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Carole Ann Ford

Carole Ann Ford

Carole Ann Lillian Ford (née Higgins; born 16 June 1940 in Ilford, Essex)[4] is a British actress best known for her roles as Susan Foreman in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and as Bettina in the 1962 film adaptation of The Day of the Triffids.

Carole Ann Ford
Ford in 1986
Carole Ann Lillian Higgins[1]

(1940-06-16) 16 June 1940
Ilford, Essex, England
OccupationActress, voice coach
Years active1948present
Known forFirst Doctor Who companion
TelevisionDoctor Who (196364;
1983, 1993)
Spouse(s)Walter Jokel
(m. 1959; div. 1967)[2]
Harry Kornhauser
(m. 1974)[3]

Life and career

Ford has had a long and diverse acting career. Her theatrical work includes many comedies, dramas and musicals, including The Jungle Book, Stranger in the House, Bakerloo to Paradise, The Owl and the Pussycat, The Rumpus, Pride and Prejudice, Inadmissible Evidence, Enrico, Expresso Bongo, Sleeping Beauty, You Never Can Tell, Ned Kelly, Mother, MacBett, The Boy Friend, Have You Seen Manchester and Private Lives.

Her film appearances include The Day of the Triffids (1962) as the blind French girl Bettina, Mix Me a Person (1962), The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966), The Hiding Place (1975) and The Incredible Sarah (1976). In addition to Doctor Who, her television appearances include Suspense (in the episode "Man on a Bicycle"), Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (in the episode "Affairs and Relations"),[5] Public Eye,[6] Emergency Ward 10, Attorney General, Moonstrike, Compact, Probation Officer and Dial M for Murder (1967).

Ford appeared on Juke Box Jury[7] and various quiz shows, and has performed many voice-overs and voice dubs.

Doctor Who

According to the documentary Doctor Who: Origins, an appearance on Z-Cars prompted Ford's screen test for the role of Susan in Doctor Who in 1963. Playing the granddaughter of the Doctor, Ford was one of the three original companions to accompany William Hartnell's incarnation of the Time Lord. According to Ford, Susan was originally intended to be a character similar to those in The Champions, with telepathic abilities as well as the skills to fly the TARDIS, but in the series she was made to be far more ordinary.[8] Her character departed from the series at the conclusion of the 1964 serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but returned briefly for both the series's 20th-anniversary TV special, The Five Doctors (1983),[6] and 30th-anniversary charity special, Dimensions in Time (1993). She appeared as a different character in the independent Doctor Who spin-off film Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans (1995).

Ford mostly stopped acting following an illness in 1977 which led to a dramatic weight reduction and the loss of her voice [8] (it recovered later). Since then, she taught voice and presentation skills and dialogue coaching to politicians, businesspeople, after-dinner speakers, and actors.[9] Since the 2000s, however, she has made a limited return to the profession, reprising the role of Susan in a number of Doctor Who audio plays by Big Finish Productions (some of which have been broadcast on BBC Radio): two Doctor Who Unbound stories, Auld Mortality and A Storm of Angels; two Companion Chronicles stories, Here There Be Monsters and Quinnis; and three stories also featuring the Doctor, starting with the subscription-only release An Earthly Child, in which her character is reunited with Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor, followed by Relative Dimensions and Lucie Miller.

She was played by Claudia Grant in the BBC Two docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, which dramatises the story of the conception of Doctor Who and was broadcast on 21 November 2013 to complement the series' 50th-anniversary special.[10] Ford herself appeared in a small role as a character named Joyce.[11]

In November 2013, Ford appeared in the one-off 50th-anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[12] Ford also narrated the behind the scenes look at the making of An Adventure In Space And Time, "The Making of Doctor Who". She examines the making of Doctor Who and what it was like to work with William Hartnell (the First Doctor).



Year Title Role Notes
1948 The Last Load Unknown
1959 Horrors of the Black Museum Teen in hall of mirrors uncredited
The Ghost Train Murder Jean
1962 Mix Me a Person Jenny
The Day of the Triffids Bettina
1963 The Punch and Judy Man Girl in seaside kiosk
1966 The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery Mademoiselle Albertine
1967 The Man Outside Cindy
1975 The Hiding Place Woman uncredited
1976 The Incredible Sarah Unknown uncredited
1994 Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans Zorelle
1999 Soul's Ark Stella Grant


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Expresso Bongo Ensemble TV film
1959 Probation Officer Susan Portway Series 1, Episode 12
1960 Emergency-Ward 10 Miss Foulkes Series 1, Episode 385
1961 Dixon of Dock Green Helen Layton Series 7, Episode 21: "River Beat"
No Hiding Place Mary Donovon Series 3, Episode 9: "The Toy House"
1962 Crying Down the Lane Jenny Series 1, Episode 1
Z-Cars Rita Series 1, Episode 5: "The Big Catch"
Harpers West One Marilyn Series 2, Episode 5
1963 Suspense Jacky Series 2, Episode 12: "The Man on the Bicycle"
1963–1964 Doctor Who Susan Foreman Season 1: (42 episodes)

Season 2: (9 episodes)

1965 The Plane Makers Wally Griggs Series 1, Episode 15: "One of Those Days"
Public Eye Jenny Graham Episode: The Morning Wasn't So Hot
Dial M For Murder TV film
1974 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? Valerie Series 2, Episode 8: "Affairs and Relations"
1983 Doctor Who Susan Foreman Season 20, Episode 23: "The Five Doctors"
1993 Dimensions in Time TV short
2013 An Adventure in Space and Time Joyce TV film
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Carole Ann Ford TV film


  1. "Entry Info". FreeBMD. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  2. "Decree for actress". The Daily Telegraph. 18 April 1967. p. 21. Retrieved 10 June 2020 via Doctor Who Cuttings Archive.
  3. "Curse of Dr Who (or why do so many of the time traveller's mini-skirted assistants seem to have been lost in space?)". Doctor Who Cuttings Archive. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  4. "Doctor Who Guide". Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  5. ""Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?" Affairs and Relations (TV Episode 1974) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. "Doctor Who companions: Where are they now?".
  7. ""Juke Box Jury" Episode #1.260 (TV Episode 1964) - IMDb". IMDb.
  8. Doctor Who. "'Doctor Who? It destroyed my acting career'". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  9. Donna White, "A Time Lord of Romance", Sunday Mail (Glasgow, 20 March 2005).
  10. "Jessica Carney Associates". 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  11. "1963: Brought Back To Life!". Doctor Who Magazine. Panini Comics (458): 7. April 2013.
  12. "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
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