|Occupation||Writer, actress, comedian, psychotherapist|
(m. 1968; div. 1978)
Connie Booth (born 2 December 1940[a]) is an American-born actress and writer. She has appeared in several British television programmes and films, including her role as Polly Sherman on BBC2's Fawlty Towers, which she co-wrote with her then-husband John Cleese. In 1995 she quit acting and worked as a psychotherapist until her retirement.
Booth was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 2 December 1940. Her father was a Wall Street stockbroker and her mother an actress. The family later moved to New York State. Booth entered acting and worked as a Broadway understudy and waitress. She met John Cleese while he was working in New York City; they married on February 20, 1968.
Booth secured parts in episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–74) and in the Python films And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, as a woman accused of being a witch). She also appeared in How to Irritate People (1968), a pre-Monty Python film starring Cleese and other future Monty Python members; a short film titled Romance with a Double Bass (1974) which Cleese adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov; and The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977), Cleese's Sherlock Holmes spoof, as Mrs. Hudson.
Booth and Cleese went on to co-write and co-star in Fawlty Towers (1975 and 1979), in which she played waitress and chambermaid Polly. For thirty years Booth declined to talk about the show until she agreed to participate in a documentary about the series for the digital channel Gold in 2009.
Booth played various roles on British television, including Sophie in Dickens of London (1976), Mrs. Errol in a BBC adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980) and Miss March in a dramatisation of Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers (1995). 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.
She also had a stage career, primarily in the London theatre, appearing in 10 productions from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s, notably starring with Sir John Mills in the 1983–1984 West End production of Little Lies at Wyndham's Theatre.
In 1971, Booth and Cleese had a daughter, Cynthia, who appeared alongside her father in the films A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. Booth and Cleese divorced in 1978. With Cleese, Booth wrote the scripts for and co-starred in both series of Fawlty Towers, although the two were actually divorced before the second series was finished and aired. Booth's daughter Cynthia married screenwriter Ed Solomon in 1995.
Selected filmography and theatrical appearances
|1968||How to Irritate People||Various characters||Television film|
|1969–1974||Monty Python's Flying Circus||Various characters|
|1972||Dickens of London||Sophie|
|1975, 1979||Fawlty Towers||Polly Sherman||Also co-creator and writer|
|1978||Off to Philadelphia in the Morning||Jane Parry||Television drama|
|1980||Why Didn't They Ask Evans||Sylvia Bassington-ffrench||Television film|
|1982||The Deadly Game||Helen Trapp||Television film|
|1983||The Hound of the Baskervilles||Laura Lyons||Television film|
|1985||Past Caring||Linda||Television film|
|1987||The Return of Sherlock Holmes||Violet Morstan||Television film|
|1994||The Tomorrow People||Doctor Lucy Connoe||Episode: "The Culex Experiment"|
|1995||The Buccaneers||Miss March|
|1971||And Now for Something Completely Different||Various characters|
|1974||Romance with a Double Bass||Princess Costanza|
|1975||Monty Python and the Holy Grail||The Witch|
|1977||The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It||Mrs Hudson / Francine Moriarty|
|1980||Little Lord Fauntleroy||Mrs Errol|
|1981||The Story of Ruth||Ruth|
|1987||84 Charing Cross Road||the Lady from Delaware|
|1991||American Friends||Caroline Hartley|
|1993||Leon the Pig Farmer||Yvonne Chadwick|
|1973–1974||Design for Living||Helen Carver||Phoenix Theatre, London|
|1977||The Glass Menagerie||Cambridge Arts Theatre|
|1982–1983||Little Lies||Agatha Posket||Wyndham's Theatre|
|1984||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof||Royal Exchange Theatre|
|1985–1986||Edmond||Royal Court Theatre|
|1986||The Women (play)||Mary||National Theatre Studio, Royal National Theatre|
|1988||An Enemy of the People||Katrine Stockmann||Young Vic|
|1990–1991||The Manchurian Candidate||Eugenie Cheyney||New Vic Theatre|
|1991–1992||It's Ralph||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|1992–1993||Under the Stars||Greenwich Theatre|
- "Divorce for Cleese". The Glasgow Herald. September 9, 1978. p. 5. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- Walker, John (June 2, 2003). Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies: 3rd edition. London: HarperCollins, p.58. ISBN 0-00-715085-7.
- McFarlane, Brian (May 16, 2016). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781526111968 – via Google Books.
- Smith, Sean. "Don't mention the classic comedy series". Camden New Journal. London Borough of Camden. Archived from the original on January 20, 2004.
- Milmo, Cahal (May 25, 2007). "Life after Polly: Connie Booth (a case of Fawlty memory syndrome)". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print, Ltd. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "John Cleese Biography (1939–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- Parker, Robin (March 23, 2009). "Gold to reopen Fawlty Towers". Broadcastnow. Archived from the original on March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Theatricalia: People: Connie Booth".
- "Fawlty Towers: Where are they now?". UKTV Gold. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- Cate, Hans ten (February 12, 1997). "NEWS 1997_02_12 – John Cleese Shoots Daughter Cynthia". Daily Llama. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
- "THE SOCIAL SCENE – A Cleese Wedding Held Away From the 'Fawlty' Line / British comedian's daughter marries in the Napa Valley". SFGate. September 18, 1995. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
- Lee, Jeremy (August 22, 2019). "Campaign loves... summertime telly". Retrieved August 27, 2020.
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