Who is Stephanie Beacham?
Stephanie Beacham is an English actress, best known for playing Sable Scott Colby in the American television series ‘The Colbys.’ She was nominated for the ‘Soap Opera Digest Award’ on two occasions for her performance in ‘The Colbys.’ In 1990, Beacham received a nomination at the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for playing Katherine ‘Kate’ Lambert in the American sitcom series ‘Sister Kate.’ Apart from being a popular TV actress, Beacham is also known for her work in films and stage plays. She made her film debut in 1970, before playing prominent roles in films, such as ‘Dracula A.D. 1972,’ ‘House of Mortal Sin,’ and ‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.’ Her autobiography titled ‘Many Lives’ was published in October 2011. Beacham, who is partially deaf, was involved in launching the ‘Fill in the Gaps’ campaign by ‘Sense-National Deafblind and Rubella Association.’
Childhood & Early Life
Stephanie Beacham was born on February 28, 1947, in London, England, United Kingdom, to Joan and Alec Beacham. After attending ‘Queen Elizabeth's Girls' Grammar School’ in Barnet, she moved to Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris where she started studying mime. After returning to London, she went to the famous ‘Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’ (RADA) to study performing arts, such as dancing and acting.
While studying at ‘RADA,’ she performed in stage productions, such as ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ where she played Maria and Portia respectively. She initially wanted to teach dance moves to deaf children. However, she started her career as a model before landing opportunities to showcase her acting skills in television series and films.
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Stephanie Beacham was cast to play a minor role in a television series titled ‘Out of Town Theatre’ in 1967. In the same year, she also played Mary Queen of Scots in the British TV series ‘The Queen's Traitor.’ In the subsequent years, she continued playing minor roles in series, such as ‘The Saint,’ ‘The Jazz Age,’ ‘Armchair Theatre,’ ‘Public Eye,’ ‘Callan,’ ‘Sentimental Education,’ and ‘UFO.’
She made her film debut in 1970 when she was cast to play Angela Simmonds in the Michael Winner-directed British sports drama film ‘The Games.’ In the same year, she also played Janet Ainsley in the Roddy McDowall-directed film ‘Tam-Lin.’ Beacham received her breakthrough role in 1972 when she was cast to play Jessica Van Helsing in the Alan Gibson-directed horror film ‘Dracula A.D. 1972.’ In the same year, she posed for the world-renowned ‘Playboy’ magazine.
Beacham landed her first recurring television role in 1973. She played Georgina Layton in 62 episodes of a daytime television drama titled ‘Marked Personal’ which was aired from 1973 to 1974. Meanwhile, she also played Catherine Fengriffen in the 1973 Roy Ward Baker-directed gothic horror film ‘And Now the Screaming Starts!’
She continued appearing in several TV series and films throughout the 1970s. In 1981, she was cast to play the recurring role of Rose Millar in a television drama series titled ‘Tenko.’ In 1981, she was also seen playing Kate in a British-Hong Kong science-fiction horror film titled ‘Inseminoid.’
In 1985, she played the title role in the British television drama series ‘Connie.’ In the same year, she was cast to play Sable Scott Colby in the American television series ‘The Colbys.’ She played the role from 1985 to 1987, appearing in 49 episodes. She reprised her role as Sable Colby in 23 episodes of ‘ABC’ network’s prime time series ‘Dynasty.’ Her portrayal of Sable Colby earned her three ‘Soap Opera Digest Award’ nominations.
She landed another recurring role when she was cast to play Sister Katherine ‘Kate’ Lambert in ‘NBC’ network’s sitcom ‘Sister Kate’ in 1989. Her performance in the series earned her a ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination for ‘Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.’ In 1989, she was also seen playing prominent roles in two feature films, namely ‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase’ and ‘Troop Beverly Hills.’
From 1993 to 1994, she played Dr. Kristin Westphalen in 23 episodes of an American science fiction television series titled ‘SeaQuest DSV.’ In 1996, she played Dorothea Grant in a 10-episode television miniseries titled ‘No Bananas.’ From 2003 to 2006, she played Phyllida Oswyn in 40 episodes of the popular TV drama series ‘Bad Girls.’ Meanwhile, she was also seen in feature films, such as ‘Relative Values,’ ‘Unconditional Love,’ ‘Seven Days of Grace,’ ‘Love and Other Disasters,’ and ‘The Witches Hammer.’
In 2007, she took part in the popular television dance contest ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ Unfortunately, she was voted out in the second week of the show. In 2009, she played Martha Fraser in 21 episodes of the long-running British soap opera ‘Coronation Street.’ The following year, she participated in the reality TV series ‘Celebrity Big Brother 7’ where she finished fifth.
In 2012, Beacham was cast to play Lorraine in eight episodes of the famous sitcom ‘Trollied.’ From 2014 to 2016, she played Maureen in another sitcom titled ‘Boomers.’ Meanwhile, she was seen playing Tammy in the 2016 American comedy film ‘Wild Oats.’ In 2018, she made a guest appearance in the British travel documentary series ‘The Real Marigold Hotel.’
Apart from films and television series, Stephanie Beacham has played important roles in stage plays as well. Some of the plays that she has been a part of include Henrik Johan Ibsen’s play ‘A Doll's House’ and Sir Noël Peirce Coward’s play ‘Hay Fever.’
Family & Personal Life
Beacham’s father Alec worked as an insurance executive. He also served as the managing director for the Grosvenor estate. Stephanie Beacham is partially deaf as she was born with only 80% hearing in her left ear and no hearing in her right ear.
She dated actor and writer John McEnery and married him on May 19, 1973. When she was pregnant with her first child, she fell down and suffered a miscarriage. In 1974, she gave birth to her daughter Phoebe. In 1977, Beacham and McEnery were blessed with their second daughter Chloe.
Beacham and McEnery got separated in 1979 but remained married for the next 10 years. In the 1980s, she dated former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan but broke up with him later. In 2009, she was treated for skin cancer. By 2011, she had recovered completely and was declared cancer-free.