Whatever Happened To Alexandra Isles, ‘Victoria Winters’ From Dark Shadows?

Alexandra Isles - Dark Shadows

For nearly six decades, classic gothic soap opera Dark Shadows has haunted and entertained global audiences. The show delighted fans with its story of the wealthy Collins family as they navigated life and a smorgasbord of monsters and supernatural events that visited their quaint little town.

Although Dark Shadows is most widely recognized for the family’s patriarch, vampire Barnabas Collins, the show wasn’t always about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. The initial concept was born of a vision of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis, in which he dreamt about a woman riding on a train. This woman became the character Victoria Winters, played effortlessly by Alexandra Isles (née Moltke).

When Isles introduced audiences to the mysterious and intriguing world of the Collins family, she made her mark on television history. But let’s see what this talented actress has been doing since leaving the famous series.

Background info

While her character Victoria Winters becomes associated with great wealth through her employment, Alexandra Isles herself was born into a prestigious household. Her father was part of the Danish Mission to the United Nations, her mother was an editor at Vogue, and her entire lineage traces back to some of Europe’s wealthiest families.

Isles was born in Uppsala, Sweden on February 11, 1946. Because of her father’s international duties, Isles essentially grew up in New York City, where she became interested in matters of injustice, a passion that would inform her later work as a documentary filmmaker. It was during this time that she also became interested in acting.

Dark Shadows

Alexandra Isles - Dark Shadows

Isles was only twenty-years old when she landed her first acting gig as Victoria Winters on Dark Shadows. In the pilot episode, Isles’ Vickie Winters is hired by the Collins family to act as governess for young David Collins, although she accepts the job hoping to learn more about her forgotten past.

When the show’s original concept got off to a rocky start in terms of viewer ratings, the writers shifted gears. What makes a fairly routine daytime soap opera about a wealthy family more engaging to a younger audience? Vampires, duh!

With the addition of Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) in Dark Shadow’s sixth episode, the series rallied viewership, and younger audiences started tuning in to see what spooky creature would show up in Collinsport next. The show became an overnight hit and turned Isles into a recognizable star.

Even though the original series only ran for five seasons, the Dark Shadows franchise continued in the form of a rebooted series in the 90s and three feature films, including one directed by Tim Burton in 2012 starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins and Bella Heathcoate as Victoria Winters.

Isles ultimately appeared in over 400 episodes during the show’s first two seasons–a prolific run for any young actress!

Other acting work

Isles’ only other acting credit came the same year she left Dark Shadows. Certain Honorable Men was a drama written by Rod Serling and told the story of a naive young politician who discovers the corrupt side of politics. Starring opposite Peter Fonda, Isles played Betty Jo Daly.

Looking back fondly on the experience of shooting the film, Isles recalls how amazed she was to discover fans actually recognized her for her work on Dark Shadows. Even Peter Fonda remarked that she seemed more popular than him!

Alexandra Isles

But Isles wanted to focus her attention on raising a family, so she took a break in 1968, not realizing at the time that she would never return to acting.

What is Alexandra Isles doing now?

Leaving acting not only allowed Isles the time and energy to raise her family, but it also gave her the opportunity to merge her love of storytelling with her passion for social justice. In the mid-80s, she began curating exhibits at the Museum of Television and Radio. Later, she received an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities that allowed her to realize her dreams of making a difference in society. This led Isles to documentary filmmaking.

As a filmmaker, Isles presents narratives of disenfranchised people in order to raise awareness that might lead to actionable change. Since the 90s, she has produced, written, and directed four documentary features and one short including The Power of Conscience, Scandalize My Name, Porraimos: Europe’s Gypsies in the Holocaust, The Healing Gardens of New York, and Harry’s Gift.

Isles’ films have won widespread critical acclaim and have been shown and studied at respected educational institutions, museums, human rights organizations, and film festivals worldwide. To this day, she maintains her humanitarian focus by serving as a volunteer educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alexandra Isles now


In 2021, Isles reunited with several members of the original Dark Shadows cast for a performance of A Christmas Carol performed via Zoom. While Barnabas was missing due to the passing of Jonathan Frid in 2012, the special was a lighthearted and exciting reunion of the beloved cast.

Personal Life

In 1967, Alexandra Moltke married Phillip Isles and took his surname. Their son Adam was born the following year, which prompted the actress to give up acting.

Later, the couple’s marriage ended in divorce when Alexandra had an affair with socialite Claus von Bülow, and the affair ended with the actress testifying against von Bülow when he was accused of attempting to murder his own wife–twice!

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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