Joanna Lumley



Real name: Joanna Lumley
Born: 1 May 1946, Srinagar, Kashmir, India


  1. Jeremy Lloyd (div. 1971)
  2. Stephen Barlow (1986)

Children: James (f: Michael Claydon)

Contact: c/o Caroline Renton

Played: Elaine Perkins (1973)

Joanna Lumley was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India on 1 May 1946. After leaving school she became a model and worked extensively in England and on the continent. Three years later she decided to move into acting and she has never looked back. Her television debut was as a patient in Emergency Ward 10 she later appeared in Release, The Mark II Wife and Two Girls. She then played the voice of Zaza the Cat in the children's series Hector's House before appearing in the comedy It's Awfully Bad For Your Eyes, Darling as Samantha Ryder-Ross. Then in 1973 she appeared in eight episodes of Coronation Street playing headmaster's daughter Elaine Perkins. Elaine turned down a marriage proposal from Ken Barlow and Joanna turned down a long running contract so that she could tour in Brussels. When she returned to England she appeared on television in The Protectors, General Hospital, Steptoe and Son, Are You Being Served?, The Cuckoo Waltz, Up The Workers and That Was Tory.

In 1976 she joined Patrick McNee and Gareth Hunt in The New Advengers, which ran until 1977. She played leggy Purdy and soon became a national institution. In 1979 she joined David McCallum in the sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel playing Sapphire for three years. She then played Kate in The Weather In The Streets, Lally Longbridge in Mistral's Daughter and Sarawak in Travels. Joanna also appeared as a chat show hostess when she stood in for Terry Wogan and appeared on television in Oxbridge Blues, The Glory Boys, French and Saunders, Trading Places, QED, Art and Chips, Jackanory, Who's A Clever Girl, Live for Peace and Forgotten Toys.

Joanna played Lady Drayton in A Ghost of Monte Carlo, Victoria Cavero in Lovejoy, Kate Swift in Class Act, Mrs Peacock in Cluedo, Mrs Smiling in Cold Comfort Farm and Loretta Stone in A Perfect Hero. She then played Patsy Stone in the Jennifer Saunders comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, which ran for three series and a movie. She also recorded a Comic Relief record with Jennifer and The Pet Shop Boys. For this performance she received an Emmy award and various BAFTA's.

Joanna continued to model and often read books onto tape, she was favourite chat show guest and often appeared on The Full Wax. She also provided the voices for endless commercials. She wrote her autobiography in 1989 called Stare Back and Smile and was awarded the OBE shortly after making a documentary series called Girl Friday where she spent nine days on the uninhabited island of Tsarabajina. She also guest starred in the US sit com Rosanne and made endless guest slots on The Mrs Merton Show, Alas Smith and Jones and Morecambe and Wise.

Her film career has also been long and varied she began in the 1969 film Some Girls Do in a minor bit part then she became a Bond girl in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In 1970 she appeared in The House That Dripped Blood and Games That Lovers Play then the following year she appeared in Breaking of Bumbo and Tam Lin. In the seventies her films included Satanic Rites of Dracula, Don't Just Lie There, Say Something, The Plank and The Trail of The Pink Panther. In the eighties her films included Lady Chatterely Vs Fanny Hill, The Curse of the Pink Panther and Shirley Valentine. She appeared in the mini series Halcyon Days, James and The Giant Peach, Prince Valiant, Parting Shots, The Forgotten Toys and The Tale of Sweeney Todd.

Joanna lives in Canterbury, Kent. She married actor and writer Jeremy Lloyd but they were divorced in 1971. Her second marriage was to orchestra conductor Stephen Barlow in 1986, so she finally became Mrs Barlow (!). Joanna has a son born in 1967 called James from her romance with photographer Michael Claydon. She is always inundated with work offers and does endless amounts of charity work along with presenting awards at all the big award shows.

Joanna is a big Coronation Street fan and is reunited with her former colleagues at every Street anniversary.






Back to
Actors index


Back to
Profiles index


Back to