Petula Clark Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 15 November 1932Ewell, Surrey, England, UK
Birth NamePetula Sally Olwen Clark
Nicknames Pet
Our Pet
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Petula Clark was a star at the age of 11. She starred in the music halls and on BBC radio singing for the troops during WWII. She was a child star in a series of British films from the end of WWII through to the early 1950s,and by 1954 was having hit records. After a move to France in 1960, having fallen for a Frenchman, she had hit records all over Europe ,and by 1966 with such hits as "Downtown" and "my Love" having topped the American charts, became a truly international star.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Petula Sally Olwen Clark was born in West Ewell Surrey, England on November 15, 1932. Petula made her first broadcast as a singer for the BBC Radio Overseas Service in October 1942, and became an overnight star on BBC National Radio in December 1942 at the age of 10.

After many radio shows for the BBC during World War 2, Petula made her film debut in "Medal for the General" in 1945. Notable films include the classic Powell/Pressburger film "I know where I'm going" (1945), London Town (USA "My heart goes crazy") (1946), Vice Versa (directed by Peter Ustinov) (1948), and the classic Huggett trio of family films which were to be the forerunner of television soap operas in the UK (1948-9). Her first leading role was in "Don't ever leave me" (1949), and "The Card" (USA "The Promoter") with Alec Guinness and Glynis Johns (1952). Petula was nominated for an award for best supporting actress in the hospital film drama "White Corridors" (1951) which even got shown in East Germany as well as New York. British film-goers voted her their 6th best actress in 1951 just behind Greer Garson and ahead of Jane Wyman.

As well as her film work, Petula was a regular on BBC radio and television and British stage variety shows, and from 1957 in France and other European territories. She acted in comedy radio shows such as "Life of Bliss" and radio series with her pianist and musical director Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson. Petula was a recording star in the UK from 1949, with "The little shoemaker"(1954) being her first top 10 hit (also hitting #1 in Australia) and "With all my heart" which took her to France where by 1962 she became their top female singer with such big selling hits as "Chariot", "Couer blesse" and "Ya ya twist", securing her the prestigious Grand Prix National du Disques Francais. Her hits in four languages included "Monsieur" selling a million copies sung in German! Her song "Sailor" became her first of 2 #1 hits in the UK.

Although Petula had recorded an album in Hollywood in 1959 and some of her early songs had limited releases in the USA, it was not until 1965 that she became an overnight sensation with "Downtown" topping the charts, and the first of many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. It made her the first British female singer to sell a million copies in the USA and with "My love" first to top the USA charts twice! Petula has three Grammy awards (two for "Downtown" and one for "I know a place", and Cashbox in the USA voted her top female singer of 1966.

Petula also had success as a songwriter with the Top 5 USA hit covered by the Vogues "You're the one" in 1965, and "Now that you've gone" covered by Connie Stevens. In Europe and Canada she had self-penned hits "Je chante doucement", "Que fais-tu la Petula", "You're the one", "Le agent secret", and "Bleu blanc rouge". Petula also appeared as herself and sang and wrote incidental film music for "A Couteaux Tires" (USA Daggers Drawn) in 1964.

By 1966, Petula was one of the most popular and best selling female singers in the world with other hits including "I couldn't live without your love", "This is my song", "Sign of the times", "Don't sleep in the subway" and "Kiss me goodbye". In 1967 she was presented with the "International Award" by "Midem" (International music industry awards) alongside the Beatles and Tom Jones. Her many USA television appearances included duets with Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Danny Kaye, Helen Reddy, Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, Glen Campbell, Carol Burnett, Richard Carpenter, The Everly Brothers, Peggy Lee, Tom Jones, and even Bob Hope!.

As a dramatic actress on television, Petula starred in the 1957 ITV drama "Guest in the house". In 1972 she appeared as herself in "Here's Lucy" with the legendary Lucille Ball playing her secretary for the day! In 1981 in France, Petula had a major role in the French drama serial "Sans Famille". Hollywood films were "Finian's Rainbow" directed by Frances Ford Coppola with Fred Astaire (1968) giving Petula a Golden Globe nomination, and the musical version of "Goodbye Mr Chips" with Peter O'Toole in 1969. Her most recent film was the British movie "Never never land" (1980) directed by actress Diane Baker.

As a stage actress her credits are "Sauce for the Goose" (UK 1950), "The constant Nymph" (UK 1954), "The Sound of Music" (breaking house records as Maria in London 1981-2), "Candida" (UK 1983), "Someone like you" (1989-90 UK tour and London, 1990) for which she wrote the music, "Blood Brothers" Broadway (1993-4) and USA tour (1994-5) with David Cassidy and "Sunset Boulevard" as Norma Desmond (London 1995-7) and USA tour 1998-2000).

As a singing star, Petula has taken her one woman show from London's Royal Albert Hall to the Sydney Opera House and Washington's Kennedy Center. Petula has given bilingual concerts at the Paris Olympia and Place des Arts in Montreal. She has been a Las Vegas headliner since 1966, with a million dollar contract to headline at Caesars Palace. In 2010 she made a triumphant return to Vegas this time at the renowned Las Vegas Hilton.

As a television star, Petula was one of,if not the first female singing star to have her own BBC TV series (1946) and since then has had TV specials and series around the world including one notable show which she hosted broadcast live to France from Liverpool's famous Cavern club. Petula co-hosted the BAFTA awards from the Royal Albert Hall in 1974, and hosted episodes of the legendary American series "Hullabaloo", Kraft music hall and "Hollywood Palace". In 1972 David Frost featured her as sole guest on one of his legendary David Frost Shows live from New York, and in 1979 she hosted a "Golden Gala" from London's Drury Lane celebrating the European Union and broadcast all over Europe. Petula's three American television specials (1968-70) were shown internationally, and her 1974 BBC TV series "The Sound of Petula" won her the "Most exciting female singer on TV" award. She hosted French shows, notably the popular "Top" and "Numero Un" series which were broadcast live!.

As well as her CBE presented by Queen Elizabeth in 1998, in 2012 Petula was awarded the honour of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in Paris, for her distinguished career in France. In 2013 at the age of 80 Petula was back with a new Top 30 album success in the UK ("Lost in you" Sony Records), and her new recording of "Cut copy me" became a remixed dance top 40 hit all over Europe. The song was also voted by the prestigious "Time" magazine into their Top 10 songs of 2013.

Petula married Frenchman Claude Wolff in 1961, and they have three children, Bara (1961), Kathy (1963) and Patrick (1972). As of 2014, husband Claude still oversees her career, and Petula continues to perform.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mike Jones

Spouse (1)

Claude Wolff (8 June 1961 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Her mole, which she began sporting in 1966 (originally on the bottom-left corner of her chin; since 1967, on the bottom-right corner)

Trivia (17)

She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1998 Queen's New Year Honours List for her services to music.
While in France, Petula Clark worked for a short time as a secretary at the Firestone offices.
Ranked #85 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She was considered for roles in the films Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), Valley of the Dolls (1967) and Airport (1970).
First British solo artist to win a Grammy (for the Tony Hatch-penned "Downtown" in 1964). When the song topped the American charts, she became the first British female pop singer in the rock era to have a number one hit single in the United States. Her collaboration with Hatch produced another Grammy winner titled, "I Know a Place" (1965) and the chart-topper "My Love" (1966), further making her the first British female vocalist to have two number one hits on the US charts. Other memorable songs have included, "Sailor" (1961), "My Friend the Sea" (1961), "Round Every Corner" (1965), "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" (1966), "This is My Song" (from A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)), "Don't Sleep in the Subway" (1967), "The Other Man's Grass (is Always Greener)" (1968), "Don't Give Up" (1968), "My Guy" (1972), "Natural Love" (1982), etc.
At nearly 73 she continues to perform regularly. Her 2005 schedule includes two lengthy stints in Branson, Missouri (performing with Andy Williams in his Moon River Theater), a mini-Canadian tour and scattered dates throughout the UK and US.
She has written dozens of songs, under both her own name and the pseudonym "Al Grant." The best known is "You're the One," which was a major hit for fellow Warner Brothers recording artists The Vogues.
She has recorded well in excess of 1000 songs.
She composed the score for and starred in a musical drama entitled "Someone Like You" in London's West End in the early 1990s. The show was set in post Civil War West Virginia during the days of Reconstruction, and centered on a woman's search for her ne'er-do-well traveling preacher husband.
She has sold more than 70 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling British female vocalist in history.
In August 1981, she opened in "The Sound of Music" in London's West End with what was then the largest advance sale in British theatre history. What was originally intended to be a six-month run was extended to thirteen in order to accommodate public demand. During the week she took a break and her understudy played the role, the box office dropped a whopping 75%.
In 1968 Clark and singer Harry Belafonte were singing a duet on her show when she touched Belafonte's arm. A representative for the show's sponsor, Chrysler Corp., saw it and ordered the director to have them re-tape the duet and not to have Clark touch his arm, the rationale being that viewers in the South would be outraged to see a white woman touching a black man, and the South was a big market for Chrysler's cars. Clark redid the scene, but when she found out the reason why, she and her husband - the show's producer - stormed into the control booth, ordered the director to destroy the second take and keep the original one. As expected, when the show was aired a few weeks later, many stations in the South wouldn't show it, and Chrysler received many letters from outraged Southerners saying they would never buy a Chrysler product again because of the company's sponsorship of the show.
In 1969 she was in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, room 1742 in Montreal, Canada, and was part of the chorus when John Lennon recorded the song "Give Peace a Chance".
Her favorite songs are "Black Coffee" by Peggy Lee, "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra, "Hallelujah" by Michael McDonald, "This Masquerade" by The Carpenters, "Life In The Fast Lane" by Eagles, "Something" by The Beatles, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys and "Love For Sale" by Clare Teal. Of all the songs she has recorded, her favorites are "To Memphis" and her duet with Dusty Springfield, "Corner Of The Sky". (Source: BBC Radio 2 "Tracks of My Years").
In 1949 began her recording career with "Put On Your Own Shoes, Lucy".
In 1962 had UK hit with "Chariot', the original version of "I Will Follow Him", a later hit for Peggy March.
Even though they never divorced she and her husband Claude Wolff have lived separate lives for over twenty years but still remain friends.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on her life as a child star in the 1950s] Because of the circles I mixed in, professionally, I knew about things that children in those days were shielded from. Yet, at the same time, I was still very young in my own experiences of life. It was all rather peculiar and confusing.
I've thought about stopping working, just briefly. Sometimes I stop and think, 'Wait a minute. When I finish this, what do I do?' But I don't have what normal people call a home. There's no place where I can go and grow my radishes. That's pretty weird when you think about it. [The Arizona Republic, Aug. 29, 1999]

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