Felicity Kendal

Felicity Kendal

Biography

Felicity Kendal OBE became a household name almost overnight after she landed the lead role of Barbara Good in the hugely successful 1970s BBC sitcom The Good Life.

She is still remembered for the role today but has had a number of other hits under her belt such as Solo, The Mistress, Rosemary & Thyme and most recently in the hugely popular revival of family favourite Doctor Who.

My mother taught me Waltz when I was 4-years-old.Felicity Kendal OBE

Career

At first, Felicity struggled for a number of years trying to pursue her acting career. However she finally got her mainstream break in 1975 when she was cast in The Good Life.

The show was a huge hit, attracting over 17 million viewers at its peak. Felicity became an overnight sex symbol with her tomboy character, dungarees and wellies.

"When I look at The Good Life sometimes... the thing that I find weird is this slightly 1940s accent I’ve got. It doesn’t belong anywhere."

Despite her TV success, Felicity focused mainly on theatre. She appeared in Ayckburn's The Norman Conquests which won her the Variety Club Best Newcomer Award. She would later go on to win the Variety Club Best Actress of the Year Award in 1979 for her role in Clouds.

Other theatre productions include Fallen Angels at the Apollo Theatre, Humble Boy in which she co-starred with Simon Russell-Beale and a role in Amya's View, directed by Sir Peter Hall at The Garrick.

In 2008, Felicity starred opposite David Tennant in Doctor Who as a character named Lady Eddison, whose country house Agatha Christie was visiting.

Background

Felicity was born in Warwickshire, England but raised in India where her parents ran a classical travelling theatre company.

She made her stage debut at 9 months old as a changeling in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

She has two grown up sons; Charley from her first marriage to Drewe Henley, and Jacob from her second marriage with theatre director Michael Rudman.

As an infant she grew up doing backstage chores and appearing as Shakespearean boys.

Felicity married Rudman in 1983 and converted to Judaism. Several years later she divorced him and in 1991 started a very public relationship with Tom Stoppard. However after 7 years, their relationship came to an end and Felicity returned to Rudman in 1998. They are still together.

Trivia

Her autobiography, White Cargo, was published in 1998 and written for her father.

She was appointed a CBE in 1995 for services to drama.

She won the title 'Rear of the Year' in 1981.

Kendal posed naked for Esquire magazine at 50 and is immensely proud of the pictures; for her surgery is a no-no.

Despite her youthful complexion she fiercely denies that she has ever had surgery — "I really wouldn't. You can't have a frozen face; you've got to have expression for stage acting."

Height 5'2"

When she turned 63 she decided she would get her first ever tattoo — on her foot as it is a part of the body that doesn't get "too wrinkly."


Are you a fan of Felicity and Vincent?

Why not join in the discussion at Felicity & Vincent's Blog page - the home of "Team Kendal Vince Cake"!


Dancing partner

Vincent Simone

Felicity Kendal will be dancing with Vincent Simone.

 

Our Celebrity Dancers

Pro Dancers Showdancers


Felicity's progress

Week 8

American Smooth

30/40

Felicity and Vincent finished last on the combined Public and Judges' leaderboard, and were the seventh couple to leave the series.

Week 7

Salsa

26/40

Felicity and Vincent were in the bottom two couples this week, but survived the public vote to dance again.

Week 6

Paso Doble

29/40

Week 5

Viennese Waltz

26/40

Felicity and Vincent were in the bottom two couples this week, but survived the public vote to dance again.

Week 4

Tango

23/40

Week 3

Rumba

29/40

Week 2

Foxtrot

25/40

Week 1

Cha cha

23/40

Judges' comments

Alesha Dixon comments on Felicity's progress

High point

"You had a classy approach and I think that was your best dance Felicity."

Craig Revel Horwood comments on Felicity's progress

Low point

"I would have liked to have seen a little bit more rise and fall throughout the routine."

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.