Barbara Shelley, a renowned British horror movie actress and Doctor Who star has died from complications of Covid-19 at 88 years old. Shelley was known for her infamous work in horror films by the British production company Hammer and was often regarded as “The First Leading Lady of British Horror.” According to Deadline, to this day she still received fan mail for her amazing talent. In an interview with Express, Shelley recalled being told at a sci-fi convention that fans loved her for always playing the strong woman: “The fact that I’m still getting mail from my horror fan base really touches me”.
Shelley starred in numerous films over the years, such as 1966’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness alongside Christopher Lee, Rasputin: The Mad Monk and Quatermass And The Pit. Shelley was also known for her TV work, especially her role as Sorasta in many of the original 1984 Doctor Who episodes. Shelley’s agent Thomas Bowington tweeted: “She really was Hammer’s number one leading lady and the technicolour queen of Hammer. On screen she could be quietly evil. She goes from statuesque beauty to just animalistic wildness. She was a regular favourite of Hammer events and autograph shows but also performed on stage with the RSC”. Our thoughts go out to everyone who knew and loved Shelley. The original scream queen will always be remembered.