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Also Known As: Joanna Lamond Lumley Died:
Born: May 1, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, IN Profession: actor, producer, model, author, columnist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A comedic powerhouse, Joanna Lumley went from modeling to small roles in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) and "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973) before recurring on "Coronation Street" (ITV, 1960) and multiple theatrical productions, usually farces or light comedies like "Blithe Spirit" and "Private Lives." She became a cult star when she followed in the high-kicking footsteps of Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg to become the female lead of "The New Avengers" (ITV, 1976-77) as the martial arts and weapons expert Purdey, which helped her land her own sci-fi series, "Sapphire & Steel" (ITV, 1979-1982). After small film roles including "Curse of the Pink Panther" (1983) and "Shirley Valentine" (1989), she became a worldwide star as the hard-living fashion editor Patsy Stone opposite Jennifer Saunders's neurotic Edina Monsoon on "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC One, 1992-96; 2001-04; 2011- ). A fearlessly grotesque and endlessly hilarious character in Lumley's hands, Patsy became the show's most powerful comic weapon, and "Fabulous" a national smash and global cult classic, earning her a British Comedy Award and two BAFTAs. Her profile raised accordingly, Lumley booked international roles in "James and...

A comedic powerhouse, Joanna Lumley went from modeling to small roles in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) and "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973) before recurring on "Coronation Street" (ITV, 1960) and multiple theatrical productions, usually farces or light comedies like "Blithe Spirit" and "Private Lives." She became a cult star when she followed in the high-kicking footsteps of Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg to become the female lead of "The New Avengers" (ITV, 1976-77) as the martial arts and weapons expert Purdey, which helped her land her own sci-fi series, "Sapphire & Steel" (ITV, 1979-1982). After small film roles including "Curse of the Pink Panther" (1983) and "Shirley Valentine" (1989), she became a worldwide star as the hard-living fashion editor Patsy Stone opposite Jennifer Saunders's neurotic Edina Monsoon on "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC One, 1992-96; 2001-04; 2011- ). A fearlessly grotesque and endlessly hilarious character in Lumley's hands, Patsy became the show's most powerful comic weapon, and "Fabulous" a national smash and global cult classic, earning her a British Comedy Award and two BAFTAs. Her profile raised accordingly, Lumley booked international roles in "James and the Giant Peach" (1996), "The Cat's Meow" (2001), "EuroTrip" (2004), "Ella Enchanted" (2004) and Corpse Bride" (2005). Although she was much loved in the U.K. for her lengthy body of work and activist politics, Lumley was best known around the world for her iconic "fabulous" work that kept fans in stitches for years.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Late Bloomers (2012)
4.
 Animals United (2010)
5.
 Boogie Woogie (2009)
6.
7.
 Lust (2006)
9.
 Ella Enchanted (2004) Dame Olga
10.
 Eurotrip (2004)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Kashmir
:
At age eight, settled with family in Tunbridge Wells, England
:
Left school at age 17 to pursue career as a fashion model
:
Was a successful model in Great Britain
1969:
Made feature film debut in a small role in "Some Girls Do"
1969:
Appeared as a Bond girl in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
1971:
First major role in films, "The Games That Lovers Play"
1973:
Appeared in final Hammer Studios Dracula film, "The Satanic Rites of Dracula/Count Dracula and his Vampire Bride" (released in the USA in 1978)
1973:
Played Elaine Perkins in the long-running British prime-time soap opera, "Coronation Street"
1976:
Landed first major role as Purdey in "The New Avengers," a revival of the secret agent series "The Avengers" (aired in the USA in 1978)
1979:
Starred opposite David McCallum in the sci-fi adventure series, "Sapphire & Steel"
1982:
Had featured role in "Trail of the Pink Panther"
1983:
Co-starred in "Curse of the Pink Panther"
:
Wrote a column published in the London <i>Times</i> in the 1980s
1989:
Supported Pauline Collins in the film version of "Shirley Valentine"
1992:
Cast as Patsy Stone in the popular English comedy series, "Absolutely Fabulous" (aired in the USA on Comedy Central in 1994-95)
1992:
Appeared in the British series, "Lovejoy," as widow Victoria Cavero
1995:
Had pivotal role in "Cold Comfort Farm"
1996:
Reprised Patsy in the TV-movie, "Absoultely Fabulous: The Last Shout"
1996:
Provided a character voice in "James and the Giant Peach"
1998:
Portrayed Mrs. Lovett in the Showtime movie, "The Tale of Sweeney Todd"
1999:
Provided the voice for Sims the chicken in the animated series, "The Foxbusters"
1999:
Had rare unsuccessful sitcom lead in "Dr. Willoughby"
2000:
Re-teamed with Jennifer Saunders for the unsuccessful series, "Mirrorball"
2001:
Made TV producing debut with "The Cazelets"
2001:
Portrayed Eleanor Glyn in "The Cat's Meow" (released theatrically in the USA in 2002)
2001:
Reprised role of Patsy Stone in new series of "Absolutely Fabulous"; co-written by and co-starring Jennifer Saunders
2002:
Garnered acclaim as star of "Up in Town," six ten-minute dramas aired on BBC2
2004:
Co-starred in the film, "Ella Enchanted"
2005:
Voiced Maudeline Everglot in Tim Burton's animated feature, "Corpse Bride"
2005:
Published her autobiography, <i>No Room for Secrets</i>
2006:
Starred as the elderly Delilah Stagg in the sitcom, "Jam & Jerusalem" with Jennifer Saunders
2007:
Joined the second series of "Sensitive Skin," playing the main character Davina Jackson
2010:
Played a strong-willed Princess in her Broadway debut, David Hirson's "La Bete"; earned a Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St Mary's Convent: Hastings , East Sussex -
Lucie Clayton Modelling Agency and Training School: London , England -

Notes

Lumley's father was a gurkha, a soldier from Nepal serving in the English or Indian army.

"You know, in America, people might think that age is the thing. In Britain it might be another reason that they drop you--that you're too popular or too well known from one show. In Britain we tend to look down on success, instead of applauding it as you do over here. You say, 'hey, so-and-so's great in that, let's build them up and make them better.' In Britain, they tend to say, 'hey, that was really good, so let's knock them down.'" --Joanna Lumley to Claudia Pearce, February 13, 1996.

"The gay community is usually the first to jump onto what's smart and new; they're usually the first to be ahead of the avant-garde. Because ['Absolutely Fabulous'] is satirical and quite sort of catty and biting, it amuses them enormously. And the characters are quite easy to imitate." --Lumley in The Advocate, April 16, 1996.

" ... being tall affects the way other people look at you. They think: aloof, snooty, commanding - all things that aren't necessarily there at all. That is what 'tall woman' means." --Lumley (who stands at 5'8") quoted in The Daily Telegraph, February 19, 2002.

"Nervous breakdown? Didn't really know what it was at the time. With hindsight I think it was a bad case of stage fright. Terribly common.

" ... Came from boredom. The repetition. You go mad. I'd been in that play for ten months, eight shows a week. I've been in many plays since and it has been fine but I've made sure I've never done long runs again. I like new things. Which is why I like filming. I only started in acting because I was interested in film. I like the lie. The fibs the camera tells." --Joanna Lumley on a "nervous breakdown" suffered c. 1970 around the time her first marriage ended, quoted in The Daily Telegraph, February 19, 2002.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Michael Claydon. Photographer. Involved in the mid to late 1960s; father of Lumley's son James.
husband:
Jeremy Lloyd. Comedy writer. Married in 1970 after a five-day courtship; divorced after four months.
companion:
Rod Stewart. Singer. Had two-month relationship c. 1970.
husband:
Stephen Barlow. Conductor, composer, musician. Born c. 1954; married in 1986.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Aelene Lumley. Born c. 1944.
son:
James Lloyd. Born in 1967; attended Harrow; father, Michael Claydon.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Stare Back and Smile"
"Forces Sweetheart"

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