Joan Benham was born in London, a British actress best remembered for playing Lady Prudence Fairfax in the London Weekends' period drama series Upstairs, Downstairs. The series was set in a mythical house at 165 Eton Place. In real life Joan lived in Eton Place.
She was also the first cousin of Hollywood movie actress Olive Sturgess.
Although her career mostly involved television work, she began her career performing on the London stage in the 1940s and continued to appear in the West End now and again.
She worked on Broadway playing the playing the part of Helena in the 1954 revitalisation of William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' opposite Patrick Macnee as Demetrius.
In all Joan Benham appeared in sixteen episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs, from Series One to Series Five.
Other television productions included, 'Doctor in the House', 'Doctor in Charge', 'Father Brown', 'The Duchess of Duke Street', 'Doctor on the Go', 'Just William' and 'Take My Wife'. Her film work includse the Miss Marple movie' Murder Ahoy!' (1964),' Ladies Who Do' (1963),' Perfect Friday' (1970), and 'Carry On Emmannuelle' (1978).
Her final role was as Melinda Spry in the light weight sitcom 'Terry and June'. This episode, called ‘The Lawnmower’, was broadcast posthumously on 13th November 1981, five months after the day she had died, in Westminster, London, aged 63.