Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Katy Manning

Last updated 15 June 2015

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Katy Manning - Image Credit: Chuck Foster
Image Credit: Chuck Foster (this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

Catherine Ann Manning

Born: Mon 14th October 1946 (age: 72)


Katy Manning is a British actress best known for her part as the companion Jo Grant alongside Third Doctor Jon Pertwee in the early Seventies.

She has also provided the voice for Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions audio dramas.

Manning's father was sports columnist J. L. Manning O.B.E. One of her childhood friends was Liza Minnelli, whom she met while they were both at boarding school together. She trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, before joining a Wolverhampton repertory company, where she made her debut in Man At The Top (1970).

She played the part of Jo Grant from 1971 to 1973, and Manning struck up an immediate rapport with her co-stars, Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates), and Roger Delgado (the Master). Fans of Doctor Who often refer to these characters as the UNIT family. 

After leaving the series she famously appeared naked in an adult magazine, posing with a Dalek.

In October 2010 Manning appeared in the fourth series of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The two-part story, entitled 'Death of the Doctor', was written by former executive producer of the programme Russell T Davies.

Katy Manning wrote the TV series Private Wives and has been involved in other writing and directing projects. In 1980, she toured in Peter Terson's 'VE Night' alongside Ian Cullen and Jane Goddard. In Australia she appeared in the play Run For Your Wife (1987-1988), and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast in the production were Jack Smethurst, David McCallum, and Eric Sykes. She has also appeared in the low-budget film noir When Darkness Falls.

In June and July, 2007, she appeared as Yvette in the stage show 'Allo 'Allo alongside Gorden Kaye as Rene Artois at Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane. Guy Siner and Sue Hodge also reprised their original roles from the television series, and the other characters were portrayed by famous Australian television actors including Steven Tandy and Jason Gann.

In 2009 Manning returned to the UK as part of her one-woman show Me and Jezebel. The play is based on a true 1985 story about Bette Davis inviting herself to a fan's house for a night and staying for a month, with Manning playing all the parts. It toured through March and April in England and also played at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe at the Gilded Balloon Wine Bar in August. The show received a five-star review in the Edinburgh Evening News, which described Manning as "one of Britain's best actresses".