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Charlotte Rampling

File:Charlotte Rampling cropped 2009.jpg
Charlotte Rampling at the 2009 Venice Film Festival
Tessa Charlotte Rampling[1]

(1946-02-05) 5 February 1946 (age 78)
Sturmer, Essex, England
OccupationsActress, model
Years active1963–present
Bryan Southcombe
(m. 1972; div. 1976)

Jean Michel Jarre
(m. 1978; div. 1998)
PartnerJean-Noël Tassez (1998–2015; Tassez's death)
RelativesGodfrey Rampling (father)

Tessa Charlotte Rampling, Lua error: expandTemplate: template "post-nominals/UK" does not exist. (born 5 February 1946) is an English actress, model and chanteuse, known for her work in European arthouse films in three languages, 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, most notably during this time in 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, for her performance in the miniseries Restless. Other television roles include the 2015 dramas Broadchurch and London Spy. 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.

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 in French, titled Who I Am.[6]

Early life and family[]

Childhood: 1946–64[]

Rampling was born in Sturmer, Essex, the daughter of Isabel Anne (née Gurteen; 1918–2001), a painter, and Godfrey Rampling (1909–2009), an Olympic gold medalist and British Army officer.[7] She grew up and spent most of her childhood in Gibraltar, France, and Spain before she returned to the UK in 1964.[8] 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 committed suicide in 1966, aged 23. She and Sarah had had a close relationship and performed in a cabaret act together during their teenage years.[9][10][11][12]


Template:BLP sources section

1960s: Modelling career, starting as actress[]

She began her career as a model and first appeared in a Cadbury advertisement. She was noticed by a casting agent while walking down a street in London. Her first screen appearance was uncredited as a water skier in Richard Lester's film The Knack ...and How to Get It. She also appeared as an extra in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night (1964).[13] 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.[14]

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. On television, Rampling played the gunfighter Hana Wilde in "The Superlative Seven", a 1967 episode of The Avengers.[15] 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."[16]

File:Charlotte Rampling Cannes cropped.jpg

Rampling at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

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 co-star Dirk Bogarde called it, became her trademark.[17]

1970-Early 1980s: Transition to adult roles, Hollywood and Italian cinema[]

In 1974's The Night Porter, she portrayed a former concentration camp inmate who after World War II meets a former camp guard with whom she had an ambiguous relationship, and their relationship resumes. Bogarde played the camp guard. In Max mon amour, she played a woman who fell in love with a chimpanzee. In 1974, she posed nude for Playboy..[18] In 1976 she co-presented for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Award with Anthony Hopkins at the 48th Academy Awards[19]

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 particularly in The Verdict (1982), an acclaimed drama directed by Sidney Lumet that starred Paul Newman.[citation needed]

Mid 1980s–90s[]

Rampling starred in Claude Lelouch's 1984 film Long Live Life, before going on to star in the cult-film Max, Mon Amour (1986), and appear in the thriller Angel Heart (1987). In the 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 The Cherry Orchard (1999), directed by Michael Cacoyannis.[citation needed]. It took her a decade withdrew the public eye when she had overcome with depression and she made a comeback with acting in 2000. In 1997, she was a member of jury at the 54th Venice International Film Festival.


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, committed 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."[17] 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 heard the news, they agreed they would never let her mother know the truth. They kept their secret until Rampling's mother died in 2001.[17]

Rampling appeared in Tony Scott's Spy Game (2001), and she earned Cesar 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 plays Ellen, a professor of French literature and single Englishwoman, 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."[citation needed]

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 character in the title role in The Duchess and played the High Priestess in post-apocalyptic thriller Babylon A.D.. In 2002, she recorded an album entitled Comme Une Femme. It is in both French and English, and includes parts that are spoken word as well as tracks 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 Magazine, Interview Magazine, Elle Magazine and CRUSHfanzine. In 2009, she posed nude in front of the Mona Lisa for Juergen Teller.[20] In 2009, Rampling appeared in Todd Solondz' Life During Wartime.


In 2010, she completed filming Cleanskin, a terrorist thriller and played Miss Emily in dystopian romantic fantasy Never Let Me Go.[21][22] She also played as Helena in the dance drama Streetdance 3D and nun Mary in The Mill and the Cross starred alongside 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 played Dr. Evelyn Vogel in the final season of Dexter.[23] Rampling also played Alice in drama Jeune et Jolie and elderly Adriana do Prado in Night Train to Lisbon. Other television roles include the ITV drama Broadchurch (2015)[24] and the BBC drama London Spy (2015). In 2014, she was named the new face of NARS Cosmetics to launch their new lipstick campaign.[25]

In 2015, Rampling starred opposite Tom Courtenay in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years.[26][27] 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.[28][29] She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress and Tom Courtenay won the Silver Bear for Best Actor.[30] For this role, she also won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress,[31] 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. 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.[32][33] 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 and Paul McKenna.[34]

Upcoming projects[]

File:Charlotte Rampling 2012.jpg

Rampling at the Festival Paris Cinéma in 2012

Rampling is set to star as Lady Denham in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon, which is to be directed by Jim O'Hanlon for Fluidity Pictures.[35]

Rampling will also co-star alongside with Josh Hartnett and John Rhys-Davies in the sci-fi film Valley of the Gods, directed by Lech Majewski.[36][37] She will co-star as Veronica Ford with Jim Broadbent and Emily Mortimer in The Sense of an Ending, which is based on the novel by Julian Barnes.[38][39] Rampling is also attached to star opposite Alicia Vikander and Eva Green in Euphoria, directed by Lisa Langseth.[40]

Personal life[]

In 1972, Rampling married New Zealand actor and publicist Bryan Southcombe and had their son, Barnaby Southcombe (now a television director), before divorcing in 1976. The couple was widely reported to have been living in a ménage à trois with a male model, Randall Laurence,[16] 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 a flat."[41] In 1978, Rampling married French composer Jean Michel Jarre and had a second son, David Jarre (now a musician and singer). She raised her stepdaughter Émilie Jarre (now a fashion designer). The marriage was publicly dissolved in 1997, when Rampling learned from tabloid newspaper stories about Jarre's affairs with other women and had a nervous breakdown. She was engaged to Jean-Noël Tassez, a French communications tycoon, from 1998 until his death in 2015.[42] Rampling lives in Paris.[16][43] She also suffered from depression.[44]

Screen and stage[]

Main article: Charlotte Rampling filmography
  • Georgy Girl (1966)
  • The Long Duel (1967)
  • The Damned (1969)
  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1971)
  • Asylum (1972)
  • The Night Porter (1974)
  • Zardoz (1974)
  • Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
  • Orca (1977)
  • Stardust Memories (1980)
  • The Verdict (1982)
  • Angel Heart (1987)
  • Under the Sand (2000)
  • Swimming Pool (2003)
  • Lemming (2005)
  • Heading South (2005)
  • Dexter (2006)
  • The Duchess (2008)
  • The Eye of the Storm (2011)
  • Melancholia (2011)
  • The Mill and the Cross (2011)
  • I, Anna (2012)
  • 45 Years (2015)
  • Assassin's Creed (2016)

Roles originally offered to Rampling[]

  • She was considered for a role as Sarah Woodruff in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), but John Fowles was not happy about her acting in the 1974 film The Night Porter (1974). She later turned down the role.
  • Director Tim Burstall met her for a title role in the Eliza Turner (1976), but she didn't feel like a comedy actress and later turned it down. Susannah York later took the role.
  • She was also considered for a role in The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973) with Ryan O'Neal. She later turned it down and Jacqueline Bisset took the role instead.
  • Roman Polanski wanted her to be cast in Cul-de-sac (1966) and her agent turned it down. Jacqueline Bisset later took the role.


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[]

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Charlotte Rampling


  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. Charlotte Rampling autobiography,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  7. "Charlotte Rampling profile at". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  9. Rampling on her Start in Films accessed 1-18-2016
  10. Mackenzie, Suzie (16 August 2003). "A time for happiness". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  11. Peter Evans (12 April 2009). "Charlotte Rampling famously played a Nazi sex kitten and condemned by the Pope. So what is it she doesn't want us to know?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  12. "Charlotte Rampling Biography". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  13. Hard Days Night; accessed 18 January 2016.
  14. The Mercenary (How to make a Revolution) (DVD). Planegg, Germany: Koch Media, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 1970.
  15. The Avengers Forever: Guest Actor Biography, accessed 7 May 2010
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Byrnes, Sholto (26 March 2005). "Charlotte Rampling: In from the cold". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2006.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Good Charlotte". The Age. Melbourne. 4 October 2003.
  18. Rampling interview; accessed 18 January 2016.
  19. "48th Academy Awards (1976)". Academy Awards. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  20. "Rampling Mona Lisa"; accessed 18 January 2016
  21. "Never Let Me Go". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  22. "Never Let Me Go". Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  23. Dexter details,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  24. "Charlotte Rampling of Broadchurch has a taboo shattering, shocks and family". 16 January 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  25. Rampling Nars,; accessed 18 January 2016.
  26. "45 Years". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  27. "45 Years". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  28. "Charlotte Rampling wins the Best Actress for 45 Years". 14 February 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  29. "Berlinale 2015: Malick, Dresen, Greenaway and German in Competition". Berlinale. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  30. "Prizes of the International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  31. "Charlotte Rampling wins LA Film critics award after landing on the Hollywood Reporter cover". Daily Mail. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  32. "Charlotte Rampling: I regret my Oscars racism comment was 'misinterpreted'". 23 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  33. "Charlotte Rampling:Oscars Diversity Boycott 'Racist to Whites'". Rolling Stone. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  34. "Roger Moore backs children's fairytales app in aid of Unicef". The Guardian. 18 June 2015.
  35. Vlessing, Etan (10 February 2016). "Berlin: Charlotte Rampling Nabs Lead in Jane Austen Adaptation 'Sanditon". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  36. "Charlotte Rampling, John Rhys Davies to "Valley of the Gods"". Variety. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  37. "Charlotte Rampling Boards 'Valley of the Gods'". The Hollywood Reporter. 13 February 2016.
  38. Jaafar, Ali (6 August 2015). "Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Dockery Board 'Sense of an Ending'". deadline. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  39. "Charlotte Rampling in Sense of an Ending winner adaptation". 7 August 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  40. Jaafar, Ali (22 June 2016). "Charlotte Rampling Joins Alicia Vikander And Eva Green For 'Euphoria'". Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  41. Earl Wilson, An Explanation of Streaking. The Post-Register, Idaho Falls, Monday, 18 March 1974, p. 10
  42. Elmhirst, Sophie (20 December 2014). "Charlotte Rampling: 'I'm exotic, and I like that'". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  43. "How We Met: Jean Michel Jarre and Charlotte Rampling – Arts and Entertainment – The Independent". The Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  44. "Charlotte Rampling: Magnetic, depressed and creative at our times". Retrieved 9 April 2016.

Further reading[]

  • Nicolaevitch, S. 2008. "Charlotte Forever". Citizen K International; 46 (Spring): 244–253.
  • Marieke Boom, Dirk Bogarde, Nagisa Oshima et al.: Charlotte Rampling with compliments. Munich: Schirmer-Mosel, 1986, ISBN 3-88814-220-2
  • Charlotte Rampling: with compliments; with a portrait by Dirk Bogarde. London: Quartet, 1987 ISBN 0704326426

External links[]