Lynda Bellingham

Last updated 09 January 2020

Lynda Bellingham (1948-2014)
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Lynda Bellingham

Born: Monday 31st May 1948
Died: Sunday 19th October 2014 (age: 66)


Lynda Bellingham is a Canadian-born English actressbroadcaster and author.

Best known in the UK as the Oxo Mum, she played The Inquisitor in the Fourteen part story Trial of a Time-Lord.

Bellingham was born to a single mother in Montreal and adopted by an English couple at the age of four months. She was brought up in Aylesbury in BuckinghamshireEngland and was educated at Aylesbury High School and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Twice in the 1960s Bellingham appeared in the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival. She got her big break as a nurse in an ITV afternoon soap opera of the 1970s, General Hospital. She went topless for her roles in Confessions of a Driving Instructor and Sweeney! (1977).

Other prominent roles included the James Herriot drama All Creatures Great and Small (where she was the second actress to play Helen Herriot on television, replacing Carol Drinkwater) and the situation comedy Second Thoughts and its sequel, Faith in the Future.

From 1980 to 1983, she played the Fifth Inspector. This is considered to be her most famous role. She first appeared in the 1980 Fourth Inspector story, Mathville, when the Fourth Inspector, played by Marius Goring, regenerated partially into the fifth incarnation of the character. She recently made a reappearance in the Comic Relief special, Space Collision.

She starred in the 14-part Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord (1986) as the Inquisitor. Bellingham reprised the Inquisitor character for the Big Finish Productions audio series, Gallifrey. In 1998 she appeared in Gleb Panfilov's The Romanovs: A Crowned Family as Empress Alexandra.

From 2000 to 2003, Bellingham played Pauline Farnell, the compassionate accountant in At Home with the Braithwaites alongside Amanda Redman and former All Creatures Great and Small colleaguePeter Davison. In 2007, she appeared alongside Redman again, this time playing DCI Karen Hardwick in New Tricks. For several months in 2004, she had a recurring role in The Bill as villainess Irene Radford.

She also had a memorable role in the ITV comedy Bonkers playing Mrs. Wadlow, a man-eating suburban housewife who seduces her neighbour's teenage son and turns him into her gigolo. Later that year she filmed guest appearances in episodes of Love Soup and Robin Hood. In October 2007, she appeared in a play entitled Vincent River at the Trafalgar Studios in London. Her performance received critical acclaim, and it was announced on Loose Women in early 2008 that the play would be moving to Broadway in July of that year, although this never actually transpired.

From September 2008 to July 2009, she played the role of Chris Harper in the stage version ofCalendar Girls on tour and in the West End. She returned to the show for further tours in 2010 and 2011.

Since 2007, Bellingham has been doing the voice-over on the Vodafone adverts with the slogan: Make the most of now.

Bellingham joined Loose Women in early 2007, and she still continues as a regular panelist.

In 2009 she was one of the contestants on Series 7 of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC ratings winner where she partnered Darren Bennett. She was voted out by the judges in the fourth week.

In 2010, Bellingham was the voice-over for British rap band N-Dubz's six part reality show on Channel 4.

From 2011 onwards, she was the face of online shopping brand She is featured in, or provides voice-over for, a variety of adverts on television and in the media, including one promoting the company as sponsors of Loose Women on ITV.

In 2010, Bellingham launched her book Lost and Found, a story of her life and career and toured the country for private readings.

Bellingham has been married three times, first in 1975 to film and theatre producer Greg Smith, best remembered for the Confessions films. Her second marriage (1981-1996) was to Nunzio Peluso with whom she had two sons, Michael and Robbie. On 31 May 2008, she married her boyfriend, Spanish-based mortgage broker Michael Pattemore  at St Stephen Walbrook on her 60th birthday. On 3 March 2010, on This Morning she announced she would be returning to do more Oxo commercials.

In 2013 she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but after a year of fighting the illness she announced in October 2014 that it had become terminal and she intended to cease chemotherapy in November in order to spend a last, comfortable Christmas with her family. Sadly, she succumbed to the illness on the 19th October.

Biography includes information from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA