† Jun 25 1942 – May 28 2022
A British perennial with that winning mix of dolly-bird prettiness and an ear for comic dialogue, Patricia Brake might be familiar from the sitcom classic 'Porridge' as Fletcher's daughter Ingrid. She made an impression in one episode for her bra-less visit to Slade Prison, and later when she proves that she is wearing a bra by lifting her top up. She also appeared in the spin-off series 'Going Straight', but despite Barker and Beckinsale's best efforts the magic was noticeably absent.
In the forgotten US TV comedy 'The Ugliest Girl in Town'
As a sweet young British actress, she had been cast in the strange 1968 ABC sitcom, 'The Ugliest Girl in Town', the American network's attempt to tap into the swinging London phenomenon with Peter Kastner in drag following a London model over the pond. I don't think it was ever shown in the UK and it has come high in some 'worst TV shows of all time' lists, none of which is the fault of Patricia Brake who is glamorous and fun in it.
As Ingrid in 'Going Straight' with Ronnie Barker
Very busy throughout the '60s and '70s, she appeared in dramas ranging from 'Lorna Doone' and 'Nicholas Nickleby' to the now lost David Hemmings serial 'Home Tonight' and 'No Hiding Place'. On the comedy front, she's in some you don't hear much about these days like 'Second Time Around' and 'Forget Me Not', as well as the more memorable; 'A Sharp Intake of Breath', 'Life Begins at Forty', the 1979 reboot of 'The Glums' and the aforementioned 'Porridge' and 'Going Straight'. I'm also intrigued by the sound of 'Mann's Best Friends' from 1985, with an impressive cast that features Fulton McKay, Bernard Bresslaw and Liz Smith, but I can't find anything much out about it.
As Eth in the 1979 TV revival of the '50s favourite 'The Glums'.
Ian Lavender plays her ever-gormless beloved, Ron
As the '80s progressed, she moved toward soap opera and potboiler dramas with roles in 'Emmerdale', 'EastEnders' and 'Coronation Street' (as Mike Baldwin's old flame/sister-in-law), also getting one of the main parts in the BBC's shortlived 'Eldorado'. After that, there's the predictable round of 'Midsomer Murders', 'Casualty', 'Holby City', 'Doctors' and 'The Bill', but also 'The Bounder'.
Movie roles include the oddball Peter Sellers piece 'The Optimists of Nine Elms' (1973) and the wrinkly romance 'Love/Loss' (2010). In 'My Lover My Son' (1970), she played the girlfriend of an unusually timid Dennis Waterman (she seems more comfortable with her fully nude scenes than Dennis does in his y-fronts), who is trying to escape the cloying influence of his mother, played by Romy Schneider.