British Actress (1939-2014)

    Header Photo: Detail of Kate O'Mara with eyes as alluring as any you will see anytime, anywhere...

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    Death Announced


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    Kate O'Mara
    © Estate of Kate O'Mara

    Death Announced [2014]

    30th March 2014: her agent has released the sad news that Kate this morning. She was 74.

    She died in a nursing home in Worthing, Sussex, following a short illness.

    Agent Phil Belfield praised her "energy and vitality" and her "love for theatre and acting. "A shining star has gone out and Kate will be dearly missed by all who knew and have worked with her," he added. “She had a very difficult time over the last two years. She died in a nursing home in Worthing. She was in the process of buying a house in Sussex. She had been in Stratford upon Avon".

    Her son Dickon died last year which left her 'beyond distraught'. Her close friend, actress Patricia Shakesby, said Kate had gone to stay with a friend in Sussex last year because she couldn’t face being in the house at the time of the anniversary of her son’s death. His father was the actor Ian Cullen.

    She is survived by her sister, the actress Belinda Carroll.

    Her agent added that there would be a private funeral and a memorial service on a date to be confirmed.

    I think for many fans over 40 her death has come as a shock for she was one of those stars who has always been 'there' since we were kids. For me it wasn't Dynasty but earlier than that, the cult series Triangle (early 1980s) which I remember seeing as a kid and being hooked by. If I remeber correctly, it went out on the BBC around 7pm in the week and I just remember seeing her for the first time and wondering how someone so magnificiently exotic looking could exist! The whole programme seemed exotic and yet it was set on a 1980s ferry but at the time places like Gothenburg and Amsterdam seemed so far away the show worked as escapism.

    I loved it. What made it authentic was what Kate herself hated about it: it's cheapness. She recalled: '...instead of a studio we were filming on a working ferry that plied seemingly endlessly between Felixstowe, Amsterdam and Gothenburg, the “triangle” of the title.’

    It has emerged she died from cancer in a Sussex nursing home.

    Her private funeral took place in Worthing, West Sussex with 35 or so close family and friends in attendance.

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    "Life can be so uncertain, but on stage I always know how a drama or crisis is going to end."
    - Kate O'Mara

    Kate O'Mara (born Kate Carroll) was born on 10 August 1939, in Leicester, UK. Her mother was the actress Hazel Bainbridge and father John Carroll, a flying instructor for the RAF.

    Educated at the Aida Foster School, she began an early career as a speech therapist at a Sussex Girls' School, but her attraction to acting got the best of her and she switched gears, making her debut in a stage production of The Merchant of Venice in 1963 at the age of 24.

    She continued to appear in classical works throughout the next two seasons until TV series spots started coming her way. Kate attracted gothic notice in Hammer Studio horrifics as tawdry, darkly alluring femmes in both The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) and The Vampire Lovers (1970), but her film load over the years would remain sporadic.

    She has remained focused on stage endeavours in the ensuing years and has appeared in many British TV series as well as various femme fatales or shady ladies. She made little leeway in America but did appear as Joan Collins equally bitchy sister for one season of Dynasty in 1986. She was also delightfully vindictive in episodes of Doctor Who and Absolutely Fabulous in England. She relished a standout role in the long-running British soap opera Crossroads.

    In the 80s she founded and toured in a theatre company which has continued running into the millennium. It is called The British Actor's Theatre Company. She has since published two books: When She Was Bad in 1991 and Good Time Girl in 1993.

    Her personal life has often hit the headlines in the UK. In the 1990s it was revealed that she gave birth to an out-of-wedlock child in the 1960s, eventually named Chris Linde, whom she was forced to give up for adoption, and who later sought her out when he sold his story to the newspapers.

    The British press has also had a field day with the fact that she has usually been romantically involved with men much younger than her. Her third husband, actor Richard Willis, was 18 years her junior. A more recent partner, actor Mark Noble, was 20 years younger.

    Her height is 5ft 4.

    She has been married and divorced three times, her son Dickon (born 1963) came from her first marriage to an actor she has repeatedly refused to name. Dickon is a set designer for The British Actor's Theatre Company.

    Recommended Reading: Kate O'Mara - Vamp Until Ready: A Life Laid Bare (direct link to book @ amazon.co.uk)

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