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Jacqueline Hill

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Jacqueline Hill (17 December 1929-18 February 1993) played Barbara Wright in Doctor Who from An Unearthly Child (including The Pilot Episode) to The Chase. Hill has the distinction of being the first regular cast member of the series to actually appear on screen. She continued to play the role for nearly two years, leaving the show in 1965, but returning for an appearance in the 1980 Doctor Who story Meglos as the priestess Lexa.

Hill trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her stage debut in London's West End in The Shrike. Many roles followed, including, on television, Shop Window, Fabian of the Yard and An Enemy of the People. It was around this time that she married top director Alvin Rakoff, who cast her opposite Sean Connery in one of ABC TV's Armchair Theatre plays. She was asked to play Barbara Wright in Doctor Who after she and producer Verity Lambert, whom she knew socially, discussed the role at a party. (A popular myth which appears in some histories of the series and biographies of Ms. Hill is that she was "discovered" for the role based on work as a model in Paris, a career she never had.) Soon after leaving the series in 1965 she gave up acting to raise a family. She resumed her career in 1979 and gained further TV credits in, amongst other programmes, Tales of the Unexpected and as Lady Capulet in the BBC Television Shakespeare version of Romeo and Juliet in 1978.

Jacqueline Hill died from cancer in 1993.

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