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Caroline Blakiston

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Caroline Blakiston
Caroline Georgiana Blakiston

(1933-02-13) 13 February 1933 (age 91)
Years active1961–present
(m. 1970, divorced)

Caroline Georgiana Blakiston[1] (born 13 February 1933) is an English actress. She is best known for her role in the British television comedy series Brass and to international audiences as Mon Mothma in the Star Wars film Return of the Jedi, and Aunt Agatha in Poldark.

Early life[edit]

Blakiston was born in London, the archivist and author Hugh Noel Blakiston (1905–1984), and (Rachel) Georgiana (1903–1995), daughter of barrister Harold John Hastings Russell (a descendant of the 6th Duke of Bedford) and Lady Victoria Alberta Leveson-Gower, whose father was the statesman Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville. The Blakiston family originated in County Durham, and were related to the Blakiston baronets.[2][3]

Blakiston attended RADA, graduating in 1957.[4]


In the 1960s, Blakiston appeared in three episodes of The Avengers as well a number of ITC productions such as The Saint, Department S and the 1969 Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode "Never Trust a Ghost". She appeared to great acclaim as Marjorie Ferrar in the BBC Television adaptation of Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga in 1967. In 1977 she appeared in Raffles as Lady Paulton, and also in Murder Most English as Helen Carobleat. In 1980–1981, she starred in the BBC/Australian TV World War II comedy series Private Schulz as The Countess.

In 1983, Blakiston played the wayward character of Lady Patience Hardacre in the satirical Granada television series Brass, which ran for three series. She portrayed Mon Mothma, the primary political leader of the Rebel Alliance in the 1983 Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi. The 1980s saw Blakiston in a lead role as head of a special unit within British intelligence, opposite Alec McCowen in Mr. Palfrey of Westminster.

In 1986, Blakiston played the villain Bess Sedgwick opposite Joan Hickson's Miss Marple, in the episode "At Bertram's Hotel" of the BBC's Miss Marple series. She also appeared as Lionel Hardcastle's ex-wife in an episode of As Time Goes By. She and Geoffrey Palmer (Lionel) had previously played estranged spouses a decade earlier in Carla Lane's series The Last Song. From 2015 to 2018, Blakiston played Aunt Agatha in the BBC adaptation Poldark.

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, Blakiston married the actor Russell Hunter after they had played together in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. They had a son and a daughter together, but later divorced.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Idol Second Woman at Party
The Trygon Factor White Nun
1969 The Magic Christian Honourable Esther Grand
1971 Sunday Bloody Sunday Rowing Wife
1978 Saturday Sunday Monday Elena TV film
Les Misérables Madame Thenardier TV film
1979 Yanks Golfing Friend
1983 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi Mon Mothma
1987 Miss Marple: At Bertram's Hotel Bess Sedgwick TV film
The Fourth Protocol Angela Berenson
1998 The Children of the New Forest Aunt Judith TV film
2003 The War of the Starfighters Operative Voice role
2006 Coup! Margaret Thatcher TV film
Scoop Mrs. Quincy
2008 The Commander: Abduction Mary Henson TV film
2011 For Elsie Mama Kilov Short
2013 Round and Round the Garden Woman Short
2018 Mary Anning Molly Anning Short
2019 The Leaving Party Joy Short


Year Title Role Notes
1961 The Avengers Elaine Bateman Episode: "Dance with Death"
1962 City Beneath the Sea Dr. Ann Boyd Series regular
1963 No Hiding Place Annette Rosser Episode: "Tell Them Upstairs"
ITV Play of the Week Nurse Episode: "For King and Country #1: Out There"
No Cloak – No Dagger Pat Penmore Series regular
Emergency Ward 10 Susan Chambers 3 episodes
1964-1965 Lena Hyde Series regular
1965 Story Parade W.P.C. Anne Cunningham Episode: "The Make-Believe Man"
Love Story Brenda Episode: "After Hours"
The Avengers Miss Thirlwell Episode: "The Gravediggers"
Public Eye Eva Garston Episode: "Nobody Kills Santa Claus"
1966 The Saint Eleanor Bastion Episode: "The Convenient Monster"
Out of the Unknown Dr. Odile Keppler Episode: "Second Childhood"
The Baron Felicia Talbot Episode: "So Dark the Night"
1967 The Forsyte Saga Marjorie Ferrar Recurring role
Love Story Zoe Episode: "The Swordfighter"
The Avengers Cynthia Wentworth-Howe Episode: "The Positive Negative Man"
Meeting Point Mandy Pride Episode: "The House by the Stable"
1968 The Wednesday Play Matilda Boff Episode: "Coincidence"
Public Eye George Episode: "Mercury in an Off-White Mac"
Armchair Theatre Jessa Episode: "Unscheduled Stop"
The Queen Street Gang Auntie Cuthbert 4 episodes
The Champions Marion Grant Episode: "The Experiment"
The Caesars Agrippina Mini-series
1969 The Power Game Margot Fellowship Episode: "The Goose Chase"
Fraud Squad Kay Pilgrim Episode: "Run for Your Money"
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Karen Howarth Episode: "Never Trust a Ghost"
Department S Kate Mortimer Episode: "The Shift That Never Was"
Strange Report Louise Episode: "Report 2493: Kidnap – Whose Pretty Girl Are You?"
1970 Paul Temple Judy Saire Episode: "Right Villain"
Play for Today Esther Episode: "The Lie"
1971 Man at the Top Maureen Binsey Episode: "Too Good for This World"
Shadows of Fear Maureen Episode: "Return of Favours"
Wives and Daughters Lady Harriet Mini-series
1972 His and Hers Felicity Farrell Episode: "Diet"
Villains Rene Episode: "Chas"
1973 Then and Now Erica Episode: "In Memoriam"
1976 Murder Elizabeth Episode: "A Variety of Passion"
Well Anyway Cornelia de Vance Episode: "There Again"
1977 Raffles Lady Paulton Episode: "An Old Flame"
The Sunday Drama Deborah Episode: "The Late Wife"
Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle Mrs. Helen Carobleat 2 episodes
The Children of the New Forest Judith Villiers 1 episode
1977-1982 Crown Court Kathleen Fenton QC Series regular
1978 Wilde Alliance Elena Episode: "Well Enough Alone"
The Lively Arts Narrator Episode: "A Haunted Man"
ITV Sunday Night Drama Emily Episode: "The Last Romantic"
The Many Wives of Patrick Princess Poliakoff Episode: "One of the Smart Set in a Smart Setting"
The Sweeney Hildegarde Episode: "Hearts and Minds"
1979 Kids Fay Wilkins Episode: "Diana"
Prince Regent Lady Frances Jersey Mini-series
The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game Sylvia Guiccoli Episode: "Gambling Lady"
1979-1980 The Mallens Anna Brigmore Series regular
1980 Shoestring Monica Episode: "Looking for Mr Wright"
1981 Nanny Adela Quinn 2 episodes
Private Schulz Countess 1 episode
1981-1983 The Last Song Alice Bannister Series regular
1982 Play for Today Josie Episode: "Life After Death"
1983 All for Love Narrator Episode: "Miss A and Miss M"
1983-1990 Brass Lady Patience Hardacre Series regular
1984-1985 Mr. Palfrey of Westminster Co-Ordinator Series regular
1985 Charters and Caldicott Margaret Mottram Series regular
1987 The Refuge Helen Crichton-Crick
1987 Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Bess Sedgwick

Episode: "At Bertram's Hotel"

1989 Till We Meet Again Madame Courdet Mini-series
1990 Chancer Mary Douglas 3 episodes
1991 Shrinks Lady Dyer 1 episode
Lovejoy Miss Hemmingway Episode: "Sugar & Spice"
Murder Most Horrid Dr. Rachel Vine Episode: "A Determined Woman"
1992-1993 Mulberry Adele Farnaby 2 episodes
Rides Scarlett Series regular
1993 Harry Natasha Lee 1 episode
1994 The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Dowager Duchess Episode: "The Three Gables"
1996 As Time Goes By Margaret Episode: "Lionel's Ex-Wife"
1998 The Grand Isobel Crawford 1 episode
1999 Sunburn Mrs. Armitage 1 episode
2005 Heartbeat Hildy Dressler Episode: "Picture This"
Midsomer Murders Angela Hartley Episode: "Bantling Boy"
2006 The Line of Beauty Lady Partridge Mini-series
2008 Small Dark Places Lady Welling TV short
2009 Midsomer Murders Hilary Compton Episode: "Small Mercies"
2011 Doctors Geraldine Crofte Episode: "The Good Daughter"
2012 Holby City Kathleen Pennington Episode: "Through the Darkness"
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Julia Carstairs Episode: "Elephants Can Remember"
2014 Father Brown Lady Lavinia Pryde Episode: "The Pride of the Prydes"
2015 Casualty Frances Barrett Episode: "The Long Haul"
2015-2018 Poldark Aunt Agatha Series regular
2016 Midsomer Murders Sylvia Lennard Episode: "The Village That Rose from the Dead"


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage 107th edition, vol. 1, ed. Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 2003, p. 320
  2. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage 107th edition, vol. 1, ed. Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 2003, p. 320
  3. ^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60978. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ "Student & graduate profiles: Caroline Blakiston". Rada.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  5. ^ "Russell Hunter : Obituaries". The Independent. 28 February 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

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