Diane Keen

Diane Keen (born 29 July 1946) is an English actress, known for her portrayal of Julia Parsons on the BBC soap opera Doctors. She also appeared in Nescafé advertisements from 1980 to 1989.[1]

Diane Keen
Born (1946-07-29) 29 July 1946
London, England
Years active1967–present
Paul Greenwood
(m. 1969; div. 1979)

Neil Zeiger
(m. 1981; div. 1993)

Personal life

Born in London,[2] Keen grew up in East Africa, principally Tanganyika and later Kenya, where her father was a civil engineer.[3] She attended boarding school and returned to Britain at the age of 19,[3] where she became a secretary for The Ivy League's fan club; this led to her releasing a 45 r.p.m. single of "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" (credited as Dee King) on the Piccadilly label in 1966.[4] She has one daughter, Melissa, by her marriage to Paul Greenwood, which ended in divorce in 1979. Her granddaughter, Siena Pugsley, played the role of her on-screen granddaughter in Doctors.[5]


Keen was a regular on television during the 1970s and early 1980s, starring in long-running sitcoms such as The Cuckoo Waltz, Rings on Their Fingers, Shillingbury Tales and You Must Be the Husband, and in two runs of the Thames Television children's historical costume drama The Feathered Serpent. She also guest-starred in many shows, including The Morecambe and Wise Show, and featured as Laura Dickens in the critically acclaimed spy drama The Sandbaggers.

She had a part in the 1967 film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush as Claire, Judy Geeson's university student friend, and appeared in the 1977 spin-off film of 1970s TV detective series The Sweeney. Keen starred as Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary ("Sissi") in episode one of the 13-part series Fall of Eagles (1974), and played Hilda in The Professionals series 1 episode Killer With a Long Arm in 1978. In 1980, she appeared as widowed restaurant owner Christina in Series 1 episode The Dessert Song of Minder. She went on to star with David Jason in A Touch of Frost.[6]

Keen starred for ten years in a series of advertisements for Nescafé coffee[1] and made an appearance in an episode of Taggart.[7] In the next decade she became a regular in the Inspector Wexford series, playing the wife of Wexford's D.I.[8] Roles in Brookside and several other TV shows followed, including New Tricks.[9]

Keen has appeared onstage, including in the Alan Ayckbourn play Absent Friends at the Bristol Old Vic, and in two acclaimed tours of Same Time, Next Year.[10] In 2013, she co-starred in a British tour of The Vagina Monologues.[11]

Soap opera roles

Keen was a series regular in the BBC soap opera Doctors, playing practice manager Julia Parsons from 2003 to 2012.[3] She will reprise her role as Julia in March 2020.[12] She also played Sandra Gould in Crossroads from 1968 to 1971, and the receptionist at the Feathers Hotel, Connelton in Emmerdale in 1972.

Selected filmography


See also


  1. Jackson, Kate (20 March 2008). "Gold Blend favourites reunite for the brand's 70th anniversary". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. "", mirror.co.uk, 3 February 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2016
  3. Webber, Richard (2013) "Diane Keen: 'Get a job, my parents said. I was appalled'", Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2016
  4. "Dee King". Discogs. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  5. "Sexy monologues are not just for the girls". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  6. TV.com. "Diane Keen". TV.com. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  7. "There's been a murder: Taggart at 25". The Independent. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. Road, Tabard. "Having the Last Laugh • Archive • Inspector Wexford". inspectorwexford.info. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  9. Limited, London Theatre Direct. "Cassidy Janson & Diane Keen join cast of Olivier, Tony & Grammy Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  10. "Thurrock". Thurrock. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  11. "The Vagina Monologues, Grand Opera House, York, November 15". York Press. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. @BBCDoctors (21 November 2019). "We started filming on our 20th anniversary episode today, and we're so excited to welcome Diane Keen (@thisisdianekeen) aka Julia Parsons back to Doctors!" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  13. Staff, Hollywood.com (2 February 2015). "Diane Keen | Biography and Filmography | 1946". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
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