Jennifer Wilson was born in 1932 in London. She made her television debut in 1957. She is best known for her role as Jennifer Hammond on BBC’s drama “The Brothers” which ran from 1972 until 1976. Ms Wilson died in 2022.
Telegraph obituary in 2022.
Jennifer Wilson, actress best remembered as one of the stars of the 1970s haulage-firm saga The Brothers – obituary
As Jennifer Kingsley, secretary and ‘other woman’, she sent a weekly frisson through the stolid world of a family business in the hit series
ByTelegraph Obituaries5 April 2022 • 2:13pm
Jennifer Wilson, the actress, who has died aged 89, was best known on television for her role in The Brothers, a drama saga about a feuding family business that became a popular fixture on BBC One in the 1970s.
As Jennifer Kingsley, secretary and mistress to the eponymous brothers’ father, Jennifer Wilson sent a weekly frisson through the stolid world of freight haulage portrayed in what became known as the BBC’s “soap in disguise”.
Launched in 1972, initially on Friday nights but quickly switching to Sundays, The Brothers was an instant hit and ran for seven seasons over four years, propelled in part by the manipulative women, including Jennifer Kingsley.
She had been a beneficiary in the will of Robert Hammond, founder of Hammond Transport, that bound his three sons to continuing the family business on equal terms with his former mistress.
Accustomed to being cast as the “other woman”, Jennifer Wilson brought to the role a scandalously suspect background. Not only had Jennifer Kingsley been having an affair with the now deceased Robert Hammond, but she had borne him an illegitimate daughter. When she was left a share in the family business, Hammond’s crotchety widow (Jean Anderson) never accepted her.
Kingsley eventually married the eldest son, Edward (Glyn Owen in the first season, followed by Patrick O’Connell for the remaining six).
Jennifer Wilson was born on April 25 1932 at Chigwell, Essex, and left school intending to be a dress designer. While studying at South West Essex art school she secretly auditioned for Rada without telling her parents.
After winning the Forbes Robertson prize she made her film debut in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (1953) and went on to stage work in rep at Ipswich and Leatherhead, making her first London appearance as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
She spent six months hitchhiking in the south of France, followed by a spell at the Old Vic, touring in the United States and Canada as Lady Macduff in Macbeth and Andromache in Troilus and Cressida. On her return to England she played Kate Nickleby in the television series Nicholas Nickleby (BBC, 1957) when she met her second husband Brian Peck, cast as Smike.
“When Brian and I were first married, we were very poor indeed,” she remembered. “We lived in a flat in Maida Vale and we both stayed in bed all day trying to keep warm until my daughter came home from school. We lived most of the time on cheese and beer.”
After a Shakespearean tour of India with Marius Goring, playing Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Rosalind in As You Like It, Jennifer Wilson appeared in more than 100 television plays and series including as the mistress Muriel in A Man of Our Times (Rediffusion, 1968) and for two years played Alfred Marks’s daughter in a West End production of Spring and Port Wine (Mermaid, 1965).
For 11 months in 2000 she appeared as Mrs Boyle in Agatha Christie’s long-running drama The Mousetrap (St Martin’s).
On television she played Det Sgt Helen Webb in the first series of ITV’s Special Branch in 1969 before being cast in The Brothers. In her early eighties her final acting roles were as Mrs Bradbury in an episode of Coronation Street in 2014 and as Nancy Milne in three episodes of the BBC lunchtime soap Doctors (2014-15).
Jennifer Wilson’s first marriage, to an artist, Stanley Swain, in 1954, ended in divorce. She married Brian Peck in 1959. He died in 2021 and she is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, the actress Melanie Peck.
Jennifer Wilson, born April 25 1932, death announced April 4 2022