Joanna Lumley

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Birth Sign

Joanna Lumley is a British actress and former model best known for her part in the TV drama ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’ She has specialized in playing high-society ladies throughout her career, and her distinctive voice has effectively reinforced this. Joanna was born in the British Indian city of Srinagar to a military officer who served in World War II with the British army’s 6th Gurkha Rifles. Later, the family relocated to the United Kingdom, where she attended private schools. She began her career as a model after graduating from high school, but her lifetime desire was to be an actress. She gradually gained recognition in a series of tiny appearances, notably one in the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (1969), and later in the television serial ‘Coronation Street.’ When she was cast as Purdey in the renowned British TV drama ‘The New Avengers,’ she shot to fame. As a result of her cult following, she was cast as the female lead in the science-fiction series “Sapphire and Steel.” But it was in the early 1990s, when she portrayed Patsy Stone in the television sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous,” which earned her three BAFTA Awards, that she performed the most pivotal part of her career. She has appeared in a number of films, including ‘Ella Enchanted’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ as well as lending her voice to projects like ‘The Foxbusters.’

Childhood and Adolescence

Major James Rutherford-Lumley, who served in the 6th Gurkha Rifles, a regiment of the British Indian Army, and his wife, Thya Rose, gave birth to Joanna Lamond Lumley on May 1, 1946, in Srinagar, Kashmir and Jammu, British India.

Her family migrated to Kent, England, after India gained independence in 1947, and she boarded at Mickledene School. After being rejected by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 16, she attended St Mary’s Convent School in Sussex and subsequently the Lucie Clayton Finishing School.

A Career of Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley worked as a photographic model for Brian Duffy during the first three years of her career. She also worked as a house model for Jean Muir on the side.

She made her first appearance on the ‘Bruce Forsyth Show’ in 1966. Her acting career began three years later with a modest role in the film ‘Some Girls Do,’ followed by a role as a Bond girl in the 1969 film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’

She had a brief but memorable part in the television sitcom ‘Coronation Street’ in 1973. She played Elaine Perkins, a lady who declines Ken Barlow’s marriage proposal. The following year, she starred alongside Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the film ‘The Satanic Rites of Dracula.’

She became a mainstream celebrity in 1976–77 when she was cast as a super-agent in the sitcom ‘The New Avengers.’ Purdey, a former ballerina turned martial arts and weaponry specialist, enchanted as the all-powerful Purdey.

She appeared in the sci-fi adventure series ‘Sapphire & Steel’ from 1979 to 1982, in which she played a mystery inter-dimensional agent who isn’t quite human.

She starred in many films in the 1980s, including ‘Trail of the Pink Panther’ (1982), ‘Curse of the Pink Panther’ (1983), and ‘Shirley’s Valentine’ (1989).

She later appeared in the BBC television comedy series ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ as ‘Patsy Stone.’ The show ran for five seasons (1992, 1994, 1995, 2001, and 2003), with several specials in between.

Joanna Lumley portrayed the rag doll ‘Annie’ in the animated series ‘The Forgotten Toys’ in 1995.
She voiced ‘Sims,’ the chicken, in the BAFTA award-winning animated series ‘The Foxbusters’ in 1999.

‘Cold Comfort Farm’ (1995), ‘James and the Giant Peach’ (1996), ‘Parting Shots’ (1999), ‘Maybe Baby’ (2000), ‘Ella Enchanted’ (2004),’Corpse Bride’ (2005), and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2005) were among her cinematic credits in the 1990s and 2000s (2013).

Major Projects of Joanna Lumley

The TV comedy series ‘Absolutely Famous’ cast Joanna Lumley in the defining role of her career in 1992. She gave a show-stopping performance as an aged, sexually aggressive, and frequently intoxicated fashion director, for which she won multiple prizes.

Achievements & Awards

The University of Kent awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon. D.Litt.) in 1994.
For her part in the sitcom ‘Absolutely Fabulous,’ she won the BAFTA Award for ‘Best Comedy Performance’ in 1995.

Lumley was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1995. (OBE).
Oxford Brookes University bestowed an honorary doctorate on her in 2002.

Personal History and Legacy

When Joanna Lumley gave birth to her son James in 1967, she became an unwed mother. She disclosed that her son’s biological father is photographer Michael Claydon.

She married Jeremy Lloyd, a comedy writer, in May 1970. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in September 1970 after only a few months.
Stephen Barlow, a conductor, became her husband in 1986.

Estimated Net Worth

Joanna is one of the wealthiest TV actresses and one of the most well-known. Joanna Lumley’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


She is a prominent human rights campaigner and a supporter of a number of organizations, including ‘Suffolk Family Carers,’ ‘Kids for Kids,’ ‘Mind,’ ‘ActionAid,’ and ‘SANE.’ She is a strong supporter of animal rights organizations and a patron of the Born Free Foundation.