Who can ever forget the historic landmark British soap opera, Upstairs Downstairs that aired on PBS from 1971-1975? Not anyone who was around 40 years ago, that is for sure. And now in honor of the cherished series, a DVD has been released containing never before seen material and interviews commemorating the legendary soap.
The Bold and the Beautiful’s Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie) was one of the series signature characters and stars when she played Lady Georgina Worsely. Down chatted with TV Guide for a look back at her delicious role and why she is so good at being in the soap genre! Here are a few excerpts!
Lesley-Anne on her instant fame from Upstairs Downstairs but that the pay was less than stellar: “The pay was truly horrendous! I was making only 300 pounds per episode on the hottest show in the world! Bruce wasn’t working at the time. We were living above the first-ever punk shop. Every morning, we’d come down and say, “Oh, hello Johnny!” — meaning Johnny Rotten. “Oh, hello Sid!” — Sid Vicious, of course. I had been doing all these crapola Hammer House of Horror movies up to that point and we had no money, so Bruce and I wrote a porno story for a magazine, and that brought in at least 15 pounds. And then I went and earned 100 pounds for the afternoon dubbing a French porno movie into English — all the while playing Lady Georgina. It was so insane!”
Down on why some of her biggest career moves and successes have been in the soap format: “I love the form. And I love B&B! Prior to playing Jackie, I had done [the NBC daytime soap] Sunset Beach for Aaron Spelling and when that ended after three years I prayed and prayed — I’m a very religious person — saying, “Dear God, I want a soap opera.” [Laughs] There are not a lot of actors out there who pray to God for that! These days the young ones are all looking for a big break because you’re not going to get famous on a soap. But for somebody my age — which is 57 — this is an absolute gift. I’ve been there, done that, darling, so for me this is brilliant. And I will do everything required. I will dye my hair blond, work out like a fiend, drench myself in self-tanner, have my face stretched. I’m only vain about one thing — my arms. I’ll do anything as long as my arms are covered. [Laughs] And, hey, if things don’t work out, I can always go back to dubbing French porn. I’m really good at it, actually!”
Jean Marsh (Rose), Upstairs Downstairs star and co-creator returns April 1oth for a sequel to the series to be seen on PBS! Should be must-see TV!