I sometimes make jokes that when anyone cancels out on appearances at the Gallifrey One convention, it means that they’re probably going to be dead shortly. This came up after that happened with Mary Tamm and a couple of other actors.
This year, Kate O’Mara, best known to Doctor Who fans for her role as the Rani, cancelled out on Gallifrey, and today we learned that she died at the age of 74.
O’Mara was born in Leicester in 1939. She began her career as a stage actress in 1963, the year Doctor Who first aired. She then went on to several appearances on British TV in shows such as Z-Cars and The Avengers.
O’Mara reached international fame when she started appearing on the American soap opera Dynasty, where she played the sister to Joan Collins’ character. She then went on to sci-fi fame by appearing in two stories for Doctor Who; both times playing the renegade Time Lord scientist, the Rani. She later reprised the role for the rather horrible 30th anniversary special, “Dimensions in Time”. Then in 1995 and 2003, she appeared in two episodes of Absolutely Fabulous, playing Paty’s older sister.
O’Mara was fairly active on Twitter, leaving behind one final Tweet on March 17.
“Thank you so much for your kind tweets. It’s both humbling and completely overwhelming to read all of your messages. Much Love x”.
She is survived by her son, Christopher, and her sister, actress Belinda Caroll.