Barbara Shelley

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Barbara Shelley
Born Barbara T. Kowin[1]
(1932-02-13) 13 February 1932 (age 85)
Marylebone, London, England
Other names Barbara Kowin also known as "The First Leading Lady of British Horror"
Occupation Actress
Years active 1953–1992

Barbara Shelley (born Barbara T. Kowin; 13 February 1932) is an English film and television actress.

Now retired, she was at her busiest in the late 1950s (Blood of the Vampire) and 1960s when she became Hammer Horror's No. 1 female star, with The Gorgon (1964), Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966), Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966), and Quatermass and the Pit (1967) among her credits. Although she is known as a scream queen, her most famous scream (in the aforementioned Dracula film) was dubbed by co-star Suzan Farmer.

She also appeared in Village of the Damned (1960), in the very first Danger Man episode 'View From A Villa' (1960), in 12'O Clock High, season 1 episode 16 "In Search of My Enemy (1964),in The Avengers episode 'From Venus With Love' (1967), in the TV miniseries Prince Regent (1979) and The Borgias (1981), in the Blake's 7 episode 'Stardrive' (1981) and in the Doctor Who serial Planet of Fire (1984).

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed Shelley about her career at Hammer Films for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror.[2][3]



  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Clarke, Donald. "Mark Gatiss’s History of Horror". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss – Home Counties Horror Ep 2/3". BBC. 18 October 2010. 

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