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Gabrielle Drake

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Gabrielle Drake


Louis de Wet

Nick Drake (brother)

Gabrielle Drake with a serious face while sitting on a chair, with short wavy hair, and wearing a piece of blue cloth covering her naked body.

30 March 1944 (age 79) (

Film, television and stage actress

Much Wenlock, United Kingdom

Movies and TV shows
UFO, Au Pair Girls, There's a Girl in My Soup, The Brothers, Connecting Rooms

Similar People
Nick Drake, Ed Bishop, Sylvia Anderson, Wanda Ventham, Gerry Anderson

Rodney Drake, Molly Drake

Gabrielle drake as lt ellis tribute

Gabrielle Drake (born 30 March 1944) is a British actress. She became well known in the 1970s for her appearance in television series, most notably The Brothers and UFO. In the early 1970s she appeared in several erotic roles on screen. She later took parts in soap operas Crossroads and Coronation Street. She has also had a long career on stage.


Gabrielle Drake smiling, with short hair, wearing earrings, a scarf, a brown coat, and a red top.

Her brother was the musician Nick Drake. She has consistently helped to promote his work since his death in 1974.

Gabrielle Drake with long wavy blonde hair and wearing a sexy two-piece inside a bedroom.

Gabrielle drake in a bathtub with john alderton

Early life

Gabrielle Drake looking above, with wavy short hair, and wearing a sexy blouse showing almost her breast.

Drake was born in Lahore, British India, the daughter of Rodney Drake and amateur songwriter Molly Drake. Her father was an engineer working for the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. The family moved from Burma to Britain when she was eight. She later commented that,

Gabrielle Drake with a smiling face while sitting on an orange couch, with short hair, wearing a sexy sleeveless orange dress and holding a red apple.

Until then, life was fairly easy out east. There were lots of servants ... not that I remember having a spoilt childhood. Then suddenly we were back in England and in the grips of rationing. And yet, we were lucky in a way. We came back with my nanny who knew far more about England than mummy did. I remember the two of them standing over the Aga with a recipe book trying to work out how to roast beef, that sort of thing!

On the ship travelling to Britain she appeared in children's theatrical productions, later saying of herself "I was a dreadful exhibitionist." She attended Edgbaston College for Girls in Birmingham, Wycombe Abbey School, Buckinghamshire and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. She has had a long stage career beginning in the mid-1960s, and has regularly appeared in television dramas.

Screen career

Drake first gained wide attention for her portrayal of Lieutenant Gay Ellis in the 1970 science fiction television series UFO, in which her costume consisted of a silver suit and a purple wig. In the series, the character of Lt Ellis is the commander of Moonbase, which is Earth's first line of defence against invading flying saucers. Drake appeared in roughly half the 26 episodes produced, leaving the series during a break in the production to pursue other acting opportunities.

In 1971 Drake appeared in a short film entitled Crash!, based on a chapter in J. G. Ballard's book The Atrocity Exhibition. The film, directed by Harley Cokeliss, featured Ballard talking about the ideas in his book. Drake appeared as a passenger and car-crash victim. Ballard later developed the idea into his 1973 novel Crash. In his draft of the novel he mentioned Drake by name, but references to her were removed from the published version. In 2009, Ballard appeared on the BBC documentary series Synth Britannia and played Gary Numan's song Cars. He interspersed clips of Drake from Crash! with Numan's 1979 video. A reviewer in The Scotsman commented that the presence of Drake "brought serious glamour to urban alienation".

In the early 1970s Drake was associated with the boom in British sexploitation movies, repeatedly appearing nude or topless. She played a nude artist's model in the 1970 film Connecting Rooms, and was one of Peter Sellers' conquests in the film There's a Girl in My Soup. She also played one of the lead roles in the sex comedy Au Pair Girls (1972) and appeared in two Derek Ford films, Suburban Wives (1971) and its sequel Commuter Husbands (1972), in which she played the narrator who links the disparate episodes together.

Her early television appearances include The Avengers (1967), Coronation Street (as Inga Olsen in 1967) and The Saint (1968). In 1970, she auditioned for the part of Jo Grant in Doctor Who, reaching the final shortlist of three, but did not get the part.

She gained wide exposure in The Brothers, the hit BBC family drama series, in which she appeared as a regular for the first four seasons playing Jill, the girlfriend (and later wife) of David Hammond. She also appeared in an episode of Brian Clemens' '70s series Thriller, in The Kelly Monteith Show (as Monteith's wife 1979–80), a television version of The Importance of Being Earnest (1985, for LWT/PBS), Crossroads (1985–87, as motel boss Nicola Freeman) and returned to Coronation Street in 2009 as Vanessa. In The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2003–05) she played the protagonist's mother.

Stage career

Drake made her stage debut in 1964, during the inaugural season of the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, playing Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1966, she joined the Birmingham Repertory Company and played Queen Isabella in Marlowe's Edward II. She also had roles in Private Lives (with Renee Asherson), The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles (with Linda Marlowe and Patrick Mower), Twelfth Night and Inadmissible Evidence. The following year, she was Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. In the 1974-5 season at the Bristol Old Vic, she played in Cowardy Custard, a devised entertainment featuring the words and music of Noël Coward. In 1975, she appeared as Madeline Bassett in the original London cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn musical Jeeves. She also appeared in French Without Tears at the Little Theatre, Bristol. In 1978, she played Lavinia, opposite Simon Callow in the title role, in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, directed by Adrian Noble, at the New Vic, Bristol. She also appeared at the Bristol Old Vic in that year, in Vanbrugh's The Provok'd Wife.

She was directed by Mike Ockrent in Look, No Hans!, alongside David Jason, during the 83-84 season at the Theatre Royal, Bath. She made a second appearance in The Importance of Being Earnest at the Royalty Theatre, London, in a production directed by Donald Sinden, which also starred Wendy Hiller, Clive Francis, Phyllida Law and Denis Lawson (87-88). In 1988, she played Fiona Foster in a revival of Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves, first at the Greenwich Theatre, then at the Duke of York's Theatre. During the 1990-91 season at the Theatre Royal, Bath, she played in Risky Kisses with Ian Lavender. She was in the Mobil Touring Theatre's official centenary production of Charley's Aunt in 1991, with Frank Windsor, Patrick Cargill and Mark Curry. In 1993, she was Monica in Coward's Present Laughter at the Globe Theatre, London, in a revival directed by and starring Tom Conti. She co-starred with Jeremy Clyde in the 1995 King's Head Theatre tour of Cavalcade, directed by Dan Crawford. In 1999, she was Vittoria in Paul Kerryson's production of The White Devil at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester. She also toured with the Oxford Stage Company in that year, as Hester Bellboys in John Whiting's A Penny for a Song, alongside Julian Glover, Jeremy Clyde, and Charles Kay. She played Mrs Malaprop in the 2002 touring production of The Rivals with the British Actors' Theatre Company, whose artistic director, Kate O'Mara, was Drake's co-star in the TV series The Brothers.

She has made regular appearances at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, since her debut there in a non-pantomime version of Cinderella, written by Trevor Peacock, in 1979. That same year, she co-starred with Sorcha Cusack and Susan Penhaligon in Caspar Wrede's production of The Cherry Orchard. In 1986, she was Madame Gobette in the British premiere of Maurice Hennequin's Court in the Act, which subsequently played at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, and the Theatre Royal, Bath, before transferring to the Phoenix Theatre in London (1987). Other roles at the Royal Exchange include Mrs Erlynne in Lady Windermere's Fan (1996); Anna in The Ghost Train Tattoo (2000); Fay in Loot (2001); Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (2004); and The Comtesse de la Briere in What Every Woman Knows (2006). At the same theatre in 2001, Drake replaced Patricia Routledge as Mrs Conway during the rehearsal period for J. B. Priestley's Time and the Conways, when Routledge was forced to withdraw from the production due to illness.

Elsewhere, she has appeared in her one-woman show, Dear Scheherazade, as the 19th century writer Elizabeth Gaskell (2005, 2007, 2010). At the Chipping Campden Literature Festival in 2011, she and Martin Jarvis read extracts from the letters and diaries of Robert and Clara Schumann in the recital, Beloved Clara. She had appeared in the same piece the previous year, again with Jarvis and the pianist Lucy Parham, at the Wigmore Hall in London.


Drake has helped to ensure the public renown of her brother Nick Drake and her mother Molly Drake. She can be heard accompanying her brother Nick on a number of songs that he recorded privately, and which have since been released on the album Family Tree. After the release of songs written and performed by her mother, she said "Her creativity was a personal thing, and she was lucky to be able to develop it in an environment where that side of her was totally accepted. Indeed, my father encouraged it. He was so proud of her. On one occasion, he even made the 20 mile drive to Birmingham to get four songs pressed onto a disc." In 2014 she published Nick Drake: Remembered for a While, a memoir of her brother.

She lives in Wenlock Abbey in Much Wenlock, Shropshire with her husband of over 40 years the South African-born artist Louis de Wet. The couple bought the house in 1983. She and her husband have renovated their home over several years as an artistic project. In 2004 he described it as "the most beautiful building site in the world". Drake was the producer of In the Gaze of the Medusa, a 2013 film by Gavin Bush about the renovation project and her husband's designs for the house.

Television roles

  • Riviera Police (TV Series)|Riviera Police (one episode, 1965)
  • The Avengers (one episode, "The Hidden Tiger", produced in January 1967)
  • The Champions (one episode, "Full Circle",1969)
  • UFO (1969–70)
  • Man at the Top (one episode, "Join the Human Race", 1970)
  • The Brothers (1972–74)
  • Thriller (one episode, "Kill Two Birds" 1976)
  • The New Avengers (one episode, "Dead Men Are Dangerous", 1977)
  • The Professionals (1978)
  • The Kelly Monteith Show (1979–80)
  • Number 10 (one episode, 1983)
  • Crossroads (1985–87)
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2003–05)
  • Doctors (2011)
  • Special Branch (TV Series S2 E10 1 episode). 1970.
  • Never the Twain
  • Audio recordings

  • The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake (2017)
  • Filmography

    Doctors (TV Series) as
    Judith Templeman / Bella Smith
    - Known Impediment (2012) - Judith Templeman
    - Relax and Rejuvenate (2011) - Bella Smith
    The Royal (TV Series) as
    Margo Price
    - These Foolish Things (2009) - Margo Price
    Coronation Street (TV Series) as
    Inga Olsen / Vanessa
    - Episode #1.7091 (2009) - Vanessa
    - Episode #1.7089 (2009) - Vanessa
    - Episode #1.679 (1967) - Inga Olsen
    - Episode #1.678 (1967) - Inga Olsen
    - Episode #1.677 (1967) - Inga Olsen
    - Episode #1.676 (1967) - Inga Olsen
    Boy Meets Girl (TV Mini Series) as
    - Episode #1.2 (2009) - Myriam
    Heartbeat (TV Series) as
    Lady Lonsdale
    - Judgement Day (2006) - Lady Lonsdale
    Peter Warlock: Some Little Joy (TV Movie) as
    Edith Buckley-Jones
    The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (TV Series) as
    Lady Asherton
    - In the Guise of Death (2005) - Lady Asherton
    - A Suitable Vengeance (2003) - Lady Asherton
    Peak Practice (TV Series) as
    Viv Wilson
    - Playing God (2000) - Viv Wilson
    Medics (TV Series) as
    Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    - Certain Risks (1995) - Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    - Coming to Terms (1995) - Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    - Born Losers (1995) - Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    - Labour of Love (1995) - Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    - Illusions (1995) - Dr. Diana Hardy, consultant
    The Steal as
    Ffizz (TV Series) as
    Mrs. Gosling
    - A Damn Close Run Thing (1989) - Mrs. Gosling
    - Love in Store (1989) - Mrs. Gosling
    Mr. H Is Late (TV Movie) as
    Miss H
    Crossroads (TV Series) as
    Nicola Freeman
    - Episode dated 25 September 1986 (1986) - Nicola Freeman
    - Episode #1.4572 (1985) - Nicola Freeman
    - Episode #1.4145 (1985) - Nicola Freeman
    - Episode #1.4117 (1985) - Nicola Freeman
    Great Performances (TV Series) as
    Gwendolen Fairfax
    - The Importance of Being Earnest (1985) - Gwendolen Fairfax
    Never the Twain (TV Series) as
    Caroline Montague
    - Loves' Neighbours' Lost (1984) - Caroline Montague
    - Words and Music (1984) - Caroline Montague
    Kelly Monteith (TV Series)
    Number 10 (TV Mini Series) as
    Harriet Arbuthnot
    - The Iron Duke (1983) - Harriet Arbuthnot
    All About a Prima Ballerina as
    Do You Remember? (TV Series) as
    Kate Harvey
    - The File on Harry Jordan (1978) - Kate Harvey
    The Professionals (TV Series) as
    - Close Quarters (1978) - Julia
    The Upchat Line (TV Series) as
    Angela Hardcastle
    - Home Is the Hunter (1977) - Angela Hardcastle
    Cross Now (TV Movie) as
    Angela Ponsford
    The New Avengers (TV Series) as
    Penny Redfern
    - Dead Men Are Dangerous (1977) - Penny Redfern
    Red (Short) as
    Wodehouse Playhouse (TV Series) as
    Aurelia Cammarleigh
    - The Code of the Mulliners (1976) - Aurelia Cammarleigh
    Thriller (TV Series) as
    - Cry Terror (1975) - Tracy
    Invasion: UFO as
    Gay Ellis
    UFO... annientare S.H.A.D.O. stop. Uccidete Straker... as
    Lt. Gay Ellis
    The Brothers (TV Series) as
    Jill Hammond / Jill Williams
    - The Crucial Vote (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - The Fall Guy (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - A Bad Mistake (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Saturday (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - The Race (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Public Concern (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Hit and Miss (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Loneliness (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Partings (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Happy Anniversary (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Return to Nowhere (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Perchance to Dream (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Conspirators (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Power for Sale (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - An Impossible Debt (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Echoes (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Trade Wind (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Riley (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Hijack (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Tug of War (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - Suspicions (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - The Newly Weds (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - The Hammond Account (1974) - Jill Hammond
    - No Hard Feelings (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Women Are Trumps (1973) - Jill Williams
    - A Marriage Is Arranged (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Tightrope (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Storm Birds (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Errors of Judgement (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Declarations of Independence (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Negotiations (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Labour Pains (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Snakes and Ladders (1973) - Jill Williams
    - Wheels and Deals (1973) - Jill Williams
    - The Party (1972) - Jill Williams
    - Decisions (1972) - Jill Williams
    - Confrontation (1972) - Jill Williams
    - Down to Business (1972) - Jill Williams (uncredited)
    - End of the Beginning (1972) - Jill Williams
    Village Hall (TV Series)
    UFO: Prendeteli vivi. as
    Lt. Gay Ellis
    The Two Ronnies (TV Series) as
    - The Two Ronnies Old Fashioned Christmas Mystery (1973) - Emma
    Omnibus (TV Series documentary) as
    Tiffany Case
    - The British Hero (1973) - Tiffany Case
    The Adventurer (TV Series) as
    - The Good Book (1973) - Marian
    A Man Without Friends (TV Movie) as
    Commuter Husbands as
    The Story Teller / The Wife
    Villains (TV Series) as
    - Bernie (1972) - Tina
    Au Pair Girls as
    Randi Lindstrom
    Suburban Wives as
    UFO: Distruggete Base Luna as
    Lt. Gay Ellis
    Misleading Cases (TV Series) as
    Miss Sweet
    - Regina Versus Sagittarius (1971) - Miss Sweet
    Kate (TV Series) as
    - From a Stranger (1971) - Barbara
    Crash! (Short)
    UFO (TV Series) as
    Lt. Ellis / Lt. Gay Ellis
    - Flight Path (1971) - Lt. Ellis
    - The Responsibility Seat (1971) - Lt. Ellis
    - Computer Affair (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    - Close Up (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    - The Square Triangle (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    - Kill Straker! (1970) - Lt. Gay Ellis
    - Ordeal (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    - E.S.P. (1970) - Lt. Gay Ellis
    - A Question of Priorities (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    - Identified (1970) - Lt. Ellis
    Man at the Top (TV Series) as
    Fiona Ingle
    - Join the Human Race (1971) - Fiona Ingle
    There's a Girl in My Soup as
    Julia Halforde-Smythe
    Special Branch (TV Series) as
    Karolina Novakova
    - Sorry Is Just a Word (1970) - Karolina Novakova
    Connecting Rooms as
    Crossplot as
    ITV Playhouse (TV Series) as
    Jean / Daphne / Nora / ...
    - The Tycoon (1968) - Jean
    - Who Is Sylvia? (1968) - Daphne / Nora / Doris
    Journey to the Unknown (TV Series) as
    Kit Beaumont
    - The Beckoning Fair One (1968) - Kit Beaumont
    For Amusement Only (TV Series) as
    The secretary
    - The Ticket (1968) - The secretary
    The Champions (TV Series) as
    - Full Circle (1968) - Sarah
    Virgin of the Secret Service (TV Series) as
    Countess Irene Kolinsky
    - Russian Roundabout (1968) - Countess Irene Kolinsky
    A Man of our Times (TV Series) as
    - The Dream Time (1968) - Penny
    The World of Wooster (TV Series) as
    Elizabeth Vickers
    - Jeeves and the Fixing of Freddie (1967) - Elizabeth Vickers
    Love Story (TV Series) as
    - Breach of Promise (1967) - Susannah
    Haunted (TV Mini Series) as
    Virginia Land
    - The Chinese Butterfly (1967) - Virginia Land
    The Man Outside as
    BEA Girl
    The Saint (TV Series) as
    Diana Flemming
    - The Best Laid Schemes (1967) - Diana Flemming
    The Avengers (TV Series) as
    - The Hidden Tiger (1967) - Angora
    Intrigue (TV Series) as
    Polly Girdstone
    - Take the Money and Shut Up (1966) - Polly Girdstone
    Best of Friends (TV Series)
    - Jack in the Box (1963)
    The Good Girl (special thanks)
    The Cult of... (TV Series documentary) as
    - The Brothers (2008) - Self
    A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake (Documentary) as
    A Word in Your Ear (TV Series) as
    - Episode #2.25 (1994) - Self
    - Episode #1.12 (1993) - Self
    - Episode #1.6 (1993) - Self
    This Is Your Life (TV Series documentary) as
    - Barry Foster (1991) - Self
    - Gabrielle Drake (1987) - Self
    - Paul Henry (1985) - Self
    - Jean Anderson (1985) - Self
    - Patrick Mower (1976) - Self
    - George Sewell (1973) - Self
    The Home Service (TV Series) as
    - Episode #1.5 (1987) - Self
    Call My Bluff (TV Series) as
    Give Us a Clue (TV Series) as
    Self - Panellist
    - Episode #4.3 (1981) - Self - Panellist
    - Episode #3.14 (1980) - Self - Panellist
    Star Games (TV Series) as
    - Easter Star Games (1980) - Self
    Golden Gala (TV Special) as
    Telethon (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest (1976)
    Filmkrönikan (TV Series) as
    - 24 flickor i sekunden (1973) - Self
    Archive Footage
    Kelly Monteith's BBC Memories (TV Series) as
    - Kelly goes on holiday! (2020)
    - Laughter at 30,000 feet! (2020)
    - Montreux Comedy Festival Nominee - Outrageous Comedy (2020)
    - Farcical Comedy at its best! (2020)
    - Explosive laughs with Lorraine Chase! (2020)
    - Fun with Gabrielle Drake & Victor Spinetti (2020) - Suzanne
    - Swords and Bonnets (2020)
    The Women of UFO (Short) as
    Colorspace Vol. 3 (Video) as
    Saucy 70's Volume 2 (Video documentary)
    Heroes of Comedy (TV Series documentary)
    - Ronnie Barker (2000)


    Gabrielle Drake Wikipedia