Katy Manning at The Television & Movie Store, Norwich, England, on 17 January 2009.
|Born||Catherine Ann Manning
14 October 1946
Guildford, Surrey, England
|Known for||Jo Grant in Doctor Who|
|Partner(s)||Dean Harris (1976-1981)
Barry Crocker (1990-2010)
Catherine Ann "Katy" Manning (born 14 October 1946, Guildford, Surrey, England) is an English actress best known for her part as the companion Jo Grant in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. She has also made many theatre appearances, and is now an Australian citizen. In 2009 Manning moved back to the UK to pursue new acting work and currently lives in London.
Manning's father was sports columnist J. L. Manning OBE. As the result of a car accident she spent a year in hospital at sixteen. At eighteen she went to America where she was offered a five-year contract with MGM. Returning to Great Britain, Manning trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company and made her debut in Man At The Top (1970).
She played the part of Jo Grant (1971–73) alongside Jon Pertwee's incarnation of the Doctor. Manning struck up an immediate rapport with her co-stars, Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates) and Roger Delgado (the Master). Fans of Doctor Who often refer to these characters as the UNIT family — UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, being the fictional United Nations organisation that the Doctor worked for.
Manning's connection with Doctor Who continues: she voices Jo Grant in the Companion Chronicles Audio Adventures, and she is also the voice of the Time Lord Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions audio plays. In 2005, Manning also appeared in Doctor Who — Inside The TARDIS with two of the Doctors, Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker, who spoke of their experiences with the long-running show.
In October 2010, Manning reprised her role as Jo Jones (née Grant) in the fourth series of the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The two-part story, entitled 'Death of the Doctor', was written by former executive producer of the programme Russell T Davies. She meets the Doctor again, and stars with her grandchild (one of twelve, soon to be thirteen) Santiago Jones. In November 2013 she appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
With the deaths of Elisabeth Sladen in April 2011 and Caroline John in June 2012, Manning is the last surviving actress to have played a female companion of the Third Doctor. Other surviving companions during the Pertwee era are John Levene and Richard Franklin.
Katy Manning wrote the TV series Private Wives and has been involved in other writing and directing projects. In 1980, she toured in Peter Terson's 'VE Night' alongside Ian Cullen and Jane Goddard. In Australia she appeared in the play Run for Your Wife (1987–88), and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast in the production were Jack Smethurst, David McCallum and Eric Sykes. She has also appeared in the low-budget film noir When Darkness Falls (2005) directed by Australian documentary filmmaker Rohan Spong.
In June and July 2007, she appeared as Yvette in the stage show 'Allo 'Allo! alongside Gorden Kaye as Rene Artois at Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane. Guy Siner and Sue Hodge also reprised their original roles from the television series, and the other characters were portrayed by famous Australian television actors including Steven Tandy and Jason Gann.
In 2011, she appeared as Blodwyn Morgan, a Welsh busybody and clairvoyant, in the touring stage play 'Death by Fatal Murder'. This was a Peter Gordon play, and part of the 'Inspector Pratt' trilogy.
Me and Jezebel at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe
In 2009 Katy returned to the UK as part of her one-woman show Me and Jezebel. The play is based on a true 1985 story about Bette Davis inviting herself to a fan's house for a night and staying for a month, with Manning playing all the parts. It toured through March and April in England and also played at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe at the Gilded Balloon Wine Bar in August. The show received a five-star review in the Edinburgh Evening News, which described Manning as "one of Britain's best actresses". Manning also received two other four-star reviews and appeared on STV news promoting the show.
Manning was born with myopia, commonly known as nearsighted or shortsighted, which caused numerous injuries during the filming of Doctor Who. She has stated, "Once I tried to take the wrong children home from school!"
Manning has twins (a son Jonathan and a daughter Georgina) born in 1979, with partner Dean Harris. The children were born premature and suffered health issues, which caused her to move to Australia where she met her long term partner, Barry Crocker.
"We've been together 26 years although we don't live together now. When you get older, you get to a point in your relationship that way outweighs all that needy s**t. I'm not a needy woman. I don't rely on other people for anything much. Relationships that last are ones where you accept the changes in each other, and can laugh. Life doesn't get easier but it does get funnier," she said.
|1970||Softly, Softly: Taskforce||Peggy|
|1971||Man at the Top||Julia Dungarvon|
|1971-1973||Doctor Who||Jo Grant|
|1978||"Whodunnit?"||TBD (Episode: A Safe Way To Die)|
|2002||All Saints||Greta Franck|
|2010||The Sarah Jane Adventures||Jo Jones (Jo Grant)|
|2013||The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot||Herself|
|1973||Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!||Damina|
|1984||Melvin, Son of Alvin||Estelle|
|1986||The Quest||Mrs. Cannon|
|2006||When Darkness Falls||Miss Harrington|
|2011||Oakie's Outback Adventures||Oakie|
- "Barry Crocker and Priscilla Presley get cosy in LA". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
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- Pratt, Steve (5 November 2011). "Katy's still going bonkers". The Northern Echo. p. 25.
- Staff (7 August 2009). "Who did Katy Manning do next? - Bette Davis". The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland: Johnston Press). ISSN 0307-5850. OCLC 614655655. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- Murphy, George; Gorman, Gareth (2011). "Katy Manning". CulTV. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
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