Felicity Kendal was born in Warwickshire in 1946 and raised in India, where her actor parents ran a touring theatre company. In 1965 she appeared in the film Shakespeare Wallah, and made her West End debut. She has starred in many long-running television series including The Good Life, Solo, The Mistress and Rosemary and Thyme. Her recent stage performances include Happy Days (2003), Amy’s View (2006) and The Vortex (2008), all directed by Peter Hall. She also starred in Humble Boy opposite Simon Russell Beale and in Simon Gray’s The Last Cigarette. Currently, she is appearing in Mrs Warren’s Profession at the Comedy Theatre in London.
1. When were you happiest?
Happy is my natural state. Whatever happens to me I return to being happy.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Technology taking over.
3. What is your earliest memory?
Walking onto a stage at 3 ½ as the changeling child in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in bare feet and turban; being blinded by the lights – not liking it much but not hating it.
4. Which living person do you most admire and why?
I admire so many people – to choose one would be presumptuous.
5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I don’t take money seriously. So I can’t keep any.
6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
7. What was your most embarrassing moment?
Talking to a garage mechanic with my flies open in the 70s when I didn’t wear underpants.
8. Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
A holiday for the family.
9. What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t treasure things much – just people. And pets.
10. Where would you like to live?
Where I live.
11. What would your super power be?
The power to multi-task even better.
12. What makes you unhappy?
My tax return.
13. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I don’t like any of it much – but I’m used to it now. I have good legs, if they were longer they’d be really great.
14. If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
15. Who would play you in the film of your life?
16. What is your most unappealing habit?
Unappealing habit – moi?
17. What is your favourite smell?
18. What is your favourite word?
19. What is your favourite book?
Love in the Time of Cholera.
20. What would be you fancy dress costume of choice?
I wouldn’t go to a fancy dress party!
21. What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
22. Cat or dog?
23. Is it better to give or to receive?
It depends what you are giving and/or receiving!
24. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty about pleasure.
25. What do you owe your parents?
26. To whom would you most like to say sorry and why?
My first husband – I gave him a hard time! And my second husband – I’m still giving him a hard time.
27. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Wilson the kitten is making me re-evaluate love.
28. What does love feel like?
When it’s happy – being alive 1000 times. When it’s unhappy – dying slowly.
29. What was the best kiss of your life?
I hope I haven’t had it yet.
30. Have you ever said “I love you” without meaning it?
Oh yes. I’m a person!
32. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Byron, Eddie Izzard, George Bernard Shaw, Golda Meir, Marlene Dietrich.
33. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Is that OK?” “Yes.”
34. What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
Playing a belly dancer in a black wig in “Love Story” in the early 70s – it was AWFUL, as was I!
35. What has been your biggest disappointment?
When Santa Claus failed to turn up.
36. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
My sister’s death.
37. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
London when Shakespeare’s plays were at the Globe – but only for a week!
38. When did you last cry, and why?
About a year ago. I cried in anger at being misunderstood.
39. How do you relax?
40. How often do you have sex?
As often as possible.
41. What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Typhoid in Calcutta when I was 17.
42. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
More time – 26 hours in a day – that would help. And more time to read.
43. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
44. What keeps you awake at night?
45. What song would you like played at your funeral?
“Over the Rainbow” and the theme from Gladiator.
46. How would you like to be remembered?
With love and loads of laughs.
47. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Life is fragile and short. Don’t waste it by being mean or greedy.
48. Where would you most like to be right now?
49. Tell us a joke:
50. Tell us a secret:
I never tell!