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Anneke Wills (born Anna Katarina Willys, 20 October 1941) is an English actress, best known for her role as the Doctor Who companion Polly in the long-running
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BBC
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Parall ...

science fiction
television series A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly called the television, TV, TV set, tube, telly, or tele, is a device that combines a ...
''
Doctor Who ''Doctor Who'' is a British science fiction television programme broadcast by the BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London Lond ...

Doctor Who
''.


Biography

Wills's father, Alaric Willys, was a captain in the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
. Her mother, Anna, was a housewife. Anneke is the granddaughter of
Richard Raymond Willis Major Richard Raymond Willis Victoria Cross, VC (13 October 1876 – 9 February 1966) was an England, English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Uni ...
VC.


Career

Deciding she wanted to be an actress she studied drama at the
Arts Educational School Arts Educational Schools, or ArtsEd, is an independent performing arts school based in Chiswick in the London Borough of Hounslow The London Borough of Hounslow () is a London borough in West London (sub region), West London, England, formi ...
and
RADA {{noref, date=June 2013 Rada is the term for "parliament" or "assembly" or some other "council" in several Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs ...

RADA
in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
and quickly became one of the busiest actresses of her generation, early roles included an appearance as Roberta in the second TV version of ''
The Railway Children ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The c ...

The Railway Children
'' in 1957. Her other film roles included appearances in '' Some People'' (1962) and ''
The Pleasure Girls ''The Pleasure Girls'' is a 1965 British drama film directed by Gerry O'Hara and starring Francesca Annis, Ian McShane and Klaus Kinski. Plot When a beautiful young woman, Sally (Francesca Annis), moves to London to pursue a modelling career, s ...
'' (1965). Her other television credits include appearances in '' The Avengers'' and as Evelyn in ''
Strange Report ''Strange Report'' is a British television crime drama series starring Anthony Quayle as Adam Strange. It was produced by ITC Entertainment and first broadcast in 1969. In the United States, NBC broadcast ''Strange Report'' between 8 January an ...
'' (1969–70).


''Doctor Who''

In 1966, she took the role of Polly in ''Doctor Who''. She appeared in the show until 1967 alongside
William Hartnell William Henry Hartnell (8 January 1908 – 23 April 1975) was an English actor. While he made numerous stage and television appearances and acted in over 75 British films, he is best remembered today as the First Doctor in BBC Television's ''D ...
and then
Patrick Troughton Patrick George Troughton (; 25 March 1920 – 28 March 1987) was an English actor. He was classically trained for the stage but became most widely known for his roles in television and film. His work included appearances in several fantasy, sci ...
. Her favourite story was ''''. In October 2013, she recorded an abridged version of ''Who's There?'', a biography of
William Hartnell William Henry Hartnell (8 January 1908 – 23 April 1975) was an English actor. While he made numerous stage and television appearances and acted in over 75 British films, he is best remembered today as the First Doctor in BBC Television's ''D ...
written by his granddaughter, Jessica Carney. In November 2013, she appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage ''
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot ''The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'' is a 2013 comedy spoof and homage to the British science fiction television programme ''Doctor Who ''Doctor Who'' is a British science fiction on television, science fiction television programme broadcast by ...
''. She has been a popular guest at ''Doctor Who'' conventions, and has been employed by the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
and Big Finish to record various audio and DVD projects related to the show.


Writing

The first volume of her autobiography, ''Self Portrait'', was published in 2007 by Hirst Books and a second volume, ''Naked'', followed in 2009. Her latest book, ''Anneke Wills - In Focus'', was published in May 2012 by Fantom Films.


Personal life

At 17, she began a relationship with
Anthony Newley Anthony Newley (24 September 1931 – 14 April 1999) was an English actor, singer and songwriter. Newley achieved success as a performer in such diverse fields as rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or ...
while working on the TV series ''
The Strange World of Gurney Slade ''The Strange World of Gurney Slade'' is a surreal six-part British television comedy series devised by Anthony Newley Anthony Newley (24 September 1931 – 14 April 1999) was an English actor, singer and songwriter. Newley achieved success as ...
''. Newley fathered Wills's first child, but left her to marry
Joan Collins Dame Joan Henrietta Collins (born 23 May 1933) is an English actress, author, and columnist. Collins is the recipient of several accolades, including a Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members ...

Joan Collins
. During the 1960s Wills spent much of her time at the famous Troubadour Coffee Shop and
the Establishment The Establishment is a term used to describe a dominant group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, ...
, and was part of the so-called "Chelsea Set". Wills married actor
Michael Gough Francis Michael Gough ( ; 23 November 1916 – 17 March 2011) was a British character actor A character actor is a supporting actor who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters.28 April 2013, The New York Acting SchoolTen Best ...
in 1962; the couple had one son, Jasper, and divorced in 1979. She remarried twice. In 1970, she gave up acting and moved to
Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambe ...

Norfolk
, dedicating herself to motherhood and gardening. She left the UK in 1980 and lived in various places in the 16 years afterwards, including in Belgium,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, Vietnam, and India in the early 1980s, in the USA from 1983–1986, and in Canada from 1986–1996, before returning to the UK in 1996.


Filmography


Film


Television


References


External links

*
Official website


{{DEFAULTSORT:Wills, Anneke 1941 births People educated at the Arts Educational Schools English film actresses
English television actresses {{CatAutoTOC, numerals=no English actresses by medium, Television British television actresses English television actors, +Actresses ...
English people of Dutch descent
Living people Related categories * :Year of birth missing (living people) / :Year of birth unknown * :Date of birth missing (living people) / :Date of birth unknown * :Place of birth missing (living people) / :Place of birth unknown * :Year of death mi ...
People from Bray, Berkshire Actresses from London 20th-century English actresses Alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Rajneesh movement