Joanna Lumley Joanna Lumley, OBE, FRGS (born May 1, 1946 in Srinagar, Kashmir, India) is an English actress and former model who is arguably best known for her portrayal of the chain smoking, boozing, cocaine-sniffing and other drug-taking sexpot Patsy Stone on the British comedy television show Absolutely Fabulous. She is also a noted animal rights campaigner and vegetarian. She was educated at St Mary's School, Sussex. She spent three years as a photographic model and also worked as a house model for the late Jean Muir.
Tall, leggy, thin and blonde, she began her acting career as a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Her first major role was as Purdey in The New Avengers, a revival of the secret agent series The Avengers.
She has specialised in playing upper-class parts, and her distinctive plummy voice has reinforced this. However, following her rise to fame, she revealed that she had been an unmarried mother (son James, born 1967) during the 1960s when it was socially unacceptable. James Lumley's natural father is the photographer Michael Claydon and is of Anglo Indian ethnicity. The first of her two subsequent marriages was to comedy writer, Jeremy Lloyd. She is currently married (1986) to conductor Stephen Barlow and lives in London.
Lumley was awarded an OBE in 1995. In 1999 she appeared in The Curse of Fatal Death - a special Comic Relief episode of Doctor Who - as a female version of the Doctor. In 1996 she travelled to Bhutan to film a journey made by her grandparents - 'In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon' - and also filmed 'A Rather English Marriage' (nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actress 1999) and 'Dr Willoughby'.
In 1995 she provided the voice of Annie the rag doll in the animated series "The Forgotten Toys"
In 2000 she co-produced a new drama series entitled The Cazalet Chronicles. She has also appeared in a tv series on Sarawak, where she spent time as a girl. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).
She is also a car enthusiast, whose favourite TV programme is Top Gear. Her favourite car is a Triumph Stag convertible. She has been involved with a number of charities, including The Born Free Foundation, Mind (the UK mental health charity), Sight Savers, The Friends of Kadzinuni and many others.
Absolutely Fabulous - She played Patsy Coronation Street The New Avengers - She played Purdey in 24 episodes Sapphire & Steel - 34 episodes Class Act Cluedo Dr Willoughby 1996 Coming Home General Hospital Girl Friday Nancherrow The Persuaders A Rather English Marriage 1996 Up In Town 2002 Sensitive Skin Steptoe & Son Theatre includes:
Blythe Spirit Hedda Gabler - Dundee Rep Noel & Gertie - King's Head Private Lives Films include:
The Breaking of Bumbo The Cat's Meow 2000 Curse of the Pink Panther 1982 Cold Comfort Farm (TV) 1994 Don't Just Lie There, Say Something Funny Bones 1994 Games That Lovers Play Innocent Lies 1994 James and the Giant Peach 1994 Mad Cows 1998 Maybe Baby 1999 On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 Parting Shots 1997 Prince Valiant 1996 The Satanic Rites of Dracula 1973 Shirley Valentine 1988 Some Girls Do 1968 Sweeney Todd 1997 Tam Lin Trail of the Pink Panther 1982 Whispers 1998 Books written by Joanna:
Peacocks and Commas: Best of the "Spectator" Competitions (1983) - Editor Stare Back and Smile: Memoirs (1989) - Autobiography Forces Sweethearts Girl Friday (1994) In the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon (1997) No Room for Secrets (2005) - Autobiography Books written about Joanna Lumley: ]- The Biography by Tim Ewbank and Stafford Hildred
She has also narrated a number of audiobooks and provided forewords for works by other authors.