Lynne Frederick (1954 -1994)

Lynne Frederick, the actress who portrayed botanist Shermeen Williams in the Space:1999 episode A Matter Of Balancehas died in Los Angeles aged 39. Lynne Frederick was born in Hillingdon, west London on 12th July 1954. She left school at 15 to become an actress, and within three years had appeared in a number of television programmes and six films, among them Vampire Circus (1971), The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972) and Henry VIII And His Six Wives (1972).

In 1977, shortly after appearing in Space:1999, she married Peter Sellers, nearly 30 years her senior, and in 1979 they appeared together in a remake of The Prisoner Of Zenda. After Sellers’ fatal heart attack in 1980, Frederick inherited almost his entire wealth, some £4 million, while Sellers’ children by previous marriages received virtually nothing. Frederick married her old friend David Frost six months later but they were divorced within 18 months. Six months after that she married Californian heart specialist Dr Barry Unger but they separated in 1991. In 1984, Frederick sued the makers of The Trail Of The Pink Panther, a film composed of out-takes from the Pink Panther film series in which Peter Sellers had starred, describing it as an insult to his memory. The High Court awarded her more than $1 million in damages. She said at the time, “I hope this shows once and for all that I’m not a gold-digger. I’ve risked my entire fortune and that of my daughter to protect Peter’s reputation”.

Originally published in FAB 15.