Jacqueline Hill
Grace Jacqueline Hill

(1929-12-17)17 December 1929
Birmingham, England
Died18 February 1993(1993-02-18) (aged 63)
London, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1953–66; 1978–86
TelevisionDoctor Who (1963–65; 1980)
(m. 1958)

Grace Jacqueline Hill (17 December 1929 – 18 February 1993)[1] was a British actress known for her role as Barbara Wright in the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who.[2] As the history teacher[3] of Susan Foreman, the Doctor's granddaughter, Barbara was the first Doctor Who companion to appear on-screen in 1963, with Hill speaking the series' first words.[4] She played the role for nearly two years, leaving the series in 1965 at the same time as fellow actor William Russell (who played the companion Ian Chesterton).[5][6]

Hill returned to Doctor Who in 1980 for an appearance in the serial Meglos, as the Tigellan priestess Lexa.[7]


Hill was orphaned as a toddler and brought up by her grandparents. She was taken out of school at the age of 14 to enable her younger brother to continue. She then worked at Cadbury's, which had an amateur dramatics society. She was encouraged to apply for, and was awarded, a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and entered RADA at the age of 16.[citation needed]

Hill made her stage debut in London's West End in The Shrike. Many more roles followed, including Fabian of the Yard and An Enemy of the People. In 1958 she married the director Alvin Rakoff, having the previous year appeared in his BBC adaptation of Rod Serling's American TV play Requiem For A Heavyweight.[8] This production featured former bit-part actor Sean Connery; Hill had recommended that Rakoff cast him, because she believed Connery would be popular with female viewers.[8]

She was asked to play Barbara Wright in Doctor Who, following discussions with producer Verity Lambert about the role. She had first met Lambert when they worked at ABC TV.[9]

Hill preferred the historical Doctor Who stories; her favourite serials were The Aztecs and The Crusade. Shortly after leaving the series in 1965 she gave up acting in order to raise a family,[6] resuming her career in 1978. Her later TV credits included Tales of the Unexpected and the 1978 BBC Television Shakespeare version of Romeo and Juliet (as Lady Capulet), which was directed by her husband.

In October 1980, she returned to Doctor Who in a guest role, portraying Priestess Lexa, leader of the religiously fanatical Deons, in the story Meglos. By this time the Doctor was played by Tom Baker.[10]


Jacqueline Hill died of breast cancer in 1993, aged 63.[1]


In 2013, as part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations, the BBC produced a docu-drama relating the story of the creation and early days of the series, titled An Adventure in Space and Time. Hill appeared as a character in the drama, portrayed by actress Jemma Powell.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1953 The Blue Parrot Maureen Maguire
1964 The Comedy Man Sandy Lavery


Year Title Role Notes
1953 The Rose and the Ring Fairy Blackstick TV Mini-series
1955 Three Empty Rooms Louise Shoemaker TV Movie


BBC Sunday-Night Theatre Jeannie

Grace Carney

Season 6, Episode 23: "The Legend of Pepito"

Season 8, Episode 13: "Requiem for a Heavyweight"

1957 Blood Money Grace Carney TV Movie
Joyous Errand Carrie Dean Season 1: (6 episodes)
1958 Armchair Theatre Florence Miller Season 2, Episode 18: "Man in the Corner"
ITV Television Playhouse Unknown Season 3, Episode 39: "Poet's Corner"


ITV Play of the Week Miss Willie

Helen Harrison

Season 3, Episode 48: "The Curious Savage"

Season 9, Episode 7: "The Fixers"

1959 The Flying Doctor Ellen Furguson Season 1, Episode 24: "Brainstorm"
1960 Saturday Playhouse Maggie Cutler Season 1, Episode 49: "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
BBC Sunday-Night Play Jane Season 2, Episode 1: "The Chopping Block"
1961 The Men from Room 13 Miss Angel Season 2: (3 episodes)
1962 The Six Proud Walkers Sally Walker Season 1: (5 episodes)
Out of This World Lil Harmon Season 1, Episode 7: "Medicine Show"
Maigret Yvonne Moncin Season 3, Episode 12: "The Trap"


No Hiding Place Sonya Gardener

Sarah Peterson

Season 4, Episode 11: "The Bank Job"

Season 9, Episode 4: "You Never Can Tell Till You Try"




Doctor Who Barbara Wright


Season 1: (42 episodes)

Season 2: (34 episodes)

Season 18: (4 episodes)

1978 Crown Court Margaret Eden Season 7: (2 episodes)
Romeo & Juliet Lady Capulet TV Movie
1982 Angels Mrs. Muirhead Season 8, Episode 27


Tales of the Unexpected Melanie Litmayer

Mrs. Milvain

Season 6, Episode 10: "The Luncheon"

Season 7, Episode 12: "Accidental Death"

1986 Screenplay Jenny Season 1, Episode 1: "All Together Now"
Paradise Postponed Mrs. Mallard-Greene TV Mini-series


  1. ^ a b Obituary, cuttingsarchive.org; accessed 21 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Jacqueline Hill profile". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who - the top ten female assistants". Telegraph. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ Philip Bates (25 November 2013). "Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews | All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum". Kasterborous.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) - Quotes & Bio". Doctorwho.tv. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Doctor Who - Classic Series - Companions - Barbara Wright". BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  7. ^ "David Bradley as William Hartnell, the first Doctor, Claudia Grant as Carole Ann Ford playing Susan, Jamie Glover as Wiliam Russell playing Ian Chesterton and Jemma Powell as Jacqueline Hill playing Barbara Wright in An Adventure in Space and Time". Radiotimes.com. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b Lloyd, Spencer. "Requiem for Two Heavyweights". RodSerling.com. Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Jacqueline Hill | Doctor Who Interview Archive". Drwhointerviews.wordpress.com. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Meglos". BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  11. ^ Foster, Chuck (8 February 2013). "An Adventure in Space and Time: Jemma Powell to play Jacqueline Hill". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 8 February 2013.