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Charlotte Rampling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling 2016.jpg
Tessa Charlotte Rampling[1]

(1946-02-05) 5 February 1946 (age 75)
OccupationActress, model, singer
Years active1963–present
Bryan Southcombe
(m. 1972; div. 1976)

(m. 1978; div. 1998)
Partner(s)Jean-Noël Tassez (1998–2015; his death)
RelativesGodfrey Rampling (father)
AwardsFull list

Tessa Charlotte Rampling OBE (born 5 February 1946) is an English actress, model, and singer, known for her work in European arthouse films in English, French, and Italian.[2][3] An icon of the Swinging Sixties, she began her career as a model and later became a fashion icon and muse.[4]

She was cast in the role of Meredith in the 1966 film Georgy Girl, which starred Lynn Redgrave. She soon began making French and Italian arthouse films, notably Luchino Visconti's The Damned (1969) and Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter (1974). She went on to star in Zardoz (1974), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), opposite Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982), Long Live Life (1984), Max, Mon Amour (1986), Angel Heart (1987), and The Wings of the Dove (1997). In 2002 she released an album of recordings in the style of cabaret, titled As A Woman.[5]

In the 2000s, she became the muse of French director François Ozon, appearing in his films Under the Sand (2000), Swimming Pool (2003), and Angel (2007). On television, she is known for her role as Evelyn Vogel in Dexter (2013). In 2012 she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, both for her performance in the miniseries Restless. Other television roles include work in Broadchurch and London Spy, for the latter of which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. For her performance in the 2015 film 45 Years, she won the Berlin Film Festival Award for Best Actress, the European Film Award for Best Actress, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 2017, she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 74th Venice International Film Festival for Hannah.[6]

A four-time César Award nominee, she received an Honorary César in 2001 and France's Legion of Honour in 2002. She was made an OBE in 2000 for her services to the arts, and received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Film Awards. In 2015, she released her autobiography, which she wrote in French, titled Qui Je Suis, or Who I Am.[7] She later worked on an English translation, which was published in March 2017.

Early life and family

Rampling was born in 1946 in Sturmer, Essex,[8] the daughter of Isabel Anne (née Gurteen; 1918–2001), a painter, and Godfrey Rampling (1909–2009), an Olympic gold medallist and British Army officer.[citation needed] She spent most of her childhood in Gibraltar, France and Spain, before she returned to the UK in 1964.[9]

She attended Académie Jeanne d'Arc in Versailles and St Hilda's School, a boarding school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England. She had one sister, Sarah, who died by suicide in 1966, aged 23. She and Sarah had had a close relationship, and they had performed in a cabaret act together during their teenage years.[10][11][12]


1960s: Modelling career, starting as actress

Rampling in 1968's Sardinia Kidnapped
Rampling in 1968's Sardinia Kidnapped

Rampling made her stage debut at the age of 14, singing French chansons with her sister at Bernays Institute in Stanmore.[13] She began her career as a model and first appeared in a Cadbury advertisement. She was working as a secretary when she was noticed by a casting agent in the same building.[14] Her first screen appearance, which was uncredited, was as a water skier in Richard Lester's film The Knack ...and How to Get It. She also appeared as an extra in Lester's next directorial outing, the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night (1964).[15] In 1965, she was cast in the role of Meredith in the film Georgy Girl and was given a role by John Boulting in the comedy Rotten to the Core. In 1967, she starred opposite Yul Brynner in the adventure film The Long Duel. She also appeared alongside Franco Nero in the Italian film Sardinia Kidnapped (Sequestro di persona) (1968), directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi.[16]

On television, Rampling played the gunfighter Hana Wilde in "The Superlative Seven," a 1967 episode of The Avengers.[17] In 1969, she starred opposite Sam Waterston in the romance-drama Three, and in 1972, she starred opposite Robert Blake in the drama Corky and portrayed Anne Boleyn in the costume drama Henry VIII and His Six Wives. After this, her acting career blossomed in both English and French cinema.

Despite an early flurry of success, she told The Independent: "We weren't happy. It was a nightmare, breaking the rules and all that. Everyone seemed to be having fun, but they were taking so many drugs they wouldn't know it anyway."[18]

Rampling has performed controversial roles. In 1969, in Luchino Visconti's The Damned (La Caduta degli dei), she played a young wife sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Critics praised her performance, and it cast her in a whole new image: mysterious, sensitive, and ultimately tragic. "The Look," as her co-star Dirk Bogarde called it, became her trademark.[19]

1970–Early 1980s: adult roles, Hollywood and Italian cinema

She appeared in the cult classic Vanishing Point, in a scene deleted from the U.S. theatrical release (included in the U.K. release). Lead actor Barry Newman remarked that the scene was of aid in the allegorical lilt of the film.

In 1974's The Night Porter, in which she again appears alongside Dirk Bogarde, she plays a former concentration camp inmate who, after World War II, reunites with a former camp guard (Bogarde) with whom she had had an ambiguous, sadomasochistic relationship. Their relationship resumes, and she becomes his mistress and victim once again. In Max mon amour, she played a woman who falls in love with a chimpanzee. In 1974, she posed nude for Playboy photographs by Helmut Newton.[20] In 1976 she co-presented for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Award with Anthony Hopkins at the 48th Academy Awards.[21]

In 1974, Rampling starred in John Boorman's science-fiction film Zardoz opposite Sean Connery. She also starred with Peter O'Toole in Foxtrot (1976) and with Richard Harris in Orca (1977).[citation needed] She gained recognition from American audiences in a remake of Raymond Chandler's detective story Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and later with Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), and in The Verdict (1982), an acclaimed drama directed by Sidney Lumet that starred Paul Newman.[citation needed]

The middle 1980s and the 1990s

Rampling starred in Claude Lelouch's 1984 film Viva la vie (Long Live Life), before going on to star in the cult-film Max, Mon Amour (1986), and appear in the thriller Angel Heart (1987). For a decade she withdrew from the public eye due to depression. In the late 1990s, she appeared in The Wings of the Dove (1997), played Miss Havisham in a BBC television adaptation of Great Expectations (1998), and starred in the film adaptation of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard (1999), directed by Michael Cacoyannis.[citation needed]. In 1997, she was a jury member at the 54th Venice International Film Festival.

The 2000s

Rampling credits François Ozon with drawing her back to film in the 2000s, a period when she came to terms with the death of her elder sister Sarah who, after giving birth prematurely in 1966, died by suicide at 23. "I thought that after such a long time of not letting her be with me," she told The Guardian, "I would like to bring her back into my life."[19] The character she played in Ozon's Swimming Pool (2003), Sarah Morton, was named in her sister's honour.

For most of Rampling's life, she would say only that her sister had died of a brain haemorrhage; when she and her father learned of Sarah’s death, they agreed they would never let her mother know the truth. They kept their secret until Rampling's mother died in 2001.[19]

Rampling appeared in Tony Scott's Spy Game (2001), and she earned César Award nominations for Under the Sand (2000), Swimming Pool (2003), and Lemming (2005). At 59, she appeared in Laurent Cantet's Heading South (Vers le Sud), a 2005 film about sexual tourism. She appeared as Ellen, a professor of French literature, who holidays in 1970s Haiti to get the sexual attention she does not get at home.[citation needed]

On her choice of roles, Rampling said, "I generally don't make films to entertain people. I choose the parts that challenge me to break through my own barriers. A need to devour, punish, humiliate or surrender seems to be a primal part of human nature, and it's certainly a big part of sex. To discover what normal means, you have to surf a tide of weirdness."[22]

The actress has continued to work in sexually provocative films, such as Basic Instinct 2 (2006). In 2008, she portrayed Countess Spencer, the mother of Keira Knightley's title character, in The Duchess and played the High Priestess in post-apocalyptic thriller Babylon A.D.. In 2002, she recorded an album titled Comme Une Femme, or As A Woman. It is in both French and English, and includes passages that are spoken word as well as selections which Rampling sang.[citation needed]. In February 2006, Rampling was named as the jury president at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival.

She has been seen on the covers of Vogue, Interview and Elle magazines and CRUSHfanzine. In 2009, she posed nude in front of the Mona Lisa for Juergen Teller.[23] In 2009, Rampling appeared in Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime.


In 2010, she completed filming Cleanskin, a terrorist thriller, and played Miss Emily in the dystopian romantic fantasy Never Let Me Go.[24][25] She also appeared as Helena in the dance drama StreetDance 3D and the nun Mary in The Mill and the Cross with Michael York and Rutger Hauer. In 2011, she appeared in Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. For her role in the 2012 miniseries Restless, Rampling was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2013, she appeared as Dr. Evelyn Vogel in the final season of Dexter.[26] Rampling also appeared as Alice in the drama Jeune et Jolie and the elderly Adriana do Prado in Night Train to Lisbon. Other television roles include the ITV drama Broadchurch (2015)[27] and the BBC drama London Spy (2015). In 2014, she was named the new face of NARS Cosmetics to launch their new lipstick campaign.[28]

In 2015, Rampling starred opposite Tom Courtenay in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years.[29][30] The film is about a couple preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when new information regarding the husband's missing previous lover arises. 45 Years was screened in the main competition section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[31][32] She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress and Tom Courtenay won the Silver Bear for Best Actor.[33] For this role, she also won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress,[34] the European Film Award for Best Actress, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also received nominations for the BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress.[citation needed]

In 2016, Rampling accused those boycotting that year's Academy Awards ceremony of hostility towards Caucasians.[35] Her comments were called "offensive, outrageous and ignorant" by Chelsea Clinton, while they were defended by Clint Eastwood. Rampling later apologised for her comments and expressed regret that her statements were misinterpreted.[36][37]

That same year, Rampling backed children's fairytales app, GivingTales, in aid of UNICEF together with Roger Moore, Stephen Fry, Ewan McGregor, Joan Collins, Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine, David Walliams, Paul McKenna and Michael Ball.[38]

In 2017, Rampling co-starred as Veronica Ford with Jim Broadbent and Emily Mortimer in The Sense of an Ending, which was based on the novel by Julian Barnes.[39][40] It had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2017.[41] Her next film was in Andrea Pallaoro's Hannah, where she portrayed the title role of the wife of a man imprisoned on uncertain charges. For her role, she was awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actress award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.[6]

In 2017, Rampling starred opposite Alicia Vikander and Eva Green in Euphoria, directed by Lisa Langseth.[42] In January 2019, she was cast as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune.[43]

Personal life

In 1972, Rampling married New Zealand actor and publicist Bryan Southcombe and had a son, Barnaby (who became a television director), before divorcing in 1976.[citation needed] The couple was reported to have been living in a ménage à trois with a male model, Randall Laurence,[18] and in 1974, Rampling was quoted by the syndicated columnist Earl Wilson as saying: "There are so many misunderstandings in life. I once caused a scandal by saying I lived with two men [...] I didn't mean it in a sexual sense [...] We were just like any people sharing an apartment."[44]

In 1978, Rampling married French composer Jean-Michel Jarre and had a second son, David Jarre, who became a musician and singer.[citation needed] She raised her stepdaughter, Émilie Jarre, who became a fashion designer. The marriage was publicly dissolved in 1997, when Rampling learned from tabloid newspaper stories about Jarre's affairs with other women.[citation needed]

Rampling was engaged to Jean-Noël Tassez, a French journalist and businessman, from 1998 until his death in 2015.[45]

Rampling has lived in Paris since the late 1970s.[18][46] She has also suffered from depression.[47]

Screen and stage

Roles originally offered to Rampling


Studio albums

Title Album details
Comme une femme
  • Released: 2002 (2002)
  • Label: Mohican Records
  • Formats: CD

Audio books

Year Title Publisher
2002 À tes rêves! T'es toi quand tu peins Les Portes du monde

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Charlotte Rampling". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Charlotte Rampling, fashion icon",; accessed 18 January 2016.
  3. ^ Charlotte Rampling interview,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  4. ^ Smoldering Charlotte Rampling,; accessed 18 January 2016.
  5. ^ Rampling recording,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Rapold, Nicolas (9 September 2017). "'The Shape of Water' Takes Top Venice Film Festival Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  7. ^ Charlotte Rampling autobiography,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  8. ^ “Births Mar 1946... Rampling, Tessa C / Gurteen / Halstead 4a 1591” in General Index to Registrations of Births in England and Wales, 1946
  9. ^ Hiscock, John (15 August 2003). "Charlotte's web" – via
  10. ^ Gray, Tim (29 December 2015). "Rampling on her Start in Films". Variety. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  11. ^ Mackenzie, Suzie (16 August 2003). "A time for happiness". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Charlotte Rampling Biography". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  13. ^ "The Bernays Memorial Institute, Stanmore".
  14. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (1 March 2019). "Charlotte Rampling: 'Depression makes you dead to the world – you've got to build yourself up again'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  15. ^ Lumenick, Lou (11 June 2014). "10 Things You Didn't Know About A Hard Days Night". The New York Post. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  16. ^ The Mercenary (How to make a Revolution) (DVD). Planegg, Germany: Koch Media, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 1970.
  17. ^ The Avengers Forever: Guest Actor Biography, accessed 7 May 2010
  18. ^ a b c Byrnes, Sholto (26 March 2005). "Charlotte Rampling: In from the cold". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print, Ltd. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2006.
  19. ^ a b c "Good Charlotte". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Nine Entertainment Co. 4 October 2003.
  20. ^ Rampling interview; accessed 18 January 2016.
  21. ^ "48th Academy Awards (1976)". Academy Awards. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  22. ^ Thurman, Judith. "Ready, Set, Rample". The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  23. ^ Marsden, Sam (14 January 2013). "Charlotte Rampling describes 'magic' of naked Mona Lisa photoshoot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Never Let Me Go". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Never Let Me Go". Retrieved 21 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Dexter details,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  27. ^ Plunkett, John (13 May 2014). "Charlotte Rampling takes lead role in new Broadchurch series". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  28. ^ Rampling Nars,; accessed 18 January 2016.
  29. ^ "45 Years". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  30. ^ "45 Years". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Charlotte Rampling wins the Best Actress for 45 Years". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  32. ^ "Berlinale 2015: Malick, Dresen, Greenaway and German in Competition". Berlinale. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  34. ^ ""Spotlight" Selected As Best Movie Of 2015 By Los Angeles Film Critics Association". WestsideToday. 7 December 2015.
  35. ^ Child, Ben (22 January 2016). "Oscars 2016: Charlotte Rampling says diversity row is 'racist to white people'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  36. ^ "Charlotte Rampling: I regret my Oscars racism comment was 'misinterpreted'". The Guardian. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  37. ^ Reed, Ryan (22 January 2016). "Charlotte Rampling:Oscars Diversity Boycott 'Racist to Whites'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  38. ^ "Roger Moore backs children's fairytales app in aid of Unicef". The Guardian. 18 June 2015.
  39. ^ Jaafar, Ali (6 August 2015). "Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Dockery Board 'Sense of an Ending'". deadline. Retrieved 8 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Charlotte Rampling in Sense of an Ending winner adaptation". BBC News. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  41. ^ Hipes, Patrick (15 December 2016). "Palm Springs Film Festival Lineup Set; 'The Sense Of An Ending' To Open, The Comedian' To Close". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  42. ^ Jaafar, Ali (22 June 2016). "Charlotte Rampling Joins Alicia Vikander And Eva Green For 'Euphoria'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  43. ^ Kit, Borys (15 January 2019). "Charlotte Rampling Joins Timothee Chalamet in Dune". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  44. ^ Earl Wilson, An Explanation of Streaking. The Post-Register, Idaho Falls, Monday, 18 March 1974, p. 10
  45. ^ Elmhirst, Sophie (20 December 2014). "Charlotte Rampling: 'I'm exotic, and I like that'". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  46. ^ "How We Met: Jean Michel Jarre and Charlotte Rampling – Arts and Entertainment – The Independent". The Independent. 7 August 1993. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  47. ^ "Charlotte Rampling: Magnetic, depressed and creative at our times". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2016.

Further reading

External links

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