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Actress Pamela Salem dies aged 80

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Actress Pamela Salem dies aged 80

Actress Pamela Salem has died at the age of 80.

The news of her passing was announced by bigfinish.com.

Born in Bombay, India, in 1944, Salem received her education at Heidelberg University in Germany and later at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England. She was widely recognised for her notable performances, including her portrayal of the wicked witch Belor in the children’s fantasy series Into the Labyrinth (HTV) which aired on ITV during the early 1980s and Seagull Island (ATV) where she appeared as one of the lead performers alongside Jeremy Brett in the mystery drama with its focus on ‘a sinister island protected by killer seagulls’.

She also made a significant guest appearance in EastEnders as Joanne Francis, who worked for ‘The Firm’. The criminal outfit opened a wine bar on Turpin Road and coerced Den Watts into managing it on their behalf.

Pamela Salem with Peter Dean and Leslie Grantham in EastEnders.

The Firm turned on Den when he faced legal consequences for torching the Dagmar in revenge for Kathy’s rape. Recognising him as a liability, they arranged for him to be killed, resulting in Den fleeing to Spain. Viewers only found out later that this is what he had done, believing for years that The Firm had been successful in killing him in a shooting by the canal.

Salem also had a strong connection with Doctor Who, appearing in two episodes: The Robots of Death in 1977, where she played the character Toos, and Remembrance of the Daleks in 1988, where she portrayed Professor Rachel Jensen. She reprised the role of Professor Jensen for Big Finish Productions’ officially licensed audio drama spin-off series Counter Measures. Furthermore, she auditioned for the role of Leela, the Fourth Doctor’s companion, but the part was ultimately given to Louise Jameson.

Simon Williams as Gilmore, Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor and Pamela Salem as Rachel in Remembrance of the Daleks.

David Richardson, who produced all of Pamela’s work at Big Finish, said:

“Pamela Salem was lovely, and we all loved her. Whenever there was a Big Finish recording for her, she’d fly in from Miami on her own steam, without fuss or fanfare, and appear at the studio armed with the warmest smiles, the biggest hugs and often presents. She was a very gentle person – always interested in everyone, from her co-stars to the production team to the guest actors and visitors. She talked with joy about her home on Miami Beach, waking up to warmth and waves, and she knew all about our lives and families and life stories.”

On the silver screen, she depicted Miss Moneypenny in the ‘unofficial’ 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, alongside Sean Connery. She also appeared in Michael Crichton’s The First Great Train Robbery (1978), another film featuring Connery, as well as in supporting roles in The Night Train to Murder (1983), Gods and Monsters (1998), and April’s Shower (2003).

Salem resided in Surfside, Florida. She was married to actor Michael O’Hagan from 1983 until his passing in November 2017.

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