Kate O’Mara sadly passed away today at the age of 74. She was famous for her role in the TV series Dynasty, but to sci-fi fans she’s forever known as the only actress (so far) to play an iconic villain on Doctor Who: the Rani. Unlike the power-hungry villain archtype of the Master, the Rani was a ruthless evil scientist who wasn’t interested in ruling the universe as so much as she wanted to understand it, no matter the cost. She was a Time Lady with a TARDIS of her own, and her amoral pursuit of science was an interesting foil for the Doctor. It was a role Kate O’Mara played delightfully over-the-top, and she remains memorable to this day.
Kate O’Mara appeared in two serials: “The Mark of the Rani” (1985) and “Time and the Rani” (1987), opposite the sixth and seventh Doctors respectively. She also appeared in the charity special Dimensions in Time (which is of dubious canonicity). Apart from Doctor Who, she has appeared in several genre films and tv shows, such as a guest role in the British TV series The Avengers, as well as 70s gothic horror B-movies such as Vampire Lovers and The Horror of Frankenstein (both from 1970).
Kate O’Mara had a long and fruitful career in film and television, and she will be missed.