Kathy Burke

Kathy Burke


6/13/1964, Islington, London, England

Birth Name

Katherine Lucy Bridget Burke


out of 10
User Rating
15 votes


Kathy Burke was born in Islington, London in 1964. attended the Maria Fidelis Secondary School in Euston. She was encouraged to act at school and enrolled at the famous Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. When Kathy was 17 years old she was spotted by film director Mai…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Kathy Burke is reputed to have turned down a role in the Harry Potter films.

    • Kathy Burke has been a vegetarian since her early twenties.

    • Kathy Burke won the Royal Television Society's Best Actress award in 1993 for playing handicapped Martha in the TV drama Mr Wroe's Virgins.

    • British actor Stephen Fry believes that Kathy Burke belongs in "Room Lovely," the anti-thesis of George Orwell's Room 101.

    • Kathy Burke starred in the music video Ouija Board, Ouija Board for the singer Morrissey.

    • Kathy Burke's mother died of cancer when she was 18 months old.

    • Kathy Burke has noted that her favourite directors are Todd Solondz and Shane Meadows.

    • Kathy Burke has said her perfect man is a plumber who can read.

    • Kathy Burke was listed as one of the 50 funniest acts in Britain by The Observer newspaper in 2003.

    • Kathy Burke has contributed to two Comic Relief charity singles.

    • The British actor Ray Winstone gave Kathy the nickname "Rita the Rottweiler."

    • Kathy has turned down several proposals of marriage, including one from a vicar and another from a professor.

    • Kathy Burke has been described by one British newspaper as, "the best British character actress of her generation."

    • Kathy Burke was added to the Who's Who? 2006 addition.

    • Kathy was 16 when she first went to the Anna Scher Theatre School.

    • Kathy Burke received the Best Comedy Actress award for Gimme Gimme Gimme at the British Comedy Awards in 2002.

    • Kathy Burke directed the play 'Betty' by Karen McLachlan at the Vaudville Theatre in London.

    • Kathy Burke was one of 18 writers to be involved in The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball in 1989 as well performing in it.

    • She is 5 foot 3 inches tall, with hazel eyes and brown hair.

    • Kathy Burke was born at the Royal Free Hospital, London on 13 June 1964.

    • In a 20-year span, she has managed to play lead roles in every conceivable acting outlet and portray everything from a deranged Queen of England, to a confused and horny (male) teenager, to a battered and defiant housewife.

    • She has worked with just about every big name in British acting from Gary Oldman, Mike Leigh, Robert Carlyle, Shane Meadows, Cate Blanchett, Rhys Ifans, Ray Winstone, Ricky Tomlinson; every comedy hero from Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Lee Evans; and the odd Hollywood movie star (Meryl Streep).

    • She told the media in 2002 that her acting career was over and she was going to concentrate instead on creating shows, rather than being a small cog in a big wheel.

    • She won three Best Actress awards for Nil by Mouth, including the Cannes Palme D'Or, for her extraordinary performance.

    • She directed her first play - the darkly humourous Mr Thomas that she had written aged just 22.

    • Her mother died of cancer when she was just two and she was raised by foster neighbors until the age of six when she returned to her alcoholic Irish builder father and two older brothers.

    • She suddenly popped into the nation's consciousness at age 26 when she appeared on TV in Harry Enfield's Television Show.

    • She played Angie, the mum of a dysfunctional family alongside Lee Evans in the film 'The Martins.'

  • Quotes

    • Kathy: I got to a point where I knew I had got some sort of respectability within the business and that's all I aimed for. I just wanted to be taken seriously. But I do remember thinking: 'Now I've enough respect to be able to be responsible for other people working.' Which is nice.

    • Kathy: I love drinking. I did stop about three years ago but now I'm back to having a tipple. My current poison is vodka but it used to be beer. I had to stop drinking it as it turns me into such a fat fucker. That's what makes me fat: the booze, not the grub. I can't drink wine or Champagne as I'm allergic to them.

    • (Regarding Gimme Gimme Gimme)
      Kathy: There was a lot of criticism: it was one of those 'loved it' or 'hated it' things. It was one of my favourite things. Linda was loosely based on someone Jonathan knew. There was a woman at college with him who wasn't attractive but thought she was and was also a compulsive liar.

    • Kathy: People started to get really body-conscious when camcorders came along. They suddenly saw what they really looked like. You look in the mirror and see what you want to see but when you find out how other people see you, it's a bit of a shock.

    • Kathy: You can go in and out of fashion - I was in fashion for a while, but there are new people coming up all the time. I certainly don't take it for granted that I can step back into acting whenever I wish. I just haven't got the inkling to do it right now.

    • Kathy: When you meet people you admire there's always a chance it'll be a disappointment, so I try to avoid it now, really.

    • (On whether she'd ever play Waynetta Slob or Linda from Gimme Gimme Gimme again)
      Kathy: Never. They're both dead. Waynetta exploded after eating too much pizza and Linda exploded after eating - probably her own crap. I'm a bit old for those characters now.

    • Kathy: Lots of people find film sets very exciting - and I used to - but as I've got older I find them really dull. I just spent my time sitting in caravans giving myself cancer [smoking].

    • Kathy: When I was younger I was a bit cheeky and didn't keep it to myself if I thought someone was pretty useless. You learn the art of diplomacy as you get older and keep your mouth shut.

    • (On how she chooses which directing jobs to take)
      Kathy: You get sent stuff and if I feel that I'm able to do it then I'll go ahead and do it. I don't have a list of plays that I would like to do, it doesn't work like that.

    • Kathy: I've been doing it [acting] since I was 17 and it doesn't matter what job you're in, you're going to get a bit sick of it after 20 years. I was just very lucky that I had directing to fall back on.

    • (On reading her reviews)
      Kathy: It's one person's opinion and a person I don't know, so I couldn't give a flying fuck what they think. That doesn't mean that they aren't necessary. Just that I don't pay any heed to them

    • Kathy: I get a great deal of job satisfaction from directing. I stopped acting because I was starting not to love it and I thought that would come across to the audience.

    • (On the proposal she received from the Professor)
      Kathy: The professor wrote that his first wife wasn't very attractive either so I thought, well, he's fucked that.

    • Kathy: When you are called a character actress it's because you are too ugly to be called a leading lady.

  • Simply a legend!

    Kathy Burke is one hell of a funny women. Her distinctive blunt nature and down to earth attitude set her apart from the shower of phony celebrities. She is a honest and genuine woman, the strength and humility that comes with this defines her style as a comdianne and is exactly why she is funny.

    Kathy can make fun of herself and not just others. As agressive as she can be she is equally endearing. Shes obviously very intellegent but plays stupid (eg 'Linda') amazingly. This balance and range is what makes her so good.

    All this can be summed in her Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Charecter Linda, one of the best sitcoms charecters period. No one else could have done that charecter yet you could be forgiven for not knowing it was Kathy Burke. Burke becomes someone else when that ginger wig goes on. In body language and facial expressions alone she creates and incredibly funny charecter. She's infinatly funny when she begins speaking, going from nieve to vulgar or vunrable to vicious. One classic moment summing this up is when she talks about her 'pattie' sharing what would otherwise be a cute innocent memory yet quite vulgar at the same time.

    Basically I aint got bad word to say about the women. I did once wonder if she was a genuine as she seemed, Then I sawe her on the F word wanting a can of Special Brew! Love her!moreless
  • Funnier and funnier...

    Kathy Burke is seriously one of the comedy greats. She can do alsmot anything with wit, class and style. From appearances in Absolutely Fabulous or starring in Gimme Gimme Gimme - everything she does makes you laugh. She's probably one of the best British comedy actresses we have at the moment even topping family favourites like Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. If you're easily offended I wouldn't recommend watching half the things Kathy has starred or appeared in but she's done some serious films, too. Catch her in one of these if you gross comedy is not your cup of tea. There shouldn't be any reason Kathy Burke isn't better known all over the world. She's fantastic!moreless