One of the glamorous icons of 1950s wildlife filmmaking, Michaela Holdsworth first became involved in wildlife filmmaking after marrying Armand Denis in 1948. Abandoning her career as a dress designer she accompanied Armand on all his expeditions, learning filming techniques and displaying an obvious talent in front of the camera.
In 1950, Michaela acted as Deborah Kerr's double in MGM's African feature production, King Solomon's Mines, helping the couple raise enough money to make their own style of films.
Whilst promoting their 1953 film, Below The Sahara, Armand and Michaela caught the attention of the BBC. The pair quickly embraced the idea of television work, realising they could have more control over editing and put a greater emphasis on conservation. In 1954, they burst onto British screens with their glamorous travelogue, Filming Wild Animals.
In an era where few people travelled abroad the show proved hugely successful and over the next few years the couple barely left British screens, starring in their series Travellers' Tales: Armand and Michaela On Safari, and other documentaries including Filming In Africa (1955) and Safari To Asia (1959-61).
Michaela's immaculate appearance proved one of the most appealing aspects of their work - on screen her composure, and indeed her lipstick, never faltered. Relating her experiences in the wild she also released two books, Leopard In My Lap (1957) and Ride On A Rhino (1960).
Considering Africa her true home, Michaela remained in Nairobi after Armand's death in 1971, setting up a successful property business and campaigning on a number of conservation issues.
One of the pioneers of commercial wildlife television, Michaela Denis died at the age of 88 in 2003.