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Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley

May. 1st, 1946
Born in
Srinagar, Kashmir, India
5' 8

Joanna Lumley's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Absolutely Fabulous (UK) TV Show
Absolutely Fabulous (UK)
The New Avengers (UK) TV Show
The New Avengers (UK)
Sapphire and Steel (UK) TV Show
Sapphire and Steel (UK)
A Bucket O' French And Saunders (UK) TV Show
A Bucket O' French And Saunders (UK)
Jam and Jerusalem (UK) TV Show
Jam and Jerusalem (UK)
The Kenny Everett Television Show (UK) TV Show
The Kenny Everett Television Show (UK)
Sensitive Skin (UK) TV Show
Sensitive Skin (UK)
Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure (UK) TV Show
Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure (UK)
Parkinson (UK) TV Show
Parkinson (UK)
Class Act (UK) TV Show
Class Act (UK)
Cluedo (UK) TV Show
Cluedo (UK)
Joanna Lumley's Nile (UK) TV Show
Joanna Lumley's Nile (UK)
The Cuckoo Waltz (UK) TV Show
The Cuckoo Waltz (UK)
Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey (UK) TV Show
Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey (UK)
Joanna Lumley - Catwoman (UK) TV Show
Joanna Lumley - Catwoman (UK)
Joanna Lumley: Land Of The Northern Lights (UK) TV Show
Joanna Lumley: Land Of The Northern Lights (UK)
Dr Willoughby TV Show
Dr Willoughby
It's Awfully Bad For Your Eyes, Darling (UK) TV Show
It's Awfully Bad For Your Eyes, Darling (UK)
Oxbridge Blues (UK) TV Show
Oxbridge Blues (UK)
Ruby (UK) TV Show
Ruby (UK)
The Bruce Forsyth Show (UK) TV Show
The Bruce Forsyth Show (UK)
Up in Town (UK) TV Show
Up in Town (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Joanna Lumley (born May 1, 1946) in Kashmir, India. 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 (I) -- 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 cameo 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'.

  • Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles.
  • Is a vegetarian and an active crusader for animal rights.
  • Is one of the most respected British actresses despite the fact she has had no acting training.
  • Born at 7:30pm-IST.
  • Awarded an honorary doctorate from St Andrews University in 2006.
  • After Joanna failed her RADA audition she went into modeling. She was told she was "Too fat and too ugly!".
  • In April 2009 she became the spokeswoman for the Gurkhas in the UK and was instrumental in persuading the British government to allow Gurkhas who had served in the Army the right to settle in the UK. 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.
  • She is a self-confessed Bond fan and of his creator 'Ian Fleming (I)' (qv), being very proud of her role as a 'Bond Girl'.

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