(m. 1962; div. 1976)
(m. 1981; div. 1996)
Rita Tushingham (born 14 March 1942) is an English actress. She is known for her starring roles in films including A Taste of Honey (1961), The Leather Boys (1964), The Knack ...and How to Get It (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Smashing Time (1967). For A Taste of Honey, she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, and Most Promising Newcomer at both the BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Her other film appearances include An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Under the Skin (1997), Being Julia (2004), and Last Night in Soho (2021).
Tushingham was born on 14 March 1942 in the Garston area of Liverpool, where her father was a grocer who ran three shops. She grew up in the Hunt's Cross district of the city. She attended the Heatherlea School in Allerton, the La Sagesse School in Grassendale (which later became part of St Julie's Catholic High School), and studied shorthand and typing at a secretarial school. She wanted to be an actress from an early age and trained at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School, before working as an assistant stage manager at the Liverpool Playhouse.
Tushingham's screen debut was in A Taste of Honey (1961). In 2020, Tushingham said of the film, "We shocked audiences without intending to. I only learned later that Paul and I did the first interracial kiss on screen. ... A lot of the reaction was, 'People like that don’t exist' – by which they meant homosexuals, single mothers and people in mixed-race relationships. But they did." A Taste of Honey was banned in several countries.
Other performances have included Girl with Green Eyes (1964), The Leather Boys (1964),The Knack ...and How to Get It (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Trap (1966), Smashing Time (1967), The Bed Sitting Room (1969), and The 'Human' Factor starring George Kennedy and John Mills (1975). She also co-starred as Margaret Sheen in the TV film Green Eyes (1977).
In the 1960s Tushingham performed several plays for the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre: The Changeling (1961), The Kitchen (1961), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962), Twelfth Night (production without décor, 1962) and The Knack (1962).
Tushingham has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award, and was a member of the jury at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1972 and at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.
Later roles include the film Being Julia (2004), starring Annette Bening, and on television in "The Sittaford Mystery" (2006), an episode of Marple. She appeared in Season 2 of the BBC 3 zombie drama In The Flesh as Mrs Lamb, broadcast in May 2014. In 2020 she appeared in the BBC One adaptation of The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie.
Clips from her performance in The Leather Boys appeared in The Smiths' music video for the single "Girlfriend in a Coma," in 1987. She is also mentioned in the Franz Ferdinand song "L. Wells", the Cleaners From Venus song "Illya Kuryakin Looked at Me" and the Television Personalities song "Favourite Films". In 1999, she was featured on This Is Your Life.
Tushingham married photographer Terry Bicknell in 1962. They had two daughters, Dodonna and Aisha, before divorcing in 1976. In 1981, she married Iraqi cinematographer Ousama Rawi, spending eight years in Canada with him before they separated. They were not legally divorced until 1996. She later divided her time between Germany and London with German writer Hans-Heinrich Ziemann, her partner since 1994. As of 2020[update] she lives alone in London, near her daughter Aisha and her grandchildren.
In April 2005, at the age of 33, Tushingham's daughter Aisha was diagnosed with breast cancer. She recovered and later gave birth to a son. Tushingham subsequently became an activist for breast cancer health and support. She is a prominent supporter of Cancer Research UK's Relay For Life and has given a number of interviews to raise breast cancer awareness.
In July 2009, Tushingham received an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University for "outstanding and sustained contributions to the performing arts". In a 2020 interview, she described herself as a "lifelong football fan" and a Liverpool F.C. supporter.
In June 2022 Tushingham was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs here her choices included "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" by Ella Fitzgerald and "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel. Her book choice was Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and her requested luxury item was a photograph of her family inside a book of Matt cartoons wrapped in a mosquito net.
|1961||A Taste of Honey||Josephine "Jo"|
|1963||A Place to Go||Catherine Donovan|
|1964||The Leather Boys||Dot|
|1964||Girl with Green Eyes||Kate Brady|
|1965||The Knack ...and How to Get It||Nancy Jones|
|1965||Doctor Zhivago||Tanya Komarova|
|1968||Diamonds for Breakfast||Bridget Rafferty|
|1969||The Bed Sitting Room||Penelope|
|1972||Straight on Till Morning||Brenda Thompson|
|1974||Fischia il sesso||Carol Houston|
|1975||The "Human" Factor||Janice|
|1977||Bread, Butter and Marmalade||Vera De Virdis|
|1982||Spaghetti House||Kathy Ceccacci|
|1986||A Judgment in Stone||Eunice Parchman|
|1989||Hard Days, Hard Nights||Rita|
|1992||Rapture of Deceit||Dora|
|1994||Gospel According to Harry||Myrna|
|1995||An Awfully Big Adventure||Aunt Lily|
|1996||The Boy from Mercury||May Cronin|
|1997||Under the Skin||Mum|
|2000||Out of Depth||Margaret Nixon|
|2004||Being Julia||Aunt Carrie|
|2007||The Hideout||Paula Hardyn|
|2008||Telstar: The Joe Meek Story||Essex Medium|
|2009||The Calling||Sister Gertrude|
|2013||The Wee Man||Rita Thompson|
|2017||My Name Is Lenny||Reenie Joyce|
|2020||The Owners||Ellen Huggins|
|2021||Last Night in Soho||Peggy Turner|
|1964||The Human Jungle||Joy South||Episode: "The Man Who Fell Apart"|
|1973||Armchair Theatre||Grace||Episode: "Red Riding Hood"|
|1974||No Strings||Leonora||6 episodes|
|1977||Green Eyes||Margaret Sheen||TV film|
|1980||Ladykillers||Charlotte Bryant||Episode: "Don't Let Them Kill Me on Wednesday"|
|1982||The Confessions of Felix Krull||Mrs. Twentyman||All 5 episodes|
|1984||Seeing Things||Dr. Jessica Edwards||Episode: "Seeing R.E.D."|
|1985||ABC Weekend Special||Mrs. Prysselius||Episode: "Pippi Longstocking"|
|1989||The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway||Alice B. Toklas||TV film|
|1988||Bread||Celia Higgins||11 episodes|
|1998||Spending Nights with Joan||Bette Davis||TV film|
|2002||Helen West||Margaret Mellors||Episode: "Shadow Play"|
|2002||The Stretford Wives||Marilyn Massey||TV film|
|2003||Life Beyond the Box: Margo||Celia Fishwick||TV film|
|2005||New Tricks||Elise||Episode: "Creative Problem Solving"|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Marple||Miss Elizabeth Percehouse||Episode: "The Sittaford Mystery"|
|2006||Angel Cake||Millie||TV film|
|2014||In the Flesh||Mrs. Lamb||3 episodes|
|2016||Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories||Effie Corvier||Episode: "Feeders and Eaters"|
|2018||Vera||Audrey Latham||Episode: "Home"|
|2018||Still Open All Hours||Annie||Episode: "Christmas Special"|
|2020||The Pale Horse||Bella Webb||Both 2 episodes|
|2021||Ridley Road||Nettie Jones||All 4 episodes|
|2022||The Responder||June Carson||2 episodes|
Awards and honours
Tushingham was made Honorary Associate of London Film School.
- "Rita Tushingham at screenonline". screenonline.org. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Rita Tushingham 1942". ritatushingham.com. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Jeffries, Stuart (28 January 2020). "Rita Tushingham on life after A Taste of Honey: 'It was a shock when the 60s ended'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
- "Berlinale 1972: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- "Berlinale: 1990 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- White, Armond (10 August 2017). "The Smiths: The Open Secret of 'Girlfriend in a Coma'".
- Lambert, Victoria (21 August 2006). "The knack of coping with cancer". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "About us". Cancer Research UK. 22 August 2013.
- "Rita Tushingham - Oration presented by Professor Frank Sanderson". Liverpool John Moores University. 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
And we are delighted to honour her today for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the performing arts.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, Rita Tushingham, actor". BBC.
- David Barnett (12 February 2016). "Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories brings tales of 'psychological cannibalism' to TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Vera - S8 - Episode 3: Home". Radio Times.