Wanda Ventham

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Wanda Ventham
Born(1935-08-05) 5 August 1935 (age 78)[1]
Brighton, Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Alma materCentral School of Speech and Drama
OccupationTelevision and film actress
Years active1956–present
TelevisionUFO
Only Fools and Horses
Spouse(s)James Tabernacle (divorced)
Timothy Carlton (m. 1976–present)
ChildrenTracy Tabernacle
Benedict Cumberbatch
 
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Wanda Ventham
Born(1935-08-05) 5 August 1935 (age 78)[1]
Brighton, Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Alma materCentral School of Speech and Drama
OccupationTelevision and film actress
Years active1956–present
TelevisionUFO
Only Fools and Horses
Spouse(s)James Tabernacle (divorced)
Timothy Carlton (m. 1976–present)
ChildrenTracy Tabernacle
Benedict Cumberbatch

Wanda Ventham (born 5 August 1935) is an English actress, known primarily for her role as Colonel Virginia Lake in the 1970s science-fiction television series UFO, and for her recurring role as Pamela Parry (Cassandra's mother) in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses from 1989 to 1992. She also appeared in two episodes of The Saint alongside Sir Roger Moore.

Early life[edit]

Ventham was born in Brighton, Sussex, the daughter of Gladys Frances (née Holtham) and Frederick Howard Ventham.[1][2] She originally held aspirations of becoming an artist and attended art school for one year, working as a scenic painter for the Connaught Theatre during her school holidays. It was her exposure to professional theatre that prompted her to leave art school and pursue a career in acting.[3] She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 1956.[4]

Career[edit]

Ventham's first film role was in My Teenage Daughter (1956), with Anna Neagle and Sylvia Syms. She also appeared in Carry On Cleo (1964) and Carry On Up the Khyber (1968).

Ventham's numerous TV credits include regular roles in Heartbeat as Fiona Weston, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates as Margaret Balshaw, and The Rag Trade as Shirley. She also played a love interest for Arthur Daley in Minder, Susan's mother in Coupling, and Deborah's mother in Men Behaving Badly. She appeared in the lead role in the 15-part BBC series The Lotus Eaters (1972–73), opposite Ian Hendry, and made a guest appearance in Rutland Weekend Television. She was in an episode of "Danger Man", and the series Patrick McGoohan did right after - the allegorical, spy series, The Prisoner, the sitcoms Executive Stress and Next of Kin, and the sketch show The Two Ronnies.

She has appeared in Doctor Who on three occasions over three decades: as Jean Rock in The Faceless Ones (1967), as Thea Ransome in Image of the Fendahl (1977) and as Faroon in Time and the Rani (1987). Her appearance in Image of the Fendahl was opposite Denis Lill. Ventham and Lill would later play Pamela and Alan Parry in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

Personal life[edit]

Ventham met actor Timothy Carlton in 1970 while filming sequences for the drama series A Family At War[3][5] and they have been married since April 1976.[6] They are the parents of actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Ventham also has a daughter, Tracy, from her first marriage, to James Tabernacle.[1] Ventham is a collector of barn owl memorabilia.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1956My Teenage DaughterGina
1959The Navy LarkMabel
1964Carry On CleoPretty BidderUncredited
1965The Big JobDot Franklin
1965The Knack ...and How to Get ItGym MistressUncredited
1966Death Is a WomanPriscilla Blunstone-Smythe
1966The Spy with a Cold NoseMrs. Winters
1967Mister Ten Per CentKathy
1968The Blood Beast TerrorClare MallingerVentham also provided stunt work for the film and appeared in costume as the giant moth monster.
1968Carry On Up The KhyberKhasi's First Wife
1974Invasion: UFOCol. Virginia Lake
1974Captain Kronos – Vampire HunterLady Durward
2002Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage WarVictoria
2005AsylumBridie Straffen

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1962–1963The Rag TradeShirleySeries regular; 18 episodes
1964–1965Danger ManStella Dorset
Penny
2 episodes
1964–1966The SaintLaura Stride
Penny Pearson
2 episodes
1965The Likely LadsAngela1 episode
1965The AvengersNurse Spray1 episode
1967The PrisonerComputer Attendant1 episode
1967The CaesarsEnnia1 episode
1967–1971The TroubleshootersMoira HartRecurring; 4 episodes
1967–1987Doctor WhoJean Rock
Thea Ransome/Fendahl Core
Faroon
Serial: "The Faceless Ones" (6 episodes)
Serial: "Image of the Fendahl" (4 episodes)
Serial: "Time and the Rani" (3 episodes)
1969The Gold RobbersDee Lattery1 episode
1969Department SLeila Rankin1 episode
1970Z-CarsMrs. Owen1 episode
1970–1971A Family At WarJenny GrahamRecurring; 3 episodes
1970Doctor At LargeMaggie Weston1 episode
1970–1973UFOCol. Virginia LakeSeries regular; 9 episodes
1972–1973The Lotus EatersAnn ShepherdLead role; 15 episodes
1975The SweeneyBrenda1 episode
1975Rutland Weekend TelevisionVarious characters2 episodes
1976Emmerdale FarmHeather BannermanRecurring; 6 episodes
1977Crown CourtSybil Halstead2 episodes
1978–1979Fallen HeroDorothy HopkinsLead role; 11 episodes
1980The Two RonniesJack2 episodes
1982MinderBeryl Murdoch1 episode
1986–1987Executive StressSylviaRecurring; 4 episodes
1989–1992Only Fools and HorsesPamela ParryRecurring; 4 episodes
1995–1996Next of KinRosieRecurring; 6 episodes
1996–1997HeartbeatFiona WestonRecurring; 4 episodes
2001CouplingEdna1 episode
2005Midsomer MurdersRomany Rose1 episode

Theatre[edit]

YearTitleRoleVenue
1960Watch It, Sailor!Daphne PinkApollo Theatre, London
1990Out of OrderPamelaShaftesbury Theatre, London
2002One for the PotAmy HardcastleTheatre Royal, Windsor
2012QuartetCissyTheatre-on-the-Bay, Cape Town

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
  2. ^ FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
  3. ^ a b Ventham, Wanda. Audio commentary for "Timelash". In: The Complete UFO Megaset (DVD). A&E Home Entertainment. 2003.
  4. ^ Central School of Speech and Drama Alumni Newsletter (19): 19. July 2012. 
  5. ^ Passingham, Kenneth (22 March 1975). "It's good news to know I'm still fanciable". TV Times: 21–22. 
  6. ^ Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Marriage Index: 1916-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
  7. ^ Moran, Caitlin (11 May 2013). "What's not to love about Benedict Cumberbatch?". The Times. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 

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