Dawn French

Dawn French


10/11/1957, Holyhead, Wales, UK

Birth Name

Dawn French



Also Known As

Dawn French-Henry, Dawn Henry
  • Dawn French as Val in Roger and Val Have...
  • Roger and Val Have Just Got In stars Alf...
  • Dawn French as Rosie Bales in Jam and Je...
  • Jam and Jerusalem
out of 10
User Rating
58 votes


Dawn French was born on October 11, 1957 in Holyhead, Wales. She won a debating scholarship to study in New York after leaving school and then went on to train to be a drama teacher at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, where she met Jennifer Saunders.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In a survey of 1,000 schoolgirls in 2004, Dawn was voted the number one female role model in the UK.

    • Dawn's agent is Maureen Vincent who has other clients such as Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and June Whitfield

    • Dawn has appeared in many stage productions. Her work has included roles in Smaller, My Brillant Divorce, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Side By Side, When We Are Married, Then Again, Me and Mamie O'Rourke and Silly Cow.

    • Dawn has starred in many film roles. She has appeared in The Supergrass (1985), Eat the Rich (1987) and Milk (1999), amongst others.

    • Her comedy partner for over 15 years is Jennifer Saunders.

    • In 1991, Dawn and her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders won the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award in the category "Best TV - Light Entertainment" for their work on French and Saunders (1987).

    • In 2002, Dawn & Jennifer Saunders received the Honorary Rose at the Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival.

    • Dawn has been nominated in the category of "Most Popular Comedy Performer/Performance" 4 times at the National Television Awards. Her nominations in 1998 and 2000 were for her work in The Vicar of Dibley, 2002's nomination was for her role in Ted and Alice and her nomination in 2003 was for Wild West.

    • Dawn was nominated for her work on The Vicar of Dibley at the British Comedy Awards in the category of 'Best TV Comedy Actress' in 1997 and 1999. She was the winner of the Award in 1997.

    • Dawn has received five BAFTA nominations in total. Two of her nominations (1989 and 1991) were in the category 'Best Light Entertainment Performance' and were for her work in French and Saunders. The remaining three (1998, 200 and 2001) were in the category 'Best Comedy Performance' for Dawn's work in The Vicar of Dibley.

    • Dawn has appeared in numerous television commercials. Her work includes advertisements for House of Fraser department stores, Terry's Segsations (2003), BBC America's advertisements for "BBC: Serious About Comedy" and alongside Jennifer Saunders in a Dover to Calais advertisement for Radio and Television.

    • Dawn was featured as the "Fat Lady" on a limited edition autograph card from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban trading card series released in 2004.

    • Dawn appeared in a business training video 'The Balance Sheet Barrier' with John Cleese.

    • Dawn played a lab assistant in Kate Bush's science-fiction music video Experiment IV in 1986 and appeared in the music video for Alison Moyet's Whispering Your Name in 1994.

    • In 2003 it was revealed that Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders declined Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) honours "for services to comedy drama" in 2001.

    • Dawn co-authored two books on knitting, Big Knits and Great Big Knits, which provide knitting patterns for larger ladies.

    • Dawn lives in Berkshire with her husband, Lenny Henry and their daughter, Billie.

    • Dawn's favourite singers are Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones.

    • Dawn frequently appeared on the Whose Line Is It Anyway? radio show but never appeared on the TV version of the show.

  • Quotes

    • Dawn French: The Vicar has been a life-affirming show for me so knowing we won't be doing it again and our little gang will be disbanding has left me a bit teary.

    • Dawn French: I personally wouldn't be seen dead or alive in a kagool. But it was very useful for filming since it rained every single day.

    • Dawn French: I never do any television without chocolate. That's my motto and I live by it. Quite often I write the scripts and I make sure there are chocolate scenes. Actually I'm a bit of a chocolate tart and will eat anything. It's amazing I'm so slim.

    • Dawn French: I loved working with Catherine Tate. She's a fantastic improviser. She was quite pregnant when we did this show and therefore I wasn't allowed to hit her very much, which is another treat I'm looking forward to in Series Two.

    • Dawn French: I keep my own personality in a cupboard under the stairs at home so that no one else can see it or nick it.

    • Dawn French: I have had the unfortunate experience of having someone write an unauthorised biography of me. Half of it is lies and the other half is badly written. My feeling is that if I'm going to write my life story, I ought to have my life first.

    • Dawn French: I enjoyed teaching very much. I taught from 11 up to 18. I taught Drama and English. However, I have absolutely no training as an actress - as is blatantly obvious.

    • Dawn French: I don't think my family would put up with me being anything else. They are my strictist critics and wouldn't allow me to have any airs or graces.

    • Dawn French: I am not, I repeat, NOT a lesbian - even though I'd like to be one when I grow up.

    • Dawn French: Hugh Grant tastes of mint whereas Steve Thompkinson tastes of bubblegum.

    • Dawn French: Fawlty Towers was an enormous favourite. I once laughed so hard with my dad at this series that I actually wet my pants and then my dad wet his. We were in genuine physical pain with laughing. Lovely.

    • Dawn French: Brit sitcom is usually good character observation and less gags. The Americans love the comedy to be high gag quota and slick.

  • Not only an amazing actress and comedian,but a testament to the success of marriage in a mixed race relationship.A great spokeswoman for the rubenesque and happy out there (you all gorgeous) who at nearly 50 still looks beautiful and still has her talent.moreless

    Dawn French is beautiful,i spend every day jealous of Lenny Henry.She is sexy,talented and generally an all round star.If only more rubenesque women could stand up and share their talent without fear of the size-ist community.

    i just wait with bated breath for her Playboy appearance!!

    She is my ideal woman and i dont just mean physically,i have always enjoyed her work and would love to spend a day with her and see one of her shows.

    god bless the partnership of french and saunders and may they keep going forever.

    they could certainly teach other so-called comedians a thing or two.

    besides which her hubby is from the same place as memoreless
  • why is it when sum1 mentions dawn french peeps immediate thought is oh yeah the fat 1

    although i'm not overweight myself there was a time i thought a fat person meant leggings and no life but i think that was durin my horrible phase now i'v realised that bigger people are beautiful dawn french-over the years she has endured loadsa slatin from peeps but she never lets it get her down

    she is a talented actress and a really great comedian and who cares if she's overweight she's big,bold,and,beautiful

    plus has ne1 noticed how gorgous she looks when she's takin the p*s* outta cath zeta-jones on french and saunders

    mail-me'an'tell me wot u fink