Obituary: Kate O'Mara / Actress appeared in range of British productions

Aug. 10, 1939 - March 30, 2014


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Kate O'Mara, the British actress who played the scheming sister of Joan Collins' character on the 1980s prime-time soap opera "Dynasty" and another scheming sister on the BBC sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous," died March 30 in a nursing home in Sussex, England. She was 74.

Her death was confirmed by her agent, Phil Belfield.

With teased dark hair and high cheekbones, Ms. O'Mara often played beautiful but devious characters. She performed onstage as well and appeared on the British television shows "Doctor Who," "The Brothers," "Triangle" and "Howards' Way."

On "Dynasty," Ms. O'Mara played Cassandra Morrell, known as Caress, the sister of Collins' Alexis Colby.

Last year, Ms. O'Mara told The Huffington Post that she tried to enjoy her time on the show.

"I was Caress -- who's called that?" she said. "I was in Hollywood for two years, and the only way to approach it was with a sense of humor, because they took everything so seriously."

On "Absolutely Fabulous," Ms. O'Mara was the sister of the character Patsy, played by Joanna Lumley.

Born Frances Meredith Carroll on Aug. 10, 1939, in Leicester, England, Ms. O'Mara came from a theatrical family. Her mother, Hazel Bainbridge, was an actress.

Ms. O'Mara wrote several books, including a 2003 memoir in which she confessed that her personal life had been a "disaster area" that included relationships with "much younger men."

Last fall, she helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the science-fiction show "Doctor Who," in which she played a villain called the Rani in the 1980s.

She told the website Digital Spy that she was interested in playing the role again.

"I have white hair now, but a lot of it, and I'm still very glamorous and so I won't disappoint, I hope," she said. "I'll still be wearing the tight leather trousers and high-heel boots, regardless of what age."


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