Manning at The Television & Movie Store, Norwich, England, January 2009.
Catherine Ann Manning
14 October 1946
|Known for||Jo Grant in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures|
|Partner(s)||Dean Harris (1976–1981)|
Barry Crocker (1990–present)
Catherine Ann "Katy" Manning (born 14 October 1946) is an English-Australian actress best known for her part as the companion Jo Grant in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. She has also made many theatre appearances, and is now an Australian citizen. In 2009, Manning moved back to the UK to pursue new acting work and lives in London.
Manning was born in Guildford, Surrey, the younger daughter of sports columnist J. L. Manning OBE; her elder sister Jane Dressler, a fashion model, lived in Roanake, America. As a result of a car accident she spent a year in hospital at sixteen. Aged 18, she went to the U.S. where she was offered a five-year contract with MGM. Returning to the UK, Manning trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company, and made her TV debut in the BBC drama Softly, Softly: Taskforce, in the episode 'Standing Orders'.. Shortly after, she was seen in two episodes playing Julia Dungarvon, in ITV's Man At The Top.
She played the part of Jo Grant (1971–73) alongside Jon Pertwee's incarnation of the Doctor. Manning struck up an immediate rapport with her co-stars Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates) and Roger Delgado (the Master). Fans of Doctor Who often refer to these characters as the UNIT family — UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, being the fictional United Nations organisation that the Doctor worked for. Manning is the only surviving Doctor Who companion from Jon Pertwee's era.
Manning's connection with Doctor Who continues: she voices Jo Grant in the Companion Chronicles Audio Adventures, and she is also the voice of the Time Lord Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions audio plays. In 2005, Manning also appeared in Doctor Who — Inside The TARDIS with two of the Doctors, Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker, who spoke of their experiences with the long-running show.
In October 2010, Manning reprised her role as Jo Jones (née Grant) in the fourth series of the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The two-part story, entitled 'Death of the Doctor', was written by former executive producer of the programme Russell T Davies. She meets the Doctor again, and stars with her grandchild (one of twelve, soon to be thirteen) Santiago Jones.
After leaving Doctor Who, Manning presented her own ten-part TV series for the BBC on crafts, entitled Serendipity shown in the daytime schedules. She was reunited with Jon Pertwee in 1975, when she appeared in Whodunnit? on ITV, at the time Pertwee was chairing the panel. In 1977, she appeared topless as a drug addict in the hard-hitting crime drama Target, her last BBC drama role other than as Jo Jones in The Sarah Jane Adventures until Casualty in 2015. Manning wrote the TV series Private Wives and has been involved in other writing and directing projects.
In 1980, she toured in Peter Terson's 'VE Night' alongside Ian Cullen and Jane Goddard. In Australia she appeared in the play Run for Your Wife (1987–88), and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast in the production were Jack Smethurst, David McCallum and Eric Sykes. Her film career has included roles in the British comedies Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973) and Eskimo Nell (1975), and the Australian films Melvin, Son of Alvin (1984) and The Quest (1986). She has also appeared in the low-budget film noir When Darkness Falls (2005) directed by Australian documentary filmmaker Rohan Spong.
In 2000 she voiced the main character Gloria in the Australian children's animated television series Gloria's House, as well as Emma in a 2002 animated film from Burbank Animation Studios, Jungle Girl and the Lost Island of Dinosaurs.
In June and July 2007, she appeared as Yvette in the stage show 'Allo 'Allo! alongside Gorden Kaye as René Artois at Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane. Guy Siner and Sue Hodge also reprised their original roles from the television series, and the other characters were portrayed by Australian television actors including Steven Tandy and Jason Gann.
In 2011, she appeared as Blodwyn Morgan, a Welsh busybody and clairvoyant, in the touring stage play 'Death by Fatal Murder'. This was a Peter Gordon play, and part of the 'Inspector Pratt' trilogy. She also appeared as Susan Payne in the 2014 supernatural gangster film Evil Never Dies (originally titled The Haunting of Harry Payne) starring Tony Scannell and Graham Cole.
Me and Jezebel at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe
In 2009 Manning returned to the UK as part of her one-woman show Me and Jezebel. The play is based on a true 1985 story about Bette Davis inviting herself to a fan's house for a night and staying for a month, with Manning playing all the parts. It toured through March and April in England and also played at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe at The Gilded Balloon Wine Bar in August. The show received a five-star review in the Edinburgh Evening News, which described Manning as "one of Britain's best actresses". Manning also received two other four-star reviews and appeared on STV news promoting the show. She returned to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 in the play 'Keeping up with the Joans' with Susan Penhaligon. The play also toured to The Customs House, South Shields & Greenwich Theatre London.
Manning was born with myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, which caused numerous injuries during the filming of Doctor Who. She has stated, "Once I tried to take the wrong children home from school!"
Manning has twins (a son Jonathan and a daughter Georgina) born in 1979 with partner Dean Harris. The children were born premature and suffered health issues, which caused her to move to Australia where she met her long-term partner Barry Crocker.
In a 2012 Radio Times interview, Manning said she had returned to London three years earlier, although there was no mention of any break-up in their relationship, and she referred to Crocker as her "current partner" in a 2017 interview with the Daily Express:
We've been together 26 years although we don't live together now. When you get older, you get to a point in your relationship that way outweighs all that needy s**t. I'm not a needy woman. I don't rely on other people for anything much. Relationships that last are ones where you accept the changes in each other, and can laugh. Life doesn't get easier but it does get funnier.
|1973||Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!||Edith|
|1984||Melvin, Son of Alvin||Estelle|
|1986||The Quest||Mrs. Cannon|
|2002||Jungle Girl and the Lost Island of the Dinosaurs||Emma||Voice|
|2006||When Darkness Falls||Miss Harrington|
|2011||Oakie's Outback Adventures||Oakie||Voice|
|2014||Evil Never Dies||Susan Payne|
|1970||Softly, Softly: Taskforce||Peggy|
|Man at the Top||Julia Dungarvon|
|1971–73||Doctor Who||Jo Grant||77 episodes|
|1973||Going for a Song||Herself|||
|A View from Richard Baker|||
|Serendipity (10 shows)||Host|
|1975||Whodunnit?||Miss Woods||Episode: "Worth Dying For"|
|2002||All Saints||Greta Franck|
|2010||The Sarah Jane Adventures||Jo Jones (Jo Grant)||Episode: "Death of the Doctor"|
|2013||The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot||Herself|
|2015||Casualty||Marjorie Miller||Episode: "Sweet Little Lies"|
|2018||Doctor Who Infinity||Jo Grant/Delyth (voice)|||
- "Barry Crocker and Priscilla Presley get cosy in LA". Heraldsun.com.au. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
General Register Office for England and Wales. Birth Indices (Report) (5g ed.). Surrey, England: Parliament of the United Kingdom. p. 1388.
Birth: 1946, Dec Qtr, Catherine A Manning, mother's maiden surname Jenkins
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- "Going for a Song". Radio Times. No. 2564. 28 December 1972. p. 38 – via BBC Genome.
- "A View from Richard Baker". Radio Times. No. 2602. 20 September 1973. p. 32 – via BBC Genome.
- "Doctor Who Infinity launches on PC and Mac, new trailer released". GARY COLLINSON. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.