Joanna Lumley is a British actress and producer who has a net worth of $25 million. Joanna is best known for playing Patsy Stone on the hit BBC sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.” The show, often considered one of the UK’s greatest television programs, garnered Lumley two BAFTA TV Awards. In addition to acting, Lumley is an outspoken human rights activist, and advocates for various charities and animal welfare organizations.
Early Life and Career Beginnings: Joanna Lamond Lumley was born in 1946 in Srinagar, India, during the waning days of the British Raj. Her mother, Thyra Beatrice Rose, was English, while her father, Major James Rutherford Lumley, was Indian-born with English and Scottish roots. At the age of eight, Lumley decided to stay in England after initially visiting with her parents on leave. There, she boarded at Mickledene School in Rolvenden, Kent, and later attended St. Mary’s Convent School on the Ridge. After being turned down by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art when she was sixteen, Lumley attended the Lucie Clayton Finishing School in London.
Early on, Lumley spent three years as a model, most notably for portrait photographer Brian Duffy and fashion designer Jean Muir. In 1969, her acting career began with an uncredited bit part in the comedy spy film “Some Girls Do.” The same year, she appeared as a Bond girl in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Other screen appearances around this time included a brief role on the TV soap opera “Coronation Street,” and a part opposite Christopher Lee in 1973’s “The Satanic Rites of Dracula.”
Into the Limelight: In 1976, Lumley landed her first major role as Purdey in “The New Avengers,” a revival of the popular 1960s series “The Avengers.” Another substantial part came in 1979, when Lumley was cast as a mysterious creature in the supernatural series “Sapphire & Steel.” The actress’s real claim to fame, however, arrived over a decade later in the BBC comedy series “Absolutely Fabulous.” On the show, which had multiple runs between 1992 and 2012, Lumley starred as dissolute fashion director Patsy Stone, who was the memorable companion of drug-abusing PR agent Edina Monsoon, played by Jennifer Saunders. The acclaimed program won multiple TV honors, and was adapted into a movie in 2016.
Among other significant TV roles, Lumley played Kate Swift on the British program “Class Act” from 1994 to 1995. In 1999, she was nominated for a Best Actress BAFTA for her role in the BBC TV movie “A Rather English Marriage.” Lumley also provided her distinctive voice to a number of animated projects, including the award-winning series “The Foxbusters,” and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” and “James and the Giant Peach.” Due to her recognizable voice, Lumley recorded the standard greetings of “Welcome” and “You’ve got post” for AOL in the United Kingdom. Beyond TV and movies, the actress has appeared in a variety of theatrical productions, notably the Broadway revival of “La Bête,” for which she earned a Tony Award nomination in 2011.
TV Travelogues: In addition to acting, Lumley has partnered with ITV to produce and present numerous travelogue series. These have included 2010’s “Joanna Lumley’s Nile,” on which she journeyed up the Nile in Rwanda; “Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey,” on which she took viewers across Greece; and “Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure,” which involved a 6,400-mile trek from Hong Kong to Moscow. Other series have focused on Japan, the Silk Road trade route, and the search for Noah’s Ark.
Activist Work: Lumley is widely recognized for her advocacy of various oppressed groups, including the Gurkhas, the Khonds indigenous community of India, and the exiled people of Tibet. In 2008, she became the public face of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, which fought for the right of Nepalese-origin Gurkha veterans to settle in the UK.
Lumley also backs the human rights organization Survival International, which works to secure the rights of indigenous peoples. The actress narrated the group’s documentary “Mine: Story of a Sacred Mountain,” and contributed her writing to the book “We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples,” with profits helping to support the organization.
Additionally, Lumley is a patron of a myriad of charity organizations. These include Population Matters, which campaigns for a sustainable global population size; Tree Aid, which helps communities in Africa’s drylands combat poverty; and Earth Restoration Service, which supports environmental restoration programs in UK schools. She is also a patron of the Born Free Foundation, a wildlife charity, and has donated books to Book Aid International. Because of her work, the University of Oxford’s Green College established the Lumley Research Fellowship in 1996, designed for a young scholar researching environmental issues in Africa.
Personal Life: In 1967, Lumley had a son, James, with partner Michael Claydon. Her first marriage was to actor Jeremy Lloyd, whom she both wed and divorced in 1970. Later, in 1986, she married opera conductor Stephen Barlow; the two live in London, and also own a cottage in the Southern Uplands of Scotland.
Honors: Lumley is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the professional worldwide body for geography. In 1994, she was bestowed with an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent, and received the same degree from the University of St. Andrews in 2006. Lumley has been granted other honorary degrees from Oxford Brookes University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Chester, which also awarded her husband. In 1995, the Queen made Lumley an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
|Net Worth:||$20 Million|
|Date of Birth:||May 1, 1946 (75 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Profession:||Model, Actor, Voice Actor, Television Producer, Author, Spokesperson, Comedian|