WCW: Jane Asher


I admit, I first heard of Jane Asher as a former girlfriend of Paul McCartney, because I grew up in a Beatlemania household, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that was the same person in those movies and TV shows. But I’ve read that she doesn’t like to talk about that relationship since it was just a blip in her life, and that’s fair. She started as a child actor and was featured in nine TV shows, eight films, five plays, and over 100 radio appearances by the time she turned 15. Moving on to adult roles, she made a splash with both Hammer horror and BBC historicals. She’s still going strong in her 70s mostly with parts in contemporary British TV shows. Maybe she’ll turn up in another frock flick soon!



Alice, Susan in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1956)

Jane Asher, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1956)

Playing two roles in different episodes of this adventure series.



Jenny Purdy in The Buccaneers (1957)

Jane Asher, The Buccaneers (1957)

Decent costume for a child in an 18th-c. pirate TV series!



Lady Jane in The Prince and the Pauper (1962)

Jane Asher in The Prince and the Pauper (1962)

One of the 8 bazillion versions of this Mark Twain tale set right before Edward VI of England’s coronation. I question the hair, but the gown & lute are fine.



Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1962)

Jane Asher, Romeo and Juliet (1962)

This might be from when Asher performed the play at the Old Vic, but IMDB lists it as a TV performance. Either way, she got good reviews for her turn at Shakespeare.



Francesca in The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Masque of the Red Death (1964) - Jane Asher

Where I first noticed Jane Asher!

Jane Asher

Her role is a sort of sacrificial virgin for Vincent Price’s evil lord, & she holds her own. Very 1960s hair notwithstanding.



Maggie Tulliver in The Mill on the Floss (1965)

Jane Asher, The Mill on the Floss (1965)

Not really sure if this is from the TV production of George Eliot’s novel. It could be from a different theater production.



Anne Maria Moody in Wicked Women (1970)

Jane Asher, Wicked Women (1970)

This was a drama series supposedly based on real women from the headlines of Victorian newspapers. In this episode, set in the 1860s, a mistress plots to kill her lover & get out of debt.



Jane Seymour in Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)

1972 Henry VIII and His Six Wives

Henry VIII’s historical perfect compliant wife!

1972 Henry VIII and his Six Wives

With hot gable-hood action!

1972 Henry VIII and his Six Wives

All blingy!



Thea Elvsted in “Hedda Gabler,” BBC Play of the Month (1972)

Jane Asher, Hedda Gabler (1972)

Sorry for the YouTube screencap, but the costumes don’t look too terrible in this version of the Ibsen play.



Lucy Saville in “Fellow Townsmen,” Wessex Tales (1973)

Jane Asher, Wessex Tales (1973)

Starring in one of the Thomas Hardy stories from this BBC anthology series.



Lady Joanne Williams in Hawkmoor (1978)

Jane Asher, Hawkmoor (1978)

A five-part TV series based on a 16th-century Welsh folk hero & set in the 1550s.

Jane Asher, Hawkmoor (1978)

Someone went to a lot of effort to make a bad, weird French hood here!



Celia Ryder in Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Jane Asher plays Charles’ wife, who he marries for money. She’s totally ignored by him, so she has an affair, which he then holds against her. Fucking MEN.

Brideshead Revisited (1981)

But she has family money & supports his “art” career.

Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Even when she realizes he’s started screwing another woman.

Brideshead Revisited (1981)

At least she gets an awesome wardrobe!



Emma Vane in East Lynne (1982)

Jane Asher, East Lynne (1982). Photo via Shutterstock.

A BBC adaption of a Victorian best-seller. Photo via Shutterstock.



Mrs. Liddell in Dreamchild (1985)

Jane Asher, Dreamchild (1985)

Asher plays the mother of the little girl Alice, who became the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In 1958, a young Asher had played Alice in recorded versions of versions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass for Argo Records.



Faith Ashley in Wish Me Luck (1988-1990)

Jane Asher, Wish Me Luck (1988-1990)

A TV series about female British undercover agents during the WWII.



Mrs. Lester in “Murder at the Vicarage,” Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004)

Jane Asher, Marple (2004)

Because every British actor shows up in Marple at some point!



Emperatriz in The Maidens’ Conspiracy (2006)

Jane Asher, The Maidens' Conspiracy (2006)

She’s a Byzantine empress in some kind of romantic romp, I think? It looks flashy & a bit silly.



Lady Mary in “Three Act Tragedy,” Agatha Christie’s Poirot (2010)

Jane Asher, Poirot (2010)

Because every British actor must also show up in Poirot at some point!




What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV role of Jane Asher’s?

11 Responses

  1. M.E. Lawrence

    Oh, my, the lovely Jane–she really did have the right face and carriage (and skills) for historical drama. I admired her Mrs. Liddell, and would like to see her as Jane Seymour.

  2. hsc

    THE MASQUE OF THE DRED DEATH, though filmed in England, wasn’t connected to Hammer in any way; it was a Roger Corman film for American-International Pictures. One of Asher’s first roles, however, was in 1955’s THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, a SF/horror film that got the ball rolling for Hammer. (However, she was unbilled, playing a little girl.)

    MASQUE was degintely AIP trying to go for what was making Hammer a success, so it’s easy to see the confusion, especially since they shot it using some of the same personnel and locations.

  3. Colleen

    I have only seen her in the Agatha Christie adaptations, but they did a great job dressing her as Jane Seymour.

  4. EA Gorman

    Ms. Asher has been happily married to British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe since 1981. (I wonder how she feels when he draws friends of hers in his works.) I think she looks better as she gets older. Some people grow into their faces.


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