Jennifer Saunders

Biography

Date of Birth 6 July 1958, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, UK Birth Name Jennifer Jane Saunders Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m) Jennifer Jane Saunders is a BAFTA Award-winning English comedienne, actress, and comedy writer. Along with her comedy partner Dawn French, she is best known for starring in their sketch show French & Saunders and for writing and starring in the popular sitcom Absolutely Fabulous where she played the lead role of Eddy Monsoon. Saunders was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire of French and English heritage, in 1958. Her mother an English teacher and her father an RAF Air Marshal. She was educated from the age of 5 to 18 in boarding schools, mainly at Northwich County Grammar School for Girls on Granville Road in Leftwich (now the County High School Leftwich). Her mother was a teacher in Northwich. After school, she worked for a year in Italy as an au pair. Saunders later received a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London on a drama teachers course in 1977, where she met her future comedy partner, Dawn French, and as far as Saunders was concerned, French was a cocky little upstart. The animosity was mutual; French considered Saunders snooty and aloof.[1] At college, they shared a flat together. Both came from RAF backgrounds, having been on some bases at the same time, even sharing the same best friend although not meeting. Saunders' father was an officer, unlike French's. The two performed together after graduation, working the festival, cabaret, and stand-up circuits. She also briefly shared a flat in London with Emma Thompson. Dawn's and Jennifer's double-act personae had been created and honed on stage, playing the London clubs and fringe cabaret venues in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What brought them ultimate success was when they answered a 1980 advert in The Stage newspaper for female artistes to become part of the unknown The Comic Strip Presents. At this time, French had become a drama teacher, but Saunders had not managed to get that far. The group performed at Soho's Raymond Review Bar with regulars such as Jack Nicholson and Robin Williams. From this success, they were given a contract by Channel 4 for six pilot episodes. Subsequent acting appearances as part of the sitcoms Girls on Top and Happy Families had added further strings to their bows. The women had a firm idea on the type of show they wanted to make and wrote the sketches themselves, which resulted in a quirky mixture of satire, slapstick, sparky impressionism, and other kinds of skits from a female perspective, the sum total successfully managing to bridge the gap between the new wave and the mainstream. For the first four series they were joined by the spoof middle-of-the-road comedy cabaret duo, Raw Sex, (Rowland Rivron and Simon Brint), who also supported in the sketches. Saunders has later and recently been working on two new series, Jam and Jerusalem, about a Women's Institute, and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle about a neurotic talk show host. Jam and Jerusalem started airing on BBC1 on 24 November 2006, and is now airing on BBC America in the United States as Clatterford, and The Vivienne Vyle Show was filmed as a pilot, and is currently being filmed for a full series due in 2007 on BBC Two. She is also currently getting ready for the French and Saunders Farewell Tour as well a six-part series marking the twentieth anniversary of the sketch comedy series.[2] Saunders has appeared in the Amnesty International The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball live benefit in 1989, along with Dawn French and others. She co-directed the show with one of her comedy heroes John Cleese. She has also appeared on the US-made sitcoms Roseanne and Friends. In the Friends episode, she played the step-mother of Emily, Ross Geller's fiancé. Her character, Andrea Waltham, was not excited about the celebration where she and her husband tried to get as much money out of the in-laws as possible. In film, Saunders appeared in the Spice Girls' movie Spiceworld (1997). The Spice Girls returned the favour to her by appearing on French and Saunders, and Emma Bunton (formerly Baby Spice) had a recurring role as herself on the fifth season of Absolutely Fabulous. She also appeared in the DreamWorks animated movie, Shrek 2 (2004), where she voiced Princess Fiona's evil Fairy Godmother and performed the song Holding Out for a Hero during the film. She has also appeared in an Alison Moyet music video. Saunders lives with fellow comedian Adrian Edmondson who she married on May 11 1985, and with whom she has three daughters: Eleanor "Ella" (born 22 January 1986), Beatrice (born 19 June 1987), and Freya (born 16 October 1990). Saunders fell pregnant with her first child shortly before making her relationship with Edmondson official. The couple have remained infamously quiet, and rarely partake in interviews due to their shared desire for maximum privacy. She briefly dated Depeche Mode keyboardist Andrew Fletcher in the later 1970s, and when she was younger, she had a crush on Marc Bolan. She currently has a £1.5 million home in Holland Park and a 400 year old farm house, with 45 acres of land in Chagford, Devon. In May 2007, both Saunders and Edmondson received honorary Doctor of Letters degrees, from the University of Exeter.[

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Known For
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Minions

The Queen (voice)

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Coraline

Miss April Spink / Other Spink (voice)

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Muppet Treasure Island

Mrs. Bluberidge

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Stick Man

Narrator (voice)

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L'entente cordiale

Gwendoline Mc Farlane

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Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

Dr. Alex Cular

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French & Saunders Live

Various / Elizabeth Hurley

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Absolutely Fabulous - White Box

Edina / ... (37 episodes, 1992-2005)

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Best Birthday Ever

Mother

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Fanny and Elvis

Roanna

Starring In
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Allelujah

Sister Gilpin

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Death on the Nile

Marie Van Schuyler

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Sing 2

Nana (voice)

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Best Birthday Ever

Mother

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Isn't It Romantic

Natalie's Mom

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Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

Dr. Alex Cular

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Sing

Nana (voice)

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Edina Monsoon

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Dawn French Live: 30 Million Minutes

Self (archive footage)

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Minions

The Queen (voice)

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Stick Man

Narrator (voice)

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Coraline

Miss April Spink / Other Spink (voice)

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L'entente cordiale

Gwendoline Mc Farlane

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Shrek 2

Fairy Godmother (voice)

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Absolument fabuleux

Une spectatrice du défilé

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Mirrorball

Vivienne Keill

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French & Saunders Live

Various / Elizabeth Hurley

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Fanny and Elvis

Roanna

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Spice World

Fashionable Woman

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Spice: The Official Video Volume 1 - One Hour of Girl Power!

Self

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Muppet Treasure Island

Mrs. Bluberidge

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A Midwinter's Tale

Nancy Crawford

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Absolutely Fabulous - White Box

Edina / ... (37 episodes, 1992-2005)

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Eat the Rich

Lady Caroline

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