My Secret Life: Felicity Kendal, actress, 61


The house/flat I grew up in.... was a mixture of hostels, dark bungalows, hotels, guest houses, palaces and railway stations. Until I was 20, I had no fixed home.

When I was a child I wanted to be... ordinary. There was nothing about my life that was that normal, I spent my childhood attending different schools and travelling the world with a group of actors.



The moment that changed me for ever ... was when my first child was born, in 1973. I became a different person as all my values changed; suddenly there was someone in my life more important than myself.



My greatest inspiration....is my mother. She was a very independent woman who worked hard, had a lot of moral fibre, was very well educated, amusing and had a great sense of enjoying life.



My real-life villain ... is Hitler. Though he's dead, he's still pretty alive in some ways. I imagine he'd get a few votes.



If I could change one thing about myself ... it would definitely be my bad eyesight. I have a stigma which means I suffer both long and short-sightedness. Oh for 20/20 vision.



At night I dream of ... very little. I rarely dream these days but when I do, it tends to be when I'm stressed and the subject focuses around what's going on in my life. It's rather unsettling.



What I see when I look in the mirror ....I see nothing much, everything's rather fuzzy without the assistance of a magnifying glass. With the aid of such a tool, I'd see a close-up of eyes applying mascara.



My style icon.... is the Maharini of Jaipur, Gayatri Devi. I remember seeing her when I was a child and thinking she looked and smelled beautiful; she was the most exquisite looking creature, stunning in her youth, and with age has retained amazing poise and grace.



My favourite item of clothing ... is a very old black linen man's waistcoat, which my son wore as a child, and I still wear now. It was second-hand when I bought it and has his name tag sewn onto the label.



I wish I'd never worn ... either of my wedding dresses, which were both ghastly. It's a good enough reason not to marry again.



It's not fashionable but I like ... cargo pants. They're very much done and over if you're of that way of thinking, but I just love them.



You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... parking. I can get a car in pretty much any space with inches to spare.



You may not know it but I'm no good at ... tolerating rudeness. I try to be very nice at all times, but I just cannot tolerate rudeness, be it big, small, posh or public, it causes me to give an exaggerated response to people.



All my money goes on ... things, all sorts of things; some are necessary and some are not. I'm a bit of a hoarder but tend to buy things for others in the main.



If I have time to myself ... walk the dog or pluck my eyebrows.



I drive/ride ... a Black Jeep Cherokee and love to ride a bicycle given half the chance, but I'm rarely without dog, shopping or child, which makes balancing rather tricky.



My house/flat is ... for now. Bricks and mortar are not where security lies, well not for me; they never have been.



My most valuable possession is ... my family. I try not to attach too much value to material things, you can do without those.



My favourite building ...is my house in the country, it's the only building I actually think I would like to be around indefinitely. It's not particularly beautiful or grand in any way, but it's the closest to what I'd call home.



Movie heaven ... is popcorn and Some Like it Hot. The film is like popcorn, light and enjoyable; it's a marvellous relief. Though there are wonderful gruelling films, you don't want to revisit them regularly. I tend to like things that make the sun come out.



A book that changed me ... is Sheila Kitzinger's book on natural childbirth. It gave me the courage to do what I wanted to do, in the face of doctors trying to shout me down.



My favourite works of art ... are my two granddaughters.



The last album I bought/downloaded ... is by Israel kamakanino'ole, who is sadly now dead. He was a rather enormous singer, literally, who did this slow, jazzy version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow which is heaven on earth.



The person who really makes me laugh... is my ex-husband. He's an American Jew and that typical type of humour gets me any time of day or night, it's just sublime.



The shop I can't walk past is ... my chemist.



The best invention ever ... is the wheel, I guess; from that we have all the things we need and use. And without it I'd be minus my Jeep.



In ten years time, I hope to be ... alive.



My greatest regret ... I object to the concept of regret. You can regret hurting people, perhaps, but then something else wouldn't have happened. We should come to terms with something we've done and say sorry, but really we've got to keep moving forward. Roll on, that's why we invented the wheel!



My life in seven words ... apart from the tragedies: it is fucking marvellous, I would say.



Felicity Kendal CBE was born in Warwickshire on 25 September 1946. An actress, she is still perhaps best known for her role in the Seventies sitcom, The Good Life. She grew up as part of a family acting troupe, travelling around India, n experience on which the 1965 film Shakespeare-Wallah was based. She had two sons by her first husband, Drewe Henley, and a third by er second husband, the director Michael Rudman, before they split. She was Tom Stoppard’s partner in the Nineties before reuniting with Rudman, with whom she now lives in London. She stars in The Vortex at the Apollo Theatre (08708901101)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own