Joanna Lumley is one of Britain’s favourite actresses, best known for her roles in ‘The New Avengers’, ‘Sapphire and Steel’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’.
Her early films include Some Girls Do, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and two Pink Panther comedies. She made early television appearances on General Hospital and Coronation Street, before becoming immortalised as Purdy in The New Avengers. However it was Joanna’s role as the chain-smoking Patsy in the award-winning Absolutely Fabulous which brought her renewed fame the series proving itself one of the classic sitcoms of British television.
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir in 1946 and came to England as a young girl to complete her schooling at St Mary’s School in Sussex.
She spent three years as a photographic model finally becoming a house model for the late Jean Muir.
She later appeared in Jam and Jerusalem, written by French and Saunders. Since Ab Fab, Joanna has also acted in Class Act, Cold Comfort Farm and Sensitive Skin.
She was nominated for a Best Actress BAFTA for her role in A Rather English Marriage. She made the documentary In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, in which she charted the journey her grandparents made in the little-known country of Bhutan. In the BBC special, Girl Friday Joanna, tried her hand at surviving on a desert island and wrote an accompanying book about her experiences.
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.
Joanna was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995.
Among the many charities she supports are The Princes’s Trust, SightSavers, The Born Free Foundation, Thames Reach Bondway, Ataxia and The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
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