People

Jacqueline Hill’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroEnglish actress
Was Actor 
Stage actor 
Film actor 
From United Kingdom 
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Genderfemale
Birth 17 December 1929, Birmingham
Death 18 February 1993, London
(aged 63 years)
Family
Spouse: Alvin Rakoff

Grace Jacqueline Hill (17 December 1929 – 18 February 1993) was a British actress known for her role as Barbara Wright in the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who. As the history teacher of Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s granddaughter, Barbara was the first Doctor Who companion to appear on-screen in 1963, with Hill speaking the series’ first words. She played the role for nearly two years, leaving the series in 1965 at the same time as fellow actor William Russell (who played the companion Ian Chesterton).
Hill returned to Doctor Who in 1980 for an appearance in the serial Meglos, as the Tigellan priestess Lexa.

Biography

Hill was orphaned as a toddler and raised by her grandparents. She was taken out of school at the age of 14 to enable her younger brother to continue. She then worked at Cadbury’s, which had an amateur dramatics society. She was encouraged to apply for, and was awarded, a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and entered RADA at the age of 16.

Hill made her stage debut in London’s West End in The Shrike. Many more roles followed, including Fabian of the Yard and An Enemy of the People. In 1958 she married the director Alvin Rakoff, having the previous year appeared in his BBC adaptation of Rod Serling’s American TV play Requiem For A Heavyweight. This production featured former bit-part actor Sean Connery; Hill had recommended that Rakoff cast him, because she believed Connery would be popular with female viewers.

She was asked to play Barbara Wright in Doctor Who, following discussions with producer Verity Lambert about the role. She had first met Lambert when they worked at ABC TV.

Hill preferred the historical Doctor Who stories; her favourite serials were The Aztecs and The Crusade. Shortly after leaving the series in 1965 she gave up acting in order to raise a family, resuming her career in 1978. Her later TV credits included Tales of the Unexpected and the 1978 BBC Television Shakespeare version of Romeo and Juliet (as Lady Capulet), which was directed by her husband.

In October 1980 she returned to Doctor Who in a guest role, portraying Priestess Lexa, leader of the religiously fanatical Deons, in the story Meglos. By this time the Doctor was played by Tom Baker. This was the only instance of a former regular returning to the program in another role during the original series’ run.

Death

Jacqueline Hill died of breast cancer in 1993, aged 63.

Portrayals

In 2013, as part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations, the BBC produced a docu-drama relating the story of the creation and early days of the series, titled An Adventure in Space and Time. Hill appeared as a character in the drama, portrayed by actress Jemma Powell.

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1953The Blue ParrotMaureen Maguire
1964The Comedy ManSandy Lavery

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1953The Rose and the RingFairy BlackstickTV Mini-series
1955Three Empty RoomsLouise ShoemakerTV Movie
1955

1957

BBC Sunday-Night TheatreJeannie

Grace Carney

Season 6, Episode 23: “The Legend of Pepito”

Season 8, Episode 13: “Requiem for a Heavyweight”

1957Blood MoneyGrace CarneyTV Movie
Joyous ErrandCarrie DeanSeason 1: (6 episodes)
1958Armchair TheatreFlorence MillerSeason 2, Episode 18: “Man in the Corner”
ITV Television PlayhouseUnknownSeason 3, Episode 39: “Poet’s Corner”
1958

1963

ITV Play of the WeekMiss Willie

Helen Harrison

Season 3, Episode 48: “The Curious Savage”

Season 9, Episode 7: “The Fixers”

1959The Flying DoctorEllen FurgusonSeason 1, Episode 24: “Brainstorm”
1960Saturday PlayhouseMaggie CutlerSeason 1, Episode 49: “The Man Who Came to Dinner”
BBC Sunday-Night PlayJaneSeason 2, Episode 1: “The Chopping Block”
1961The Men from Room 13Miss AngelSeason 2: (3 episodes)
1962The Six Proud WalkersSally WalkerSeason 1: (5 episodes)
Out of This WorldLil HarmonSeason 1, Episode 7: “Medicine Show”
MaigretYvonne MoncinSeason 3, Episode 12: “The Trap”
1962

1966

No Hiding PlaceSonya Gardener

Sarah Peterson

Season 4, Episode 11: “The Bank Job”

Season 9, Episode 4: “You Never Can Tell Till You Try”

1963-

1965

1980

Doctor WhoBarbara Wright

Lexa

Season 1: (42 episodes)

Season 2: (34 episodes)

Season 18: (4 episodes)

1978Crown CourtMargaret EdenSeason 7: (2 episodes)
Romeo & JulietLady CapuletTV Movie
1982AngelsMrs. MuirheadSeason 8, Episode 27
1983

1984

Tales of the UnexpectedMelanie Litmayer

Mrs. Milvain

Season 6, Episode 10: “The Luncheon”

Season 7, Episode 12: “Accidental Death”

1986ScreenplayJennySeason 1, Episode 1: “All Together Now”
Paradise PostponedMrs. Mallard-GreeneTV Mini-series