Katy Manning was born on 14th October 1949, in Guildford, Surrey, England, the daughter of sports columnist J. L. Manning. At the age of sixteen, she spent 1 year in Hospital as a result of a car accident.
When Katy turned eighteen she went to America and was offered a five-year contract with MGM. However, her father insisted that she return to England and study acting there.
She trained at the Webber Douglas drama school for a year, then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company and made her debut in 1970 in "Man At The Top" (1970). However, Katy is short even by Doctor Who Companion standards -- five feet even -- which proved to be rather a disadvantage in theatre, so Katy moved into TV.
She turned to television instead and made several commercials for ITV before appearing in an episode of "Softly Softly". Later in 1970 Barry Letts cast her in the role of new Companion Jo Grant in "Doctor Who", and she stayed for three years.
Following Doctor Who she presented the BBC crafts programme "Serendipity" and appeared as Miss Damina in the film "Don't Just Lie There, Say Something". She returned to the theatre in West End productions of "Why Not Stay for Breakfast", "There's a Girl in My Soup", and, with future Doctor Colin Baker in , "Odd Man" . In 1975 she made a guest appearance in the series "Target". She also appeared in a Yorkshire Television production of "Oliver Twist".
She married actor Raynor Burton in 1975, but the marriage only lasted a few weeks. In 1978 she gave birth to twins Jonathan and Georgina, with partner actor Dean Harris, whom she later married.
She eventually found England to be stifling and in 1982 she moved to Australia where she has appeared in the shows "Educating Rita" (as Rita), "Blithe Spirit", "Run for Your Wife", and "The Odd Couple". She also wrote the television series Private Wives and both wrote and starred in the television series "Don't Call Us".
In January 2001 Katy returned to live in Australia and continues to provide regular voiceover work, and she has recently just directed a stage play "Banjo Patterson" starring Barry Crocker.