Kate O'Mara was an English film, stage and television actress whose most widely known role was on the popular soap opera "Dynasty" (ABC 1981-89) as Caress Morrell, the conniving sister of Alexis Colby. Born Frances Meredith Carroll on March 30, 1939, O'Mara was the daughter of John F. Carroll, who served as a flying instructor for the Royal Air Force, and Hazel Bainbridge, an actress. O'Mara initially attended art school after finishing boarding school, but she cut her education short when she decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a full-time actress. Her acting career began slowly, with a few small roles in films and guest appearances on television shows like the medical soap opera "Emergency - Ward 10" (ITV 1957-1967). In 1963, O'Mara made her stage debut in a production of "The Merchant of Venice" as Shylock's daughter Jessica. Horror aficionados first discovered her in a pair of films from Hammer Studios: "The Vampire Lovers" (1970) and "The Horror of Frankenstein" (1970). For the better part of the 1970s, she jumped back and forth between theater and television, with appearances in shows such as "The Brothers" (BBC 1972-76). In the 1980s, her television career took off, starting with a lead role in the BBC soap opera "Triangle" (1981-82). Between 1985 and 1987, she played the villainous Rani in the iconic British science fiction series "Doctor Who" (BBC 1963-1989). O'Mara fully explored her dark side when she took on the most notable role of her career as Cassandra "Caress" Morrell, the scheming younger sister of Joan Collins' Alexis Colby in ABC's popular nighttime soap "Dynasty." Cruelty and spite nearly became synonymous with O'Mara following this pair of roles; she continued to play the villain for the rest of her career, most notably as the ruthless Laura Wilde on "Howard's Way" (BBC 1985-1990) and as the despicable mother of Patsy Stone on the hit British sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC 1992-2004). She continued working in theater and on television until 2012, when declining health and the suicide of her son Dickon Young caused her to withdraw. Kate O'Mara died March 30, 2014 following a brief illness.
Film debut in "Home and Away "
Television debut as a nurse in "Emergency-Ward 10"
Theater debut in a production of "The Merchant of Venice"
Starred in "The Vampire Lovers"
Cast as The Rani in "Doctor Who" (BBC 1)
Played Cassandra Morrell in "Dynasty" (ABC)
Played Jackie Stone in "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC 1)
Last on-camera appearance on "Benidorm" (ITV)