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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Polly James
Born (1941-07-08) 8 July 1941 (age 82)
Years active1966–2001

Pauline James (formerly Devaney; born 8 July 1941) is an English actress with a career in theatre, film, television and radio.

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Pauline James was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, under the name Pauline Devaney.[1] After graduating from RADA, her TV career began in BBC2's Thirty-Minute Theatre, followed by the role of a drug addict in Z-Cars in 1967.[2] She played Audrey Hargreaves in Coronation Street in 1967.[3][4]

She is best known for her role as Beryl Hennessey in the first four series of the British sitcom The Liver Birds (1969–74), mostly alongside Nerys Hughes.[5][6] She played Cicely Courtneidge in the biographical musical of the actress Once More with Music in 1976, and appeared as a soubrette in Alan Clarke's 1982 production of Baal. She played the role of Jane Hampden on "The Awakening" episode of Doctor Who in 1984.[7] She appeared in the West End musicals I and Albert and Anne of Green Gables. In 1971, James appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in The Merchant of Venice with Judi Dench.[8]

James appeared as Jenny Wren in the 1976 BBC adaptation of Dickens's Our Mutual Friend.[9]

Personal life

She is divorced[10] and has one child by actor Clive Francis.

Polly was a pupil at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, High School for Girls, Hammersmith from Sept 1952-June 1957. Her name was Maureen James.[citation needed]

Television roles

Year Title Role
1967 Z-Cars
1967 Coronation Street Audrey Hargreaves
1969 to 1974 The Liver Birds Beryl Hennessey
1976 Our Mutual Friend (1976 TV serial) Jenny Wren
1984 Doctor Who Jane Hampden
1991 Casualty Sylvia Vaughan
1996 The Liver Birds Beryl Fenning, née Hennessey
2000 to 2001 The Worst Witch Miss Lavinia Crotchet


  1. ^ Adrian Room (1981). Naming Names: Stories of Pseudonyms and Name Changes, with a Who's Who. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7100-0920-3.
  2. ^ "Polly James (I)". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  3. ^ Webber, Richard (13 April 2013). "Whatever happened to The Liver Birds?". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  4. ^ "The Liver Birds DVD release brings back memories East Lancashire actress Polly". Lancashire Telegraph. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  5. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "The Liver Birds - BBC1 Sitcom". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  6. ^ Bryant, Tom; Robertson, Peter (25 January 2018). "Liver Birds' Nerys Hughes reveals brushes with sleazy men in showbiz". mirror. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  7. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Awakening - Details". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Search | RSC Performances | MER197103 - The Merchant of Venice | Shakespeare Birthplace Trust". Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  9. ^ Sean Grass (15 May 2017). Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend: A Publishing History. Taylor & Francis. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-317-16822-5.
  10. ^ Isobel Wolff (2 June 1996). "How We Met". Retrieved 1 November 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 September 2023, at 20:40
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