Jacqueline Pearce

Jacqueline Pearce (20 December 1943 – 3 September 2018)[1][2] was a British film and television actress.[3] Her roles included horror and comedy; she was best known as the villain Servalan in the British science fiction TV series Blake's 7.[4][5]

Jacqueline Pearce
Jacqueline Pearce.jpg
Jacqueline Pearce at the Blake's 7 Series 2 DVD launch, 2005
Born(1943-12-20)20 December 1943
Woking, Surrey, England
Died3 September 2018(2018-09-03) (aged 74)
Lancashire, England
Alma mater
Years active1964–2018
Drewe Henley
(m. 1963; div. 1967)

Early lifeEdit

Pearce was born in Woking, Surrey, in 1943. Her mother left the family when she was 16 months old and she grew up between her father's home and a foster family.[6] She attended the Marist Convent School for Girls at West Byfleet. She trained at the British stage school Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and at Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio in Los Angeles.[7]



Pearce starred in two Hammer horror films, The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile, which were filmed simultaneously on the same location and both released in 1966.[8] Other film roles include Sky West and Crooked (1965), the Carry On film Don't Lose Your Head (1966), Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968), White Mischief (1987), How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989), and Princess Caraboo (1994).[5][9]

TV appearancesEdit

As well as appearing in the BBC children's programmes Dark Season (alongside Kate Winslet) and Moondial, Pearce appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Two Doctors as Chessene, a bloodthirsty alien.[10] She was associated with Doctor Who through her appearance in The Fearmonger as Sherilyn Harper, an audio drama by Big Finish Productions, and as Admiral Mettna in the webcast story Death Comes to Time. Pearce returned once again to Doctor Who from 2015, this time opposite John Hurt, as a regular in the Big Finish audio series based on the adventures of the War Doctor,[11] portraying Cardinal Ollistra, a leader of the Time Lords in the Time War who often clashes with the Eighth Doctor and the War Doctor over how far the Time Lords should be willing to go to achieve victory.

She remains best known for her role as Servalan in the British science fiction TV series Blake's 7 (1978–1981).[3] The character was originally written for one episode, but was expanded to a regular role over four series due to Pearce's popularity.[5]

She appeared in the role of Rosa Dartle in the BBC dramatisation of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (1974) and a television version of Christopher Hampton's stage play The Philanthropist as Araminta which was first broadcast in 1975. She also appeared as an associate of the assassin Carlos in the television movie, The Bourne Identity (1988).[12]

Pearce also made guest appearances in TV series such as Danger Man, The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, Public Eye, Callan, Dead of Night, Special Branch, The Zoo Gang, Spy Trap, and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.[13]

Pearce suffered from clinical depression during periods of her life.[14] She was the subject of the third volume of MJTV's "The Actor Speaks" interview/drama CDs, with a special piece written for her by Tanith Lee.[15]


Pearce was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2018 and died on 3 September 2018 at her home in Lancashire.[5]


  1. ^ Hadoke, Toby (4 September 2018). "Jacqueline Pearce Obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  2. ^ "News: RIP Jacqueline Pearce". Big Finish Productions. 3 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Muir, John Kenneth, A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, the 1978–1981 British Television Space Adventure
  5. ^ a b c d Association, Press (3 September 2018). "Jacqueline Pearce, Blake's 7 and Doctor Who actor, dies aged 74". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  6. ^ Reporters, Telegraph (3 September 2018). "Blake 7 star Jacqueline Pearce dies, aged 74". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 279. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  8. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Reptile, The (1966)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  9. ^ "Jacqueline Pearce". BFI.
  10. ^ "Jacqueline Pearce played Chessene… – The Two Doctors: Miscellaneous – The Two Doctors, Season 22, Doctor Who – BBC One". BBC.
  11. ^ "John Hurt to return as The War Doctor in new Doctor Who audio plays".
  12. ^ "The Bourne Identity (1988) – Roger Young – Cast and Crew – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  13. ^ TV.com. "Jacqueline Pearce". TV.com.
  14. ^ "Jacqueline Pearce obituary". The Times. London. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018. (subscription required)
  15. ^ "The Actor Speaks: Paul Darrow- Review by Helen Reilly". www.kaldorcity.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

External linksEdit