Barbara Ewing

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Barbara Ewing (born 1944) is a UK-based actress, playwright and novelist. Born in New Zealand, she graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in English and Maori before moving to Britain in 1965 to train as an actress at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in London.

She made her film debut in the horror film Torture Garden (1967) for Amicus Productions, followed by Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) with Christopher Lee for Hammer Films. Both movies were directed by Freddie Francis. Her other films included The Reckoning (1969), Eye of the Needle (1981), Haunters of the Deep (1984) and When the Whales Came (1989).

The television role for which she is best known is that of Bradley Hardacre's mistress Agnes Fairchild in the Granada Television comedy series Brass, alongside Timothy West (1982–84). In 1986, she played Treen Dudgeon in the short-lived BBC series Comrade Dad, alongside George Cole and Doris Hare. In 1978 she had appeared in an episode of Euston Films' The Sweeney (S4-E7 'Bait').

Her 1989 one-woman show, Alexandra Kollontai, about the only woman in Lenin's cabinet in 1917 was a great hit in London, and at the Edinburgh and Sydney Festivals.

More recent TV appearances have included episodes of Casualty, Doctors and Holby City on the BBC, and The Bill and Peak Practice on ITV, as well as appearances in various adaptations of Ruth Rendell mysteries.


Ewing has written eight novels to date:

  • Strangers (1978)
  • The Actresses (1997)
  • A Dangerous Vine (1999)
  • The Trespass (2002)
  • Rosetta (2005)
  • The Mesmerist (2007)
  • The Fraud (2009)
  • The Circus of Ghosts (2011)
  • The Petticoat Men (2014)

On 17 February 2015, it was announced that Ewing's The Petticoat Men had made the longlist for the prestigious Ngaio Marsh Award, a crime fiction award in her home country of New Zealand.[1]


  1. ^ "Longlist for the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel: And Then There Were Nine". Booksellers New Zealand. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2016.

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