Connie Booth
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Connie Booth (born 2 December 1940) is an American-born actress and writer. She has appeared in several British television programmes and films, including her role as Polly Sherman on
BBC Two BBC Two is a British free-to-air Public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, public broadcast television network owned and operated by the BBC. It covers a wide range of subject matter, with a remit "to broadcast highbrow, programmes o ...
's ''
Fawlty Towers ''Fawlty Towers'' is a British television sitcom A sitcom, a Portmanteau, portmanteau of situation comedy, or situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who mostly carry over from episode to episode. Sitcom ...
'', which she co-wrote with her then-husband
John Cleese John Marwood Cleese ( ; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Emerging from the Footlights, Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scrip ...
. In 1995 she quit acting and worked as a
psychotherapist Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy, talk therapy, or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regular Conversation, personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase hap ...
until her retirement.


Early life

Booth was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 2 December 1940. Her father was a
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway (Manhattan), Broadway in the west to South Street (Manhattan), South Street and ...
stockbroker and her mother an actress. The family later moved to
New York State New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it from its largest city, New York City. With a total area of , New York is the List of U.S. ...
. Booth entered acting and worked as a
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd Stree ...
understudy In theater, an understudy, referred to in opera as cover or covering, is a performer who learns the lines and blocking (stage), blocking or choreography of a regular actor, actress, or other performer in a play (theater), play. Should the regular ...
and waitress. She met
John Cleese John Marwood Cleese ( ; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Emerging from the Footlights, Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scrip ...
while he was working in New York City; they married on February 20, 1968.


Acting career

Booth secured parts in episodes of ''
Monty Python's Flying Circus ''Monty Python's Flying Circus'' (also known as simply ''Monty Python'') is a British surreal humour, surreal sketch comedy series created by and starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, wh ...
'' (1969–74) and in the Python films '' And Now for Something Completely Different'' (1971) and ''
Monty Python and the Holy Grail ''Monty Python and the Holy Grail'' is a 1975 British comedy film satirizing the Arthurian legend, written and performed by the Monty Python comedy group (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) and ...
'' (1975, as a woman accused of being a witch). She also appeared in ''
How to Irritate People ''How to Irritate People'' is a US television broadcast filmed in the UK at LWT on 14 November 1968 and written by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Cleese, Chapman, and Brooke-Taylor also feature in it, along with ...
'' (1968), a pre-Monty Python film starring Cleese and other future Monty Python members; a short film titled '' Romance with a Double Bass'' (1974) which Cleese adapted from a short story by
Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (; 29 January 1860 Old Style date 17 January. – 15 July 1904 Old Style date 2 July.) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. His career ...
; and '' The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It'' (1977), Cleese's
Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes () is a fictional detective created by British author Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a "Private investigator, consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, deduction, f ...
spoof, as Mrs. Hudson. Booth and Cleese co-wrote and co-starred in ''
Fawlty Towers ''Fawlty Towers'' is a British television sitcom A sitcom, a Portmanteau, portmanteau of situation comedy, or situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who mostly carry over from episode to episode. Sitcom ...
'' (1975 and 1979), in which she played waitress and chambermaid Polly. For thirty years Booth declined to talk about the show until she agreed to participate in a documentary about the series for the digital channel
Gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
in 2009. Booth played various roles on British television, including Sophie in ''
Dickens of London ''Dickens of London'' is a 1976 television miniseries A miniseries or mini-series is a television series that tells a story in a predetermined, limited number of episodes. "Limited-run series, Limited series" is another more recent US term wh ...
'' (1976), Mrs. Errol in a BBC adaptation of ''
Little Lord Fauntleroy ''Little Lord Fauntleroy'' is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was published as a serial in ''St. Nicholas Magazine'' from November 1885 to October 1886, then as a book by Charles Scribner's Sons, Scribner's (the publisher of ''St. Nich ...
'' (1980) and Miss March in a dramatisation of
Edith Wharton Edith Wharton (; born Edith Newbold Jones; January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and interior designer. Wharton drew upon her insider's knowledge of the upper-class New York "aristocracy" to portray ...
's ''
The Buccaneers ''The Buccaneers'' is the last novel written by Edith Wharton Edith Wharton (; born Edith Newbold Jones; January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and interior designer. Wharton drew upon her inside ...
'' (1995). She also starred in the lead role of a drama called ''The Story of Ruth'' (1981), in which she played the role of the
schizophrenic Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by continuous or relapsing episodes of psychosis. Major symptoms include hallucinations (typically Auditory hallucination#Schizophrenia, hearing voices), delusions, and disorganized thinking. ...
daughter of an abusive father, for which she received critical acclaim. In 1994, she played a supporting role in "The Culex Experiment", an episode of the children's science fiction TV series ''
The Tomorrow People ''The Tomorrow People'' is a British children's science fiction on television, science fiction television series created by Roger Price (television producer), Roger Price. Produced by Thames Television for the ITV (TV network), ITV Network, t ...
''. Booth also had a stage career, primarily in the London theatre, appearing in 10 productions from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s, notably starring with Sir
John Mills Sir John Mills (born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills; 22 February 190823 April 2005) was an English actor who appeared in more than 120 films in a career spanning seven decades. He excelled on camera as an appealing British everyman who often portray ...
in the 1983–1984 West End production of ''Little Lies'' at
Wyndham's Theatre Wyndham's Theatre is a West End theatre West End theatre is mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres in and near the West End of London.Christopher Innes, "West End" in ''The Cambridge Guide to Theatre'' (Cambridge: Ca ...
.


Psychotherapy career

Booth ended her acting career in 1995. After studying for five years at the
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city o ...
, she began a career as a
psychotherapist Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy, talk therapy, or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regular Conversation, personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase hap ...
, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council.


Personal life

In 1971, Booth and Cleese had a daughter, Cynthia, who appeared alongside her father in the films ''
A Fish Called Wanda ''A Fish Called Wanda'' is a 1988 Heist film, heist comedy film directed by Charles Crichton and written by Crichton and John Cleese. It stars Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin. The film follows a gang of diamond thieves w ...
'' and ''
Fierce Creatures ''Fierce Creatures'' is a 1997 British-American farcical comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art t ...
''. Booth and Cleese divorced in 1978. With Cleese, Booth wrote the scripts for and co-starred in both series of ''Fawlty Towers'', although the two were actually divorced before the second series was finished and aired. Booth's daughter Cynthia married screenwriter Ed Solomon in 1995. Booth married
John Lahr John Henry Lahr (born July 12, 1941) is an American theater critic and writer. From 1992 to 2013, he was a staff writer and the senior drama critic at ''The New Yorker''. He has written more than twenty books related to theater. Lahr has been ca ...
, author and former ''
New Yorker New Yorker or ''variant'' primarily refers to: * A resident of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it fro ...
'' senior drama critic, in 2000. They live in north London.


Selected filmography and theatrical appearances


Television


Film


Theatre


Notes


References


External links


Connie Booth
at the
British Film Institute The British Film Institute (BFI) is a film and television charitable organisation which promotes and preserves film-making and television in the United Kingdom. The BFI uses funds provided by the National Lottery (United Kingdom), National Lot ...
*
BBC Comedy Guide entry
{{DEFAULTSORT:Booth, Connie 1940s births Living people Alumni of the Open University American expatriates in England American television actresses American television writers Actresses from Indianapolis Actresses from New Rochelle, New York American women television writers American women comedians Actresses from London Monty Python American psychotherapists Screenwriters from New York (state) 20th-century American women scientists 21st-century American women scientists 20th-century American women writers 21st-century American women writers 20th-century American comedians 21st-century American comedians 20th-century American actresses 21st-century American actresses Scientists from London Scientists from New Rochelle, New York Writers from London Writers from New Rochelle, New York Comedians from London Comedians from New York (state) Year of birth uncertain Lahr family