Connie Booth

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Connie Booth
Connie Booth.jpg
Born Constance Booth
(1944-01-31) January 31, 1944 (age 71)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Occupation Actress, author, psychotherapist
Years active 1969–2000
Spouse(s) John Cleese (1968–1978)
John Lahr (2000–present)
Children Cynthia Cleese (b. 1971)

Constance "Connie" Booth (born 31 January 1944)[1][2] is an American-born writer, actress, comedian and psychotherapist based in England, best known for appearances on British television and particularly for her portrayal of Polly Sherman in the popular 1970s television show Fawlty Towers, which she co-wrote with her then-husband John Cleese.


Early life[edit]

Booth's father was a Wall Street stock broker and her mother was an actress who had moved to the state of New York after Connie Booth's birth in Indianapolis, Indiana.[1][3] Booth entered acting and worked as a Broadway understudy and waitress, meeting John Cleese while he was working in New York City.[3] She married Cleese in New York on February 20, 1968.[4]


Booth secured parts in episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus and in the Python film And Now for Something Completely Different. She also appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a woman accused of being a witch; in How to Irritate People, a pre-Monty Python film starring Cleese and other future Monty Python members; and in The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (Cleese's Sherlock Holmes spoof, as Mrs. Hudson).

Booth and Cleese went on to write and co-star in Fawlty Towers (1975, 1979). She also appeared in a short film titled Romance with a Double Bass, adapted by Cleese from a short story by Anton Chekhov.

Booth played various roles on British television, including Sophie in Dickens of London, Mrs Errol in a BBC adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy, and Miss March in a dramatisation of Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers. She also starred in the lead role of a drama called The Story of Ruth (1981), in which she played the role of the schizophrenic daughter of an abusive father, for which she received critical acclaim. In 1994, she played a supporting role in "The Culex Experiment", an episode of the children's science fiction TV series The Tomorrow People.

Booth ended her acting career in 1995.[3] After studying five years at London University,[1] she began a career as a London psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council.[1][3][5] For 30 years Booth had declined to talk about Fawlty Towers until she agreed to participate in a documentary about the series for the digital channel Gold in 2009.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1971, Booth and Cleese had a daughter, Cynthia,[1] who appeared alongside her father in the films A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. Booth and Cleese divorced in 1978,[7] but have remained close friends.[8]

Booth married John Lahr, author and senior drama critic of The New Yorker, in 2000. They live in north London.[3]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, Sean. "Don’t mention the classic comedy series". Camden New Journal. London Borough of Camden. Archived from the original on January 20, 2004. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Milmo, Cahal (25 May 2007). "Life after Polly: Connie Booth (a case of Fawlty memory syndrome)". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "John Cleese Biography (1939-)". Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Fawlty Towers: Where are they now?". UKTV Gold. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ Parker, Robin (23 March 2009). "Gold to reopen Fawlty Towers". Broadcastnow. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Divorce for Cleese". The Glasgow Herald. September 9, 1978. p. 5. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Hoyle, Antonia (21 July 2008). "Our divorceymoon! What happened when Cleese and Winner invaded Switzerland on a six-day road trip". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 

External links[edit]