Charlotte Rampling

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Charlotte Rampling
Charlotte Rampling cropped 2009.jpg
Born Tessa Charlotte Rampling
(1946-02-05) 5 February 1946 (age 69)
Sturmer, Essex, England, UK
Alma mater Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles
St. Hilda's School, Bushey
Occupation Actress, former model, singer
Years active 1965–present
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Spouse(s) Bryan Southcombe
(1972–1976, divorced)
Jean Michel Jarre
(1978–1998, divorced)
Partner(s) Jean-Noël Tassez (1998-2015)
Children Barnaby Southcombe
David Jarre
Émilie Jarre (stepdaughter)
Parent(s) Godfrey Rampling
Isabel Anne Gurteen
Relatives Sarah Rampling (sister) (deceased)

Tessa Charlotte Rampling, OBE (born 5 February 1946) is an English actress. In a career spanning 50 years, she has appeared in English language, French and Italian cinema. A four-time Cesar Award nominee for her work in the French films On ne meurt que deux fois (1985), Under the Sand (2000), Swimming Pool (2003) and Lemming (2005), she received an Honorary César in 2001 and France's Legion of Honour in 2002. She was married for 20 years to the composer Jean Michel Jarre.

Rampling's other film roles include Georgy Girl (1966), The Damned (1969), The Night Porter (1974), Farewell My Lovely (1975), Stardust Memories (1980), The Verdict (1982), Angel Heart (1987), The Duchess (2008) and The Eye of the Storm (2011). Nominated for an Emmy Award for the BBC miniseries Restless (2012), her other television credits include Dexter (2013) and Broadchurch (2015). For her role in the 2015 film 45 Years, she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.

Early life[edit]

Rampling was born in Sturmer, Essex, the daughter of Isabel Anne (née Gurteen), a painter, and Godfrey Rampling, an Olympic gold medalist and army officer.[1] She grew up in Gibraltar, France and Spain.[2] She attended Académie Jeanne d'Arc in Versailles and St. Hilda's School, a boarding school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England. She had one sister, Sarah, who committed suicide in 1966 at the age of 23.[3]


After beginning her career at age 17 in a commercial role and as a model, Rampling's first screen appearance was uncredited as a water skier in Richard Lester's film The Knack ...and How to Get It in 1965, which was followed a year later by the role of Meredith in the film Georgy Girl.

In 1967 Rampling played the gunfighter Hana Wilde in "The Superlative Seven", an episode of The Avengers.[4] After this, her acting career blossomed in both English and French cinema.

Despite an early flurry of success, she told The Independent, "We weren't happy. It was a nightmare, breaking the rules and all that. Everyone seemed to be having fun, but they were taking so many drugs they wouldn't know it anyway."[5]

Rampling has performed controversial roles. In 1969, in Luchino Visconti's The Damned (La Caduta degli dei), she played a young wife sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Critics praised her performance, and it cast her in a whole new image: mysterious, sensitive and ultimately tragic. "The Look" as co-star Dirk Bogarde called it, became her trademark.[6] In 1974's The Night Porter she portrayed a former concentration camp inmate who after the war meets a former camp guard with whom she had an ambiguous relationship, and their relationship resumes. Bogarde played the camp guard. In Max mon amour, she played a woman who fell in love with a chimpanzee.

Rampling gained recognition from American audiences in a remake of Raymond Chandler's detective story Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and later with Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980) and particularly in The Verdict (1982), an acclaimed drama directed by Sidney Lumet that starred Paul Newman.

Rampling at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

Rampling credits François Ozon with drawing her back to film in the 2000s, a period when she came to terms with the death of her elder sister Sarah who, after giving birth prematurely in 1966, committed suicide at 23. "I thought that after such a long time of not letting her be with me," she told The Guardian, "I would like to bring her back into my life."[6] The character she played in Ozon's Swimming Pool (2003), Sarah Morton, was named in her sister's honour. For most of Rampling's life, she would say only that her sister had died of a brain haemorrhage; when she and her father heard the news, they agreed they would never let her mother know the truth. They kept their secret until Rampling's mother died in 2001.[6]

At 59, Rampling appeared in Laurent Cantet's Heading South (Vers le Sud), a 2005 film about sexual tourism. She plays Ellen, a professor of French literature and single Englishwoman, who holidays in 1970s Haiti to get the sexual attention she does not get at home.

On her choice of roles, Rampling says, "I generally don't make films to entertain people. I choose the parts that challenge me to break through my own barriers. A need to devour, punish, humiliate or surrender seems to be a primal part of human nature, and it's certainly a big part of sex. To discover what normal means, you have to surf a tide of weirdness."[citation needed]

The actress has continued to work in sexually provocative films, such as Basic Instinct 2. More recently, she portrayed the mother of Keira Knightley's character in the title role in 2008's The Duchess.

In 2002, she also recorded an album entitled Comme Une Femme. It is in both French and English, and includes parts that are spoken word as well as tracks Rampling sang.[citation needed]

Given her striking style and look, Rampling has also been seen on the cover of Vogue Magazine, Interview Magazine, Elle Magazine and CRUSHfanzine.

In 2010, she completed filming Cleanskin, a terrorist thriller starring Sean Bean, James Fox, Tuppence Middleton, Michelle Ryan and Abhin Galeya.[citation needed] The film was written, produced and directed by Hadi Hajaig.[citation needed]

In 2013, she played Dr. Evelyn Vogel in the final season of Dexter.[7] In 2015 she played opposite Tom Courtenay in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years . The film was screened in the main competition section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[8] She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress and Tom Courtenay won the Silver Bear for Best Actor.[9]

On November 14, 2015, Rampling joined Kate Winslet, Jane Fonda, Carey Mulligan, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lawrence, and Cate Blanchett, in the The Hollywood Reporter annual Actress Roundtable. The interview appeared in the November 27, 2015 issue of the The Hollywood Reporter magazine.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 1972, Rampling married the actor and publicist Bryan Southcombe. They were widely reported to be living in a ménage à trois with a male model, Randall Laurence,[5] and had one child, Barnaby Southcombe (now a successful television director) before divorcing in 1976. In 1974, Rampling was quoted by the syndicated columnist Earl Wilson as saying: "There are so many misunderstandings in life. I once caused a scandal by saying I lived with two men [...] I didn't mean it in a sexual sense [...] We were just like any people sharing a flat."[11] In 1978, Rampling married the French composer Jean Michel Jarre and had a second son, magician and singer David Jarre. She also brought up stepdaughter Émilie Jarre, now a fashion designer. The marriage was publicly dissolved in 1997 when she learned from tabloid newspaper stories about Jarre's affairs with other women and had a nervous breakdown. She was engaged to Jean-Noël Tassez, a French communications tycoon, from 1998 until his death in 2015.[12] She lives in Paris.[5] On 6 April 2009, it was reported by the Daily Mail that Rampling had hired lawyers to try to block the publication of a biography about her written by a close friend.[13][14] She was treated for depression in 1984.


Film and television credits
Year Title Role Notes
1965 Knack ...and How to Get It, TheThe Knack ...and How to Get It Water Skier Uncredited
1965 Rotten to the Core Sara Capell
1966 Georgy Girl Meredith
1967 The Long Duel Jane
1967 The Avengers Hana Wilde Episode:The Superlative Seven
1968 Sequestro di persona (it) Christina
1969 Target: Harry Ruth Carlyle
1969 Damned, TheThe Damned Elisabeth Thallman
1969 Three Marty
1971 Vanishing Point Hitchhiker scenes deleted
1971 'Tis Pity She's a Whore Annabella
1971 The Ski Bum Samantha
1972 Henry VIII and His Six Wives Anne Boleyn
1972 Corky Corky's Wife
1972 Asylum Barbara
1973 Giordano Bruno Fosca
1974 Zardoz Consuella
1974 Caravan to Vaccarès Lila
1974 Night Porter, TheThe Night Porter Lucia Atherton
1975 Yuppi du Silvia
1975 La Chair de l'orchidée Claire
1975 Farewell, My Lovely Helen Grayle
1976 Foxtrot Julia
1976 Sherlock Holmes in New York (TV) Irene Adler
1977 The Purple Taxi Sharon
1977 Orca Rachel Bedford
1977 Al di là del bene e del male uncredited
1980 Stardust Memories Dorrie
1982 Verdict, TheThe Verdict Laura Fischer
1983 Infidelities TV Flaminia
1984 Viva la vie! Catherine Perrin
1985 On ne meurt que deux fois (fr) Barbara Spark Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
1985 Tristesse et beauté Léa Uéno
1986 Max, Mon Amour Margaret Jones
1987 Angel Heart Margaret Krusemark
1987 Mascara Gaby Hart Fantasporto Award for Best Actress
1988 Paris by Night Clara Paige
1988 D.O.A. Mrs. Fitzwaring
1989 Rebus Miriam, contessa di Du Terrail
1992 La Femme abandonnée (TV) Fanny de Lussange
1993 Hammers Over the Anvil Grace McAlister
1993 Asphalt Tango Marion
1994 Murder in Mind Sonya Davies
1994 Time Is Money Irina Kaufman
1995 Samson le magnifique (TV) Isabelle de Marsac
1995 Radetzkymarsch (de) (TV) Valerie von Taussig
1996 La Dernière fête (TV) La marquise
1996 Invasion of Privacy Deidre Stiles, Josh's Attorney
1997 Wings of the Dove, TheThe Wings of the Dove Aunt Maude
1999 Great Expectations (TV) Miss Havisham
1999 Cherry Orchard, TheThe Cherry Orchard Lyubov Ranyevskaya
2000 My Uncle Silas Sylvia Featherstone TV series
2000 Signs & Wonders Marjorie
2000 Hommage à Alfred Lepetit
2000 Aberdeen Helen
2000 Under the Sand (Sous le sable) Marie Drillon Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
2001 Fourth Angel, TheThe Fourth Angel Kate Stockton
2001 Superstition (de) Frances Matteo
2001 Spy Game Ann Cathcart
2002 Embrassez qui vous voudrez Elizabeth Lannier
2003 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Helen
2003 Swimming Pool Sarah Morton European Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actress of the year
2003 Imperium: Augustus (TV) Livia
2003 Statement, TheThe Statement Nicole
2004 Jerusalemski sindrom
2004 Immortel Elma Turner Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actress
2004 Keys to the House, TheThe Keys to the House Nicole
2005 Lemming Alice Pollock Nominated—César Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actress
2005 Vers le sud Ellen
2006 Basic Instinct 2 Milena Gardosh
2006 Désaccord parfait Alice d'Abanville
2007 Angel Hermione Gilbright
2007 Caótica Ana Justine
2008 Deception Wall Street Belle
2008 Babylon A.D. Noelite High Priestess
2008 Duchess, TheThe Duchess Georgiana Spencer, Countess Spencer
2009 Quelque chose à te dire Mady Celliers
2009 The Ball of the Actresses Herself
2009 Boogie Woogie Emille
2009 La femme invisible (d'après une histoire vraie) Rose
2009 L'homme aux cercles bleus Mathilde Television movie
2009 Life During Wartime Jacqueline
2010 Never Let Me Go Miss Emily
2010 Le grand restaurant Caroline Television film
2010 Un lieu incertain Mathilde Television sequel to L'homme aux cercles bleus
2010 StreetDance 3D Helena
2010 Rio Sex Comedy Charlotte
2010 The Mill and the Cross Mary
2011 The Look Herself Documentary
2011 Melancholia Gaby
2011 Cars 2 Narrator
2011 The Eye of the Storm Elizabeth Hunter Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
2011 Cleanskin Charlotte McQueen
2012 I, Anna Anna Welles
2012 Restless Sally Gilmartin Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
2012 Tutto parla di te Pauline
2013 Dexter Dr. Evelyn Vogel
2013 Night Train to Lisbon Adriana do Prado
2013 Young & Beautiful Alice
2013 The Blueblack Hussar Herself Documentary on the 2010-2011 musical comeback of Adam Ant, directed by Jack Bond
2015 Broadchurch Prosecution Barrister, Jocelyn Knight Series 2 (8 episodes)
2015 The Forbidden Room The Ostler’s Mother
2015 45 Years Kate Mercer Berlin Film FestivalSilver Bear for Best Actress
Edinburgh International Film Festival - Best Performance in a British Feature Film
Valladolid Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Pending—BIFA Award for Best Actress
Pending—European Film Award for Best Actress
2015 London Spy Frances BBC Two's five-part series
2016 The Sense of an Ending Filming


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
Comme une femme
  • Released: 2002 (2002)
  • Label: Mohican Records
  • Formats: CD


Year Single Album
2015 "Où es-tu?" (duet with Alain Chamfort) Alain Chamfort

Honours and awards[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

César Awards

European Film Awards

Berlin International Film Festival


  • 1987: Nominated for Best Actress - Mascara

AACTA Awards

National Society of Film Critics

  • 2003: Nominated for the Best Actress of the Year - Swimming Pool

Emmy Awards

  • 2012: Nominated for the Best Supporting Actress - Restless

Screen Actors Guild Award

  • 2012: Nominated for the Best Actress - Restless



  1. ^ "Charlotte Rampling Biography (1946?-)". Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Mackenzie, Suzie (16 August 2003). "A time for happiness". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^ The Avengers Forever: Guest Actor Biography, accessed 7 May 2010
  5. ^ a b c Byrnes, Sholto (26 March 2005). "Charlotte Rampling: In from the cold". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2006. 
  6. ^ a b c "Good Charlotte". The Age (Melbourne). 4 October 2003. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Berlinale 2015: Malick, Dresen, Greenaway and German in Competition". Berlinale. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Galloway, Stephen (November 18, 2015). "Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and 6 More Top Actresses on Pay Gap, Sex Scenes and the Price of Speaking Frankly: "There Is Always a Backlash"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ Earl Wilson, An Explanation of Streaking. The Post-Register, Idaho Falls, Monday, 18 March 1974, p.10
  12. ^ Elmhirst, Sophie (20 December 2014). "Charlotte Rampling: 'I'm exotic, and I like that'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Churcher, Sharon (6 April 2009). "Actress Charlotte Rampling 'freaks out' and tells lawyer to halt biography written by pal". Daily Mail (London). p. 1. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Charlotte Rampling attends the funeral of fiancé Jean-Noël Tassez". Daily Mail. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Nicolaevitch, S. 2008. "Charlotte Forever". Citizen K International; 46 (Spring): 244–253.
  • Marieke Boom, Dirk Bogarde, Nagisa Oshima et al.: Charlotte Rampling with compliments. Munich: Schirmer-Mosel, 1986, ISBN 3-88814-220-2
  • Charlotte Rampling: with compliments; with a portrait by Dirk Bogarde. London: Quartet, 1987 ISBN 0704326426

External links[edit]