Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Jennifer Jane Saunders Born 6 July 1958( is a BAFTA- and Emmy Award-winning English comedienne, screenwriter and actress.
She first came into widespread attention in the 1980s and early 1990s when she became a member of The Comic Strip after graduating from the Central School of Speech and Drama. Along with her comedy partner Dawn French, she proceeded to write and star in their eponymous sketch show, French and Saunders, and received international acclaim for writing and playing the lead role of Edina Monsoon in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
In her other work, she has guest starred in the American sitcoms Roseanne and Friends, and won the American People`s Choice Award for voicing the wicked Fairy Godmother in Dreamworks` animated Shrek 2. More recently, she wrote and starred in Jam & Jerusalem and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle.
Saunders was born and raised in a middle-class family in Sleaford, Lincolnshire in 1958. Her mother was a biology teacher, and her father served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and reached the rank of Air Marshal. He then went on to work for British Aerospace. Because her father was in the armed forces, Saunders moved to different schools many times. She was educated from the age five to eighteen in boarding schools. After school, she worked for a year in Italy as an au pair.
She later received a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London on a drama teachers` course in 1977, where she meet her future comedy partner, Dawn French. Both came from RAF backgrounds. They had grown up on the same base, even having had the same best friends, without ever meeting. The comic duo originally did not get on well at first, and as far as Saunders was concerned, French was a "cocky little upstart". The distrust was mutual; French concidered Saunders snooty and uptight. French actually wanted to become a drama teacher, whereas Saunders loathed the idea and had not fully understood what the course was about; thus, she disliked French for being enthusiastic and confident about the course. Saunders was shocked to find that she was actually taking courses to become a teacher, as her mother had filled out the application form. Her mother however, was saddened when Saunders chose not to apply for an Oxbridge university education.
After the initial friction, whilst at College, Saunders and French shared a flat together. French has remarked on Saunders` messy habits when sharing the house, stating "When we lived together in Chalk Farm she had a room at the top of the house. We got broken into and the police said, `Well, it is quite bad, but the worst is that room on the top.` And, of course, nobody had been in there." The two later performed together after graduation, working the festival, cabaret, and stand-up circuits. They formed a double-act called The Menopause Sisters. Saunders described the act, which involved wearing tampons in their ears, as "cringeworthy". The manager of the club where they performed recalled that, "They didn`t seem to give a damn. There was no star qualityabout them at all."
Saunders and French would eventually come to public attention as members of the informal comedy collective The Comic Strip, part of the alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s. They answered a 1980 advert in The Stage newspaper looking for female comedians to perform at The Comic Strip, which until that point only had male performers. When they walked into the audition they were immediatly told "You`re booked. When can you start?".
Both Saunders and French became ongoing member of The Comic Strip, along with many of the comedians who were to become their generation`s most well-known comedy performers, including Peter Richardson, Rik Mayall, and Robbie Coltrain, as well as Saunders` future husband Adrian Edmondson. The group performed at the Boulevard Theatre, above Soho`s Raymond Revuebar, with regular audience members Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson and Robin Williams, who once joined in the performance. By the time French & Saunders became members of The Comic Strip, French was already working as a drama teacher, whilst Saunders was on the dole and spending a lot of her time sleeping in bed.
The comedy group appeared on Channel 4`s first night on air, in the first episode of The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go Mad In Dorset, broadcast on 2 November 1982. In the episodes "Bad News" and "More Bad News", Saunders plays a trashy rock journalist touring with the fictional heavy metal band Bad News. In 1985, Saunders starred in and co-wrote Girls On Top with French, Tracey Ullman and Ruby Wax, which portrayed four eccentric women sharing a flat in London. Saunders also appeared in Ben Elton`s Happy Families where she played various members of the same family, including all four Fuddle sisters in the six-episode BBC situation comedy. Saunders starred in a Comic Strip film called The Supergrass, a little-known
Couple Profile Source
Central School of Speech and Drama, London, England
Full Name at Birth
Jennifer Jane Saunders
Actor/Actress, Writer, Soundtrack
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Jennifer Jane Saunders (born 6 July 1958) is an English comedienne, screenwriter, actress and teacher. She has won three BAFTAs (including the BAFTA Fellowship), an International Emmy Award, a British Comedy Award, a Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival Award, two Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards, and a People's Choice Award.
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Music Profile Complete
St Paul's Girls' School, London, England
Comedian, Screenwriter, Singer, Actress
Ella (daughter), Beattie (daughter), Freya (daughter), Fred (grandson)
Dawn French (comic)
Dawn French (comic)
Music Genre (Text)
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