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Jean Marsh

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RealWorld
Jean Marsh OBE
Jean Marsh
In the DWU
Main roles: Sara Kingdom, Princess Joanna, Morgaine
Main jobs: Actor
Stories: see credits section
Main time period active: 1965-1966, 1989, 2008-2014, 2016
Career highlights
Notable non-DWU work: Upstairs, Downstairs, The Saint, Return to Oz, Willow, Upstairs Downstairs
IMDb profile


Jean Marsh OBE (born in Stoke Newington, London) played Sara Kingdom in the Doctor Who story The Daleks' Master Plan. Prior to that story, she had appeared as Joanna, Richard the Lionheart's sister, in The Crusade. She later played Morgaine in Battlefield. She also voiced Maria Applewhite in The Wishing Beast.

Outside her appearances on Doctor Who, she is best known for creating the television series Upstairs, Downstairs (with Dame Eileen Atkins) and for portraying maid Rose Buck in that series. Atkins and she also co-created the 1991 television series The House of Eliott.

Marsh has made many film appearances, including the fantasy films Return to Oz (1985) and Willow (1988), in which she plays similar characters of an evil Princess and an evil Queen. Around the same time as her appearance as Morgaine in "Battlefield," she also played Morgana in an American television adaptation of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, starring The Cosby Show's Keshia Knight Pullam. She also played Roz in the original version of the 9 to 5 television series, based on the 1980 comedy film, and had a small but significant role in the Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy.

Marsh made many appearances on British and American television programs in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Twilight Zone (she played an android in the iconic anthology's first season in 1959), The Third Man (opposite future Saint and James Bond star Roger Moore), and UFO. She was once married to Jon Pertwee, the actor who played the Third Doctor on Doctor Who.

One favourite anecdote of her time playing Sara Kingdom is of how she used the space pack which was part of her costume to store her sandwiches, as related in a Doctor Who anniversary publication produced by Radio Times in 1983.

Most recently, Marsh has returned to the role of Sara Kingdom for a trilogy of Big Finish Productions' Companion Chronicles, including Home Truths, The Drowned World, and The Guardian of the Solar System. In the 2010s she was also involved in a revival/remake of Upstairs, Downstairs which at one point included Alex Kingston in the cast, though Marsh's involvement was curtailed after she suffered a minor stroke. Marsh has since recovered from the stroke and continues to act, including in Big Finish productions. She has a cameo appearance as an unidentified BBC staffer in the 2013 docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time.

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