|Born||Grace Jacqueline Hill
17 December 1929
|Died||18 February 1993
Cause of death
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Years active||1950s–66; 1978–86|
|Television||Doctor Who (1963–65; 1980)|
|Spouse(s)||Alvin Rakoff (m. 1958–93) (her death)|
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 returned to Doctor Who in 1980 for an appearance in the serial Meglos, as the Tigellan priestess Lexa.
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 the TV series Shop Window, 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, who had been cast by Rakoff at Hill's recommendation, as she believed that he would be popular with female viewers.
Hill was asked to play Barbara Wright in Doctor Who following discussions with producer Verity Lambert about the role. She had first met Lambert when they had both been working at the ABC television company. Hill preferred the historical stories and her favourite serials were The Aztecs and The Crusade. Shortly after leaving the series in 1965, she gave up acting to raise a family. She resumed 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, Hill 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. This was the only instance of a former regular returning to the program in another role during the original series' run. (Tom Baker returned as "The Curator" in the 50th anniversary episode in 2013.)
Hill died of breast cancer in 1993.
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.
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