Helen Fraser (actress)
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Fraser in 2011
Helen Margaret Stronach
15 June 1942
|Spouse(s)||Peter Handford (1964–2007) (his death)|
Helen Fraser (born Helen Margaret Stronach; born 15 June 1942) is an English actress, who has appeared in many television series since the early 1960s. For international audiences, she may be best known for her roles in Billy Liar (1963) and Repulsion (1965). She is also well known for portraying the role of miserable warder Sylvia Hollamby in the prison drama series Bad Girls. She appeared in the series from the very first episode in 1999 to the very last in 2006.
She trained at RADA alongside Tom Courtenay and John Thaw, among others. She got her breakthrough role alongside Courtenay in Billy Liar (1963). They later played the parents of character Dave Best in the Christmas special of The Royle Family (2008).
She is best known to television viewers for her long-running role in the ITV women's prison drama Bad Girls as unpleasant prison officer Sylvia Hollamby from the very first episode in 1999 to the very last in 2006. She reprised the role in the West End production of Bad Girls: The Musical in 2007.
She made her TV debut in the early 1960s and her credits include Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, The Likely Lads, Doctor in the House,The Dustbinmen, On the Buses, Rising Damp, Tales of the Unexpected, Duty Free, One Foot in the Grave and Casualty. She also worked on TV with comedians like Dick Emery and the Two Ronnies in the 1970s.
She has also appeared on stage, including with the Royal National Theatre, in the West End and in regional theatres across the country. In 2009 and 2010 she toured the UK as Mrs Fisher in a stage version of Billy Liar. In 2011 she joined the tour of Calendar Girls.
Fraser has appeared in the ITV soap Coronation Street twice – in 1998 as Magenta Savannah and again in 2013 as Doris Babbage.
In 2015 she appeared in an episode of the BBC daytime soap Doctors.
|1962||A Kind of Loving||Ingrid's Friend||Uncredited|
|1966||The Uncle||Mary Ream|
|1968||The Birthday Party||Lulu|
|1972||Something to Hide||Miss Bunyan|
|1970||Start the Revolution Without Me||Mimi|
|1974||From Beyond the Grave||Guest||Segment 1: The Gate Crasher; uncredited|
|1977||Joseph Andrews||Mrs. Adams|
|1988||Gorillas in the Mist||Mme. Van Vecten|
|1962||Silent Evidence||Tina||1 episode: Driven to the Brink|
|Z-Cars||Hilda Stansfield/Vicky Bell||1962–1963; 2 episodes: Contraband, The Bad Lad|
|ITV Play of the Week||Ellen/Millie||1962–1965; 2 episodes: The Door, The Way of All Flesh|
|1963||Friday Night||Betty/Sheila/Mavis/Brenda Holroyd||4 episodes|
|1964||The Villains||Pat||1 episode: Amateurs|
|No Hiding Place||Jill||1 episode: The Hoarders|
|Thursday Theatre||Janey Jenkins||1 episode: The Cure for Love|
|1965||The Valiant Varneys||1 episode: season 2.3|
|Comedy Playhouse||Mousy Bird (Greta Spavin)||1 episode: Here I Come Whoever I Am|
|Pardon the Expression||Hilda Norton||2 episodes: The Trouble with Ada, The Visitor|
|Six of the Best||Vanessa||1 episode: Charlie's Place|
|Dixon of Dock Green||Gwen||1 episode: Castles in the Air|
|Knock on Any Door||Madge||1 episode: A Paragraph of for Mr Blake|
|Theatre 625||Mrs. Hampton||1 episode: Portraits from the North: The Nutter|
|The Likely Lads||Helen||1965–1966; 2 episodes: Talk of the Town, Love and Marriage|
|Blackmail||Brenda/Daphne Appleton||1965–1966; 2 episodes: First Offender, Boys and Girls Commute to Play|
|1966||The Wednesday Play||Linda/Polly||1966–1967; 2 episodes: Way off Beat, The Fat of the Land|
|1967||Love Story||Sue||1 episode: A Diamond is Forever|
|The Gamblers||Joyce||1 episode: Oil and Water|
|1969||Doctor in the House||Rigor Mortis||1 episode: Getting the Bird|
|Dombey and Son||Susan Nipper||TV serial; 9 episodes|
|1970||The Dustbinmen||The Goddess||1 episode: season 2.4|
|1971||Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width||Doreen Lawton||1 episode: Mix Me a Marriage|
|Now Look Here||Tracey||1 episode: Season 1.2|
|On the Buses||Linda||1 episode: Boxing Day Social|
|The Dick Emery Show||Lampwick's Daughter||12 episodes|
|1972||A Day Out||Mrs. Ackroyd||Television film|
|Doctor in Charge||Dr. Mary Parsons/Dr. Mary Bingham||1972–1973; 6 episodes|
|1973||The Upper Crusts||Mrs. Smith||1 episode: Sitting Pretty|
|Hunter's Walk||Janet Kenwright||1 episode: Disturbance|
|Man About the House||Gabrielle||1 episode: Three's a Crowd|
|1974||Sporting Scenes||Helen||1 episode: The Needle Match|
|1975||Cilla's Comedy Six||Gloria||1 episode: Father's Doing Fine|
|...And Mother Makes Five||Miss Finch||1 episode: Legs Eleven|
|Rising Damp||Gwen/Bride||1975–1978; 2 episodes: For the Man Who Has Everything, Pink Carnations|
|1976||Jumbo Spencer||Mrs. Spencer|
|1978||BBC2 Play of the Week||Polly Wright||1 episode: Fairies|
|1980||BBC2 Playhouse||Lou Parker||1 episode: The Black Madonna|
|1981||Partners||Monica||1 episode: Fair Shares|
|The Patricia Neal Story||2nd Neighbour||Television film|
|1982||Tales of the Unexpected||Beryl||1 episode: Blue Marigold|
|Sorry!||Psychotherapist||1 episode: Perchance to Dream|
|Play for Today||Joyce Midgley||1 episode: Intensive Care|
|1983||Dramarama||Joan Osgerby||1 episode: Rig It Up|
|1984||Duty Free||Emily||1 episode: Spanish Lace|
|The Box of Delights||Ellen||4 episodes|
|1986||In Loving Memory||Enid Bracegirdle||1 episode: They Shoot Undertakers, Don't They|
|1987||Screen Two||Mrs. Mortland||1 episode: Northanger Abbey|
|1988||Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun||June Carberry||Television film|
|1990||One Foot in the Grave||Dr. Snellgrove||1 episode: The Big Sleep|
|1995||Under the Moon||Miss Prudhomme||Television film|
|1997||The Uninvited||Charge Nurse||Mini-series|
|1998||Coronation Street||Magenta Savannah||2 episodes: episode 4394, episode 4397|
|1999||Bad Girls||Sylvia Hollamby||1999–2006; 92 episodes, main role|
|2003||Casualty||Joan Jowell||3 episodes: Flash in the Pan, Truth or Dare, In the Frame|
|2008||The Royle Family||Jocelyn Best||1 episode: The New Sofa|
|2012||The Unforgettable||Herself||1 episode: The Unforgettable John Thaw|
|2013||Coronation Street||Doris Babbage||Guest appearance|
|2015||Doctors||Mary Star||1 episode: Pudding|
- "Helen Fraser – Actress". bslbt.co.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "Helen Fraser plays Sylvia Hollamby". badgirls.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 November 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "Big Interview - Helen Fraser". www.lep.co.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- Clarke, Andrew. "Bad Girl Helen Fraser's journey back to the beginning of a dramatic career". Retrieved 15 December 2017.