Jacqueline Pearce RIP

Tributes are being paid to Jacqueline Pearce, who played Supreme Commander Servalan in TV sci-fi drama Blake’s 7, following her death at the age of 74.

Pearce gained cult status for playing the ruthless but stylish leader of the evil Federation from 1978-81.

She was also known to Doctor Who fans for her role in 1985’s The Two Doctors.

Writer Russell T Davies described her as “a truly fine actor” as well as “glorious, vivid, passionate, filthy and the most wonderful company”.  Pearce worked with Davies in his first TV drama Dark Season, which was shown in 1991.

Pearce trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. She also appeared in episodes of Danger Man, The Avengers and Moondial.

Her friend John Ainsworth told the Press Association: “She was outrageous, she was very honest and very straightforward, which didn’t always go down very well, but you knew where you were with her.

“She liked a glass of champagne and liked everyone to have a good time with her, and of course she was a brilliant actress and everyone who worked with her remembered her very fondly.”

After relocating to South Africa for several years, initially to care for orphaned monkeys, Pearce returned to the UK in 2015. Pearce died at her home in Lancashire, shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.