JOANNA Lumley has had an epic career spanning more than four decades, and is perhaps best known today for her iconic role as the chain-smoking, binge drinking former-model Patsy in sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
However, the star's first ever big-screen role was very different…
Who is Joanna Lumley and how old is she?
Joanna Lumley was born on May 1, 1946, and is an English actress, voice-over artist, former model, author and activist.
The 75-year-old was born in Srinagar, Kashmir and Jammu, to English parents, Thyra Beatrice Rose and Major James Rutherford Lumley.
Joanna was brought up in Kent where she attended Mickledene School in Rolvenden as a boarder.
She was educated at St Mary's Convent School in Hastings and afterwards attended the Lucie Clayton Finishing School, after being turned down by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 16.
Joanna started off her career as a model in the 60s, but soon turned to TV and film.
Which James Bond film was Joanna Lumley in?
Lumley secured her first ever film gig in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only Bond film to see George Lazenby step into the iconic 007 role.
The film follows Lazenby as he investigates villain Blofield's so-called allergy experiments in the Alps.
Bond meets 12 beautiful women from around the world who are ostensibly receiving treatment at the clinic, but (spoilers!) are actually being recruited to take part in biological warfare.
One of these bombshells, known as Blofield's Angels of Death, was a 23-year-old Joanna Lumley.
And it wouldn't be Lumley's only foray into the Bond universe, as the star would go on to voice audio book versions of Casino Royale, No Time To Die and Diamonds Are Forever.
She would even return to On Her Majesty's Secret Service forty-five years later, starring in a Radio 4 adaptation of the classic novel.
What TV shows and films has she starred in?
After kicking off her career in 1969, Lumley would go on to star in more than fifty television shows and films.
These include The New Avengers (1976–77), Sapphire & Steel (1979–82), Sensitive Skin (2005–07), Jam & Jerusalem (2006–08), and Finding Alice (late 2020).
Her role as Purdey in The New Avengers started a craze in so-called Purdey haircuts, a shaggy bowl cut chop, in the seventies.
Joanna has also hosted various travel shows, including ITV's Joanna Lumley’s Unseen Adventures.
Although Joanna was already a well-known star, she reached international success when she was cast in the Jennifer Saunders comedy, Absolutely Fabulous in 1992.
Joanna has won two Bafta TV Awards for her role as Patsy.
She has played the role in 39 episodes and also a feature film which was released in 2016.
Joanna's other movie roles include On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Trail Of The Pink Panther (1982), Shirley Valentine (1989), James And The Giant Peach (1996), Ella Enchanted (2004), Corpse Bride (2005), Me Before You (2016), The Sandman (2020), and The Croods 2 (2020).
She also starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) where the two had to share a kiss.
What is Joanna Lumley doing now?
Today, Joanna Lumley devotes much of her time to her charity endeavours.
However, she never spends too long away from the screen.
In October 2021, Joanna appeared in ITV documentary Joanna Lumley and the Human Swan, which saw her meet the so-called "human swan", conservationist Sacha Dench.
The show, which even sees Joanna take flight at one point, follows the pair as they encourage the public to help tackle the climate crisis – something Joanna has shown a passion for in the past.
The living legend has also signed up for Secret Cities, which is set to be released in 2022, a show which will follow her as she discovers hidden gems across the world.
Who is Joanna Lumley married to and does she have children?
Joanna has been married twice.
She wed her first husband, writer Jeremy Lloyd, in 1970, but had the marriage dissolved.
Joanna then went on to marry conductor Stephen Barlow in 1986 and they live in London together.
Her son actor James Lumley, known affectionately as Jamie, was born in 1967. His father is the famous photographer Michael Claydon.
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