Edit
Felicity Kendal Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (20)

Overview (4)

Born in Olton, Warwickshire, England, UK
Birth NameFelicity Ann Bragg
Nickname Foo
Height 4' 11¾" (1.52 m)

Mini Bio (1)

British leading woman best known at one time for "cute" roles but a formidable actress in a wide variety of parts. Born in England, she was raised in India where her parents Geoffrey Kendal and Laura Liddell toured the nation for decades with a traveling classical theatre troupe called Shakespeareana. Young Felicity first appeared on stage as an infant and grew up doing backstage chores and filling in on stage as boys or various supernumeraries. She attended whatever convent school was immediately convenient and by her teen years was appearing in important Shakespearean roles. Family friends James Ivory and Ismail Merchant fashioned their fictional film Shakespeare-Wallah (1965) around the Kendal troupe and gave Felicity the leading role. She returned to England following the film and struggled for a number of years getting work. She appeared on television opposite John Gielgud and soon thereafter was given the role that made her famous, Barbara Good in the TV series Good Neighbors (1975), about a couple who decides to live off the land in their decidedly suburban home. She followed "The Good Life" with several other TV programs, but made her most important contributions on the stage. She created roles in a number of plays by Tom Stoppard (with whom she had a highly publicized affair), and continued unabated her lifelong work in Shakespeare, playing Desdemona to Paul Scofield's Othello and a memorable Viola in a BBC production of Twelfth Night (1980). She continues to perform with regularity in London's West End. She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995. In 1999, she published her memoirs, "White Cargo."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (2)

Michael Rudman (1983 - 1990) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Drewe Henley (1968 - 1979) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (15)

Her parents, Laura Liddell and Geoffrey Kendal, used to run a touring Shakespeare company in India. The film Shakespeare-Wallah (1965) was based on their experiences.
Younger sister of Jennifer Kendal.
Sister-in-law of Shashi Kapoor.
She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1995 Queen's New Year Honours List for her services to drama.
She was awarded the 1989 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performances in William Shakespeare's play, "Much Ado About Nothing" and Anton Chekhov's play, "Ivanov.".
Romantically involved with Tom Stoppard for most of the 1990s. She later re-united with her second husband.
Her father, a distant relative of Melvyn Bragg took his professional name from his birthplace, Kendal, Westmorland, England.
Has a son by each of her husbands: Charley Henley, born 1973, and Jacob Rudman, born 1987.
Participated in the eighth series of Strictly Come Dancing (2004) in 2010, partnered with Vincent Simone, finishing eighth out of fourteen celebrities.
Although she played Timothy West's elder sister in Edward the King (1975), she is almost twelve years his junior in real life.
Although she played Christopher Neame's mother in Edward the King (1975), she is less than a year his senior in real life.
She speaks Hindi, having been brought up in India.
She played Princess Vicky, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, between the ages of 14 (in 1855) and 60 (in 1901) in Edward the King (1975).
She was cast along with Joe Melia, Derek Godfrey, Jack Shepperd and Dilys Laye in 'Seven Who Were Hanged' but it was canceled when the finance ran out.

Personal Quotes (20)

[In 2010]: George Bernard Shaw was a raving socialist. And mad for feminism, passionate that women should have a right to choose how they live and how and if they work. Also the play ['Mrs Warren's Profession'] is about hypocrisy, about that bubble of respectability. And we're exactly the same now: we seem to be obsessed with infidelity, and prostitution of one kind or another, and the role of women - whether they are naughty tarts who do things with their bodies they shouldn't, or whether they are married and therefore respectable and therefore honoured.
The problem men seem to have, and women too, is that they have this very structured idea that we should find a partner and settle down and be, you know, faithful. And yet clearly this is really, really hard for anybody to do!
Quite often you do know of a very happy partnership, married or not, but equally there seems to be the same percentage of people in any walk of life who find it difficult to ... to be entirely, um, what is the word without getting too - ha! ha! - into detail ... who don't quite find that their life is sufficient without an extra excitement of some kind or another. The difficulty is we don't accept that, we're just not being honest.
So the question is, do we have the freedom to make a life that we choose? Or do we have to stick by society's rules? And it seems to me we still have to stick by society's rules or we pay a penalty. Like any good play it's a question, not an answer.
In a play the director is God, and I'm a great arguer. Rather boringly so, I think, about trying different things. And the only thing that is different working with Michael is I feel that I can only argue so much, otherwise it may appear to people that I am arguing only because I'm in a position where I can argue longer. It's also the balance of the other actors: like a football team, you are a team, and he is the coach. You can't start having tea with the coach and telling him about the team, you have to keep that separate. So we have a very boring time at home, two little silent people going slinking home after rehearsal.
[Sister Jennifer Kendal] was incredibly good at everything. She was an amazing mathematician, she sang like an angel, she read all the important books, she knew everything about music. And she was gorgeous. She had a stream of boyfriends, each more glamorous than the one before [she married the Bollywood superstar Shashi Kapoor]. She was the image of what I couldn't be.
[on moving from India to the UK at age 19]: At a party you'd say, 'I'm an actress', and the eyebrows would go and immediately you would get that look. It wasn't a respectable profession; they knew you were up for hire. Like a taxi! But even now, if you are on the stage, basically you are being paid to entertain. It's a deal: there's my ticket, and now you dance. And that isn't prostitution in the wrong way, but it isn't the same as writing a book.
Good Neighbors (1975) was such fun, but during that period the people who were thought of as hugely successful were Julie Christie and Monica Vitti, the beautiful ones in the movies. So it quite tickled me that people thought I was ... quite fun. But it was the part as well, it was very funny and well written. When I look at Good Neighbors (1975) sometimes - I can't watch a whole one through, mostly because it makes me sad about Paul Eddington [who died in 1995] - the thing that I find weird is this slightly 1940s accent I've got. It doesn't belong anywhere.
I've got a tattoo, and that's probably wrong! Don't worry. It's on my foot. It's a star, but it's just the beginning, there's going to be other things. I'm looking for a turtle but I can't find one.
[on getting a tattoo at age 63]: The thing is, I now know which bits won't go too wrinkly because they've already gone. You know where there's a place left to put tattoos.
[To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?]: My first husband - I gave him a hard time. And my second husband - I'm giving him a hard time.
Unappealing habit? Moi?
I don't treasure things much - just people. And pets.
I don't take money seriously, so I can't keep any.
Happy is my natural state.
Life is fragile and short. Don't waste it by being mean or greedy.
[What does love feel like?] When it's happy, being alive 1,000 times. When unhappy, dying slowly.
[What is the closest you've come to death?] Typhoid in Calcutta when I was 17.
[If you could edit your past, what would you change?] My sister's death.
Wilson the kitten is making me re-evaluate love.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites |  Contact Info

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed