The British actress, best known to audiences for portraying manipulative Cassandra “Caress” Morrell, sister to Joan Collins’ Alex Colby in the American soap, passed away in a Sussex nursing home after suffering a short illness.
”She was extraordinary, she had so much energy and vitality with a love for theatre and acting,”said her agent Phil Belfield. “A shining star has gone out and Kate will be dearly missed by all who knew and have worked with her.”
O’Mara first began appearing on television screens in the 1960s but it was the eighties soap that made her name. She went on to play a ruthless businesswoman in BBC drama Howards’ Way and landed a role playing Time Lord The Rani in Doctor Who opposite sixth and seventh Doctors Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy – a character she said she would love to reprise.
More recently O’Mara has appeared on BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous as Joanna Lumley’s on-screen sister, Jackie, as well as taking roles in Bad Girls, Benidorn and a 2012 stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile.
A number of O’Mara’s former co-stars have spoken of their sadness at her passing with both Joan Collins and Colin Baker taking to Twitter to share their reaction to the news:
Tragic news about Kate O Mara , we had great fun on Dynasty when she played my sister Caress who Alexis insisted on calling CASSIE ! RIP
In addition to her acting, O’Mara published two autobiographies and two novels, When She Was Bad and Good Time Girl. She was married to Jeremy Young and Richard Willis and leaves behind a sister, actress Belinda Carroll.