Daughter of Margaret Lockwood who had success on television and the stage

Born: August 23, 1941;

Died: March 24 2019

JULIA Lockwood, who has died aged 77, enjoyed a successful career as a child and juvenile actress - helped considerably by the fact that her mother was one of the biggest stars in Britain.

Margaret Lockwood was the raven-haired femme fatale in the Gainsborough studio’s hugely popular period melodramas The Man in Grey (1943) and The Wicked Lady (1945). A new contract with Rank made her Britain’s highest paid actress and gave her enough clout to insist that her real-life daughter be cast as her character’s daughter in Hungry Heart (1947), an expensive film adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier novel about feuding Irish families.

It was the first of several films in which mother and daughter appeared. And after Margaret’s cinematic box-office appeal faded, they worked together in theatre and television. Julia was Wendy to Margaret’s Peter Pan in 1957-58, before graduating to playing Peter herself, a role that brought her to Glasgow’s King’s Theatre in 1960.

On television they played a mother and daughter, working in an exclusive London hotel, in The Royalty (1957-58) and the belated sequel The Flying Swan (1965).

Being Margaret Lockwood’s daughter clearly gave Julia a leg-up, but she was certainly not dependent on her mother’s presence for work. She appeared in 73 episodes of Compact (1963), a BBC soap opera set in the offices of a magazine, and she co-starred with Richard Briers in the short-lived BBC sitcom Birds on the Wing (1971).

In 1972 she married Ernest Clark, an actor 30 years her senior, best known for playing the grumpy Professor Loftus in the Doctor in the House sitcom and its sequels. Still only 30, Julia retired from acting to concentrate on family life.

She was born Margaret Julia Leon in Ringwood in Hampshire in 1941. Lockwood was her mother’s maiden name, which Julia would also adopt as her professional name. Her father was a commodities clerk, serving in the Army at the time of her birth. Neither parent was around much and they divorced when she was eight.

“I spent a great deal of time being looked after by Nanny,” she said in an interview in 1960. “I’ve been pretty lonely at times.”

Being given small roles in her mother’s films at least gave them a chance to be together. She made her film debut at four and went to acting school at five, but it was watching her mother in Peter Pan that really focused Julia’s thinking on acting as a career when she was eight.

“I used to sit in the wings transfixed, longing to be up on the stage with her and the lost boys, flying through the air and fighting the pirates.”

By her early teens she had played the title roles in BBC television adaptations of Heidi (1953) and Alice in Wonderland (1954).

She was bracketed alongside Jane Fonda as a second generation of film stars. It looked like she was destined to relocate to Hollywood and had dental work and surgery on her nose for a screen test with Columbia Pictures. But her big-screen career ended along with her teens, though she went on acting for another decade in theatre and television.

Clark died in 1994. Lockwood is survived by three children from their marriage and by a son from a previous relationship.