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Charlotte Rampling

Hana Wilde, The Superlative Seven

by Pete Stampede, David K. Smith and Alan Hayes

Charlotte Rampling is another name hardly associated with episodic television. A much better actress than most former models, her film career has largely been in Europe, notably Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter (1974), in which she played a survivor of the concentration camps who is reunited with the SS Officer who tortured her throughout her captivity. There have been some Hollywood outings such as Sidney Lumet's The Verdict with Paul Newman and Alan Parker's Angel Heart with Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke. In 1980, Woody Allen cast her in his poignant Stardust Memories as a beautiful but emotionally fragile depressive. She steals the show. More recently she was an odd choice to play the decayed spinster Miss Havisham in a BBC2 production of Great Expectations.

Born 5 February 1945 in Sturmer, England, Rampling was educated in Versailles, France and later at the exclusive St. Hilda's School, Bushey, England (just down the road from several Avengers locales!). She enjoyed a successful modeling career before making her (uncredited) film debut in Richard Lester's The Knack (1965)—don't believe reports you may read that The Avengers marked her acting debut! Among the highlights in her nearly 70 film appearances are Georgy Girl (1966) and Zardoz (1974) with Sean Connery and Sara Kestelman, who guested in "Sleeper." Probably her most bizarre role was in Nagisa Oshima's Max Mon Amour (1986) as a woman in love with a chimpanzee. She stunningly reveals that she has still "got it"—both in terms of being a skilled actress and a highly attractive woman aging with astonishing grace—in such works as the independent French art films Under the Sand (2001) and The Swimming Pool (2003), the latter having won her a Best Actress award from the European Film Academy.

Miss Rampling was married for twenty years from 1977 to French popular musician Jean Michel Jarre, and would accompany him on his worldwide music and light shows. Sadly, the relationship became rocky, and the pair split in the mid 90s.

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This bio Copyright 1999-2008 Gavin Gaughan.
Page last modified 31 August 2004.