online, but it seems to be concentrated on Zoe Wanamaker, and doesn't feature Jacqueline.

Two of Jacqueline's closest friends were actors Richard Briers and his wife Anne Davies (both fellow Doctor Who alumni - Anne co-starred with Jacqueline in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, while Richard was in 1987's Paradise Towers), and it was the latter with whom Jacqueline enrolled with the Open University in the 1980s. She was married to Canadian TV and film director Alvin Rakoff.

Jacqueline on holiday in Amsterdam

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