Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins, OBE (born 3 September 1940) is an English actress who is known for playing Sarah in Upstairs, Downstairs and for playing the title role in Shirley Valentine.
Collins was born in Exmouth, Devon of Irish Catholic extraction and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before turning to acting, she worked as a teacher until 1962. She made her stage debut at Windsor in A Gazelle in Park Lane in 1962 and her West End debut in Passion Flower Hotel in 1965, and many stage roles followed. Her first film was Secrets of a Windmill Girl (1966).

Collins played Samantha Briggs in the 1967 Doctor Who serial The Faceless Ones and was offered the chance to continue in the series as a new companion for the Doctor, but declined the invitation.

Other early TV credits include the UK's first medical soap Emergency Ward: 10 (1960), and the pilot episode and first series of The Liver Birds, both in 1969.

Collins first became well known for her role as the maid Sarah in the 1970s ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs, which was co-created by her co-star Jean Marsh. The character appeared regularly throughout the first two series, the second of which also starred her actor husband, John Alderton, with whom she later starred in a spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979), and the sitcom No, Honestly, as well as in a series of short story adaptations called Wodehouse Playhouse (1975-78). She also appeared alongside her husband John Alderton in the successful series co-narrated the animated British children's TV series Little Miss with him in 1983.

Pauline Collins

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