Emma Jameson Biography & Facts
Louise Jameson (born 20 April 1951) is an English actress, with a wide variety of television and theatre credits. Her roles on television have included playing Leela in Doctor Who (1977—1978), Dr. Anne Reynolds in The Omega Factor (1979), Blanche Simmons in Tenko (1981–1982), Susan Young in Bergerac (1985–1990) and Rosa di Marco in EastEnders (1998–2000).
According to Screenonline, Jameson "was one of a handful of actresses who both benefited from and contributed to the opening out of roles for women on British television during the 1970s and 80s, when she became associated with a series of tough, resourceful and independent characters in genres where women had conventionally been either victims or vamps."
Early life and career
Jameson was born in Wanstead, Essex and grew up in nearby Woodford Green. Jameson attended the independent Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill. She went on to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and spent two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Summerfolk, and Blithe Spirit. In 1995, she appeared in the RSC production of Botho Strauß's The Park. Other stage appearances include the first production of Peter Nichols's Passion Play produced at the Aldwych Theatre, London, in 1981.
She appeared opposite Mike Raven in the low budget British horror film Disciple of Death (1972). Her early TV career highlights included appearances on Emmerdale Farm in 1973 (as Sharon Crossthwaite) and in Z-Cars, Space: 1999 and the television film The Game in 1977.
Jameson came to widespread attention when she was cast by director Pennant Roberts as Leela, the leather-clad companion of the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who. The character is a warrior of the fictional Sevateem people, and was introduced in The Face of Evil (1977). Jameson's inspirations for the way that she played the character included her dog, for "her instinctive nature and tendency to slightly cock her hear when she perceives something", and a neighbour's child, for "openness and naïveté".Jameson's costuming in the series receives much comment and some criticism from feminists, with Mark Duguid writing for Screenonline that it "said much about the failure of 1970s feminism to permeate the BBC's production or costume departments". Valerie Estelle Frankel, in her book on Women in Doctor Who, characterises Leela as "a classic warrior woman" but says that the seriousness of the character is undermined because "her provocatively cut hunting leathers and cleavage are offered to the male gaze in every episode." Patrick Mulkern of Radio Times also regarded her as "a companion to lure in adolescent lads and their dads" but, while considering her debut serial to be a "lifeless tale", he wrote that Jameson was "a wonderful find. Exuding commitment and conviction, she makes Leela earnest, warm and funny, elevating her far beyond Robert Holmes's desire for a 'Raquel Welch in the jungle'. Quite simply, she's one of the most naturally gifted actresses ever to play a companion." In 2008 Jameson said, "In a way the companion was a bit of a device when I was in Doctor Who, though I did love her feistiness and her intelligence and her aggression and her intelligence – even though she wasn't educated."Jameson was initially paid £120 an episode for Doctor Who, later increasing to £150 an episode. She left the series after nine serials, departing in The Invasion of Time (1978), but has since reprised the role for the Big Finish audio series, starting with Zagreus (2003). She has also appeared in the spin-off audio series Gallifrey, in which she is one of the main protagonists, and Jago and Litefoot.
Jameson went on to appear in The Omega Factor (1979) as Dr. Anne Reynolds. She later had a leading role as Blanche Simmons in the first two series of Tenko, before starring for five years in the late 1980s in Bergerac as Susan Young, Jim Bergerac's girlfriend. In the mid-1980s, she played Tania Braithwaite, Pandora's mother, in both The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole for Thames Television. In the early 1990s she starred in the two series of Rides, and made numerous one-off appearances in various TV drama series, as well as numerous Doctor Who spin-off projects including the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time (1993).
In 1998, Jameson began a long run in the BBC soap EastEnders as Rosa di Marco, appearing in over 200 episodes over two and a half years until August 2000. Later, she has appeared in episodes of the BBC Scotland soap River City as Viv Roberts, as a guest artist in episodes of Doctors, Holby City and The Bill, and as a regular in Doc Martin.Jameson continues to reprise the characters of Leela and Anne Reynolds in audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions and has also starred in Sapphire & Steel and Dark Shadows audio dramas for the same company. She has also appeared in documentaries and commentaries accompanying numerous BBC DVD releases of her Doctor Who serials. She is the subject of MJTV's The Actor Speaks Volume 5, where she discusses herself, her acting career and the various series she has been in.
In 2007, Jameson toured nationally in her one-woman show, Face Value.
In 2013, Louise starred in the play Gutted by Rikki Beadle-Blair and was nominated for Best Female Performance at the 2013 Off West End Theatre Awards (Offies). In November 2013 she appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.In 2016, she toured in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, the longest running show in British theatre.
Jameson was married to Martin Bedford, an artist, in 1990 whom she had met while filming Bergerac in Jersey. They divorced in 1997.She is also good friends with her Big Finish Productions co-star Lalla Ward.For many years she has lived in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Jameson was a regular prison visitor, monitoring prisoners' welfare, during the first few years of her career; and, during the early 1970s, she met Leslie Grantham at Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire, where he was serving 12 years of a life sentence for murder. She encouraged Grantham to become an actor. By 1985 he had secured the role of Den Watts in EastEnders.
Jameson also works as a teacher of drama, directing youth productions of Shakespeare for local festivals.
Official site: Louise Jameson
TLC Productions: Louise Jameson's Production Company
Louise Jameson at the British Film Institute
Louise Jameson at IMDb
Interview with Louise Jameson
. Discover the Emma Jameson popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Emma Jameson books.