Dolores Mantez as Nina Barry in UFO
Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Anyone who has studied fashion studies at LCF would have seen iconic images of those purple wig wearing beauties with their fab silver make-up, silver foil all-in-ones and sexy kinky boots -on UFO, “a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson.” What I didn’t know until much later was that Dolores Mantez who played the uber popular Nina Barry in UFO, the “second most frequently appearing character in the series, appearing in 23 of 26 episodes” was mixed race of Irish and Ghanaian origin!!!
I'm blown away!!! Ghana Rising is blown away, not just because Dolores Mantez (nee Mantey) was beautiful and talented but was one of the few people of colour on British TV when Enoch Powell was preaching his ‘Rivers of Blood’ hatred and ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’ was the anthem of ‘middle England’….
I am presently trying to get a hold of the film ‘Sapphire’ -a 1959 British crime drama –directed by Basil Dearden about a black girl passing for white --in which Dolores Mantez got her first film role (be it a small one) –and would like to take this opportunity to say ‘Rest In Perfect Peace’ to Dolores Mantez, nee Mantey for paving the way for women of colour…. Do read more about this incredible pioneer via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolores_Mantez
More InfoStarburst Magazine has learned of the death in November, following a short illness, of actress Dolores Mantez. Although far from a household name Dolores remains fondly remembered by fans of Gerry Anderson’s classic live action science-fiction adventure series UFO in which she appeared as Lieutenant Nina Barry, one of the famously purple-wigged operatives on Moonbase, SHADO’s front-line defence against the continuing assault upon Earth by green-skinned aliens in their iconic whirling dervish flying saucers.
Born in Liverpool in 1930 Dolores found her way into the entertainment industry as a singer and, without any acting training or experience whatsoever, found that her exotic appearance led to roles in 1960s TV series such as Danger Man with Patrick McGoohan, Z Cars and the classic The Avengers. Dolores also appeared in the first episode of the 1969 version of Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased. Cast as Nina Barry in UFO Dolores went on to appear in 23 of the series’ 26 episodes, her most memorable episode being ’Sub Smash’ where Nina finds herself trapped underwater in a crippled submarine with SHADO Chief Straker (Ed Bishop). Dolores’ last TV appearance was in an episode of BBC1’s The Onedin Line in 1972 whereafter she left the industry having married businessman Robert Harding and settled down to raise a family.
Starburst Magazine extends its sympathies to Dolores’ family.