By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Hammer Horror films queen, Barbara Shelly has died at the age of 88 from underlying health issues.
Shelly died after being in hospital and catching coronavirus there, but she recovered from Covid but succumbed to other underlying health issues on Monday.
The actress was best-known for the Hammer Horror films as well as Doctor Who.
Born on 13 February 1932, the popular actress was at her busiest in the late 1950s (Blood of the Vampire) and 1960s when she became Hammer Horror’s number-one female star, with The Gorgon (1964), Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966), Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966), and Quatermass and the Pit (1967) among her credits.
She also appeared in Village of the Damned (1960). Although she was known as a scream queen, her most famous scream (in the aforementioned Dracula film) was dubbed by co-star Suzan Farmer.
Her television appearances include the first Danger Man episode, “View From A Villa” (1960), plus a subsequent episode that season, “The Traitor” (also 1960); The Saint (1962), an episode of The New Phil Silvers Show (1963), two episodes of 12 O’Clock High (1965 and 1966); The Avengers episodes “Dragonsfield” (1961) and “From Venus With Love” (1967); the TV miniseries Prince Regent (1979); The Borgias (1981); the Blake’s 7 episode “Stardrive” (1981); the Crown Court episode ‘Proof Spirits’ (1981), the Doctor Who serial Planet of Fire (1984), and EastEnders (1988).
In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed Shelley about her career at Hammer Films for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror.
Shelley died on 4 January 2021. She was admitted in hospital in December 2020 for a muscle check up and in that process she contracted COVID-19. She ten recovered from the disease. Her agent reported that underlying issues are the cause of death.