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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    For my 2, 000th post I would like to pay tribute to another of the 'Unmentioned' actors and actresses who I've been introduced to in the DVD era. Usually it's at that thread but occasionally I'm drawn to someone who goes on to become a cult figure: Susan Broderick, Gary Watson, Alethea Charlton ... John Carson seems to be heading that way too. But Katherine Schofield is now firmly established in that role thanks to very different performances in Thriller, where I first noticed her, The Naked Civil Servant and The Saint.





    The Face at the Window!



    This haunting picture is a publicity still of Katherine for Thriller - The Colour of Blood (1973), where she shared the starring role with Norman Eshley. Both were excellent in this, with Norman giving an unexpectedly powerful performance as the psycotic serial killer who lures her to her doom. Very different from his frequently irate and exasperated neighbour in - or rather to - George and Mildred!



    The TVTimes synopsis for the episode:

    In a London station, a compulsive murderer who has escaped from his police guard is mistaken by Julie, a lawyer's assistant, for a man she is supposed to meet and take to a lonely house he has inherited. The murderer recognises his next victim, but Julie also has murder on her mind ...



    Geoffrey Chater is the man Katherine is supposed to meet but the fact that Norman is also wearing a red carnation creates the misunderstanding. It has a brilliant twist at the end - we discover she and partner Garrick Hagon intend to murder the murderer but he beats them to it! Gripping stuff, but the final image of their dead bodies surrounded by rats is not for the squeamish. Although Katherine didn't play a very likeable character, I was still intrigued by this 'new' actress. There's something strange about looking at stars of the past, trying to get aquainted with them and hopefully taking something positive from their performance, but knowing all the time that their time has gone.



    It's difficult to tell from her credits when Katherine's peak years were on screen: 10 in the Sixties, 10 in the Seventies, and 11 in the Eighties. I'm tempted to say the 1960s because of the glittering titles - No Hiding Place, a five-part Doctor Who story, The Wednesday Play, The Avengers, Dixon of Dock Green, and two appearances in The Saint. Exciting stuff! But she could have had better roles in the later decades for all I know. In the 1970s, for instance, she had recurring roles in Out, the series with Tom Bell, and something called The Deep Concern (1979), which looks interesting based on the description.



    Katherine also appeared in some well-known films that decade - Nicholas and Alexandra, Pope Joan, and The Greek Tycoon - but I haven't seen any of them. I did see the one she made in the Eighties, Half Moon Street, with Sigourney Weaver and Michael Caine, but can't remember her. Not looking good is it?! The same went for, of all things, The Naked Civil Servant, which I thought I knew so well, FOR YEARS, before getting it on DVD last year. She just didn't register until that leading role in Thriller I'm afraid. But I'm very pleased to be making up for that ignorance now and look forward to as many performances as I can find.



    Tragically, poor Katherine is yet another beloved actress lost to cancer - her contemporaries Angela Browne and Patricia Haines are among the others who died from this horrible illness - and so my interest (and love) is tinged with a little bitterness about their fate. It's very important to me that Katherine and others at least are remembered as they are no longer here to know of our admiration for them. Please share any memories you have of this unacknowledged actress.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    Katherine Schofield in Lifeforce



    I remember her in Lifeforce, a curious attempt to fuse Hammer Horror and/or Doctor Who with the then current Star Wars sci-fi boom. The result is awful to behold and yet strangely compelling (possibly because of Mathilda May's constantly naked nympho-vampire).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    I remember her best taking the title role in the BBC's 1968 dramatisation of Emile Zola's novel Nana. It's about a 19th century French courtesan and the various men she takes as lovers. I remember it was pretty raunchy for its day - in one scene she hits one of her paramours with either a riding whip or a sword, while he crawls around on all fours like a dog - I think she liked to humiliate men.

    I think Katherine appeared nude or semi-nude - I remember her walking through a rich apartment in a rather see-through nightdress! Nana also hangs out and performs in a place like the Folies Berg�re. She sings a song that goes something like "I'm Venus, blonde Venus, the goddess of love." I can remember the tune to this day. While singing it I think she wears a very skimpy costume, leaving little to the imagination! In another scene she is dressed in men's clothes and gives her female friend a long, lingering kiss on the mouth. In the end, Nana dies of smallpox. You see her on her deathbed, and the camera suddenly pans onto her face which is now literally a mass of black pustules. I remember that scene being pretty shocking and stomach-churning.



    A real-life thing I remember about Katherine is that she was the landlady of Harold Bennett - young Mr. Grace in Are You Being Served? - in his later years. She owned the property where he lived - I read it in a Sunday paper, I think.



    E.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearysloth
    I remember her in Lifeforce, a curious attempt to fuse Hammer Horror and/or Doctor Who with the then current Star Wars sci-fi boom. The result is awful to behold and yet strangely compelling (possibly because of Mathilda May's constantly naked nympho-vampire).


    Lifeforce is a magnificently awful film, but Mathilda could share her lifeforce with me anyday!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    LOL - whatever happened to her....?



    Diabolical film - one of the last made under the auspices of Cannon at the old Elstree porridge factory before Tesco got in, IIRC.



    Smudge

  6. #6
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    LOL - whatever happened to her....?



    Diabolical film - one of the last made under the auspices of Cannon at the old Elstree porridge factory before Tesco got in, IIRC.



    Smudge


    Still acting according to IMDB:



    Mathilda May



    E.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your fantastic post earlier, Euryale. What an amazingly vivid description. Any evidence of those shows' existance?



    Glad our Katherine made such an impression. Stunning news about her being Harold Bennett's landlady. Was that the only occasion she made the gossip columns?



    Thanks also to ShirlGirl for celebrating my landmark post - which turned out to be a worthy one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15
    Thanks very much for your fantastic post earlier, Euryale. What an amazingly vivid description. Any evidence of those shows' existance?



    Glad our Katherine made such an impression. Stunning news about her being Harold Bennett's landlady. Was that the only occasion she made the gossip columns?



    Thanks also to ShirlGirl for celebrating my landmark post - which turned out to be a worthy one.




    Sadly, Lostshows.com says that Nana is missing in the archives, which is terrible news because I would love to have seen it again. The only thing is, it did get shown in the States on PBS/Masterpiece Theatre and was possibly sold by the BBC to other countries, too, so maybe there is a tape of it out there, somewhere. I can't even find any stills from the production to put up.



    The BBC did quite a few dramatisaions of French novels in the '60s and early '70s. I remember watching Germinal, also by Zola, in 1970 - thankfully, this still exists, but the chances of seeing it again?......



    I think the newspaper article was about how Katherine and her husband had been very kind and taken care of Harold in his twilight years, which is nice to know because he was just so wonderful as Mr. Grace and in Dad's Army.



    E.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Terrible news indeed, Euryale. As I've said before, the randomness of all that wiping (and carelessness with cataloging, come to think of it) makes me feel even worse, particularly with episodes of TV series where maybe 1, 2 and 5 exist but not 3, 4 and 6. And as you said, it's unlikely we'll get to watch what's left of some of these plays anyway. Another depressing Pause For Thought from doom-laden Cornershop (though I still hang on to the hope that we can see them in the Afterlife!) ...



    I wonder if Harold Bennett (alias Young Mr. Grace) thanked his carers with a cheery "You've all done very well!"?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Hello again.



    Screencapping is now complete for Katherine's appearances in The Saint and The Naked Civil Servant and I hope to include one or two each from those soon. While I'm deciding what to choose, I may as well repost one of my better captures from The Colour of Blood, which I unwisely used at 'Sexiest Actresses'! This was during a long sequence with escaped criminal Norman Eshley on the train.





    "After all, who'd suspect that I was carrying over 40, 000 (pounds) in cash?"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Long-awaited by all of Katherine's fans here, I now have the 'caps' from the two shows I mentioned last time. After days of searching for the selected images, I eventually found them on the older computer I was using. So here she is, at last, as the mysterious Mrs. Pole, who "once sat for Epstein ... or was it Augustus John?".







    Her husband, played by Stanley Lebor, is affectionately referred to as 'Mr. Pole' as he is "a Polish gentleman with an unpronounceable surname"! Here, Katherine is tending to the badly-beaten Quentin:



    Stanley went on to star as one of Richard Briers' and Penelope Wilton's neighbours in Ever Decreasing Circles of course. Very sadly, it was disclosed by John Hurt during the DVD commentary, that this distinctive actor is poor health these days. I think John said it's with Parkinson's Disease - yet more sad news following poor Catherine's death a few years ago. All three of these actors worked well together here and I wonder if they were good friends off-screen? I like to think so.



    The Naked Civil Servant is one of very few productions I've paid tribute to that I remember watching on it's original broadcast, 17th December 1975 - when I was 10 . I don't need to consult The Guinness Book of Hit Singles to tell me what was No. 1 in the charts this time - I REMEMBER. It was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (very appropriate with the late, great Quentin Crisp as the play's subject!). A classic record AND a classic play that Christmas, for sure. As Katherine has achieved cult status, for me anyway, through her appearances in Thriller and The Saint, I feel a bit of pride that she was in this famous TV landmark.



    Coming soon: Another Foreign role for Katherine, this time in The Saint (now that I've found those 'caps').

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    You had me confused for a while there, Freddy - "Howard who?". But with MORE than a little help from IMDB , I've discovered you were talking about Stanley Lebor (right), who was Howard in Ever Decreasing Circles. I've barely seen that show actually, but they looked a happy bunch. It appears the other actor, also (un)credited as 'Soldier in Gassed Trench' is the unknown-to-me Stanley McGeagh.



    I saw Stanley (Lebor, that is) being interviewed once, in the early 90s, on Pebble Mill at One. At one point, he said he was considering having an operation on his rather prominent nose, which he disliked. I think it was Judi Spears or Alan Titchmarsh interviewing him, and they asked the audience if it was a good idea but everyone disagreed by the sound of it. They loved him as he was! That picture will look good at 'Where Were They Then?', Freddy, or your maybe own 'Spot The Stars'!



    On that theme, do you recognise this actor, with a villainous-looking Katherine?



    I might provide the answer myself, but I suspect you or someone else will know already! This is from one of her appearances in The Saint, which I'm still trying to choose captures from.



    Hopefully, I will sort out the best ones for next time.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    Is it George Murcell?



    E.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Brought forward (new page):



    Quote Originally Posted by Euryale
    Is it George Murcell?



    E.


    It is indeed - well done . An ITC regular .



    (Reminds me of my Name That Face days ... )

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Katherine's first appearance in the show was as Cyril Shaps' Receptionist in The Angel's Eye:



    Original ITV transmission: 11th November 1966, when The Four Tops' Reach Out I'll Be There was #1



    Cyril was a Dutch diamond-cutter who kept the title stone in a safe at his office. In one scene, Roger

    Moore and Jane Merrow pose as a reporter and photographer so they can interview him, but they have

    to get past a stern-looking Katherine first! Here they cheer her up by spontaneously taking her picture

    after almost being caught listening at the door:



    This provided the unique opportunity to see three of my favourite stars together - a wonderful moment,

    but without a wonderful image, unfortunately (certainly of Jane Merrow). That was the closest I could get.



    The cast was further distinguished by the presence of Liam Redmond (as Jane's father), T.P. McKenna,

    Terence Rigby, Anthony Nicholls and, playing his nephew, Donald Pickering ... YET AGAIN! He's turned up

    quite a lot recently. The episode was directed by Leslie Norman, father of Barry.



    Coming soon: A bizarre turn from our Katherine in Department S, which I saw a few days ago.



    Coming sooner: Her second appearance in The Saint, hopefully tomorrow.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    Katharine was another great actress gone too soon. I loved her performance in her Thriller episode. "The Colour Of Blood." That was damn good acting, I also enjoyed her smaller performances in The Saint, The Avengers, Department S and the film Lifeforce.



    I love those pics of her Cornershop, especially the one with George Murcell, a marvellous actor who I believe is also no longer around anymore.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Thanks again to wellendcanons, especially for your words about Katharine's performance in Thriller, which first brought her to my attention, only two years ago.



    These are from the episode The Death Game (1967):





    She looks very different here with Roger Moore than in the earlier capture with Jane Merrow:





    This is the first image I've shown where our Katherine actually smiles for a change!:




    And very lovely she looks too. In the shows I've seen her in so far, Katherine has had a rather 'frosty', aloof manner, usually as a Foreign character. It was this air of mystery that made her so intriguing to me when I saw her in Thriller. It's such an odd experience watching an actor or actress, in a lead role, who you think you've never seen before (which I obviously had, in The Naked Civil Servant, but failed to make a note). It still feels like I haven't really connected with her yet. A recent viewing of her minor role in Department S made me understand why! There's still time, Katherine!



    I will include that latter performance quite soon, but still have a few more images from this one in The Saint for my next post, where I might feel more able to describe the episode. This is the reason I've delayed the post for so long. Until then, any more memories of this unheralded actress will be very welcome.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    Even more great screencaps Cornershop! That's just brilliant.



    Katharine was absolutely brilliant in her episode of Thriller. She looked completely tormented towards the end. Despite having murder in mind herself I think as her fear developed and grew into panic demonstrated for me just how utterly convincing she was in that role. Katharine was so believavle in her overall performance. Her predicament was so well read by her. I think it was one of the best pieces of acting I have ever seen.



    I have seen The Naked Civil Servant, but I was so young at the time I didn't relate to it all that well. I would like to see that again, if only to see Katharine in it. I would like to see it anyway. I'm sure it's a really good drama.



    Katharine has good scenes in an episode of The Saint entitled "The Death Game." I love her dancing technique at the beginning of the third act just before she announces that the death game is about to commence.



    Wellendcanons.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Thanks again, welland. That's praise indeed saying her performance in Thriller is "one of the best" you've seen. I shall look forward to the next viewing, having seen it twice already! I think she was pretty well-matched, however, by a menacing Norman Eshley. This was made after his marriage to Millicent Martin ended and before he played Mr. Fourmile, the neighbour of George and Mildred. If you think that's varied, then consider this: early in his career, Norman was the 'toyboy' lover of Jeanne Moreau in a short film by Orson Welles (The Immortal Story)! I haven't seen him for many years but it's good to know he turned up in that series New Tricks not long ago.



    Could you do me a bit of a favour and describe the plot for The Death Game episode of The Saint? I know Roger Moore and Angela Douglas attend some sort of 'seminar' for psychologists, and have established that George Murcell's character is a scientist who chooses the students he thinks are capable of murder but what is Katherine supposed to be? I think I read somewhere, probably in the booklet within the DVD set, that she's a researcher, but what is her character's role in the actual 'Death Game'? Maybe Saint expert Stuart can tell me if you can't! I love watching these shows but a lot of them are very confusing. I always try to give a brief summary for TV episodes when I'm doing those posts but am really struggling with this one?



    P.S. Looks like we've both got into a habit of spelling her first name with two a's - as in Katharine - when it should be Katherine, with two e's. How strange that we should both make that mistake when we're supposed to be fans! I re-typed her Christian name several times in the last post.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    I really thought Katherine's name was spelt with two a's Thanks for correcting me Cornershop. Now I know it's two e's I shall spell it correctly in future, of course.



    I'm not sure how to describe Katherine's role in The Death Game. She seems to be some kind of mobile invigilator, who announces all death game activity. She also informs the contestants of the rules and sets them at their paces and is an overall observer. I would guess she does the assessing and judging of all the death game candidates and activities with George Murcell. Katherine also handed out and collected the questionnaires, which may or may not have been prepared by her. My assumption would be Murcell did that but I don't think that was made clear. My guess is that the two of them were kind of like judicators for all the death game activities and decisions made about who wins and who would make the three best murderers. When Death Game is tried for real, my guess would be that was Murcell's own idea. I think I'm right in saying that Katherine was the main observer of death game as well, though it's clear that other people were observers too, probably her underlings. It would have been Katherine's role to report any unusual or intriguing activity that had been brought to her attention to Murcell. It was Murcell's operation - he's the boss - and Katherine was working for him, probably as his next in command, or whatever.



    I hope that's of some use to you Cornershop. Sorry, I'm not the best for providing a description or synopsis of the plots. I love watching them though. Of the two colour episodes of The Saint that I've watched that features Katherine I prefer The Angel's Eye as far as the story is concerned, although she has a much better part in The Death Game, in my opinion.

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