Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Brown - Dark
Claim to Fame
Dynasty, The Colbys, Coronation Street
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Profile Bio Text
Stephanie Michel Beacham (born 28 February 1947) is an English actress.
Beacham, one of four children, was born in Barnet, North London, England, the daughter of Joan, a homemaker, and a father who was an insurance executive and the managing director of the Grosvenor estate. Shortly after birth, she was diagnosed as being completely deaf in her right ear as her mother had contracted chicken pox during her pregnancy. She has about 75% of normal hearing capacity in her left ear. After leaving her girls` state school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Beacham travelled to France and studied mime with Etienne St Creux before attending RADA. Her initial goal was to teach dance movement to deaf children. She began a career in modelling and then was cast for several parts in films.
After many appearances in television shows such as The Saint and Jason King, Beacham`s first major film role was opposite Marlon Brando in 1971`s The Nightcomers directed by Michael Winner. The film was made during a lull in Brando`s career and was a flop, though Beacham received a great deal of attention for appearing nude in her love scenes with Brando. She was subsequently cast as Jessica Van Helsing in Hammer`s Dracula AD 1972 alongside Peter Cushing.
Beacham`s next role was as a repertory player with the Nottingham Playhouse, where she played several lead and feature roles, including the role of Nora in the Henrik Ibsen play A Doll`s House. In 1973, she played Georgina Layton in Thames Television`s first daytime drama Marked Personal. The same year, she made an Itialian film; Si può essere più bastardi dell`ispettore Cliff? The film was released in the US in 1977 as Mafia Junction and in the UK as Blue Movie Blackmail. It was later released on home video, now retitled Super Bitch as the producers of the film attempted to capitalise on the success of the Joan Collins film The Bitch. (A decade later Collins` success in Dynasty would be followed by Beacham in the spinoff series The Colbys.) Other genre movies Beacham made included And Now the Screaming Starts (1973), House of Mortal Sin (1974), Schizo (1976) and Inseminoid (1981). A number of roles in theater and episodic television followed during the late 1970s and 1980s. Beacham also featured as a member of the ensemble cast of the BBC series Tenko (1981-82), as well as playing the lead in the ITV series Connie (1985).
Following this, Beacham went onto one of her most well-remembered roles as the devious matriarch Sable Colby on the television series The Colbys. The Colbys was a spin-off series of the opulent primetime soap Dynasty which had been the no.1 show in the US that year, and Beacham was cast opposite Charlton Heston as the tentpole couple of the new show. However, The Colbys never experienced the success of its parent show, and was cancelled after only two seasons. The show`s brief popularity led to Playboy uncovering a forgotten nude pictorial Beacham did in 1972 which was published in the February 1987 issue. In 1988, Beacham was invited to reprise the role of Sable on Dynasty, now playing opposite Joan Collins in a season-long "battle of the bitches" scenario, but the show was nearing the end of its run and it too was cancelled the following year.
After the series finished, Beacham landed the lead role in the children`s fantasy film The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, playing an evil governess. In contrast to this, she was then cast in the series Sister Kate in which , attempting to shed her `rich bitch` image, she took the lead role as a nun taking care of children in an orphanage. The series lasted for one season and was cancelled in 1990. She then returned to Britain to play Mrs. Peacock in an ITV game show version of the board game Cluedo (1990). Reuniting with Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling, she also had a recurring guest role in the popular teen drama Beverly Hills 90210, playing Iris McKay, the estranged mother of Luke Perry`s character. In fact, throughout her career, Beacham has appeared in no less than six different television series produced by Aaron Spelling, these being Dynasty, The Colbys, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210, Burke`s Law, and Charmed.
In 1993, Beacham signed on to play Dr. Kristin Westphalen in the NBC sci-fi series seaQuest DSV, which was produced by Steven Spielberg. Her character was the chief oceanographer and medical doctor for the seaQuest, a submarine commanded by Captain Nathan Bridger (played by Roy Scheider) in the year 2018. After a rocky start, the show built an audience throughout its first season. However, by the end of season one, tensions between producers and writers led to a major overhaul of the show`s premise. The network decided to move away from its scientific roots in favor of more fantasy-based stories. Several actors were let go, and Beacham declined to sign on for another season. Throughout the 1990s, Beacham continued to make guest appearances on a variety of television shows. In 1996 she starred in the BBC wartime drama No Bananas which was set during the years of World War II.
In 2003, Beacham returned to England to take a role in the popular ITV prison drama Bad Girls. She played inmate Phyl Oswyn for four years, partnered with Amanda Barrie as the "Costa Cons", first appearing in series five, until the final series in 2006. She also appeared in the 2006 movie Love and Other Disasters.
Beacham then returned to stage work and toured the UK as a lead in the Noel Coward play Hay Fever. She competed in the 2007 series of the BBC`s Strictly Come Dancing with professional partner Vincent Simone. Beacham allegedly injured her back during rehearsal for the competition, but refused to withdraw from the contest (though she was voted off in one of the earlier heats).
On November 27 2008, it was announced that Beacham had joined the cast of ITV`s Coronation Street. Her storyline was aired in Spring 2009.
Beacham was married to fellow actor John McEnery between 1973 and 1978. They had two children together, Phoebe and Chloe. She now has a grandson, Jude, who calls her "Glamma" instead of Granny. Beacham has said her grandson was the reason for her taking part in a pantomime production and thanks him very much for the opportunity he gave her.
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Full Name at Birth
Stephanie Michel Beacham
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Correct Birthday 28th February (Correct Birth place Hertfordshire, England)
Stephanie Beacham (born 28 February 1947) is an English television, radio, film and theatre actress.