Joanna Van Gyseghem

Joanna Van Gyseghem (born 4 September 1941, Tunbridge Wells) is an English actress, educated at Malvern Girls' College and Trinity College, Dublin. Her father André van Gyseghem was an actor and director, and her mother Jean Forbes-Robertson an actress. Her maternal grandfather was Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson and her great-aunt was American actress Maxine Elliott.

Joanna Van Gyseghem
Joanna Van Gyseghem

(1941-09-04) 4 September 1941
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Ralph Bates (1964 – 1973) (divorced) (1 child)


She appeared in the TV series Fraud Squad as Detective Sergeant Hicks in 1969–70. In 1972, she played Olivia in Twelfth Night; Punch commented on "Joanna Van Gyseghem's Olivia, veering from intimations of imperiousness to anticipations of lechery with great charm and fine technical control".[1]

She is known for her roles as Linda Cochran in the television sitcom Duty Free and as Marigold Featherstone, wife of Guthrie Featherstone, QC, MP, in Rumpole of the Bailey. She also co-starred with Liza Goddard in LWT's hit television comedy Pig in the Middle as Susan Wade, the controlling wife of the principal character Barty Wade.

Van Gyseghem had a guest role in the British sitcom Barbara. She played the role of Yvonne, an ex-girlfriend of Barbara's (Gwen Taylor) husband Ted, who visits from Miami to attend the wedding in the episode "Wedding". Yvonne takes a romantic interest in Ted; Van Gyseghem thus played Taylor's love rival, as she had done in Duty Free.

She appeared in the series The Darling Buds of May as Felicity Harran in 1993, in the TV series Heartbeat as Penelope Ealham in 2000, and more recently played the minor role of Camilla Greenwood in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2008.

Personal life

She married actor Ralph Bates; they divorced in 1973. Her hobbies have included making jewellery.


  1. Henry Mayhew, Mark Lemon, Tom Taylor, eds., Punch vol. 263 (1972), p. 122
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