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Brighton, England
Birth Sign
Brighton, England

Wanda Ventham is a well-known English actress who has appeared in a number of films and television shows. She is best recognized for her roles in the films “Asylum,” “Death Is a Woman,” and “Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter,” but she also got praise for her stunt work in “The Blood Beast Terror.” She is most known for her work in the television series ‘UFO’ and the sitcom ‘Only Fools & Horses.’ It’s difficult to believe that acting was not her first choice of job when looking at her resume today. She truly wanted to be an artist as a child and even went to art school for a year. She was first exposed to the world of dramatics and acting while working as a scenic painter for the Connaught Theatre. Her priorities shifted, and she decided to pursue a career in acting. She began applying for parts after completing a course at the Central School of Speech and Drama. While her early years as an actor were difficult, she was eventually able to make a name for herself in the industry. She is known as the mother of famed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, in addition to being a well-known actress in her own right.

Childhood and Adolescence

Wanda Ventham was born in Brighton, East Sussex, England, on August 5, 1935, to Frederick Howard Ventham and Gladys Frances. Wanda Ventham always wanted to be an artist as a child, so she went to art school. She worked as a scenery painter for the ‘Connaught Theatre’ in Worthing, West Sussex, but she left art to pursue a career in professional theatre. She enrolled in the ‘Central School of Speech and Drama’ to pursue a career in acting and graduated in 1956.

Career of Wanda Ventham

Wanda Ventham’s remarkable acting career spans more than five decades, with her debut appearance in the 1950s in the film ‘My Teenage Daughter,’ in which she played the character of ‘Gina’ (1956). She was cast in the 1959 film ‘The Navy Lark,’ in which she portrayed the role of ‘Mabel.’ She then appeared in ‘We Joined the Navy’ after this film (1961).

She worked for Peter Rogers Productions in the 1960s, appearing in a few of his comedy, including ‘Carry on Cleo’ (1964) and ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ (1966). (1968). She starred alongside Mark Burns in the mystery film ‘Death is a Woman’ in 1961. ‘Solo for Sparrow’ (1962), ‘The Big Job'(1965), ‘The Knack…and How to Get It'(1965), ‘Death Is a Woman'(1966), ‘The Spy with a Cold Nose'(1966), and ‘Mister Ten Percent'(1966) are some of the other notable 1960s films in which she appeared (1967).

She played Clare Mallinger in the British horror film ‘The Blood Beast Terror’ (1968), in which she was cast. Wanda Ventham performed her own stunts and dressed up as the huge moth monster in this film. In 1974, she landed her big break as Colonel Virginia Lake in the British science fiction series ‘UFO,’ which was based on a narrative about Earth being invaded by aliens.

She also worked in theatre and television, appearing in films such as ‘The Saint,’ ‘The Likely Lads,’ ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Z Cars,’ ‘A Family at War,’ and ‘Crown Court.’ Her starring part in the 1972-1973 television series ‘The Lotus Eaters’ earned her great recognition.

Wanda Ventham played characters such as Jean Rock in ‘The Faceless Ones’ (1967), Thea Ransome in ‘Image of the Fendahl’ (1977), and Faroon in ‘Time and the Rani’ over the course of three decades for the classic series ‘Doctor Who’ (1987). In the sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses,’ she played Pamela Parry, Cassandra Trotter’s mother, from 1989 to 1992. Her performance in the series received a lot of praise.

Wanda Ventham, who had retired from acting for decades, returned to the small screen in 2014 to play Mrs. Holmes in the television series ‘Sherlock.’ Her real-life husband, ‘Tim Carlton,’ and real-life son, ‘Benedict Cumberbatch,’ who plays Sherlock Holmes, co-starred alongside her.

Major Projects of Wanda Ventham

Wanda Ventham is most remembered for her role as Colonel Virginia Lake in the science fiction television series ‘UFO,’ as well as her outstanding performance in the sitcom ‘Only Fools & Horses.’

Achievements & Awards

Wanda Ventham was listed in the “Most Beautiful People in the World” edition of ‘People’ magazine in 2014.

Personal History and Legacy

Wanda Ventham married her first husband, James Tabernacle, in 1957, and the couple had one daughter, Tracy. On November 12, 1974, she divorced James. In 1976, she married Timothy Carlton, an English actor. They met while filming the drama series ‘A Family at War,’ and they co-starred in the BBC drama ‘The Lotus Eater,’ in 1973. Benedict Cumberbatch, the couple’s son, is also a well-known actor. She has two grandchildren, Christopher Carlton Cumberbatch and Hal Auden Cumberbatch, as well as a granddaughter, Emily Peacock, who is the daughter of her first marriage’s daughter Tracy Peacock.

Estimated Net Worth

Wanda is one of the wealthiest TV actresses and one of the most well-known. Wanda Ventham’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


For her role as Thea Ransome in the ‘Doctor Who’ series – ‘Image of the Fendahl,’ she was entirely covered in gold paint.