Glynis Barber

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Glynis Barber
Born Glynis van der Riet
(1955-10-25) 25 October 1955 (age 63)
Durban, South Africa
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Paul Antony-Barber (m. 1976; div. 1979)
Michael Brandon (m. 1989)
Children 1

Glynis Barber-Brandon (born Glynis van der Riet;[1] 25 October 1955) is a South African-born British actress of Afrikaner descent. When she was five years old, her parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Johannesburg. She is best known for her portrayals of Soolin in Blake's 7, Sgt. Harriet Makepeace in the British police drama Dempsey and Makepeace, Fiona Brake in Night and Day, DCI Grace Barraclough in Emmerdale and Glenda Mitchell in EastEnders.

Acting career


She studied at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Acting since 1978, her popular breakthrough came in 1981 with her role as Soolin in the BBC science fiction television series Blake's 7.

In 1982 she took the title role in the television series Jane playing a World War II heroine. This series was filmed against a blue screen allowing for the addition of a cartoon background, an experimental technique in its day. However, Barber is best known for her mid-1980s role of Sgt. Harriet Makepeace in the British police drama Dempsey and Makepeace, where she met her future husband, Michael Brandon.

Since 1987, Barber has appeared frequently in plays, films and television series. She also starred in the LWT drama series Night and Day as Fiona Brake. In 2006 she joined the cast of ITV soap, Emmerdale, playing the character of DCI Grace Barraclough, investigating the death of Tom King on Christmas Day. She exited the soap in September 2007, when her character was killed.

In 2009, she appeared as hospital administrator Jean McAteer in The Royal, another ITV drama series set in Yorkshire [1] On 23 October 2009 it was announced she would play Glenda Mitchell the mother of Ronnie Mitchell, Roxy Mitchell and Danny Mitchell in EastEnders after Jill Gascoine withdrew from the role during her first day on set.[2] On 27 February 2011 it was announced that Barber was to leave EastEnders in March 2011.

In September 2013 she appeared in the ITV dancing show Stepping Out with husband Michael Brandon.

In February 2015, Barber admitted that she would consider an EastEnders comeback. The star commented: "I’ve always felt that Glenda left with a few unresolved issues. It would be fun to go back and create a little bit of havoc!". Glenda returned for two episodes on January 1, 2016. [3]


Her stage work has included Macbeth, Killing Time with Dennis Waterman, High Flyers with Hugh Grant, Make Me a Match and The Graduate. In 2011 Barber starred alongside Christopher Timothy and Denis Lill in Alan Ayckbourn's Seasons Greetings playing Belinda. In 2013 she plays impulsive and rebellious Melissa Gardner in Love Letters at Dundee Repertory Theatre along with Michael Brandon. Barber played Carole King's mother, Genie Klein, in the West End production of 'Beautiful - The Carole King Musical' from opening at The Aldwych Theatre on 24 February 2015 until 28 November 2015


Her early film roles included the horror film Terror (1978), and the football drama Yesterday's Hero (1979) starring Ian McShane. She also appeared as Lady Caroline in Michael Winner's 1983 remake of The Wicked Lady, which starred Faye Dunaway. She later appeared as Elisabeth Jekyll in Edge of Sanity (1989), and the 1997 film, Déjà Vu alongside Vanessa Redgrave. More recently she appeared as Anthea Davis in On the Nose in 2001 along with Dan Aykroyd and Robbie Coltrane.

Personal life

Barber was born in Durban, South Africa, the daughter of Heather Maureen (Robb) and Frederick Werndly Barry van der Riet.[4] She married actor Paul Antony-Barber, whom she met at drama school, in 1976. They were divorced in 1979.[5]

Barber married her Dempsey and Makepeace co-star Michael Brandon on 18 November 1989; they have a son, Alexander Max Brandon (born November 1992).[5]

Selected filmography


  1. 1.0 1.1 The official website of the actress Glynis Barber
  2. Green, Kris (23 October 2009). "'EastEnders' recasts Glenda Mitchell". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Biography" Official website

External links