Stephanie Beecham

Stephanie Michel Beacham (born 28 February 1947) is an English actress.
Beacham, one of four children, was born in Barnet, North London, England,[1] the daughter of Joan, a housewife, 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' (Roman Catholic) church school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Beacham travelled to Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, France to study mime with Étienne Decroux, before attending Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.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. Beacham appeared nude in one scene, during the filming of which under the bed clothes Brando wore Y-fronts and wellington boots to ensure Winner didn't film anything lower than was necessary.[4] 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 Personnel. 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. Other genre movies Beacham made included And Now the Screaming Starts (1973), House of Mortal Sin (1974), Schizo (1976) and Inseminoid (1981) - a film she admits taking for the fee.

Beacham featured as a member of the ensemble cast of the BBC series Tenko (1981-82), a critically acclaimed series which gave her the break through role to dominant leading lady parts.[6] After playing the lead in the ITV series Connie (1985), Beacham went onto one of her most well-remembered roles as the devious matriarch Sable Colby on the television series The Colbys, for which she was paid a basic salary of £25,000 per week.[7] A spin-off series of the opulent primetime soap Dynasty which had been the no.1 show in the US that year, 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. 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. She was then cast in the series Sister Kate, taking 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, Beachum 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. (Beacham eventually appeared in at least six different television series produced by Spelling, including Dynasty, The Colbys, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210, Burke's Law, and Charmed.

Beacham is resident in a "Pepto-Bismol" (pink)-coloured home on Point Dume in Malibu, California,[3][5] and has a homes in London and Morocco.[1] In early 2009 she was diagnosed as having a benign basal cell carcinoma, which was successfully removed.[9]

Beacham is currently writing her autobiography, a book delayed by her appearance in Coronation Street

Stephanie Beecham

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