Marvelous Moonbase Maiden
Gabrielle Drake (born 30 March 1944) has had a long and successful career. For many of her fans, though, she could have stopped acting completely in 1970 and still be a legend. Let's look a little deeper into the life and career of the delightful Gabrielle Drake.
Gabrielle is about as English as they come, but she wasn't actually born in England. Her family was in Lahore, British India at the time, so that's where Gabrielle came into the world.
Gabrielle's mother, Molly Drake, was an amateur songwriter. Some of that talent passed on to her children.
When the family returned to England in 1952, Gabrielle got her first taste of acting on the ship back home performing in plays. The family lived near Birmingham. Gabrielle eventually went on to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, quite a prestigious appointment.
Gabrielle's brother was Nick Drake. He was a famous singer/songwriter in the late '60s. His career was a bit of a family affair, as Gabrielle sang backup and he performed some songs written by their mum.
Since Nick passed away, Gabrielle has helped to keep his memory alive, as with a documentary, "A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake," and her memoir, "Nick Drake: Remembered for a While," published in 2004.
Gabrielle's first filmed appearance was on a television series, "Best of Friends," in 1963.
A number of other television series appearances followed. They included "The Avengers," "The Saint," "Intrigue" and "Haunted."
In 1970, Gabrielle got her first recurring television role, as Lt. Gay Ellis on "UFO." The show only lasted for one season, but it made a lasting impression.
During the year's filming, Gabrielle got an offer to appear in a "Connecting Rooms" with Bette Davis. It was an offer that Gabrielle could not pass up, so she disappeared from "UFO" midway through, only to re-appear towards the end.
After UFO's cancellation, Gabrielle continued to appear in television series such as "Kate" and "Misleading Cases."
These included "There's a Girl in My Soup," "Suburban Wives" and, best of all, "Au Pair Girls."
Gabrielle's next recurring role was as Jill Hammond/Jill Williams on "The Brothers" for a couple of years. Many people who are not UFO fans remember her from this.
After that, Gabrielle mostly concentrated on television work. She had another recurring role on "Kelly Monteith" in 1979.
Like so many top British actors, Gabrielle eventually found her way onto "Crossroads." She plays Nicola Freeman in the mid-80s.
Gabrielle also developed a long relationship with "Coronation Street." She first appeared in 1967 as Inga Olsen. She came back over four decades later to play Vanessa.
Most recently, Gabrielle's television work included appearances on "The Royal" and "Doctors."
Gabrielle has also had a long career in the theater. In fact, her theatrical work probably outshines her filmed oeuvre.
Gabrielle made her stage debut in 1964 at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, playing Cecily in "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Decades later, after a lifetime of parts in other productions, Gabrielle had her own one-woman show, "Dear Scheherazade." She also read poetry in the recital, "Beloved Clara," in 2011.
Gabrielle has been married to Louis de Wet for many decades and lives in the restored Wenlock Abbey in Much Wenlock, Shropshire.