Josette Simon

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Josette Simon

Josette Patricia Simon

(1960-11-15) 15 November 1960 (age 60)
Years active1980–present
(m. 1996; div. 2004)

Josette Patricia Simon OBE (born 15 November 1960) is a British actress from Leicester of Antiguan descent. She trained for the stage at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.[1]


After leaving Central School of Speech and Drama she was chosen to play the part of Dayna Mellanby in the third and fourth series of the television sci-fi series Blake's 7.[2] Her more recent television work includes roles in Lewis, Casualty, Skins, Midsomer Murders, The Last Detective, Death in Paradise and the Poirot episode "The Mystery of the Blue Train". Simon's film appearances include Cry Freedom[2] and Milk and Honey, for which she was nominated for a Best Actress award. In 1992 she starred alongside Brenda Fricker in the TV film Seekers, produced by Sarah Lawson.

Simon is also a notable stage actress who has performed frequently with the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company,[2] being cast as one of the three "weird sisters" in Macbeth alongside Kathy Behean, Lesley Sharp and Bob Peck who played the lead. Simon was cast as Cleopatra in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2017 production of Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Iqbal Khan.[3][4]

As a black actress, she has been at the forefront of 'colour-blind casting', frequently taking roles traditionally considered white.[5][6] One example is Maggie in Arthur Miller's After the Fall, which has been said to have been based on Marilyn Monroe, former wife of Miller, a performance that won Simon the Evening Standard's Best Actress award in 1990,[7] as well as several Best Actress nominations.

She was also nominated for a Best Actress award for her performance in Golden Girls at the RSC.

In 2009 she appeared in the inaugural episode of the resurrected TV series Minder.

In 2019 she appears as Cynthia in the sci-fi series Nightflyers and Tim Goodman's maternal grandmother 'Grams' in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.

Awards and honours[edit]

Simon was awarded the OBE for services to drama in 2000,[8] and also received Plays and Players Most Promising Newcomer 1984, Best Actress Plays and Players Award 1985, Toronto Film Festival Best Actress Award 1986, Best Actress Atlantic Film Festival Award 1986, Best Actress Paris Film Festival Award 1987, an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University of Leicester in 1995.[2] best actress evening standard drama award 1991 Laurence Olivier award 1991 Critics Circle award 1991 London Theatre Critics award 1991 Prix Italia Award (radio), Berlin 1988 Pioneers and Achievers Award 2000

Personal life[edit]

Simon married tenor Mark Padmore in 1996. The couple divorced in 2004. They have one child.



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Cry Freedom Dr. Ramphele
1988 Milk and Honey Joanna Bell
2012 Red Lights Corinne
2017 Wonder Woman Mnemosyne
2019 Detective Pikachu Grams
2020 The Witches Zelda (Witch)
2020 Education (Small Axe) Lydia


Year Title Role Notes
1980-1981 Blake's 7 Dayna Mellanby 26 episodes
1981 1..2..3..Go! Herself / Presenter
1984 Play for Today Linda King Episode: "King"
1988 Thompson Various roles 2 episodes
1989 Capital City Beatrice Episode: "Take Over"
1992 Nice Town Frankie Thompson 3 episodes
1997 Kavanagh QC Dr. Hilary Jameson Episode: "Blood Money"
1998 Dalziel and Pascoe Eileen Anstiss Episode: "Bones and Silence"
1998 Silent Witness DCI Jo Hoskins Episode: "Divided Loyalties: Part 1 & 2"
2003 The Last Detective Jemma Duvall Episode: "Lofty"
2005 Hercule Poirot Mirelle Miles Episode: "The Mystery of the Blue Train"
2006 Casualty Sarah Keith Episode: "The Sunny Side of the Street, Part 1 & 2"
2007 Lewis Stephanie Fielding Episode: "Expiation"
2008 Skins Jal's mother Episode: "Jal"
2009 Casualty Frances Liveley 6 episodes
2010 Casualty Frances Liveley Episode: "Loves Me, Loves Me Not"
2011 Silent Witness Mrs Ferris Episode: "First Casualty: Part 1 & 2"
2012 New Tricks Vera Episode: "Queen and Country"
2012 Merlin The Euchdag Episode: "Arthur's Bane: Part One & Two"
2014 Death in Paradise Judge Anne Stone Episode: "An Artistic Murder"
2014 Suspects Dr. Melanie Standish 1 episode
2017 Broadchurch Chief Superintendent Clark 3 episodes
2018 The Split Maya
2018 Jägarna (TV series) Ayanda Moganedi 2 episodes
2019 Nightflyers Cynthia 3 episodes
2020 Riviera Cynthia Akuffo 2 episodes
2020 The Witcher Eithne
2020 Shakespeare and Hathaway Henrietta Bolingbroke "How The Rogue Roar’d” S3:E1


  1. ^ CSSD Alumni Archived 16 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d "The Royal Shakespeare Company actress and star of TV's Blake's 7 looks back on her career and her childhood in Leicester". Leicester Mercury. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ Antony and Cleopatra cast and creatives Archived 12 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Royal Shakespeare Company.
  4. ^ David Jays, "Josette Simon: 'Powerful women are reduced to being dishonourable'" Archived 13 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 21 March 2017.
  5. ^ Louise Jury (24 February 2006). "Colour-blind casting finds new stars for Billy Elliott". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  6. ^ Hugh Quarshie (25 February 2002). "'Black kings are old hat'". The Guardian. London, UK. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Theatre Awards, 1990". Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Birthday Honours 2000". BBC News. 16 June 2000. Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010.

External links[edit]