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Image Credit: BBC (this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)
Joanna Lamond Lumley OBE, FRGSBorn: Wed 1st May 1946 (age: 70)
Joanna Lumley was born in Srinagar, in the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu. Her early life was spent in countries such as Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as having English roots in Kent. Having been turned down by RADA at the age of 16, she attended the Lucie Clayton Finishing School, after which she became a photographic model.
She turned to acting in 1969, having minor roles in films such as Some Girls Do and in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The Satanic Rites of Dracula, and on television shows such as Steptoe and Son and Are You Being Served; more substantial roles included Elaine Perkins in Coronation Street, a patient in General Hospital, and also appeared in Up The Workers. But it was in 1976 when she became a household name as Steed's sidekick Purdey in The New Avengers. This was followed up a couple of years later with another memorable role as Sapphire the intellectual sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel. Later television roles included Mrs Peacock in Cluedo, Kate Swift in Class Act, Donna Sinclair in Dr Willoughby, Davina Jackson in Sensitive Skin, Vivienne Roden in Mistresses, and Delilah Staff in Jam and Jerusalem, with other film appearances including Shirley Valentine, James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride, The Magic Roundabout, and The Wolf of Wall Street; however, her most famous identity is arguable the character of Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous.
In 1999 she became the first woman to play the Doctor in Doctor Who, appearing as the 'final' incarnation of the Time Lord in the Steven Moffat-penned Comic Relief special Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death.
In more recent years she has made a number of documentary series, including Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights, Joanna Lumley's Nile, Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey, and Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure.
As well on-screen work, she has also had an extensive career as a voice-over artist, with credits including the voice of greetings for AOL. She wrote her autobiography, No Room For Secrets, in 2005.
Outside of entertainment, Lumley became the face of Gurkha Justice Campaign, supporting the rights of the Nepalese part of the British Army. She is also a supporter of Survival International on the cause of indigenous rights. She received an OBE in 1995, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. She was married to comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd, and in 1986 married conductor Stephen Barlow.
Adapted from the Wikipedia article.