Sunday 5 August 2018

Happy Birthday Wanda Ventham!

August really is the month for Carry On related birthdays! Celebrating today is the actress Wanda Ventham, who turns 83. Wanda is perhaps best known today as the mother of that superb actor Benedict Cumberbatch, however Ms Ventham has an enviable acting career herself, dating all the way back to the 1950s.

Wanda worked for Peter Rogers Productions on three separate occasions during the 1960s. She first appeared in Carry On Cleo in 1964, playing the "Pretty Bidder" at the slave auction who is rather keen on Jim Dale! The following year Wanda was cast as Dot Franklin in the sparkling crime caper The Big Job which starred Sid James, Joan Sims and Dick Emery. Wanda returned to Pinewood for one final Carry On three years later. In 1968 she played the Khasi's First Wife, who turned up to right a wrong with Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond!

Wanda's other film roles in include parts in The Navy Lark (1959); Death is a Woman (1966); The Blood Beast Terror (1968) and most recently, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in 2016, which saw her act alongside fellow Carry On veteran Dame June Whitfield. On television, Wanda had an early starring role as Shirley in The Rag Trade in 1962 and has also popped up in such classic series as The Saint, The Likely Lads, The Avengers, The Prisoner and The Sweeney. More recently Wanda appeared in three episodes of Sherlock, playing Mrs Holmes, mother of the title character played by her real life son Benedict!

Whatever Wanda is up to today I hope she has an excellent birthday.

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