DEBORAH WATLING (DR WHO)
Deborah was born on 2nd January, 1948, in Loughton, Essex. She grew up in an acting family, with dad, Jack and mother Patricia (Hicks) both established actors. Her brother Giles, and sisters Dilys and Nicola, also went into the business.
At the age of nine Deborah got the part of Sally, niece to The Invisible Man. Also around the same time, Deborah filmed an episode of William Tell (“The Spider”), which became her first televised appearance– preceding The Invisible Man by about two weeks.
Deborah’s big break came in 1965, when she landed the lead role in Play For Today: “The Life Of Lewis Carroll”, playing Alice– it also saw her on the cover of The Radio Times.
Many other roles followed, including Calf Love with Warren Mitchell, The Power Game and This Man Craig— both of which starred her father, Jack Watling– Out Of The Unknown with Mark Eden, Mister Misfit, and No Hiding Place, as well as further theatre work in Monique.
In 1967 Deborah got her next big, iconic role, when she landed the part of Victoria Waterfield in Doctor Who. She got the role, apparently, after Innes LLoyd saw her on the cover of the Radio Times. Once again, Deborah appeared opposite her father in two of the stories: “The Abominable Snowman” and “The Web Of Fear,” both featuring the Yeti.
Heading into the 1970s, Deborah appeared in The Newcomers, followed by many theatre roles, including A Bequest To The Nation, Not In Front Of The Parents, The Wizard Of Oz, Lloyd George Knew My Father and There’s A Girl In My Soup.
Two episodes of Doctor In Charge in 1972 were followed the next year by two movies, playing opposite David Essex and Cliff Richards in That’ll Be The Day and Take Me High.
In 1978 appearances in Rising Damp and Lillie were followed by one of Deborah’s most memorable TV characters, Naughty Norma. 1979 saw Danger UXB come to our screens, and gave Deborah a part she could really get her teeth into! Her theatre work continued throughout the 1980s.
Deborah returned to the character of Victoria Waterfield in the 1990s when in 1993 she appeared in the Children in Need Doctor Who episode “Dimensions In Time,” and, two years later, in the independent production, Downtime— again featuring Jack Watling, and bringing back the Yeti.
In 2000, she made an independent film called Possessions, and toured in Out Of Order. Frinton Summer Seasons, run by her family, followed including Heat Stroke, Come Bang Your Tambourine and Murder By The Book, and later Ghosts.
2017 see Deborah celebrating 50 years of playing Victoria Waterfield in Doctor Who (27th May 1967).
More info: www.deborahwatling.net