Lynda Bellingham (born 31 May 1948) is a Canadian-born English actress.
She was born in Montreal due to her father working for the airline BOAC, and was brought up in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England and was educated at Aylesbury High School. She got her big break as a nurse in an ITV afternoon soap opera of the 1970s, General Hospital. She also went topless for her role in Confessions of a Driving Instructor.
Her most famous role was in the 1980s as the head of the family in the Oxo television adverts. 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.
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 2004, Bellingham played Pauline Farnell, the compassionate accountant in At Home with the Braithwaites alongside Amanda Redman and former All Creatures Great and Small colleague Peter Davison.
For several months in 2004, she had a recurring role in The Bill as villainess Irene Radford.
In 2007, Lynda joined the panel of chat show Loose Women, played Mrs. Wadlow in comedy series Bonkers and filmed guest appearances in episodes of Love Soup and Robin Hood. Since the middle of the year, Lynda has been doing the voice-over on the Vodafone adverts with the slogan: Make the most of now.
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.
From September 2008 she has been playing the role of Chris Harper in the stage version of Calendar Girls.
On 26 January 2009 Linda appeared on BBC's The One Show.
Bellingham states that she doesn't have many passions, apart from reading and horses. She originally had horse-riding aspirations, but they were dashed by the onset of hayfever in her teens.
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