Nicola Pagett
Nicola Mary Pagett Scott

(1945-06-15)15 June 1945
Died3 March 2021(2021-03-03) (aged 75)
London, England
Years active1964–2000
Graham Swannell
(m. 1975⁠–⁠1997)
(one child)

Nicola Mary Pagett Scott (15 June 1945 – 3 March 2021), known professionally as Nicola Pagett, was a British actress. She is known for her role as Elizabeth Bellamy in the 1970s TV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–73). Her film appearances include Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), "The True Story of Frankenstien"' (1973) 'Operation Daybreak (1975), Privates on Parade (1982) and An Awfully Big Adventure (1995).

Early life

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Nicola Pagett spent most of her childhood out of Britain — in Hong Kong, Cyprus and Japan, the family moving with her father who worked for a major oil company.[1] She was educated at Saint Maur International School, in Yokohama, Japan. In 1962 Pagett entered Britain's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where she studied for two years.[2]


In 1964, Pagett appeared in several productions with Worthing Repertory Company and the Glasgow Citizen's Theatre..[3] Then her performance in the television play The Girl in the Picture caught the attention of Sir Robert Helpmann who cast her to tour with Vivien Leigh in the stage play La Contessa.[4][5]

In 1965, she appeared in the Incorporated Television Company (ITC) production of Gideon's Way, episode 10, "How to Retire without Really Working" in an uncredited role as girl at railway station.[6] Also in 1965, under the name Nicola Paget, she appeared in Gideon's Way series 1 episode 15 called "The Alibi Man".[7]

She also appeared in the British TV series, Danger Man, in an episode called 'The Mirror's New'.[8] She appeared in episode 13 of The Persuaders![9]

After starring as Florence Maybrick in an episode of Wicked Women, she appeared as Elizabeth Bellamy in the British series Upstairs, Downstairs.[10]

This was followed in 1975 by an appearance in the British television police drama, The Sweeney. Pagett appeared in the episode Stoppo Driver in which she played the character of Sara Prince, part of a family of criminals involved in the kidnap of the wife of Detective Constable Brian Cooney, a Flying Squad driver.[11]

She played the title role in the 1977 BBC adaptation of Anna Karenina and gave a memorable performance in David Nobbs's TV series A Bit of a Do.[1][12] She appeared in films such as The Viking Queen (1967), Some Like It Sexy (1969), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), There's a Girl in My Soup (1970), Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), Operation Daybreak (1975), Oliver's Story (1978), Privates on Parade (1982) and An Awfully Big Adventure (1995).[13] She appeared in leading roles (as the young Irish bride Conor) in the 1980 Australian mini-series The Timeless Land and in the 1994 to 1995 sitcom Ain't Misbehavin'.[14][13] In May 1976, she was appearing as Bella Manningham in Gas Light at the Criterion Theatre, London, with Peter Vaughan and Anton Rodgers.[15]

Later life

Pagett was diagnosed with manic depression in 1997 after becoming obsessed with the then prime minister's chief Press Secretary Alastair Campbell.[16][17] She relates in her book Diamonds Behind My Eyes that she later recovered.[18]

Pagett died on 3 March 2021, aged 75, after suffering from a brain tumour.[19]


  1. ^ a b "After Diana Rigg Walked Away from the Shadow of Garbo and Leigh, Enter Nicola Pagett".
  2. ^ "Nicola Pagett — RADA".
  3. ^ "The Way I Was: Liver and bacon in the Gorbals: Nicola Pagett tells". The Independent. 24 October 1992.
  4. ^ White, Leonard (16 March 2003). Armchair Theatre: The Lost Years. Kelly Publications. ISBN 9781903053188 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Vivien Leigh rehearsing the play 'La Contessa' | Science Museum Group Collection".
  6. ^ "gideon's way". Archive Television Musings.
  7. ^ "Gideon's Way | TV Guide".
  8. ^ "The Mirror's New (1965)". BFI.
  9. ^ ""The Persuaders!" The Long Goodbye (TV Episode 1971) - IMDb". Retrieved 4 March 2021 – via
  10. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Upstairs, Downstairs (1971-75) Credits".
  11. ^ "Stoppo Driver (1975)". BFI.
  12. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "About A Bit Of A Do". British Comedy Guide.
  13. ^ a b "Nicola Pagett". BFI.
  14. ^ Craig, Michael.; Yeldham, Peter.; Stewart, Robin.; Smeaton, Arranger), Bruc; Commission, Australian Broadcasting (16 March 1980). "The timeless land". Australia : Australian Broadcasting Commission [production company] – via Trove.
  15. ^ "Production of Gaslight | Theatricalia".
  16. ^ "Madly in love: how Nicola Pagett's infatuation tipped over into". The Independent. 3 October 1997.
  17. ^ Diamonds Behind My Eyes, Nicola Pagett, Orion, 1998
  18. ^ "About mental illness and personal accounts of mental illness". Cause.
  19. ^ Coveney, Michael (4 March 2021). "Nicola Pagett obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2021.