Tributes are pouring in from fans of Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 following the tragic death of British actress Jacqueline Pearce at the age of 75, after she lost her battle with lung cancer.
Best known for playing the evil villain Supreme Commander Servalan in Blake’s 7, Pearce also appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Two Doctors as Chessene, as well as a string of popular movies including The Plague of the Zombies, The Reptile, How to Get Ahead in Advertising and Princess Caraboo, just to name a few.
She passed away at her home in Lancashire, according to her close friend John Ainsworth.
Ainsworth, who had been friends with the star for 25 years, explained that Pearce had been diagnosed a few weeks ago with lung cancer but chose to be cared for at home, according to Sky News in the UK.
He described her as “outrageous”, “honest” and “straightforward” and explained that she enjoyed nothing more than a glass of champagne. He also remembered her always wanting others to have a good time with her and noted that she was thought of very fondly by people who had worked with her in the past.
Fans first got a taste of Pearce’s incredible acting talent when she appeared on Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 series. She was only ever meant to appear in just one episode but because her character was so popular, she ended up appearing in all four series between 1978 and 1981.
Four years later, she appeared in Doctor Who, alongside actor Colin Baker. Like many, he paid his respects to his fallen co-star on Twitter.
“Such sad sad news. Lovely Jacqeline Pearce has left us,” he wrote. “Sublime actress and lady. Class. Will be much missed.”
Such sad sad news. Lovely Jacqeline Pearce has left us. Sublime actress and lady. Class. Will be much missed.
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) September 3, 2018
Meanwhile, screenwriter and TV producer Russell T Davies, who worked with Pearce on several TV projects, paid tribute on Instagram.
Alongside a picture of the star he wrote: “What a woman. I worked with her on Dark Season, 1991. She walked into her first rehearsal – a room full of kids and a 15 year old Kate Winslet – and announced, ‘Sorry I’m late, I was up all night f****** a Russian priest.’ Glorious. Night, darling xxx”
Before she was a big-time actress, Pearce studied alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. She also spent part of her life in South Africa caring for orphaned monkeys.