British actress and singer Patsy Kensit broke into show business as a child with work in such films as “The Great Gatsby” (1974), “Alfie Darling” (1975), “The Blue Bird” (1976) and “Hanover Street” (1979, earned a Young Artist nomination). She also appeared in television programs like “Great Expectations” (1981), “The Adventures of Pollyanna” (1982) and “Luna” (1983). As an adult, the London native gained worldwide recognition for her portrayal of Crepe Suzette in the musical film “Absolute Beginners” (1986), opposite David Bowie and Sade. She went on to portray characters in a number of films, including “A Chorus of Disapproval” (1988), “Lethal Weapon 2” (1989), “Chicago Joe and the Showgirl” (1990), “Twenty-One” (1991, received an Independent Spirit nomination), “Blame It on the Bellboy” (1992), “Angels & Insects” (1995), “Grace of My Heart” (1996), “The Pavilion” (1999), “Things Behind the Sun” (2001), “The One and Only” (2002) and “Played” (2006). More recently, she was put back in the limelight with her portrayal of Sadie King in the British hit soap opera “Emmerdale Farm,” a role she played from 2004 to 2006. She also portrayed Faye Morton on “Holby City” from 2007 to 2010.
In addition to acting, Kensit was the lead singer of the British pop group Eighth Wonder, which achieved success in Japan and Italy between 1985 and 1987 and the United Kingdom in 1988. The band disbanded in 1989. Her hit singles with Eighth Wonder were “Stay With Me,” “Will You Remember,” “When The Phone Stops Ringing” and “I'm Not Scared.”
Kensit is also known for her marriages to celebrities Dan Donovan of Big Audio Dynamite fame (1988-1991), the lead singer of Simple Minds, Jim Kerr (1992-1996) and lead singer of Oasis, Liam Gallagher (1997-2000). She married a British DJ named Jeremy Healy, in 2009, but they are now separated. She has two sons, James Kerr (born in 1992) and Lennon Francis Gallagher (born in 1999).
Childhood and Family:
Patricia Jude Francis Kensit, who would later be famous as Patsy Kensit, was born on March 4, 1968, in Hounslow, London, England. Her father, James Kensit (born in 1915, died in 1987) was a small time thief and served time in jail before she was born, while her mother, Margaret Rose Kensit, was a publicist. Her mother died of breast cancer in 1993. Patsy has an older brother named Jamie. She began acting in television commercials when she was four years old and attended St. Catherine's School for Girls, in Twickenham, England. She also went to the Corona Theatre School.
In May 1988, Patsy married British keyboardist Dan Donovan (born August 10, 1962), who is perhaps best known as a member of Big Audio Dynamite. The couple divorced in 1991. Patsy then married Jim Kerr (born July 9, 1959), the lead singer of Simple Minds, on January 3, 1992. The marriage produced one child, James Kerr, in 1992 before they divorced in October 1996. Patsy married her third husband, Liam Gallagher (born September 21, 1972), the front man of Oasis, on April 7, 1997. She gave birth to Lennon Francis Gallagher (named after John Lennon) on September 13, 1999. They divorced on September 22, 2000. Patsy then married British DJ Jeremy Healy (born January 18, 1962) on April 18, 2009. They, however, separated in February 2010.
Patsy Kensit entered show business as a child. After appearing in a television commercial for Birds Eye, the four year old made her first film appearance in “For the Love of Ada” (1972), a British comedy directed by Ronnie Baxter that starred Irene Handl, Wilfred Pickles, Barbara Mitchell and Jack Smethurst. She then appeared in episodes of the television series “The Brothers” (1973), “Z Cars” (1974) and “Churchill's People” (1975). Her next film role arrived in 1974 when she was cast as Mia Farrow's daughter, Pamela, in the American romance “The Great Gatsby,” which was directed by Jack Clayton and scripted by Francis Ford Coppola and based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name. The same year, she also had an unaccredited part in the British thriller “Gold,” which starred Roger Moore and Susannah York. Kensit then acted in Ken Hughes' “Alfie Darling” (1975, starred Alan Price), Don Sharp's “Hennessy” (1975, starred Rod Steiger, Lee Remick and Richard Johnson) and the George Cukor fantasy film “The Blue Bird” (1976).
Kensit made her TV miniseries debut in “Dickens of London” (1976), which was based on the life of British novelist Charles Dickens. She played young Georgina Hogarth in the episodes “Success” and Fame.” She stayed on television with a guest appearance in the series “The Foundation” (1977) and the television adaptation of “Quiet as a Nun” (ITV, 1978), which aired as part of the “Armchair Thriller” series. She also played young Princess Charlotte in the TV miniseries “Prince Regent” (1979) and guest starred in “The Legend of King Arthur” (1 episode, 1979) and “Penmarric” (2 episodes, 1979).
Kensit returned to the big screen in 1979 when she was cast as young Oscar François de Jarjayes in the France/Japan production “Lady Oscar,” based on “The Rose of Versailles” by Riyoko Ikeda. She then worked with Tommy Steele, Mel Martin and Charles Morgan in the Robert Reed directed “Quincy's Quest.” She also portrayed Sarah Sellinger in the movie “Hanover Street,” which was written and directed by Peter Hyams and starred Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down. She was nominated for a 1980 Young Artist Award in the category of Best Juvenile Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in the film.
In the early 1980s, Kensit was seen in the TV series “Hannah” (1980), the TV movie “The Mystery of the Disappearing Schoolgirls” (1980), the TV miniseries “Great Expectations” (1981) and in episodes of “Disneyland” (1982) and “Flesh and Blood” (1982). She made her American debut starring in “The Adventures of Pollyanna” (1982), opposite Shirley Jones as Aunt Polly. An adaptation of the best selling novel “Pollyanna” (1913) by Eleanor H. Porter, the TV film was originally broadcasted on CBS on April 10, 1982. She also portrayed Lady Margaret Plantagenet in the TV film “The Tragedy of Richard III” (BBC, 1983) and starred in the British children's science fiction series “Luna” (1983).
In 1983, Kensit launched a second career as a singer when she joined her brother's band, Eighth Wonder (formerly known as Spice). The band, consisting of Kensit on lead vocals, her brother, Jamie, and Geoff Beauchamp on guitar, Lawrence Lewis on bass, Jake Walters Drums on percussion and Alex Godson on keyboard, began performing as Eight Wonder in November 1984 in London and signed with CBS Records in 1985. The band's first single, “Stay with Me” (1985), topped the single charts in Italy and Japan and peaked at No. 65 in the U.K. It was followed by “Will You Remember” (1986) and “When The Phone Stops Ringing” (1987), which both went to No. 1 in Japan and No. 9 and No. 26 in Italy, respectively. A mini album called “Brilliant Dreams” was released in Japan in February 1987.
In one of Eight Wonder's performances, Kensit attracted the attention of Steve Wooley, the co-owner of Palace Films, and director Julien Temple. She was then offered the role of Crepe Suzette in their film “Absolute Beginners” (1986), a musical adapted from the Colin MacInnes book of the same name. The film was a commercial flop and largely panned by critics. However, it subsequently achieved status as a cult movie thanks in part to its soundtrack. Kensit went on to play Lina in the 1988 film “Don Bosco,” opposite Ben Gazzara, Linda Washbrook in “A Chorus of Disapproval” (1988, starred Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins and Richard Briers) and Rika van den Haas in the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover starring action movie “Lethal Weapon 2” (1989).
Eighth Wonder's album “Fearless” was released in the U.K. in July 1988. The first single, “I'm Not Scare,” (1988) rose to No. 7 on the U.K. Singles chart and enjoyed success in Italy (#1), Switzerland (#2), Germany (#5) and France (#8). The follow-up single, “Cross My Heart,” (1988) went to No. 13 in the U.K. and made the Top 10 in Italy and Switzerland. It also charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 56 and on the Hot Dance Club Songs at No. 10. “Fearless” spawned the additional singles “Baby Baby” (1988) and “Use Me” (1989), which rose to No. 2 and No. 3 on the Japanese Singles chart, respectively. The first single also peaked at No. 13 in Italy, No. 65 in the U.K., No. 84 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. The band disbanded in 1989.
After the breakup of the band, Kensit focused on acting. She starred with Jurgen Prochnow and Elizabeth Hurley in the German film “Kill Cruise” (1990, helmed by Peter Keglevic), supported Kiefer Sutherland and Emily Lloyd in the British drama “Chicago Joe and the Showgirl” (1990, directed by Bernard Rose and written by David Yallop) and was reunited with Roger Moore in the comedy “Bullseye” (1990), which also starred Michael Caine and Sally Kirkland. The next year, she starred with Iain Glen, Susannah Harker, James Wilby and Julia McKenzie in the television version “Adam Bede.” She also starred in “Les époux ripoux” (“Does This Mean We're Married”), the Avi Nesher film “Timebomb,” “Blue Tornado” (with Dirk Benedict and Ted McGinle) and the award winning Spanish film “Beltenebros” (with Terence Stamp, all 1991).
However, Kensit did not gain critical acclaim until she was cast as the twenty one year old protagonist Katie in the British-American movie “Twenty-One,” which was directed and co-written by Don Boyd. She was nominated for a 1992 Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in February 1991, where it received a Grand Jury Prize nomination, and received a theatrical release in the U.S. on October 4, 1991, and in the U.K. on November 1, 1991. After her good acting in the film, she signed a three picture deal with Disney Studios.
Next up for Kensit, she starred in the British film “Blame It on the Bellboy” (1992), opposite Dudley Moore, Bryan Brown, Richard Griffiths and Bronson Pinchot, as Jenny in the film adaptation of “The Turn of the Screw” (1993), with Julian Sands, and as Jolene in “Bitter Harvest” (1993), with Stephen Baldwin and Jennifer Rubin. In addition, she guest starred in “Tales from the Crypt” (1993) and worked in the TV films “Full Eclipse” (1993) and “Fall from Grace” (1994). In 1995, she portrayed Mia Farrow in the TV movie “Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story” (Fox) and was cast in Philip Haas' film “Angels and Insects.” The same year, she also starred with Bruce Greenwood and Andrew McCarthy in the direct to video “Dream Man,” Amy Irving and Victor Garber in Don Boyd's “Kleptomania,” Robert Reynolds and Rebecca Rigg in Clive Fleury's “Tunnel Vision” and as Elizabeth Guinness in the TV film “At the Midnight Hour.” Kensit was then cast as an English songwriter named Cheryl Steed in the film “Grace of My Heart” (1996), played Josie Cirolia in the 1998 TV miniseries “The Last Don II,” costarred with Jürgen Prochnow and Robert Spitz in the TV film “Human Bomb” (1998), and teamed up with Jesse Bradford, Jordan Brower, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Daryl Hannah in Nickolas Perry's “Speedway Junky” (1999). She also portrayed Clara Huddlestone in the western “The Pavilion” (1999, with Craig Sheffer) and worked with Eileen Walsh and Rhys Ifans in the comedy film “Janice Beard 45 WPM” (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Kensit was cast as Anna in the British biopic “Best” (2000), played Princess in the TV film “Aladdin” (2000), appeared with Kim Dickens and Gabriel Mann in Allison Anders' “Things Behind the Sun” (2001) and starred as Darcy Scott in the TV film “Loves Music, Loves to Dance” (2001). She also guest starred in “Strange Frequency” and “Casualty” (both 2001). In 2002, she could be seen in John Hough's “Bad Karma,” Dominic Shiach's “Darkness Falling” (starred Janet Kidder, Paul Johansson and Jason Priestley) and Simon Cellan Jones' “The One and Only” (starred Justine Waddell, Richard Roxburgh and Jonathan Cake). The same year, she played Angela Stephenson in an episode of “Murder in Mind” called “Flashback.”
After work in the direct to video “Who's Your Daddy” (2003, directed by Andy Fickman) and Geoffrey Schaaf's “Shelter Island” (2003), Kensit joined the cast of the British popular soap opera “Emmerdale Farm,” which premiered on ITV in October 1972. She played the character Sadie King from 2004 to 2006. The role brought her a National Television nomination for Most Popular Newcomer and two British Soap nominations for Soap Bitch of the Year (2005 and 2006).
Kensit also appeared regularly on the Channel 4 sketch comedy show “Bo' Selecta” during its third season (2004) and in its 2005 spin-off series “A Bear's Tail” (2005), where she starred as Helen Hennerson. She also played the role of Helen on the TV Christmas special “A Bear's Christmas Tail” (2004). Kensit returned to features when she was cast as Trevor Nugent's girlfriend, Cindy, in the 2006 crime movie “Played,” opposite Gabriel Byrne, Val Kilmer, Adam Fogerty, Vinnie Jones and Joanne Whalley. In 2007, Kensit landed the role of Faye Morton in the BBC One medical drama series “Holby City.” She made her last appearance on the show on December 28, 2010. 2007 also saw the actress appear in the direct to video “The Magic Door” and the TV series “A Bucket o' French & Saunders.” In 2010, Kensit competed in the BBC TV series “Strictly Come Dancing,” where she was partnered with Robin Windsor. She finished in 7th place.