Rita Tushingham (born 14 March 1942) is an English actress. She is known for her starring roles in films including A Taste of Honey (1961), The Leather Boys (1964), The Knack …and How to Get It (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Smashing Time (1967). For A Taste of Honey, she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, and Most Promising Newcomer at both the BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Her other film appearances include An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Under the Skin (1997), and Being Julia (2004).
Tushingham was born on 14 March 1942 in the Garston area of Liverpool, where her father was a grocer who ran three shops. She grew up in the Hunt's Cross district of the city. She attended the Heatherlea School in Allerton, the La Sagesse School in Grassendale (which later became part of St Julie's Catholic High School), and studied shorthand and typing at a secretarial school. She wanted to be an actress from an early age and trained at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School, before working as an assistant stage manager at the Liverpool Playhouse.
Her screen debut was in A Taste of Honey (1961). Other performances included Girl with Green Eyes (1964), The Leather Boys (1964),The Knack …and How to Get It (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Trap (1966), Smashing Time (1967), The Bed Sitting Room (1969), and The 'Human' Factor starring George Kennedy and John Mills (1975). She also co-starred as Margaret Sheen in the TV film Green Eyes (1977).
In the 1960s Tushingham performed several plays for the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre: The Changeling (1961), The Kitchen (1961), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962), Twelfth Night (production without décor, 1962) and The Knack (1962).
Tushingham has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award, and was a member of the jury at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1972 and at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.
Later roles include the film Being Julia (2004), starring Annette Bening, and on television in "The Sittaford Mystery" (2006), an episode of Marple. She appeared in Season 2 of the BBC 3 zombie drama In The Flesh as Mrs Lamb, broadcast in May 2014.
Clips from her performance in The Leather Boys appeared in the Smiths' music video for the single "Girlfriend in a Coma," in 1987. She is also mentioned in the Franz Ferdinand song "L. Wells", the Cleaners From Venus song "Illya Kuryakin Looked at Me" and the Television Personalities song "Favourite Films". In 1999, she was featured on This Is Your Life.
Tushingham married photographer Terry Bicknell in 1962. They had two daughters, Dodonna and Aisha, before divorcing at an undisclosed date. In 1981, she married Iraqi cinematographer Ousama Rawi, spending eight years in Canada with him before they separated. They were not legally divorced until 1996. She now divides her time between Germany and London with German writer Hans-Heinrich Ziemann, her partner since 1994.
In April 2005, at the age of 33, Tushingham's daughter Aisha was diagnosed with breast cancer. She recovered and later gave birth to a son. Tushingham subsequently became an activist for breast cancer health and support. She is a prominent supporter of Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life and has given a number of interviews to raise breast cancer awareness.
|1961||A Taste of Honey||Josephine "Jo"|
|1963||A Place to Go||Catherine Donovan|
|1964||The Leather Boys||Dot|
|1964||Girl with Green Eyes||Kate Brady|
|1965||The Knack ...and How to Get It||Nancy Jones|
|1965||Doctor Zhivago||Tanya Komarova / "The Girl"|
|1968||Diamonds for Breakfast||Bridget Rafferty|
|1969||The Bed Sitting Room||Penelope|
|1972||Straight on Till Morning||Brenda Thompson|
|1974||Fischia il sesso||Carol Houston|
|1975||The "Human" Factor||Janice|
|1977||Pane, burro e marmellata||Vera De Virdis||AKA, Bread, Butter and Marmalade|
|1982||Spaghetti House||Kathy Ceccacci|
|1986||A Judgment in Stone||Eunice Parchman|
|1989||The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway||Alice B. Toklas|
|1989||Hard Days, Hard Nights||Rita|
|1990||Sunday Pursuit||Alice Fletcher||Short film|
|1992||A csalás gyönyöre||Dóra - ügyvédnõ|
|1994||Gospel According to Harry||Myrna|
|1995||An Awfully Big Adventure||Aunt Lily|
|1996||The Boy from Mercury||May Cronin|
|1997||Under the Skin||Mum|
|2000||Out of Depth||Margaret Nixon|
|2000||Home Ground||Nellie||Short film|
|2004||Being Julia||Aunt Carrie|
|2007||The Hideout||Paula Hardyn|
|2008||Telstar: The Joe Meek Story||Essex Medium|
|2008||Sight Test||Rita||Short film|
|2009||The Calling||Sister Gertrude|
|2013||The Wee Man||Rita Thompson|
|2017||My Name Is Lenny|
|2020||Last Night in Soho||Post-production|
|1964||The Human Jungle||Joy South||"The Man Who Fell Apart"|
|1973||Armchair Theatre||Grace||"Red Riding Hood"|
|1974||No Strings||Leonora||TV series|
|1977||Green Eyes||Margaret Sheen||TV film|
|1980||Ladykillers||Charlotte Bryant||"Don't Let Them Kill Me on Wednesday"|
|1982||Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull||Mrs. Twentyman||TV miniseries|
|1984||Seeing Things||Dr. Jessica Edwards||"Seeing R.E.D."|
|1985||ABC Weekend Special||Mrs. Prysselius||"Pippi Longstocking"|
|1988||Bread||Celia Higgins||Recurring role|
|1998||Spending Nights with Joan||Bette Davis||TV film|
|2002||Helen West||Margaret Mellors||"Shadow Play"|
|2002||The Stretford Wives||Marilyn Massey||TV film|
|2003||Life Beyond the Box: Margo||Celia Fishwick||TV film|
|2005||New Tricks||Elise||"Creative Problem Solving"|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Marple||Miss Elizabeth Percehouse||"The Sittaford Mystery"|
|2006||Angel Cake||Millie||TV film|
|2014||In the Flesh||Mrs. Lamb||"2.4", "2.5", "2.6"|
|2016||Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories||Effie Corvier||"Feeders and Eaters"|
|1962||BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer||A Taste of Honey||Won|
|1962||Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress||Won|
|1963||Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer||Won|
|1965||BAFTA Award for Best British Actress||Girl with Green Eyes||Nominated|
|1966||Golden Globe Award for Best Actress (musical or comedy)||The Knack ...and How to Get It||Nominated|
|1966||BAFTA Award for Best British Actress||Nominated|
Tushingham was made Honorary Associate of London Film School.
And we are delighted to honour her today for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the performing arts.