Myra Frances, best known to Doctor Who fans as Lady Adrasta in 1979 story The Creature from the Pit, has passed away aged 78.
Frances held a pretty significant place in British television history, as she was one of two actors to feature in the first ever lesbian kiss to be broadcast in the country back in 1974.
That was five years before she sparred with Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor, and in the years between that she acted in some of Britain’s most famous shows of the time including Terry Nation’s Survivors as Anne Tranter, The Sweeney, and Z Cars, as well as the influential anthology drama series Play for Today.
As Lady Adrasta, she ruled the green planet Chloris by (quite literally) controlling its natural resources and using the creature in the story’s titular pit. Her encounter with the Doctor has a messy end, but it was a memorable role and marked Adrasta out as one of the leading female villains of the era.
After Doctor Who, Frances appeared several times in courtroom drama Crown Court and pioneering police show The Gentle Touch.
Frances was married to fellow actor Peter Egan from 1972 to her death, and together they had a daughter, Rebecca, who followed them into a successful career in acting. Egan announced the death of his wife to the public, revealing she had succumbed to a long battle with cancer.
The husband-and-wife duo were avid campaigners for animal rights and welfare in recent years, working with many charities and adopting their own animals.
Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.