An English actor of pixieish charm, she came to national prominence as Barbara in The Good Life (1975-1977). She consistently features among the most admired of figures by male viewers, and for all I know female ones as well. ("Rear of the Year" is all very well, but she's also cute, winsome, and witty in most things.)

She has starred of several plays by Sir Tom Stoppard, such as Indian Ink (The Native State), set in 1930s India, and Hapgood, where she plays the spy chief in a tale structured by quantum physics. Their much-rumoured romantic attachment became marriage between 1992 and 1998, when she returned to her former husband Michael Rudman, with whom she has a son Jacob.

Born in Olton, near Birmingham, on 25 September 1946, she travelled India in her early years with her father's acting troupe, appearing as page boys and other suitable Shakespearian roles. This later became the material of a 1965 film Shakespeare Wallah, the first she appeared in. She returned to England in that year.

Other TV series include Carla Lane's Solo (1980-1982), The Mistress (1985-1986), Camomile Lawn, and Honey for Tea (1994). and were helpful

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