Dawn French

Dawn French

Highest Rated: 91% Coraline (2009)

Lowest Rated: 20% Love and Other Disasters (2006)

Birthday: Oct 11, 1957

Birthplace: Holyhead, Wales

Best known as one-half of the British sketch comedy team French and Saunders and as the star of the long-running sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, the unabashedly full-figured, rubber-faced Welsh comedienne Dawn French began life in the harbor town of Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales, on October 11, 1957. As a young woman, French trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, where she famously met fellow student Jennifer Saunders, then another aspiring comic. The two not only forged a lifelong friendship, but teamed up at the tail end of the 1970s as a comedy act. French suggested that they audition in response to a Stage magazine ad for up-and-coming comedians; this led instantly to a niche at the infamous Comic Strip Club, performing alongside Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson, and others on a weekly basis. A regular gig with this troupe on its BBC "movie spoof" sketch comedy series The Comic Strip Presents -- which ran from 1982 to 1988, with a four-year revival in 1990 and a three-year revival in 1998 -- so furthered public awareness of French and Saunders and dramatically heightened their popularity that a spin-off series was naturally inevitable. French & Saunders debuted in 1987 to off-the-chart ratings and sensational critical reviews. The pair scripted and starred in episodes; French's most famous and beloved bits included caricatures of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Madonna, and Cher. French debuted in feature films circa 1987, alongside Saunders and many of her Comic Strip cohorts, in the jet-black comedy Eat the Rich -- a spoof of cannibalism with guest spots by Paul McCartney, Koo Stark, Robbie Coltrane, and others. The film, however, was understandably reviled by critics on both sides of the Atlantic and disappeared quickly, which may explain why French gravitated back to television. Alongside her ongoing involvement in French & Saunders as a writer and performer (which continued through the first several years of the new millennium), French launched a second series in 1994, The Vicar of Dibley. The program cast her as the supremely unconventional and irreverent (female) vicar of the title -- a new arrival in a village of eccentric people -- with a flair for devouring mounds of chocolate and tossing out potshots and double-entendres left and right. Vicar, like French & Saunders, scored with the public and press and lasted 13 years, finally wrapping in January 2007. In 2004, French -- perhaps having fully rebounded from the Eat the Rich debacle -- returned in full glory to feature films, this time more respectably and to improved critical reception. She lent a supporting role as The Fat Lady (in the painting) in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and voiced Mrs. Beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). French also essayed the role of a therapist in Alek Keshishian's Love and Other Disasters, starring Brittany Murphy and Matthew Rhys. She voiced Miss Forcible in the 2007 animated fantasy Coraline. The characterization of The Fat Lady in Harry Potter is not a unique one for French. Early on, the comic actress used her weight (which has visibly increased over the years) as a key source of her schtick, not only in her BBC series but also in television advertisements. In late 2001, she did spots in the U.K. for Terry's Chocolate Orange segment candies which had her notoriously refusing to share, and an ad for Terry's Chocolate Orange Snowballs which had French rolling down a giant ski slope until she resembled a massive snowball. Off-camera, French is a vociferous proponent of "full-figured" women and markets the oversized female clothing line Sixteen 47 throughout Great Britain.


Highest Rated Movies



58% Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Executive Producer $4.8M 2016
25% Animals United (Konferenz der Tiere) Actor $0.6M 2010
91% Coraline Miss Forcible $75.2M 2009
20% Love and Other Disasters Therapist 2006
76% The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Mrs. Beaver $291.7M 2005
90% Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Fat Lady in Painting $249.4M 2004
No Score Yet Milk Viginia 2001
No Score Yet French & Saunders Live Actor 2000
50% Maybe Baby Charlene 2000
No Score Yet Winter In Watership Down Actor 1999
No Score Yet David Copperfield Actor 1999
No Score Yet Journey to Watership Down Actor 1999
No Score Yet Treasure Island Actor 1997
27% The Adventures of Pinocchio (Les aventures de Pinocchio) Baker's wife 1996
43% Eat the Rich Debbie Draws 1987
No Score Yet Supergrass Andrea 1985


No Score Yet Delicious
No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show
Guest 2019
95% The Wrong Mans
Linda 2014
No Score Yet Miss Marple
No Score Yet Mystery!
Janet Erskine 2006
No Score Yet Masterpiece
Mrs. Crupp 2000
96% Absolutely Fabulous
Creator Kathy Screenwriter 1992
No Score Yet French & Saunders
No Score Yet The Vicar of Dibley
Rev. Geraldine Granger
No Score Yet Travel Man: 48 Hours in...


Mrs. Beaver says: It's the world, dear. Did you expect it to be small?

Susan Pevensie says: Smaller.

Mrs. Beaver says: You've been sneaking second helpings, haven't you?

Mr. Beaver says: Well, you never know which meal's gonna be your last. Especially with your cooking.

Miss Spink says: Never wear green in your dressing room!

Miss Forcible says: Acquire a very tall stepladder.

Miss Spink says: And be very, very careful.

Miss Spink says: Giraffes don't just fall out of the sky, Miriam! *Taffy bowl falls*

Miss Spink says: Giraffes don't just fall out of the sky, Miriam! [Taffy bowl falls]

Miss Forcible says: Oh! Lord.

Miss Spink says: I see a very peculiar hand...

Miss Forcible says: *turns cup around* I see a giraffe.

Miss Forcible says: [turns cup around] I see a giraffe.