Grace Jacqueline Hill
17 December 1929
|Died||18 February 1993 (aged 63)|
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Years active||1953-66; 1978-86|
|Television||Doctor Who (1963-65; 1980)|
Alvin Rakoff (m. 1958)
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 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.
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.
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.
|1953||The Rose and the Ring||Fairy Blackstick||TV Mini-series|
|1955||Three Empty Rooms||Louise Shoemaker||TV Movie|
|BBC Sunday-Night Theatre||Jeannie
|Season 6, Episode 23: "The Legend of Pepito"
Season 8, Episode 13: "Requiem for a Heavyweight"
|1957||Blood Money||Grace Carney||TV Movie|
|Joyous Errand||Carrie Dean||Season 1: (6 episodes)|
|1958||Armchair Theatre||Florence Miller||Season 2, Episode 18: "Man in the Corner"|
|ITV Television Playhouse||Unknown||Season 3, Episode 39: "Poet's Corner"|
|ITV Play of the Week||Miss Willie
|Season 3, Episode 48: "The Curious Savage"
Season 9, Episode 7: "The Fixers"
|1959||The Flying Doctor||Ellen Furguson||Season 1, Episode 24: "Brainstorm"|
|1960||Saturday Playhouse||Maggie Cutler||Season 1, Episode 49: "The Man Who Came to Dinner"|
|BBC Sunday-Night Play||Jane||Season 2, Episode 1: "The Chopping Block"|
|1961||The Men from Room 13||Miss Angel||Season 2: (3 episodes)|
|1962||The Six Proud Walkers||Sally Walker||Season 1: (5 episodes)|
|Out of This World||Lil Harmon||Season 1, Episode 7: "Medicine Show"|
|Maigret||Yvonne Moncin||Season 3, Episode 12: "The Trap"|
|No Hiding Place||Sonya Gardener
|Season 4, Episode 11: "The Bank Job"
Season 9, Episode 4: "You Never Can Tell Till You Try"
|Doctor Who||Barbara Wright
|Season 1: (42 episodes)
Season 2: (34 episodes)
Season 18: (4 episodes)
|1978||Crown Court||Margaret Eden||Season 7: (2 episodes)|
|Romeo & Juliet||Lady Capulet||TV Movie|
|1982||Angels||Mrs. Muirhead||Season 8, Episode 27|
|Tales of the Unexpected||Melanie Litmayer
|Season 6, Episode 10: "The Luncheon"
Season 7, Episode 12: "Accidental Death"
|1986||Screenplay||Jenny||Season 1, Episode 1: "All Together Now"|
|Paradise Postponed||Mrs. Mallard-Greene||TV Mini-series|