Created 18th January 2003

Diwata Margharita ("Dee") de la Cruz/Dee Pollard
(110 episodes 13 February 1997- 7 April 1998)

Dee Pollard Photo Card

See also IMDB entry for Claudia Malkovich

Claudia Malkovich joined the cast in 1997 as Dee de la Cruz, who arrived from the Philippines to marry Eric Pollard. The 24-year-old actress, born in Britain of a Filipino mother, had previously appeared in a Danish fihn called Two Green Feathers and played scientist Kaya in Dennis Potter's (Old Lazarus on television.

The following is taken from 25 Yeas of Emmerdale (1997) repubublsihed as "The Emmerdale Companion" (1998) by Anthony Hayward


Eric Pollard flcw to the Far East looking for 1ove and found it with Filipino student Dee de la Cruz in a Manila restaurant. His initial interest was sex, but two weeks later he proposed and the couple made plans for Dee to follow Eric back to Britain. When she arrived in 1997, dressed in a miniskirt and skimpy coat, and weariug high-heels, the locals in Emmcrdalc were curious. They were shocked when she announced that she was Eric''s fiancee. But the unlikely relationship continued and Dee became Mrs Pollard in a May registry-office wedding.

For actress Clandia Malkovich, the role has catapulted her from obscurity to the heights of fame. Born in Devizces, Wiltshirc, of a Filipino mother and a half-Croatian, half-English father, Clauia knew from a young age that acting was for her. 'I remember one Christmas when I was three or four watching The King and I and The Wizard of Oz on television,' she says, 'and the bright lights and the songs and the magic of Christmas all made me want to be a part of that. I was an only child and dressed up a lot. I did have friends, but in the house I created my stories and dressed-up I was never bored.

'When I was ten, I decided that I wouldn't necessarily become an actress. Maybe I would be a nurse, 0r a saint! I'd had the stories of St Francis at school - the animals weren't frightened of him - and I wanted to take auimals in. I was an animal lover. I had a cat called
Rupert after Rupert the Bear, which is still alive, and a couple of rabbits.'

But at 16, Claudia was certain that she did want to act. Two years later, after taking her A-levels, she was accepted by a London drama school. Claudia made her professional debut as the Princess in the pantomime Alladin in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. She first appeared in front of the cameras in Danish director Henning Carlsen's film Two Green Feathers, a 19th-century love story shot in Thailand. 'It was a dream,' she says, 'filming in a foreign country with an established director. It was so exciting and so new.'

Theatre work followed, as well as appearing on television in the roles of the Bride inThai Brides, a hysterical woman in the 'Screen One' play Murder in Mind and scientist Kaya in Dennis Potter's Cold Lazarus, set 400 years in the future and screened after the writer's death. 'That was scary,' Claudia recalls. 'It had so much hype. It was the role I knew, after going for the auditions, I had to play. Kaya was a young oriental lab assistant experimenting on the head of the character played by Albert Finney and was more humane to him than any of the other assistants were.

'The role of Dee in Emmerdale had been on the grapevine between oriental actresses for a long time. Dee's motivation for coming to England and marrying Eric is survival, to look after her family. She has lots of younger brothers and sisters, and has always been the breadwinner since her father died. She was genuinely impressed with Eric and he really loves her. Dee is very feminine and sophisticated, and wears stilettos and bright-pink nail varnish, both of which I have never worn.'

Claudia and her screenwriter boyfriend, Eamonn O'Neill, live in London. 'When Eamonn first watched Emmerdale,' says Claudia, 'he said, "It's so raunchy - there's so much sex in it." I was really surprised because I didn't have that perception of it. It is actually true, but a lot of it is underlying.'

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