The Winds of War
British actress Victoria Tennant is perhaps best known for her role of Pamela Tudsbury on the ABC TV miniseries “The Winds of War” (1983), from which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She went on to reprise the role for the sequel “War and Remembrance” (1988-1989). Tennant has also appeared in several television movies and guest starred in TV shows like “The Twilight Zone,” “Monk” and “JAG,” to name a few. Tennant’s feature film credits include “All of Me” (1984), “L.A. Story” (1991), “The Holcroft Covenant” (1985), “Zugzwang” (1989), “The Awakening of Spring” (2008) and “Irene in Time” (2009).
Tennant is currently married to Kirk Stambler and has two children with him. She was previously married to actor and comedian Steve Martin (1986-1994), Matthew Chapman (1978-1982) and Peppo Vanini (1969-1976).
Steve Martins' Ex
Childhood and Family:
Victoria Tennant was born on September 30, 1950, in London, England. Her father, Cecil Tennant, was a British producer and talent agent who operated MCA's talent office. Her mother, Irina Baronova, was a Russian ballerina who gave up her career when she married. Victoria has two siblings, Irina and Robert, both of whom were seriously wounded in a car crash that killed their father in 1967. Victoria studied ballet at the Elmhurst Ballet School and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London for two years.
Victoria has been married four times. She was married to Peppo Vanini from 1969 to 1976 and screenwriter, director and producer Matthew Chapman from 1978 to 1982. On November 20, 1986, she married comedian and actor Steve Martin, whom she met on the set of “All of Me” (1984). They later worked together in “LA Story” (1991) before divorcing in 1994. Victoria married her fourth and present husband, Kirk Stambler, a lawyer with Warner Bros., on March 4, 1996. The couple has two kids.
Victoria Tennant made her motion picture debut as Doris Randall on “The Ragman's Daughter” (1974), an independent drama directed by Harold Becker. She did not resume her film career until 1980 when she landed a bit part in the British action adventure “The Dogs of War,” starring Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger and Colin Blakely. The same year, she also made her television debut as Julia Stoner on an episode of “Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson” called “The Case of the Speckled Band.”
Tennant next appeared in the films “Horror Planet” (1981), a science fiction film directed by Norman J. Warren, “Sphinx” (1981), where she portrayed Lady Carnarvon, and “Ich bin dein Killer” (1982), a German film directed and written by Jochen Richter. She also costarred with Mathieu Carrière, Miguel Fernandes and Patrick Chesnais in the French TV film “La guerre des insectes” (1981) and guest starred in “Tales of the Unexpected” (1982) before landing her first major television role on the ABC miniseries “The Winds of War” (1983), which was adapted from the book of the same name by Herman Wouk. In the miniseries, she played the role of Pamela Tudsbury and received a 1984 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV. 1983 also saw roles in the film “Strangers Kiss,” which was directed and co-written by her former husband Matthew Chapman, the Emmy nominated television film “Dempsey” (CBS), where she costarred with Treat Williams, Sam Waterston and Sally Kellerman, and the CBS TV miniseries “Chiefs,” starring Charlton Heston, Keith Carradine and Stephen Collins.
In 1984, Tennant costarred with her future husband, Steve Martin, in the comedy “All of Me.” The film, which was directed by Carl Reiner and based on a novel by Edwin Davis, received primarily positive reviews from critics. She was next cast in the big screen adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel “The Holcroft Covenant” (1985), which was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Michael Caine. She then portrayed Gloria Garry in the Peter Strauss Emmy Award winning starring TV film “Under Siege” (NBC, 1986), Roberta in the thriller “Best Seller” (1987), opposite James Woods and Brian Dennehy, and acted in the horror film “Flowers in the Attic” (1987), opposite Louise Fletcher, Kristy Swanson and Jeb Stuart Adams. She next costarred with Richard Harris and Patrick O'Neal in the British TV film “Maigret” (1988), with Serena Gordon and Peter Coyote on the TV series “Act of Will” (1989) and Lindsay Wagner and James Brolin in the television movie “Voice of the Heart” (1989). In addition, she starred as Alice Gordon in the German film “Zugzwang” (1989), which was screened at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. During this time, she also guest starred in series like “George Burns Comedy Week” (1985), “The Twilight Zone” (1986) and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1986), and between 1988 and 1989, reprised her role of Pamela Tudsbury for the sequel miniseries “War and Remembrance.”
Tennant next played the role of Aunt Lydia in the film adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel “The Handmaid's Tale” (1990), starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Aidan Quinn and Elizabeth McGovern, and starred as Hilary in the Douglas Jackson directed horror movie “Whispers” (1990). She was then reunited with Steve Martin to star in the romantic comedy “L.A. Story” (1991), and supported William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire and Jean-Marc Barr in the French drama “The Plague” (1992). In 1994, Tennant landed the role of Anita Hargraves on the Australian TV series “Snowy River: The McGregor Saga,” starring Andrew Clarke, Brett Climo and Guy Pearce. The show was broadcasted in the Unites States on the Family Channel. Two years later, she wrote and produced “Edie & Pen,” a comedy starring Jennifer Tilly and Stockard Channing that aired on HBO. Tennant went on to guest star in “Diagnosis Murder” (1997) and “Providence” (1999) and appear in the 1998 film “Legend of the Mummy,” starring Louis Gossett Jr., Amy Locane and Eric Lutes.
Tennant resurfaced on television in 2001 when she guest starred in “The Chris Isaak Show” and was featured on the Showtime film “Sister Mary Explains It All,” which she executive produced. Three years later, she appeared as Marta Sperling in an episode of “JAG” called “The Man on the Bridge” (2004). She returned in 2007 to guest star on “Scrub” and landed guest spots in “Monk” (2008) and “The Beast” (2009). She also resumed her film career in “The Awakening of Spring” (2008) and “Irene in Time” (2009). In 2010, she provided the voice of Bella in the direct to video “Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic.”
In April, 2011, Tennant portrayed Celia in the Lifetime television movie “William & Kate.” Directed by Mark Rosman and written by Nancey Silvers, the drama was a rating success but received a poor reception from critics.