Actress, producer, director, environmentalist and Hollywood socialite Trudie Styler, the wife of rocker Sting, appeared in the films “Mamba” (1988), “The Grotesque” (1995), “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” (2002), and “Alpha Male” (2006). As a producer, her credits include the award winning documentary "Moving the Mountain" (1994) and such films as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998), "Snatch" (2000), "Greenfingers" (2000), and “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (2006).
Alongside Sting, Styler started the Rainforest Foundation in 1987 to help save rain forests. A long standing supporter of UNICEF, she was appointed as an ambassador for UNICEF UK's End Child Exploitation Fundraising Appeal in July 2004, for which she traveled to Ecuador on a fact-finding mission for the campaign and visited the tsunami affected areas of Sri Lanka.
Styler was romantically linked to actor Peter O'Toole before marrying Sting.
Childhood and Family:
In a working class family in Birmingham, England, Trudie Styler was born on January 6, 1955. She attended North Bromsgrove High School, in Worcestershire, and ran away from home to pursue an acting career at age 17. She later studied drama at Trent Park College of Education, in London, and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Styler met rock musician/actor Sting (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner; on October 2, 1951) in the early 1980s. She lived with him for about ten years before eventually marrying him on August 20, 1992. They have four children, sons Michael Sumner (born 1984) and Jake Sumner (born 1985), and daughters Eliot Paulina Sumner (born 1990) and Giacomo Luke Sumner (born December 1995). Along with Sting, Styler introduced Madonna to her second husband, film director Guy Ritchie. Styler later became the godmother of Madonna's son Rocco. She also has one stepdaughter, Fuchsia Katherine Sumner (born in 1982), and one stepson, Joseph Sumner (born in 1977; a member of the band “Fiction Plane”), from Sting's previous marriage with actress Frances Tomelty.
Along with Sting and a Brazilian Indian, Styler started the Rainforest Foundation in 1987 to help save rain forests. She is also a long standing supporter of UNICEF and was appointed as an ambassador for UNICEF UK's End Child Exploitation Fundraising Appeal in July 2004. Early in 2004, she traveled to Ecuador on a fact-finding mission for the campaign and in February 2005, she visited the tsunami affected areas of Sri Lanka.
Styler and Sting primarily reside in Wiltshire, England, but have several other homes, including one in London, New York City, Malibu, and Tuscany, Italy. They made headlines in May 2007 when their management company, Lake House Estate, was found guilty by a tribunal jury of unlawfully dismissing Jane Martin, a 41 year old former cook.
Moving the Mountain
Running away from home at age 17 to pursue an acting career, Trudie Styler studied drama at Trent Park College of Education, in London, and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which is also in London, England. She was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for one year. Meanwhile, the aspiring actress headlined various period BBC productions, including “Poldark” in 1977, and the BBC comedy show "Kelly Monteith" (1979). She also appeared in the miniseries version of Thomas Hardy's novel, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (1978), starring Alan Bates.
In the early 1980s, Styler played Catherine Fawley in the TV series "The Bell" (1982) and appeared in the made-for-television movie "The Body in the Library" (1984; aka "Miss Marple: The Body in the Library"), an adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel. She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the ITV drama "The Gentle Touch." She then appeared in a documentary about preparations and rehearsals for Sting's first solo concert, "Bring on the Night" (1985), which was directed by Michael Apted, and was featured in Sting's music video "We'll Be Together" from his 1987 album "Nothing Like the Sun." Meanwhile, Styler also served as a producer on Apted's documentary about the democracy movement in China, "Moving the Mountain," which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1993. The documentary later earned her a Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival and Feature Documentaries from the International Documentary Association.
Styler acted alongside Sting in "The Grotesque" (1995; aka "Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets," and "Grave Indiscretion"), the novel-based independent thriller by John-Paul Davidson and starring Alan Bates that was released in the United States in 1997. She then starred as Eva, a woman locked in an apartment with a poisonous Mamba snake, in the Italian-produced film "Mamba" (1998), a thriller directed by Mario Orfini. She also executive produced "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998), a stylish British heist film directed by Guy Ritchie in which Sting costarred as the bar owner father of one of the lead characters.
Entering the new millennium, Styler teamed up again with Guy Ritchie to executive produce his follow-up film, "Snatch," an ensemble gangster movie featuring Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, and Jason Flemyng. She also returned to acting in Yale Strom's musical drama "On the Q.T.," alongside James Earl Jones, which was shown as a "work in progress" at IFFM, before serving as executive producer of writer/director Joel Hershman's fact-based comedy starring Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, and David Kelly, "Greenfingers."
During the following years, Styler costarred as a boozy mother in Sandra Goldbacher's film starring Anna Friel and Michelle Williams, "Me Without You" (2001), which was screened at the Venice and London Film Festivals before being released in Great Britain. She then guest starred as herself on the popular NBC sitcom "Friends" and directed "The Sweatbox" (2002), a documentary that follows the making of Disney's "The Emperor’s New Groove." She then portrayed a fortune teller in the ABC TV production "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" (2002).
After being cast in actor/writer/director David Thewlis' dark comedy "Cheeky" (2003), which was produced by her production company Xingu Films, Styler portrayed Servilia, Brutus' mother, in the ABC epic miniseries "Empire" (2005). She also costarred as Irene (2005), the spouse of Brian Protheroe's Bob Andrews, in the BBC romantic comedy series "Love Soup," and directed a short film featuring Tyson Beckford, Anna Chlumsky, and Debi Mazar titled "Wait" (2005).
The subsequent year, Styler played a role in writer/director Dan Wilde's family drama movie "Alpha Male" and gained film rights to Joshua Doder's "Grk.” She then produced Dito Montiel's film adaptation of his book, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" (2006), starring Dianne Wiest, Robert Downey Jr. and Shia LaBeouf.
Adding to her acting and producing work, Styler has been a contributing editor to Harper's Bazaar since 1996. Her book, “The Lake House Cook Book,” was published in 1999 in the United Kingdom and the United States. It describes her family's move to the country and their effort towards organic self-sufficiency and includes over 150 recipes created by the chef Joseph Sponzo.
Also an environmentalist, Styler helped to start the Rainforest Foundation in 1987 to help save rain forests. As part of her campaign, she produced the album “Carnival” to benefit the Foundation. The album debuted at #3 on the world music chart. In 1998, she extended her charitable work to the Tibetan Peace Garden Appeal, of which she is a patron. The garden opened in May 1999 and is situated adjacent to the Imperial War Museum in London. Also a cochairman and sponsor of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in London,
Styler is a national ambassador for UNICEF United Kingdom's End Child Exploitation.
Styler has received a handful of awards, including the 1994 Rainforest Action Hero Award from the Rainforest Action Network, the Outstanding Women Environmentalist Award from the Centre for Environmental Education, the 1995 Humanitarian Award from the Hospitality Committee for the United Nations, and the 1998 Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award from GQ Magazine.
GQ Magazine: Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award, 1998
Hospitality Committee for the United Nations: Humanitarian Award, 1995
Rainforest Action Network: Rainforest Action Hero, 1994
Centre for Environmental Education: Outstanding Women Environmentalist
Heartland Film Festival: Crystal Heart Award, "Moving the Mountain," 1994
International Documentary Association: Feature Documentaries, "Moving the Mountain," 1994