Kathy Burke: Wikis


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Katherine Lucy Bridget Burke
Born 13 June 1964 (1964-06-13) (age 45)
Royal Free Hospital, London, England
Years active 1982 - present
Official website

Katherine Lucy Bridget Burke (born 13 June 1964, Camden) is an English actress, comedienne, playwright and theatre director.


Family and upbringing

She was born at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and raised in the Irish area of Islington. Her mother died of cancer when she was two, and she was raised by neighbours (the Galvin family) for the following few years. Subsequently, she returned to live with her father, a violent alcoholic, who died of cancer in the 1990s. Burke attended the Maria Fidelis RC Convent School. She has two brothers.


Burke's first role was in the controversial 1983 film Scrubbers, directed by Swedish actress Mai Zetterling and featuring Pam St. Clement, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolyes, Honey Bane, Debby Bishop and Eva Mottley. The movie was set in a young offenders' institute for girls and was seen as a female version of the infamous Scum.

Burke first became familiar to television audiences as a player of minor roles in sketches by better-known performers such as Harry Enfield, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Early TV work included regular appearances on the eponymous chat show hosted by Jonathan Ross on UK Channel 4 in the early 1980s, playing the character 'Tina Bishop'. Bishop was a continually pregnant "expert" offering advice on household chores, always with disastrous results. Along with French & Saunders, she has contributed to two Comic Relief charity singles. She first appeared as a member of Bananarama parody band Lananeeneenoonoo in 1989, and then as a member of Spice Girls' lookalike band The Sugar Lumps in 1997. In real life Burke is a big fan of Morrissey and appeared in the video for his 1989 single "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" and later in the 2002 Channel 4 documentary The Importance Of Being Morrissey.

She quickly became successful in her own right and although mainly associated with comedy, she has played several serious roles including that of Queen Mary I of England in Elizabeth.

Burke won the Best Actress award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for her role in the gritty drama Nil by Mouth.[1] Since then she has appeared as Perry in Kevin and Perry Go Large, and as Linda La Hughes in Gimme Gimme Gimme. In 2000 She appeared in the cult film Love Honour and Obey with Ray Burdis.

In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.

Since 2001 she has refrained from acting and has thrown herself into theatre directing; something she considers to be one of her true passions.[2] She said in an interview with Dawn French in Dawn French's Girls Who do Comedy that she no longer felt the same creative energy associated with acting that she used to (she described it as a "feeling in my belly") and that this was the reason she had stopped acting. However, she has done some voiceover work in the past few years, including adverts for Ski yoghurt (in the UK) as well as Flushed Away (2006). She also appeared in the 2007 Christmas Special of The Catherine Tate Show as Nan's daughter.

In 2007, Burke contracted Clostridium difficile while in hospital for an operation, resulting in her having to pass directing duties on Dying for It at the Almeida theatre (which starred Charlie Condou and Sophie Stanton who she worked with on Gimme Gimme Gimme).[3]

In 2009, Burke made her television directorial debut with the BBC Three sketch show series Horne & Corden, starring Mathew Horne and James Corden.[4]

Film and television appearances


As director


External links

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