kids encyclopedia robot

Kate O'Mara facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Kate O'Mara
Actress Kate O'Mara.jpg
Portrait © Trevor Leighton / National Portrait Gallery, 1988
Francesca Meredith Carroll

(1939-08-10)10 August 1939
Died 30 March 2014(2014-03-30) (aged 74)
Sussex, England, UK
Occupation Actress, writer
Years active 1963–2012
  • Jeremy Young
    (m. 1971; div. 1976)
  • Richard Willis
    (m. 1993; div. 1996)
Children 2
Relatives Belinda Carroll (sister)

Kate O'Mara (born Francesca Meredith Carroll; 10 August 1939 – 30 March 2014) was an English film, stage and television actress, and writer. O'Mara made her stage debut in a 1963 production of The Merchant of Venice. Her other stage roles included Elvira in Blithe Spirit (1974), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (1982), Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra (1982), Goneril in King Lear (1987) and Marlene Dietrich in Lunch with Marlene (2008).

In the cinema, O'Mara acted in two 1970 Hammer Horror films: The Vampire Lovers and The Horror of Frankenstein. On BBC television, she had regular roles in The Brothers (1975–1976), Triangle (1981–1982) and Howards' Way (1989–1990), and portrayed Doctor Who villain the Rani three times (1985–1993). She also appeared as Jackie Stone in two episodes of the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1995–2003). On American television, she played Caress Morell, the scheming sister of Alexis Colby in the primetime soap opera Dynasty (1986).

Early life and career

O'Mara was born to John F. Carroll, an RAF flying instructor, and actress Hazel Bainbridge (born Edith Marion Bainbridge; 25 January 1910 – 7 January 1998). Her younger sister is actress Belinda Carroll. After boarding school she attended art school before becoming a full-time actress. O'Mara made her stage debut in a production of The Merchant of Venice in 1963, although her first film role was some years earlier (under the name Merrie Carroll) in Home and Away (1956) with Jack Warner, as her father, and Kathleen Harrison.

Her earliest television appearances, in the 1960s, included guest roles in Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Saint, Z-Cars and The Avengers. In 1970, she appeared in two Hammer Studio horror films: The Vampire Lovers and The Horror of Frankenstein. O'Mara's work in The Vampire Lovers impressed Hammer enough for them to offer her a contract, which she turned down, fearful of being typecast.

Her first major TV role was as Julia Main, wife of the main protagonist in the ITV series The Main Chance (1969). She had a regular role in the BBC drama series The Brothers (1975–1976) as Jane Maxwell, and in the early 1980s, O'Mara starred in the BBC soap opera Triangle (1981–1982), sometimes counted among the worst television series ever made. She played the villainous Rani in Doctor Who in two serials, The Mark of the Rani (1985) and Time and the Rani (1987), and also in the Doctor Who 30th anniversary spoof Dimensions in Time (1993), part of the Children in Need charity event.

Between these appearances in Doctor Who, she auditioned for a leading role as one of the sisters on the American primetime soap The Colbys, a spin-off of the American prime time soap opera Dynasty. Eventually, O'Mara was offered one of the roles alongside Stephanie Beacham, but declined since was still under contract with a production of stage play Light Up the Sky at the Old Vic Theatre. Shortly after, she was offered the part of Caress Morell on Dynasty. As the sister of Alexis Colby (Joan Collins), O'Mara appeared in 17 episodes of the sixth season and 4 episodes of the seventh during 1986. O'Mara disliked living in California, preferring the change of seasons in Britain, and to her relief was released from her five-year contract after Collins told the producers that having two brunettes in the series was a bad idea. After returning to the UK, she was cast as another scheming villain, Laura Wilde, in the BBC soap Howards' Way (1989–1990).

Later life and career

Doctor Who 50th Celebration - Peter Davison (and Kate O'Mara in background)
O'Mara and Peter Davison at the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend in 2013

O'Mara continued to make television appearances throughout the 1990s, including Cluedo (1990), and playing Jackie Stone (Patsy's older sister) in two episodes of Absolutely Fabulous (1995–2003). In 2001, she had a recurring role in the ITV prison drama series Bad Girls before appearing in the short-lived revival of the soap opera Crossroads. She continued to perform on stage and in March 2008 she played Marlene Dietrich in a stage play entitled Lunch with Marlene. From August to November 2008, she played Mrs Cheveley in Oscar Wilde's stage play An Ideal Husband directed by Peter Hall and produced by Bill Kenwright. She performed in radio and audio plays. In 2000 she reprised her role as the Rani in the BBV audio play The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind, and in 2006 she made a guest appearance in the radio comedy series Nebulous.

In 2012, O'Mara appeared in a theatre adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile.

Personal life

O'Mara was married twice, first to Jeremy Young in 1971; the couple divorced in 1976. In 1993, she married Richard Willis, but the marriage was dissolved in 1996. She had two sons, Dickon Young (1964–2012) and Christopher Linde (born 1965), both from previous relationships, although Dickon took his stepfather's surname. She gave up Linde for adoption and he was named by his adoptive parents, Derek and Joy Linde.

Christopher, from whom the actress was long estranged, was born from her relationship with actor David Orchard.

Dickon, whose biological father was reportedly actor Ian Cullen, was a stage manager for the Royal Shakespeare Company before setting up his own company building tree-houses in the mid-1990s.

O'Mara wrote four books, two novels (When She Was Bad (ISBN: 0261667157) and Good Time Girl (ISBN: 0002242915)), and two autobiographical books, Vamp Until Ready (ISBN: 1861057008) and Game Plan: A Woman's Survival Kit (ISBN: 0283060573).

Speaking about her bouts of depression, later in her life, O'Mara said: "... I've since learnt a cure for depression: listening to J.S. Bach and reading P.G. Wodehouse. This got me through the break-up of my second marriage 17 years ago. The great thing about Wodehouse is that his books are full of romantic problems and yet so hilarious that it puts things in perspective ... I'm not frightened of dying, but I love the countryside so much and I'm going to miss it. I'd like to be out in the wind and the trees for ever."


O'Mara died on 30 March 2014 in a Sussex nursing home, aged 74, from ovarian cancer. She left a £350,000 estate, bequeathing £10,000 to the Actors’ Benevolent Fund and, after the funeral and legal fees, the remainder to her younger sister Belinda Carroll, a former actress.



Year Title Role Notes
1956 Home and Away Annie Knowles As Merrie Carroll
1962 Captain Clegg Girl at Inn Uncredited
1967 Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond Miss Moneypenny's assistant Uncredited
1968 Corruption Val Nolan
Great Catherine Varinka Gordon Flemyng film
The Limbo Line Irina Tovskia
1969 The Desperados Adah Henry Levin film
1970 The Vampire Lovers The Governess (Mme. Perrodot) Roy Ward Baker film
Cannon for Cordoba Ruby
The Horror of Frankenstein Alys Jimmy Sangster film
1974 The Tamarind Seed Anna Skriabina Blake Edwards film
Feelings Barbara Martin Gerry O'Hara film
1976 Machinegunner Pat Livingston
1978 An Unknown Friend Karen Lindén
The Nativity Salome
1992 Aladdin Madam Roly Poly Voice
Beauty and the Beast Lucinda Voice
1999 The Road to Ithaca Despina


Year Title Role Notes
No Hiding Place Jacqueline 2 episodes
1965 Danger Man Annette Episode: A Room in the Basement
1965 Gaslight Theatre Patience Episode: The Drunkard or, the Sins of the Parents Shall Be Visited...
1965 Hereward the Wake Richilda Episode: The Court of Love
1966 Court Martial Episode: Logistics of Survival
1966 Weavers Green Mick Armstrong
1967 Adam Adamant Lives! Sonia Fawzi Episode: The Basardi Affair
1967 The Troubleshooters Kim Hart Episode: Mr. Know-How
The Saint Annabelle / Nadine / Yvette Episodes: Double Take, Counterfeit Countess, Fast Women
Z-Cars Kate / Mae Astell 4 episodes
1968 Promenade Laura Short film
1968 The Champions Jane Purcell Episode: To Catch a Rat
1969 The Avengers Lisa Episode: Stay Tuned
1969 The Main Chance Julia Main 4 episodes
1969 Department S Pietra Episode: Who Plays the Dummy
1970 Never a Cross Word Ellie Episode: When is a Spy...
1970 Codename Helen Lingard Episode: Opening Gambit
1970 Paul Temple Luciana Benedetti Episode: Re-take
1970 The Adventures of Don Quick Peleen Episode: People isn't Everything
1972 A Man About a Dog Storm Riordan
1972 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Storm Riordan
1972 The Persuaders! Heidi Schulman Episode: Read and Destroy
1972 Jason King Delphi Episode: A Kiss for a Beautiful Killer
1972 Clouds of Witness Cynthia Tarrant Episode 1.3
1972 Pathfinders Section Officer Anne Denby Episode: Fog
1973 Spy Trap Sharon Lunghi 3 episodes
1974 The Protectors Sarah Trent Episode: A Pocketful of Posies
The Brothers Jane Maxwell 30 episodes
1976 Morecambe & Wise Kate O'Mata Hari Christmas Special
1976 The Two Ronnies The Gypsy Queen
1977 The Two Ronnies Lucy Lee Series 6 Episodes 3–6: Stop! You're Killing Me mini-serial
1978 Return of the Saint Jeanette Episode: Assault Force
1979 The Plank 'It's Paint' Woman
Triangle Katherine Laker 27 episodes
Doctor Who The Rani 6 episodes (2 Stories)
1986 Dempsey and Makepeace Joyce Hargreaves Episode: Guardian Angels
1986 Dynasty Cassandra "Caress" Morell Recurring (Seasons 6–7)
1987 Great Catherine Varinka
Howards' Way Laura Wilde 26 episodes
1990 Cluedo Mrs. Peacock Episode: Christmas Past, Christmas Present
1992 Aladdin (Not Disney) Madam Roly Poly (voice) Ron Clements and John Musker film
1993 Comic Relief: The Invasion of the Comic Tomatoes Female Patient
1993 Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time The Rani Guest appearance
Absolutely Fabulous Jackie Stone 2 episodes
1997 The New Adventures of Robin Hood Lady Isabelle Episode: Marion to the Rescue
2001 Bad Girls Virginia O'Kane 4 episodes
2003 Crossroads Lady Alice Fox Soap opera
2005 Family Affairs Jackie Lawrence Soap opera
2008 Doctors Rosetta Froom Episode: Fears, Feats & the Frooms
2012 Benidorm Barbara Simmonds 1 episode, (final appearance)

Select stage roles

  • 1963, Jessica, The Merchant of Venice at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
  • 1966, Lydia Languish, The Rivals at The Welsh Theatre Co.
  • 1967, Elsa, The Italian Girl at the Wyndham's Theatre
  • 1970, Fleda Vetch, The Spoils of Poynton at the Mayfair Theatre
  • 1971, Gerda Von Metz, The Avengers (directed by Leslie Phillips) at the Prince of Wales Theatre
  • 1971–2, Sheila Wallis, Suddenly at Home at the Fortune Theatre
  • 1974, Elvira, Blithe Spirit at the Bristol Old Vic
  • 1974, Liza Moriarty, Sherlock's Last Case at the Open Space Theatre Fortune Theatre
  • 1977, Sybil Merton, Lord Arthur Saville's Crime at the Sadlers Wells Theatre
  • 1977, Louka, Arms and the Man at the Hong Kong Festival
  • 1978, Rosaline, Loves Labour's Lost at the Thorndike Theatre
  • 1978, Katherina, The Taming of the Shrew at the Ludlow Festival
  • 1978, Cyrenne, Rattle of a Simple Man
  • 1979, Monica Claverton- Ferry, The Elder Statesman
  • 1979, Lina, Misalliance at The Birmingham Rep
  • 1979, Irene St Clair, The Crucifer of Blood at the Haymarket Theatre
  • 1980, Ruth, Night and Day, at post-London tour
  • 1981, Stephanie Abrahams, Duet for One Yugoslavia and tour
  • 1981, Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing at the New Shakespeare Co
  • 1982, Kathrina, The Taming of the Shrew at the Nottingham Playhouse\New Shakespeare Co
  • 1982, Titania\Hippolta, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the New Shakespeare Co
  • 1982, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth at the Mercury Theatre
  • 1982, Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra at the Nottingham Playhouse
  • 1982, Millamant, The Way of the World at the Nottingham Playhouse
  • 1983, Hortense, The Rehearsal
  • 1984, Mistress Ford, The Merry Wives of Windsor at the New Shakespeare Co
  • 1985 – 1987, Frances Black, Light Up the Sky at the Old Vic & Globe Theatres
  • 1987, Goneril, King Lear at the Compass Theatre
  • 1988, Berinthia, The Relapse at the Mermaid Theatre
  • 1990, Torfreida, The Last Englishman at The Orange Tree Theatre
  • 1990, Martha, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
  • 1991, Lilli Vanessi, Kiss Me Kate, RSC tour
  • 1992, Lady Fanciful, The Provok'd Wife at the National Theatre Studio
  • 1992, Rosabel, Venus Observed at the Chichester Festival
  • 1992, Eve, Cain at the Chichester Festival
  • 1992, Jackie, King Lear in New York at the Chichester Festival
  • 1994, Maria Wislack, On Approval
  • 1995, Pola, The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles at The Orange Tree Theatre
  • 1995, Rachel, My Cousin Rachel, English Theatre, Vienna and tour 1995
  • 1996, Olivia, Twelfth Night at the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke
  • 1996–7, Mrs Cheveley, An Ideal Husband at the Haymarket, Albury and Gielgud theatres
  • 2000, Mrs. Malaprop\Lucy, The Rivals
  • 2000, Madame Alexandre, Colombe at the Salisbury Playhouse
  • 2003, Gertrude Lawrence, Noel and Gertie
  • 2004, Mrs Arbuthnot, A Woman of No Importance
  • 2005, Eloise, The Marquise at the Mercury Theatre
  • 2005, Helen, We Happy Few at the Gielgud Theatre
  • 2008, Marlene Dietrich, Lunch with Marlene at The New End Theatre
  • 2010, Lady Windermere, Lord Arthur Saville's Crime at the Mercury Theatre

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kate O'Mara para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic filmmakers
Alfonso Cuarón
Guillermo del Toro
Lin-Manuel Miranda
kids search engine
Kate O'Mara Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.