Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carole Ann Ford (career biography)

Carole Ann Ford (Susan) Born Jun 16 1940

Doctor Who credits
Played: Susan in An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction, Marco Polo, The Keys of Marinus, The Aztecs, The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1963-64). Return appearances in The Five Doctors (1983) and Dimensions in Time (1993).
Played: Joyce in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013)

Carole Ann with William Hartnell
at a Doctor Who launch event in 1963

Carole Ann first appeared on screen at the tender age of eight in the Elstree production The Last Load, a 57-minute film released in 1948. Directed by John Baxter, and written by Mary Cathcart Borer and future Doctor Who writer Geoffrey Orme (The Underwater Menace, 1967), The Last Load was about David and Monty (Douglas Barr and Ivor Bowyer), two friends of Susan and Betty Potter (Angela Glynne and Angela Fouldes), whose father (John Longden) runs a fleet of lorries. One by one, his lorries are involved in accidents and sabotage is suspected. The children are determined to find the culprits. Carole Ann's role in this is currently unspecified online, and as the film seems to be publicly unavailable, it's hard to pin her down in this.

It wasn't for another decade that Carole Ann next appeared on screen, at the age of 18 in Expresso Bongo, an edition of the BBC's Theatre Night strand. Broadcast on December 11th, 1958, it comprised scenes from the then current stage production at London's Saville Theatre of the hit musical by Wolf Mankowitz and Julian More. This was the debut production of the musical, which was made into a film starring Cliff Richard and the Shadows the following year. In the stage show, Carole Ann was a member of the ensemble; her co-stars included Paul Scofield, Millicent Martin, Aubrey Morris, Charles Gray, Nicholas Evans (The Romans, 1965), Jill Gascoine, Susan Hampshire and Victor Spinetti. It's also interesting to note that actor George Tovey also appeared in the ensemble cast. George, of course, appeared as the ill-fated poacher in Pyramids of Mars (1975), but was also the father of young actress Roberta Tovey, who in 1965/66 played Carole Ann's Doctor Who character Susan Foreman in the films Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD! Incidentally, an original cast recording of the 1958 musical is commercially available, although Carole Ann does not sing any songs solo.

Carole Ann is in the white dress, and her face is briefly visible
in contorted reflection in the right-hand screenshot
In May 1959, Carole Ann appeared uncredited as a teenager in a hall of mirrors in the film Horrors of the Black Museum, directed by Arthur Crabtree. It starred Michael Gough (The Celestial Toymaker, 1966, and Arc of Infinity, 1983) and Shirley Anne Field, with John Harvey (The War Machines, 1966, and The Macra Terror, 1967) and Sydney Bromley. Sadly, you don't get to see Carole Ann's face in her brief scene, but you do get to see her enjoying the strange reflections and then asking the monstrous bad guy if she can borrow his face to scare her boss. She then gives a cracker of a scream as she runs away. Her bit begins 1h 12m into the film, initially in the background in a white dress...

The first time Carole Ann got a credit as a named character on screen was in an episode of ATV's The Probation Officer broadcast on November 30th, 1959, written by Tessa Diamond. This episode is sadly one of those missing from the archives, but Carole Ann played Susan Portway in it, and was joined by John Paul, Honor Blackman (The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Sebastian Shaw (best known as the face of Anakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi), Ralph Michael (The Pirate Planet, 1978) and Peggy Thorpe-Bates.

Carole Ann in The Ghost
Train Murder (1959)
In December 1959 the 32-minute crime short The Ghost Train Murder was released in which Scotland Yard detectives pursue the killers of a Hungarian girl found dead on an amusement park ride. Their inquiries lead them to a boarding house full of shoplifters. Carole Ann played Jean in a cast which also included Russell Napier, Jill Ireland, Marianne Stone and Gordon Needham.

Next up was an episode of the ITV medical soap Emergency Ward 10, broadcast on October 25th, 1960 (episode 385, one of the few that survive from this period). She played Miss ffoulkes in an episode which also featured Charles Tingwell, Peter Howell (The Mutants, 1972), Julia Foster, Patricia Haines and Malcolm Russell.

On February 18th, 1961, Carole Ann played Helen Layton in an episode of police drama Dixon of Dock Green called River Beat. According to Lost, the episode as a whole is missing from the archive, but footage from it does exist. Also on the cast list were star Jack Warner, Geoffrey Adams, Graham Ashley (The Underwater Menace, 1967), Walter Randall (various stories between 1964-74) and Anthony Woodruff.

Carole Ann's next role was in the April 7th, 1961 episode of No Hiding Place entitled The Toy House, written by Bryan Cooper. Again, this episode is now missing, but it featured Carole Ann as Mary Donovan, alongside Raymond Francis, Eric Lander, Geoffrey Bayldon (The Creature from the Pit, 1979), Fay Compton and Alan Rolfe

The Attorney-General was a one-off TV play broadcast on the BBC on June 22nd, 1961, written by Phillip Grenville Mann and directed by Harold Clayton. Again, this is now missing, but it also starred John Clements, Andre Van Gyseghem, Anthony Bate, Norman Mitchell (The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66), Richard Vernon, Ronald Adam, Robert Cawdron (The Ambassadors of Death, 1970), Anthony Valentine, Michael Rose and Carole Anne as Martha Salisbury.

Crying Down the Lane was a six-part serial which debuted on January 8th, 1962, in which Edward Cast played a man who comes to England to contest the custody of his son Danny, but is hindered in his quest when the media takes an interest. All six parts are now missing, and Carole Ann played Jenny in the first two episodes. Also starring were Delphi Lawrence, Gregory Phillips, Peter Sallis (The Ice Warriors, 1967), Neil Hallett (Timelash, 1985), Keith Barron (Enlightenment, 1983) and Katy Cashfield (The Daleks, 1963-64).

Carole Ann as Rita in Z Cars (1962)
In the Z Cars episode Big Catch (broadcast January 30th, 1962, and repeated on the afternoon of December 9th that year), Carole Ann played Rita in a script by Allan Prior, helmed by Troughton-era director Morris Barry. The episode is one of the lucky few to survive from the police series' early years and concerns the law trying to keep peace and order when a group of whalers come to shore following a particularly good season. The episode featured regulars Brian Blessed (The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Frank Windsor (The King's Demons, 1983, and Ghost Light, 1989) and Stratford Johns (Four to Doomsday, 1982) as well as Kate Binchy, David Brierly (the voice of K9 in Season 17), Ian Fairbairn (various stories between 1967-76), June Murphy (Fury from the Deep, 1968, and The Sea Devils, 1972) and Ivor Salter (The Space Museum, 1965; The Myth Makers, 1965; and Black Orchid, 1982).

Carole Ann's next role was probably the one she's remembered for most after Doctor Who. On April 27th, 1962 (in the US; the UK release was July) a film adaptation of John Wyndham's novel The Day of the Triffids was released, directed by Steve Sekely and adapted for the screen by Bernard Gordon. Carole Ann played Bettina alongside co-stars Howard Keel, Nicole Maurey, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore, Mervyn Johns and Ewan Roberts.

On July 18th, 1962 Carole Ann appeared in an episode of spy series Top Secret called Dance for Spies, written by Angus Cooper and directed by Raymond Menmuir. Suspicious that at least one member of a visiting ballet company may be working for the enemy, Peter Dallas is given just 48 hours to prove his hunch. After that the dance company will fly back home - with secret information! The series was set in South America, with some location filming in Argentina but most interiors done in a London ATV studio. It featured regulars William Franklyn, Patrick Cargill and Alan Rothwell, as well as guests John Bennett (The Talons of Weng-Chiang, 1977), Charles Kay, Phyllida Law, and Carole Ann as Sonia. This episode, the penultimate in the series, is now missing from the archives.

Carole Ann with Adam Faith in Mix Me a Person (1962)
In August 1962, Mix Me a Person was released in cinemas, a crime drama about a young criminal who faces being hanged for murdering a policeman. Everybody is convinced of his guilt, except for a psychiatrist who throws herself into trying to prove his innocence. The film starred pop star Adam Faith as Harry Jukes, with Donald Sinden as barrister Phillip Bellamy and Anny Baxter as his psychiatrist wife Anne. Carole Ann played Jenny, who works at the Paloma Cafe where Harry and his friends hang out. Also on the bill is Frank Jarvis (The War Machines, 1966; Underworld, 1978; and The Power of Kroll, 1979), Anthony Booth, Glyn Houston (The Hand of Fear, 1976, and The Awakening, 1984), Ray Barrett (The Rescue, 1965), Gilbert Wynne (The Krotons, 1968), Donald Morley (The Reign of Terror, 1964) and Alfred Burke. This clip sees Adam Faith singing his English language rendition of Ritchie Valens's hit La Bamba, and Carole Ann is seen throughout, getting a line right at the end...

On October 15th, 1962, Carole Ann appeared in an episode of Harper's West One, a soap set in a department store (publicity tagline: "Shopping with the lid off"!). The series was created by John Whitney and Geoffrey Bellman based on an idea by Derrick De Marney, brother of Terence De Marney, who appeared in The Smugglers (1966). In Series 2 episode 5, Carole Ann played Marilyn, co-starring with Philip Latham (The Five Doctors, 1983), Arthur Hewlett (State of Decay, 1980, and The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Jane Muir, Colin Douglas (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68, and Horror of Fang Rock, 1977), Godfrey James (Underworld, 1978) and, lo and behold, a certain Patrick Troughton (playing Notril)! It's also interesting to note that three of these actors - Ford, Latham and Troughton - all appeared in 1983's The Five Doctors, 21 years later. This episode is sadly missing, as are 20 of the 32 made.

Carole Ann in Moonstrike (1963)
Moonstrike was a BBC anthology series of one-off thrillers about the covert activities of Allied agents resistance operatives in occupied Europe during World War Two. In the episode Five Hours to Kill (broadcast on March 14th, 1963) an agent is arrested and held for questioning, but with a plane already on its way to pick him up. It's not clear what role Carole Ann played in this drama, which was repeated three months later, but it also featured George Roubicek (The Tomb of the Cybermen, 1967). In better news, a 16mm print of this previously lost episode was recovered by Kaleidoscope in October 2017.

Just four days later Carole Ann appeared in another anthology series, Suspense, in The Man on the Bicycle by Barry Thomas and Patrick Hamilton. The drama also featured Kenneth MacKintosh, Alan Browning, Michael Blakemore, Drewe Henley and Hilary Tindall, but little else is known about it (it is, of course, missing from the archives).

The Punch and Judy Man was a comedy film released on April 8th, 1963 as a vehicle for comedian Tony Hancock, who played Wally Pinner, a man driven to distraction by his social-climbing wife and his harted for the snobbery of local government. The film also featured Sylvia Sims (Ghost Light, 1989) as Delia Pinner, along with Ronald Fraser (The Happiness Patrol, 1988), Barbara Murray (Black Orchid, 1982), John Le Mesurier, Norman Bird, Norman Chappell, Gerald Harper, Hattie Jacques, Hugh Lloyd (Delta and the Bannermen, 1987), Michael Ripper, Peter Vaughan and Terence Brook, while Carole Ann played "Girl in Seaside Kiosk".

This film was the last work Carole Ann did before starting on Doctor Who, for which she was contracted in July 1963. But before filming began, Carole Ann made her first of three appearances on the BBC's pop review programme Juke Box Jury, in which celebrities gave their verdicts on recent new records. On August 17th, 1963, Carole Ann joined actor/ singer Pat Boone, Polly Elwes and Vic Lewis, as well as host David Jacobs, to listen to and discuss the latest sounds. The BBC made a total of 431 editions of Juke Box Jury, but staggeringly, only two survive, from 1960. It's not known which records the jurors debated.

Carole Ann played Susan "Foreman", the Doctor's granddaughter, in a total of 51 episodes of Doctor Who between November 1963 and December 1964, after which her blossoming TV and film career never fully recovered. By Summer 1964 it was clear that Carole Ann would not be renewing her contract, as she was unhappy with the poor writing for Susan, and on July 30th, writer Terry Nation is asked to amend his scripts for The Dalek Invasion of Earth (due to air from the November) to incorporate Susan's departure. Carole Ann's final day on Doctor Who was October 23rd, 1964, although she'd still be seen on screen until Boxing Day.

Carole Ann's second of three appearances on Juke Box Jury was shown on January 25th, 1964, straight after episode 6 of The Dead Planet (called The Ordeal) was broadcast. Joining her on the jurors' panel was actor and singer Adam Faith, Jean Metcalfe, and surprise guest, 'Wall of Sound' producer Phil Spector. Carole Ann's third appearance was on the July 25th, 1964 edition, straight after episode 5 of The Sensorites (entitled Kidnap) had been shown. Joining her on the jurors' panel was Beatle George Harrison, actor Reg Varney and surprise guest, actress Alexandra Bastedo.

Carole Ann appeared at Gamage's Department Store in
London on November 28th, 1964 (more than a month
 after having recorded her final scenes as Susan) to demonstrate
the new Dalek toys available for Christmas. Episode 2 of The
Dalek Invasion of Earth was due on TV that evening!
As Jenny Graham in Public Eye (1965)
It was about six months after leaving Doctor Who that Carole Ann got her next screen role, in an episode of Public Eye called The Morning Wasn't So Hot (broadcast April 10th, 1965). Starring Alfred Burke as Frank marker, the story revolved around runaways from the countryside being lured toward the glamour of London, only to fall into the hands of recruiters for call girls. One of those girls is Carole Ann's smoking Yorkshirewoman Jenny Graham, who soon becomes hard and cynical. Marker is hired to find her and take her back to the safety of home. The episode also featured Philip Madoc (The Krotons, 1968; The War Games, 1969; The Brain of Morbius, 1975; The Power of Kroll, 1978), Brian McDermott (Time-Flight, 1982) and Gilbert Wynne (The Krotons, 1968). A clip from the episode can be seen on YouTube. She's quite different to Susan!

Carole Ann as Albertine in The Great
St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966)
On March 11th, 1966, The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery was released in cinemas, the fourth of five films in the St Trinian's franchise, and the first to be made in colour. Directed by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, and written by Launder and Ivor Herbert, the film was one of the 15 most popular films of the year. In a contrast to the teenage roles she was usually cast in, however, Carole Ann played a teacher, French mistress Albertine, and was joined on the cast list by Frankie Howerd, Dora Bryan, George Cole, Reg Varney, Richard Wattis, Terry Scott, Eric Barker, Arthur Mullard, Larry Martyn, Colin Gordon (The Faceless Ones, 1967), Peter Gilmore (Frontios, 1984), Michael Ripper, Aubrey Morris and the voice of Stratford Johns (Four to Doomsday, 1982).

The Man Outside was Carole Ann's last screen acting for seven years. Based upon Gene Stackelberg's novel Double Agent - in which Russian agents frame a former CIA agent for murder - it was released in August 1967 and starred Van Heflin, Peter Vaughan, Charles Gray, Ronnie Barker, Linda Marlowe, Frank Crawshaw (Planet of Giants, 1964), Gabrielle Drake and Pinkas Braun. Carole Ann played Cindy, but it is difficult to find much more information out about the film (although the opening few minutes are on YouTube, but sadly sans Carole Ann).

Carole Ann as flirty barmaid Valerie in Whatever Happened to
the Likely Lads?, her first TV role in nine years
After a considerable gap in her on-screen career, a 33-year-old Carole Ann appeared in an episode of the sitcom Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? in 1974 (some sources say February 19th, others March 4th, while BBC Genome states May 12th, so who knows for sure?), entitled Affairs and Relations. Carole Ann played busty barmaid Valerie (she's full of double entendres like "I hope you get a nibble!") at the country hotel Bob and Terry are staying in.

Carole Ann's last non-Doctor Who related acting appearance was sadly rather low key after such a high profile and burgeoning start in the early 1960s. She played an uncredited "Woman" in the 150-minute film The Hiding Place, in which two sisters living in pre-World War Two Holland are accused by the Nazis of harbouring Jews and are sent to a concentration camp, where their Christian faith keeps them from despair and bitterness. Based on the autobiographical book by Corrie ten Boom, the film was directed by James F Collier and released in May 1975. It starred Jeannette Clift (who was nominated for both a BAFTA and a Golden Globe) as Corrie, and Julie Harris as sister Betsie, with Arthur O'Connell, Robert Rietty, Nigel Hawthorne, Edward Burnham (The Invasion, 1968, and Robot, 1974), Cyril Shaps (various stories between 1967-78), Forbes Collins (Vengeance on Varos, 1985), David de Keyser (The Eleventh Hour, 2010), Michael Sheard (various stories between 1966-88), Bernard Archard (The Power of the Daleks, 1966, and Pyramids of Mars, 1975), Lillias Walker (Terror of the Zygons, 1975) and Bernard Kay (various stories between 1964-71). The film is available on YouTube, but as dedicated as I am to this venture, even I can't sit through two and a half hours of pixelated footage looking for an uncredited woman! If you're up for it, here it is!

Carole Ann in The Five Doctors,
Dimensions in Time, An Adventure in
Space and Time and The Five
Doctors(ish) Reboot (1983-2013)
All future acting turns from Carole Ann were related to the Doctor Who universe. She reprised the role of Susan in both the 20th and 30th anniversary stories (The Five Doctors, broadcast in the UK on November 25th, 1983, and Dimensions in Time, broadcast November 26th-27th, 1993), and had a cameo as Joyce in the 50th anniversary spin-off drama An Adventure in Space and Time (transmitted November 22nd, 2013), which told the story of the origins of Doctor Who, with a focus on William Hartnell. In the drama, Carole Ann herself was played by Claudia Grant. Carole Ann also had a brief cameo in Peter Davison's 50th anniversary skit The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.

As Zorelle in Shakedown: Return of
the Sontarans (1994)
In December 1994, Carole Ann took the role of "rich misfit" Zorelle in the Dreamwatch Media direct-to-video drama Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans. Written by Doctor Who stalwart Terrance Dicks and directed by Kevin Davies, it also featured Blake's 7 names Jan Chappell and Brian Croucher (The Face of Evil and The Robots of Death, 1977), Ace actress Sophie Aldred, and former Davros actor Michael Wisher. The 55-minute drama was filmed almost entirely aboard the Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Belfast, as well as Pinewood Studios. The drama can be seen online here:

In 1999, Carole Ann took another Doctor Who video spin-off role in Western Union/ BBV's Soul's Ark. She played Stella Grant, who, after disappearances during an archaeological dig, sends her top two agents, Galico (Sixth Doctor Colin Baker) and Keel (Zoe actor Wendy Padbury) to investigate.

The 75-minute drama is pretty appalling, and Carole Ann only appears at the end in a brief handover scene with Colin and Wendy.

In an April 2013 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Carole Ann said that Doctor Who destroyed her acting career, which she begrudged for a long time afterwards. But the reason she gave up acting altogether in the 1970s was a revelation: "I went to open a hotel window but it was stuck. I tried to force it up, and had a searing pain in my back. The hotel called a local doctor, who gave me a drug that practically killed me. I became allergic to almost everything." The symptoms began like flu, and she tried to recover on holiday in Spain. "Somebody gave me an aspirin but within seconds of taking it I was dying. I had an anaphylactic shock." This time a Spanish doctor came running, with adrenalin. "They saved my life." After that, she went down to five stone in weight and lost her voice. "I was like a skeleton. It took a long while to recover, with the help of a homeopath." Carole later became a voice and presentation coach to businesspeople and politicians in London. She claims to have voice coached a politician and helped him become leader of his country. She has refrained from identifying who ("I could be in fear of my life!" she told the Telegraph), but a good guess is that it was Bashir Gemayel, President-Elect of Lebanon, who was killed in a bomb blast in Beirut in September 1982, just days before his inauguration.

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