- Joanna Lumley
:"For the sixteenth century translator see
Jane Lumley."Infobox actor
name = Joanna Lumley
birthdate = Birth date and age|1946|5|1|df=yes
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, British India
birthname = Joanna Lamond Lumley
Joanna Lamond Lumleycite news|last=Barratt|first=Nick|title=Family Detective : Joanna Lumley|publisher=
The Daily Telegraph|date= 2007-08-04|page=W16] was born on 1 May 1946in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Her parents were MajorJames Rutherford Lumley, who served in the 6th Gurkha Rifles, a regimentof the British Indian Army, and Beatrice Rose Weir. They married in 1941. After the independence of India in 1947, the Lumleys settled in Kent, England. Joanna was educated at St Mary's School in Sussex, England, and afterward attended the Lucie Clayton finishing school. Tall, leggy, slim and blond, she spent three years as a photographic model, and is said to have made her TV debut in a well-known UK advert for Nimble bread first screened in 1969. [cite news|last=Sweney|first=Mark|title=Nimble Builds on Heritage|url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/advertising/story/0,,1871716,00.html|publisher= The Guardian(MediaGuardian)|date= 2006-09-14] She also appears in episode 1.6 of The Bruce ForsythShow (1966). She also worked as a house model for Jean Muir.
Lumley did not receive any formal training at drama school. Her acting career began with a small role in the film "
Some Girls Do". She went on to have a brief but memorable role in " Coronation Street" in which she turned down Ken Barlow's offer of marriage.
In the "
Are You Being Served?" episode entitled "His and Hers" broadcast on BBC1on 11 April 1973(season 1; episode 4), she was guest star as perfumerepresentative Miss French. In the 3 April 1975episode entitled "German Week" (season 3; episode 6), she was again guest star, on that occasion as "German Lady."
She also appeared in "
The Satanic Rites of Dracula", released 13 January 1974, starring Peter Cushingand Christopher Lee.
Lumley's first major role was as Purdey in "The New Avengers", a revival of the secret agent series "The Avengers". Although critical reaction to the series was lukewarm, the casting of Lumley was seen as inspired and following the tradition of iconic Avengers actresses
Honor Blackman, Diana Riggand Linda Thorson. Lumley's bobbed hairstyle quickly became known as the 'Purdey bob' and was hugely popular for a time in the mid-1970s.
In 1979 she appeared in another series with a
cultfollowing: " Sapphire and Steel", opposite David McCallum. Conceived as ITV's answer to Doctor Who, Lumley played a mysterious ephemeral being ('Sapphire') who, with her cohort 'Steel', dealt with breaches in the fabric of time.
Lumley went on to find fame with a new generation for her portrayal of the chain smoking, boozing,
cocaine-sniffing and other drug-taking sexpot fashion director Patsy Stone on the British comedy televisionshow " Absolutely Fabulous" (1992 - 2005).
She has specialised in playing upper-class parts, and her distinctive plummy voice has reinforced this. However she has demonstrated her ability to go beyond stereotypical images, most notably in the
monologueseries of playlets "Up In Town" (2002), written by Hugo Blick, and focusing on a society hostess's realisation that her star is fading.
Other work has included: "
Lovejoy" as widower Victoria Cavero, a film about a journey made by her grandparents in Bhutan- "In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon" (1996) - and "A Rather English Marriage" (nominated for a BAFTAfor Best Actress 1999) and "Dr Willoughby". In 1995 she provided the voice of Annie the rag doll in the animated series "The Forgotten Toys". In 1999 she also provided the voice for Sims the chicken in the BAFTA award winning animated series The Foxbusters. In 2000 she co-produced a new drama series entitled "The Cazalets". She has also appeared in a TV series on Sarawak, where she spent time as a girl.
Lumley stars as the elderly Delilah Stagg in the 2006
sitcom" Jam & Jerusalem" alongside Dawn French, Jennifer Saundersand Sue Johnston. In July 2007 she starred in the second series of the drama "Sensitive Skin" where she played the main character Davina Jackson. The BBC has said this will be the final series of the dark comedy.
Lumley has gained prominence as a voice over actress and is one of the most recognised voices in the United Kingdom. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0525921/bio] Users of
AOLin the United Kingdomare familiar with Joanna Lumley's voice. She recorded the greeting "Welcome to AOL" for that company. It is, therefore, the first thing that a UK AOL user hears when logging on.
She appeared as a guest host on
Channel 4's " The Friday Night Project", which aired on 3 August 2007.
Lumley has also appeared on the last run of
ITV1's "Parkinson" as a guest, on 27 October 2007, discussing the subject of young girls across the UK and how they need to behave better if they hope to be successful. She was asked to write the introduction to a re-edition in November 2007 of the book called 'The Magic Key To Charm' written by the pioneering female journalist Eileen Ascroft. This is a book of tips to women, first written by Ascroft in 1938 about how to be glamorous. "I thought it was absolutely enchanting, it's how young women were told how to behave in the old days and I think it might be just coming back for a bit of a revival," she explained in the interview.
"Because, I have to say I adore our young ones and I think we have got some of the prettiest and loveliest girls in the world but I think sometimes the behaviour gets a bit bad and I think the girls let themselves down. They are so pretty and so lovely but they should behave better, I think, then they will be more successful."
In 1999 she appeared in the
Comic Reliefspoof Doctor Whoepisode ' The Curse of Fatal Death' as the final incarnation of the Doctor.
Following her rise to fame, she revealed that she had been an unmarried mother during the 1960s when it was socially unacceptable; her son, James, was born in 1967. James Lumley's natural father is the photographer Michael Claydon and is of
Anglo Indianethnicity. The first of her two subsequent marriages was to comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd("Are You Being Served?" see early career). In 1986 she married conductor Stephen Barlow; they live in London.
Lumley was awarded an OBE in 1995. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (
FRGS). In 2006 she was awarded an honorary degree from the University of St. Andrewsand in July 2008, she was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Queen's University Belfast.
She is a noted
animal rightscampaigner, vegetarian, and recently campaigned for the rights of Gurkhaveterans to settle in the UK. She is also a car enthusiast, whose favourite TV programme is "Top Gear". Her favourite car is a Triumph Stagconvertible. She has been involved with a number of charities, including The Druk White Lotus School(in Shey, Ladakh), the Born Free Foundation, Mind (the UK mental health charity), Sight Savers, The Friends of Kadzinuni and many others. She has an interest in and concern about environmental matters, and sponsors the Joanna Lumley Fellowship in Environmental Science at the University of Oxford. At the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show, Lumley had a fuchsianamed after her.
Steptoe & Son" 1972
Coronation Street" 1973
Are You Being Served?" 1973 & 1975
The New Avengers" 1976-1977
Sapphire & Steel" 1979-1982
Absolutely Fabulous" 1992-2005
*"Girl Friday" 1994
*"Class Act" 1994
Cold Comfort Farm" 1995
The Tale of Sweeney Todd" 1998
Coming Home" 1998
A Rather English Marriage" 1998
*"Dr Willoughby" 1999
*"Whispers: An Elephant's Tale" 2000
Up In Town" 2002
*"Top Gear" 2004
*"Sensitive Skin" 2005
Jam and Jerusalem" 2006-2007
*"Sensitive Skin" (2nd Series) 2007
The Friday Night Project" 2007
*"Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights" 2008
Hedda Gabler" - Dundee Rep
*"Noel & Gertie" - King's Head
The Letter" by Somerset Maugham, Lyric Hammersmith, 1995
Jack and the Beanstalk" by Roald Dahl, Royal Albert Hall, December 1996
The Cherry Orchard" - Sheffield Crucible, March 2007
Some Girls Do" 1969
*"The Breaking of Bumbo" 1970
*"Games That Lovers Play" 1970
Tam Lin" 1970
Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!" 1973
The Satanic Rites of Dracula" 1974
Trail of the Pink Panther" 1982
Curse of the Pink Panther" 1983
Shirley Valentine" 1988
Cold Comfort Farm" 1995
*"Innocent Lies" 1995
*"James and the Giant Peach" 1996
Prince Valiant" 1997
Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death1999
*"Mad Cows" 1999
*"Parting Shots" 1999
Maybe Baby" 2000
The Cat's Meow" 2001
*"Ella Enchanted" 2004
*"The Magic Roundabout 2005
*"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride 2005
*"Peacocks and Commas: Best of the "Spectator" Competitions" (1983) - Editor
*"Stare Back and Smile: Memoirs" (1989) - Autobiography
*"Girl Friday" (1994)
*"In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon" (1997)
*"No Room for Secrets" (2005) - Autobiography
She has also narrated a number of audiobooks and provided forewords for works by other authors.
*"Joanna Lumley- The Biography" by Tim Ewbank and Stafford Hildred; an unauthorised biography.
* [http://www.niox.co.uk/education/quotes/search.php?criteria=lumley Xpressions Education : Joanna Lumley] - an interactive quotes database which comprises quotes from Joanna Lumley on assorted topics.
*imdb name|id=0525921|name=Joanna Lumley
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/profiles/joanna_lumley.shtml BBC biography]
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