My name is Jane Merrow and I am an actress!

Warming up for first stage appearance.
Peter O’Toole and Jane in “The Lion in Winter”

My father was a refugee from Nazi Germany and my mother was English and a professional artist. They were wonderful creative people. After marrying an American husband, I divided my life pretty equally between the US and the UK. I love both countries and have now spent pretty much half my life in each.  That’s enough about me for now. I will tell you more in my blogs and posts. So, please, friends stay with me and enjoy my website.



The Year that saw the start of and my first film, made in London in the UK. Partnered by old RADA pal Patricia Doyle, I embarked on this ambitious project, made with the Internet in mind. Our first film was “The Monkey’s Paw” retitled BEWARE OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR. I lured in a great cast and crew and we shot in Patricia’s house…”never again” were her words afterwards! But it went well and we had some terrific actors including Martin Jarvis and Malcolm Tierney.


This was the year of Edgar Allan Poe’s great story THE TELL-TALE HEART. I produced this one and adapted the story, with input from our Director Greg Green, an experienced features and commercial Director. Again we had great locations in Idaho and were able to have Darren Burrows in as the lead. Darren had a great success in NORTHERN EXPOSURE as Ed the Indian.  We were working in the tiny confines of a period Basque boarding house, one of Boise’s historic landmarks..the crew were tested to the limit.


Acting and Producing this time in THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, number 3 in the series of films…a wonderful story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman about a woman slowly going mad in a room with horrible yellow wallpaper. Women’s repression in the nineteenth century.


With My Producer hat on, I made THE DAMNED THING, film four of my New Chilling Tales series of short classic horror films. THE DAMNED THING is a wonderful, ahead of its time story, about what we humans can see or hear We filmed in a remote area of Idaho called Burgdorf, with original miners cabins of the period…no running water no electricity! The location was challenging.  Apart from Tate McCullough a local good actor, we had George Hemmings, son of David and goodness did he look like his father.


This year saw me working as an actor for hire…my favourite role.  Working as an actor for hire is a bit thin on the ground in Boise, Idaho and London and LA are a bit far away! A young Actor/Director/Writer asked me to appear in his new film ALMOSTING IT, which wonder of wonders was being made in Boise. I read the script and liked it.  Old working pal Lee Majors was in it and remembered me from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and the jolly times we had clambering around rafters in a deserted Rockwell plant in the San Fernando Valley.


Having abandoned the idea of making another New Chilling Tale…for now. I felt the need to ACT. So I wrote and put together the short film COUGAR. I persuaded Will von Tagen (from ALMOSTING IT) to act in it with me and edit it and Lincoln Lewis, favourite DP from THE TELL-TALE HEART and ALMOSTING IT to photograph it and we made it on a shoe string. It works, I am proud of it. It’s a sweet story, looks wonderful


This year saw me going back to the UK, to play Lady M in MACBETH, quite a challenge …but I loved it…when else would I get the chance to play this great role? We did the play at the historic Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth, famous harbour town…. My Macbeth was the Owner/Actor/Manager Richard Stride, with whom I had worked in our production of BEWARE OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR…he was terrific and a pleasure to work with. I had worried a bit because Richard is a few years younger than me, but the chemistry between us was amazing and it really felt like husband and wife. One little boy asked afterwards at our nightly Q&A session after the performance, if we were “together”! He also told his Mum it was better than panto. It was great getting back to live theatre.


Spent time back in the UK largely at Comic Con and other personal appearance events. All good fun. The highlight being that of the 50th anniversary at Portmeirion of THE PRISONER, the iconic show developed and produced by wonderful Patrick McGoohan, which has now taken on the life of a cult favorite. Patrick heads my list of favorite actors, together with Peter O’Toole, with whom I have worked. Heady days!


The start of the 2018 opened with shooting a new short film, …..ABOUT ANDY a contemporary film about loneliness and a new age of technology. I starred again with excellent new young actor Austin Von Johnson. Again we had a terrific crew headed this time by Mike Tetro who produced and directed after doing such a great job producing COUGAR.

Now ABOUT ANDY is in development as a feature length version.


And so the years roll on and my career rolls on.   Late 2019 I made a very good horror movie THE HAUNTING OF MARGAM CASTLE, due for release in 2020.  I will keep you all posted.  We filmed in a very cold, very scary castle supposedly really haunted, in Margam, Wales (birthplace of old mate Sir Anthony Hopkins).   More happening in 2020, two possible new films and the Comic Con signing event in London, UK :   The London Film Fair in April.



This year saw the continuation of my career in short films in a lovely movie called BEREAVEMENT. A Woman is being interviewed about the loss of her lover. She describes the loss and the film hits a real nerve for older women struggling with relationships in a modern world. I won an Award for this, as Best Actress in a short film at the End of the Pier Film Festival. This was the second of my introduction to another world of film, with the Director Carl Medland. The first was a short film BLINDED about a womans dysfunctional relationship with her blind son.


This year saw me start to spend more time in Boise, Idaho. My son, Tom, born in LA moved here to live and work and he and his family live here. Guess why I spend so much time here? I appeared in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at the wonderful Idaho Shakespeare Company, what a high standard of work. I had forgotten how hard it is to learn Shakespeare’s lines, but I got there in the end!


This period in my life saw me running a family business, for almost 13 years.  This was a multilingual employment agency, supplying back office staff , who were fluent in more than one language.  My proudest moment was winning a contract which went on for over ten years to supply bilingual staff to CERN, The European Research Centre for Nuclear Particle Physics. What an experience, there were people working there, whose brilliance I can only imagine, Nobel Prize Winners among them.

1994 - 1995

I had been away from the UK for a long time and was lucky that a few people remembered me. I appeared in  LOVEJOY with old friend Ian McShane from National Youth Theatre days and later, when David Hemmings and I would double date with Ian and his first wife. Malcolm Tierney was also there, later to kindly appear in BEWARE OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR! I also did a series for the BBC: ACCUSED playing a rather serious magistrate as a regular. And I appeared as the Duchess of Richmond, she who had the famous ball on the eve of the Battle Of Waterloo, in the popular and excellent SHARPE. I also did personal appearances for some old shows at the PRISONER convention in Portmeirion and a few others.


Thos year saw me with my producer Hat on for the making of THE CATER STREET HANGMAN for ITV in the UK and A&E Networks in the US. I was asked to co-executive Produce this Televison film, adapted from the  book by the same name by Anne Perry, with HRH Prince Edward and his Company Ardent Productions.  When Prince Edward’s partner got sick, Prince Edward and I were left with the task of actually producing the project, a little more work and responsibility than executive producing.  Edward, as I was invited to call him, generally supervised the documentary side of Ardent Productions, but he had to be very full hands on on this one and if I say it myself, we did a pretty good job. Keeley Hawes (seen here) played Charlotte Pitt in the film…..lovely actress…her first big role.

1980 - 1990

My LA career continued…I was having serious fun. One of my most- liked people was Bill Bixby, from whom I learned about working in American television. I did THE INCREDIBLE HULK and THE MAGICIAN with him. LION IN WINTER was his favourite film. He was also a very good Director. Sadly Bill had some real tragedy in his life and died a few years later from cancer. I worked with nice Tom Selleck (lovely part in MAGNUM PI), other shows included THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO, ST ELSEWHERE, AIRWOLF, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (twice!) …and MCGYVER, trotting out my Russian accent from my useful repertoire of “foreign accents”. I liked working with Leonard Nimoy too very much in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. During this time I optioned a book ALONE AROUND THE WORLD, the story of Dame Naomi James’ single handed sailing voyage around the world and commissioned the screenplay, which was written by David Seidler (later to win an Oscar for THE KING’S SPEECH) and Jacqueline Feather. This was my first trial optioning a story, to try to get to the screen and although this one did not work out, it was an eye-opening and useful experience.

1970 - 1980

The good times continued to roll and I made a movie in Australia, a country I loved, starring with Beau Bridges called ADAMS WOMAN…sadly the studio didn’t like it very much and ditched it and so I was introduced to that difficult town Hollywood, which loves and/or leaves you without turning a hair. Married now and living in LA, I found myself largely doing episodic television in LA. My TV work in Hollywood was fun and I enjoyed every minute. I was fortunate again to work with so many good and talented people. Leonard Nimoy was a favourite, I did MISSION IMPOSSIBLE with him and it was fun working with Lee Majors, with whom I caught up again in a movie in 2014. I did 2 episodes – one a two-parter – of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, guess they liked me. I loved making ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, my first Western, with real cowboys, riding a horse in the Mojave Desert. The only sad note to this was that sweet actor Pete Duell, shot himself, about a week after this. I was very shocked, this was a very different culture and industry from the one I had been used to.


I left the Ropyal Academy of Dramatic Art and this year saw the start of my career proper…my first job was as an Assistant Stage Manager and understudy on the play TOYS IN THE ATTIC by Lilian Hellman, I also did my first film DONT BOTHER TO KNOCK, starring Richard Todd. I wasn’t terribly good as a Stage Manager and remember having to cook some Southern style shrimps and rice for Ian Bannen to eat, which he pronounced unedible (every night)! But it was a wonderful experience working with John, Ian and three great actresses Wendy Hiller, Diana Wynyard and Coral Browne.


This is when things really got going and I did some of my best work and had some extraordinary parts, working with wonderful people. I cant list them all here, but a few stand out. I was in LORNA DOONE, playing Lorna, one of the happiest experiences of my career, with the lovely Bill Travers!  There was A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT, by the excellent writer David Mercer.  David also wrote THE BIRTH OF A PRIVATE MAN, a very political drama …Tony Garnett (later a wonderful Producer:  CATHY COMES HOME, KES etc) would help me with some of the long political speeches I had to make in the film.  1963 was also the year I made THE SYSTEM aka THE GIRL GETTERS starring me and Oliver Reed, David Hemmings among a few others…our DP was the great Nic Roeg. I can’t list everything here, but goodness they were extraordinary and amazing years for a young actress. I am proud of them.


My incredible run of good fortune continued and my career and my opportunities continued. It was during this time that I started doing many of the ITC television series: THE SAINT …lovely, generous Roger Moore…(3 times), DANGER MAN aka SECRET AGENT (3 times)…Patrick McGoohan one of the most exciting actors, I worked with..also THE PRISONER. I made a film with legendary Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing THE NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT aka ISLAND OF THE BURNING DAMNED, playing a very naughty girl, fun. I also did plays…. THE KINGS MARE by Anita Loos, starring so talented Glynis Johns and Keith Michell in London’s West End and at the Hampstead Theatre Club, one of which I am very proud: COUNTRY DANCE by terrific writer James Kennaway with Edward Fox. This one led directly to me getting my screen test for my most high profile part Princess Alais in the film THE LION IN WINTER, starring Peter O”Toole and Katharine Hepburn, co-starring me, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton, both in their first films…I was honoured with a Golden Globe nomination for that.