Barbara Shelley

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

Barbara Shelley
Barbara T. Kowin[1]

(1932-02-13) 13 February 1932
Marylebone, London, England
Other names"The First Leading Lady of British Horror"
Years active1953–1992

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. She also appeared in Village of the Damned (1960). Although she is known as a scream queen, her most famous scream (in the aforementioned Dracula film) was dubbed by co-star Suzan Farmer.[2]

Her television appearances include the very first Danger Man episode, 'View From A Villa' (1960), plus a subsequent episode that season, 'The Traitor' (also 1960); The Saint (TV series) (1962), two episodes of 12 O'Clock High (1965 and 1966); The Avengers episodes 'Dragonsfield' (1961) and 'From Venus With Love' (1967); the TV miniseries Prince Regent (1979); The Borgias (1981); the Blake's 7 episode 'Stardrive' (1981); the Crown Court episode 'Proof Spirits' (1981), and the Doctor Who serial Planet of Fire (1984).[2]

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed Shelley about her career at Hammer Films for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror.[3][4]



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