The actress Jacqueline Pearce, best known for her role as the main villain, Servalan, in the science fiction series Blakes 7, has died at the age of 74.
Born in Woking in the south of England, Jacqueline Pearce trained at the British stage school RADA and at Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio in Los Angeles.
Her TV career began in the 1960's with regular roles in the ITV Play of the Week as well as appearances in shows such as The Avengers and Armchair Theatre
She starred in two Hammer horror films, The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile, filmed simultaneously in 1966. Other film roles include Sky West and Crooked, Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River and How to Get Ahead in Advertising.
Roles in the 1970's included Rosa Dartle in David Copperfield, Claudia Haswell in Couples, and Anna Rupius in Vienna 1900. But it was in 1978 that she was cast in the role for which she would be ever known.
Servalan was the Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation in Blakes 7, the TV drama devised by Dalek creator Terry Nation. The character was only expected to appear in one episode of the saga, but Pearce's electrifying performance ensured the character would survive far longer than the title character, appearing in all four series.
A cold, calculating, ruthless sociopath Servalan's main aim was to destroy the crew of the Liberator and the relish with which Pearce played the character ensured she would remain a fan favourite for the series duration.
Her Doctor Who appearance came in 1985, playing Chessene of the Franzine Grig in the Colin Baker story The Two Doctors. She later appeared in Audio productions for Big Finish.
In 1991 she played Miss Pendragon in the Russell T. Davies series Dark Season.
She also appeared in series such as Casualty, Doctors, Daniel Deronda and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Jacqueline Pearce relocated to South Africa for several years, initially to care for orphaned monkeys. Her autobiography, From Byfleet to the Bush, was published in 2012.
Alliance Agents who worked with the actress paid tribute.
Everyone at Alliance Agents are devastated to learn of the passing of our wonderful friend and client Jacqueline Pearce. Jacs was a glorious eccentric who enriched our lives during the time we knew her. She did everything "her way" and you never dared to stand in her way. She loved meeting her Blake's 7 fans and we are glad that we managed to give her a few convention appearances when she returned to the UK from Africa. We'll miss you Jacs. xxxJacqueline Pearce died at her home in Lancashire, shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.