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Joanna Lumley Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1 May 1946Srinagar, Kashmir, India
Birth NameJoanna Lamond Lumley
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted.

An aspiring actress, she first came to fame as a model in London's swinging 1960s, where she was photographed by the greats, including her friend, the late Patrick Lichfield. She was designer Jean Muir's muse and house model for several years before carving a career as a freelance model where she became one of the top ten most-booked models of the 1960s.

Lumley's breakthrough role was as Purdey in The New Avengers (1976), a role for which over 800 girls auditioned. Purdey propelled Lumley to instant fame and created one of the "must-have" hairstyles of the 1970s -- the Purdey bob. Lumley became a pin-up figure for a generation of British males who grew up watching her as the high-kicking action girl.

Other roles followed, most notably as Sapphire in Sapphire & Steel (1979) opposite David McCallum -- a sci-fi precursor to The X-Files (1993) and an under-rated gem of a series which has gained a cult following in recent years, despite the fact it has only ever been shown ONCE on terrestrial TV.

During the 1980s, Lumley returned to the theater, making notable appearances as "Hedda Gabler" and as "Elvira" in "Blithe Spirit" -- a role that seems tailor-made for her. Lumley also made appearances in several films, including Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), and a screen-stealing role in Shirley Valentine (1989).

It was her reinvention as a comic actress in Absolutely Fabulous (1992) that shot Lumley to wider international acclaim. Her role as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous (1992) is regarded as one of the greatest female comic performances ever, earning Lumley a stream of awards, including several BAFTAs. Since Absolutely Fabulous (1992), Lumley has cemented her role as one of the UK's most-loved & respected actresses. She is rarely off UK TV screens and has also built a successful film career as a character/voice-over actress.

She recently teamed up with the writer/director Hugo Blick for the series of acclaimed monologues Up in Town (2002) which were critically regarded as the performance of a lifetime, and the recent Sensitive Skin (2005).

It has been announced that she will be making a return to the stage for the first time in over a decade in 2007 in a new production of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: hunnybunny

Spouse (2)

Stephen Barlow (1986 - present)
Jeremy Lloyd (23 May 1970 - 1970) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

One of the most recognisable voices in the United Kingdom

Trivia (21)

Is a vegetarian and an active crusader for animal rights.
Born at 7:30pm-IST.
Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles.
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1995 for her services to drama and charity.
She went into modeling after failing her audition at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She was told she was "Too fat and too ugly!".
Has one son, Jamie Lumley, born in 1967, from a relationship with photographer Michael Claydon.
Received an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Kent at Canterbury in July 1994 "for her contribution to the entertainment industry and her active charitable work".
Her grandfather was Colonel Leslie Weir, CIE, a political officer of the British Raj in India, were she was born. Joanna recreated the trip he and his wife made in 1931 to visit the King of Bhutan in Joanna Lumley in the Kingdom of the Thunderdragon (1997).
Received an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University in 2002.
In an episode of Absolutely Fabulous (1992), her character claims to have been a Bond Girl, then says "Julian Bond". Lumley actually was a Bond Girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
Is one of the most respected British actresses despite the fact she has had no acting training.
Received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 2006.
In 1991, an Oxford University college changed the name of its common room from Nelson Mandela to Joanna Lumley.
The BBC programme Girl Friday (1994) in which Lumley was left to fend for herself on a desert island for 10 days, heralded a new reality television genre, which spawned "Shipwrecked", "Survivor", etc.
Despite having a very small role in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), she spent two months on the production, dubbing the voices of a whole line up of international beauties in German, Chinese and Norwegian accents.
Is a self-confessed huge fan of James Bond and of his creator Ian Fleming, being very proud of her role as a Bond Girl.
In April 2009, she became the spokeswoman for the Gurkhas in the United Kingdom and was instrumental in persuading the British government to allow Gurkhas who had served in the Army the right to settle in the United Kingdom. When she visited Nepal in July 2009, she was treated as a heroine and a goddess by crowds of people on the street, and was thanked by Nepal's President and Prime Minister for her work in championing the Gurkhas' cause.
Is also "the voice" of AOL in Great Britain. She greets subscribers when they "log on", tells them they have mail, and says goodbye when they "log off". She revealed this on The Graham Norton Show (2007) a couple of years back.
Grandmother to Alice Daisy (born 2003) and Emily Kate (born 2004) through her son Jamie Lumley.
She has Scottish, English, Danish (from a maternal great-grandfather), and Irish ancestry.
She played the English Girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and Irma Bunt in the 2014 BBC Radio 4 adaptation "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".

Personal Quotes (11)

At boarding school I even kept mice in my underclothes drawer. It made me smell most attractive, as you can imagine.
Giraffes are completely tranquil-they have no predators as adults because there's not an animal in the jungle stupid enough to go for them.
Giraffes are fairytale animals, almost heraldic-as if from the land of fables. They have extremely beautiful faces, huge eyes, very sensitive nostrils and Oh, blue tongues!
Hundreds of political prisoners still suffer in Tibetan prisons. Freedom of speech is not allowed in any sense. It is illegal to possess a photo of the Dalai Lama.
I can't see any difference in having your hair dyed, your teeth fixed, your nose done, or your face smoothed out or lifted.
I like to keep up the image of smoking, only because it's getting such a bad press!
When you are in a country where nobody has ever seen television, people look at you with eyes that don't know who you are.
I don't think men are that attracted by glamour. I think women are attracted by glamour. I think men are attracted by a sense of friendship.
I've got lots of good friends. I could have affairs. I can read a book all night, put the cat on the end of the bed. I can pick up my passport and go to France. I don't have to ask anybody.
You have to feel more involved than just writing out a cheque. Charity is almost the wrong word - I think people are beginning to feel more responsible for the world.
"Ayo Gorkhali" (Nepalese: "The Gurkhas are coming") - traditional Nepalese rallying cry to celebrate the UK government's decision to give all Gurkhas who served in UK armed forces the right to live in Britain.

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