Friday, October 6, 2017

Jennifer Daniel R.I.P.

Welsh actress Jennifer Daniel, who appeared frequently on British television and in the Hammer Films The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) and The Reptile (1966), died on August 16 2017 at the age of 81.

Jennifer Daniel was born Jennifer Williams in Pontypool, Wales. When she was young she had an interest in music. She was even a a clarinettist in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra. That having been said, her interests eventually turned to acting. She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She was in a repertory company before making her television debut in an episode of Leave It to Todhunter in 1958. She made her film debut in Marriage of Convenience in 1960. In the late Fifties she appeared in the mini-series adaptation of Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge. She guest starred on BBC Sunday-Night Theatre, Theatre Night, and Armchair Theatre. She also appeared in an episode of the 1959 mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations.

In the Sixties Miss Daniel appeared in the feature films Return to Sender (1963), The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), and The Reptile (1966). She had recurring roles on the programmes (both mini-series and regular series) Beauty and the Beast, Hamlet, Richard the Lionheart, The Spread of the Eagle, The Sleeper, and A Man Called Harry Brent. She guest starred on such shows as One Step Beyond, Maigret, ITV Television Playhouse, Suspense, No Hiding Place, Ghost Squad, Gideon C.I.D., Sergeant Cork, Adam Adamant Lives!, Love Story, and Doomwatch.

In the Seventies she had a recurring role on the ITV drama General Hospital (not to be confused with the American soap opera of the same name).  She appeared on the series Rooms and in the mini-series People Like Us. She guest starred on such shows as Barlow at Large, Thriller, Public Eye, and The Boy Merlin.

In the Eighties she had a recurring role on The Collectors. She guest starred on Barriers, I'll Take Manhattan, Rumpole of the Bailey, and Capital City. In the Nineties she appeared in the feature films Wuthering Heights (1992) and Love Is All There Is (1996). She guest starred on Keeping Up Appearances. In the Teens she appeared in the films Run for Your Wife (2012)  and Christmas with the Dead (2012).

Jennifer Daniel certainly stood out from other blonde ingénues of her era, and even other Hammer actresses. While many of the female leads of the Hammer Horrors were overtly sexy, in her two roles for Hammer, Miss Daniel was much more subtle. This was perhaps because her stock-in-trade was playing serious young women confronted with unusual situations. Jennifer Daniel wasn't playing simple romantic interests or window dressing, then, but characters that required a certain amount of intensity in her performance. What is more, she played them very well. It should be little wonder that she appeared so often on British television.


limeyleafsfan said...

I didn't realise Jennifer had passed away until last week. Kiss Of The Vampire was on TV and it got me enquiring. Very sad that she is no longer with us. What a gorgeous lady and a fabulous, underrated actress who should have been a lot more well known than she was. Neil from London

Unknown said...

Ditto for limeyleafsfan. I also found her a very underrated actress.