Blake’s 7 star Jacqueline Pearce dies

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Image caption Jacqueline Pearce’s character was the best-dressed villain in the Universe

Tributes have been paid to Jacqueline Pearce, who played Supreme Commander Servalan in TV sci-fi drama Blake’s 7, following her death at the age of 74.

Pearce gained cult status for playing the ruthless but stylish leader of the evil Federation from 1978-81.

She was also known to Doctor Who fans for her role in 1985’s The Two Doctors.

Writer Russell T Davies described her as “a truly fine actor” as well as “glorious, vivid, passionate, filthy and the most wonderful company”.

Pearce worked with Davies in his first TV drama Dark Season, which was shown in 1991 and also starred a young Kate Winslet.

Pearce trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. She also appeared in episodes of Danger Man, The Avengers and Moondial.

Her friend John Ainsworth told the Press Association: “She was outrageous, she was very honest and very straightforward, which didn’t always go down very well, but you knew where you were with her.

“She liked a glass of champagne and liked everyone to have a good time with her, and of course she was a brilliant actress and everyone who worked with her remembered her very fondly.”

Image caption Pearce about to do something nasty to Peter Byrne and Josette Simon in Blakes 7 in 1981

After relocating to South Africa for several years, initially to care for orphaned monkeys, Pearce returned to the UK in 2015. She died at her home in Lancashire, Ainsworth said.

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