felicity kendal biog.




British Actress
(b. 1946)




kendal




Date of Birth
25 September 1946, Olton, Warwickshire, England, UK



Biography:

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    Doesn't everyone love Felicity Kendal? Isn't it mandatory in the UK? Swear an oath to worship forever and a day at the altar of Her Royal Felicity. She so's overwhelmingly lovely and so impossibly nice that we feel overwhelmed by all of her so we break her up and give her awards for little bits of her: rear of the year, hair of the year, and if she isn't up for an award we just give her one for being Felicity Kendal.

    Ok, I made that up. But it's undeniable that she has been warmly loved by most of the British public since she appeared in the sitcom The Good Life way back younder in the 1970s. Male chauvanists still living in the 1970s wearing kipper ties, driving cortinas and watching The Sweeney on a monday evening termed the phrase 'thinking man's crumpet' for her. 'The girl next door', 'the girl you'd take home to your mother' were others but, yawn, yawn, you've heard all that.

    Still she remains trapped in that 1970s bubble of love. But keeping up appearances takes some doing. Have you seen her recently? Methinks she has had her face ironed. Being forever the girl next door isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Food for thought.

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    Felicity Kendal (b. Felicity Ann Bragg) was born on 25th September 1946 in Otton, Warwickshire, England. She grew up touring India and the Far East with her parents' travelling theatre company (her father was the actor Geoffrey Kendal and mother Laura Liddell), along with her sister Jennifer (1934-84, and wife of the legendary Indian actor Shashi Kapoor). Felicity played page boys fromt the age of eight and then took on a number of Shakespearean roles. In 1965 she appeared with her mother and father in the film Shakespeare-Wallah which was a story about a family troupe of actors in India and is based on their family history. That same year she returned to England at and two years later, in 1967, made her London debut in Minor Murder in 1967.

    kendal

    It wasn't until the mid-1970s that her big break came. That was, of course, one of the most popular things ever to grace UK tv screens, the gentle comedy The Good Life which would not only make the mighty elf (she is just under 5ft) a household name but also her three co-stars, Richard Briers, Penelope Keith, and, to a lesser extent, I suppose, the late Paul Eddington. This series set in the London suburb of Surbiton (but in reality shot well over the other side of the river in Northwood, North London) ran until 1978. She was born to play the perky welly-wearing Barbara Good. Additionally in this period she played Princess Vicky in the TV mini series Edward The King , and the so-so film Valentino in 1977. The following year she played the part of Dorothy Wordsworth in the TV films Clouds of Glory: The Rimes of the Ancient Mariner and Clouds of Glory: William and Dorothy. Both were directed by the enfant terrible of British cinema, Ken Russell, and co-written by a distant relative of her father, the immaculately-coiffed Mervyn Bragg.

    In 1980 she played Viola in the acclaimed BBC production of Twelfth Night.

    The decade saw Felicity in two television series - as Gemma Palmer in Solo (so-so)(1981); and The Mistress (1985) (bit better). She was reunited with her Good Life co- Paul Eddington in 1992 for the TV mini series, The Camomile Lawn in which she played Helena. The following year she lent her voice to the animation We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. In 1994 she appeared in the TV comedy series Honey For Tea and in 1998 the all-star film Parting Shots. In 2000 Felicity appeared on BBC2 alongside Ralph Fiennes in Marcel Proust's mammoth work In Search of Lost Time.

    Perhaps because of her upbringing she has never forgotten the theatre; indeed it is perhaps her most successful medium. In 1988 she appeared in Tom Stoppard's Hapgood at the Aldwych Theatre (and, shock-horror, had an intimate relationship with the playwright which resulted in him leaving his wife, Miriam Stoppard). In 1993 she appeared in his play Arcadia. Kendal appeared alongside Griff Rhys Jones in 1994 in An Absolute Turkey at the Globe Theatre and in 1996 played Millet Pochet in George Feydeau's Mind Millie For Me. The following year she she appeared in Waste at the Old Vic Theatre for Peter Hall. She ended the 1990s appearing in Michael Frayn's Alarms & Excursions at the Gielgud.

    She was on the West End stage in Noel Coward's Fallen Angels at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in 2000 and the following year in the National's production of Humble Boy.

    Felicity appeared with Pam Ferris in the murder-mystery series Rosemary and Thyme (2003-6). The series ran to over 20 episodes.

    2003 saw Felicity Kendal star in Samuel Becketts Happy Days at the Arts Theatre, again for Peter Hall. Her now rare TV work has included her appearing in one episode of the BBC's TV cult show Dr Who in 2008.


  • Biog. | Gallery
  • The Good Life Dvd Release ~ Thoughts
  • British Dvd War Films | Search Site
  • Twelfth Night | Edward The Seventh
  • Rosemary & Thyme - And No Birds Sing / Arabica and the Early
  • Rosemary & Thyme - Invisible Worm / Gongoozlers ...
  • Rosemary & Thyme - The Language of Flowers / Sweet Angelica
  • Rosemary & Thyme - The Memory of Water
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    kendal


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    Trivia:

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    Height 4' 11"

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    Married 2 times. 1st to Drewe Henley (1968 - 1979) (divorced) 1 child, Charley Henley, born 1973; 2nd: Michael Rudman (1983 - 1990) (divorced) 1 child, Jacob Rudman, born 1988

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    Appointed a CBE in 1995

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    The petite singer Rachel Stevens looks a deadringer to be her daughter

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    Gallery:

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    The Good Life - Dvd Thoughts


  • The UK release of The Good Life is a peculiar one. Released by Acorn Media in 2004 in various forms (Complete Collection, Complete BBC Series 1 etc.) it appears that they didn't make enough for by at least 2008 they seemed to have run out of many of the boxsets, or, at the very least, were in short supply. Now the Good Life is a classic series, the most popular of its kind in the UK when it was made in the 1970s, and unlike many TV shows of that era has just grown better with age. Indeed I would suggest that its self-sufficiency values ring truer today than way back then. And that is saying nothing on its superb writing and the quartet of main actors have never been better.

    At the end of the day it is just very funny.

    So why the shortage? I really don't know but you would have thought that the company would have pre-supposed that this would have been a best-seller and would have made more units. Whether they no longer have the distribution rights or there is another reason is pure speculation on my part. It looks to me as some of the Dvd sets are deleted titles, maybe all are deleted and some wholesalers have found some stock in their warehouses ... I really don't know, but Series 3 for example seems to be still available from some outlets.

    The consequence of this in the main is that many of the box-sets are in short supply and when they do come on the market in places like ebay can be scarily expensive. I mean 300.00+ for the complete collection? Seems a bit high to me but maybe I'm just tight!

    This lovely, gentle series deserves better but until the powers-that-be decide to re-issue it we are stuck with what is out there.

    Anyway, I have just look at amazon as they seem to have the best deals at the moment and have added links below. The best I can see at the moment is The Good Life - Series 3 which at around 16 isn't too bad.






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