Dawn French

From Academic Kids

Dawn French (born October 11 1957) is a British comedienne and actress best known as one half of the comic duo French & Saunders.

French was born in Holyhead, Wales. She first came to public attention as a member of The Comic Strip -- part of the alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s. Here she met her future husband Lenny Henry, with whom she has an adopted daughter. A successful television series French and Saunders followed in 1987. Her first post-Saunders project was Murder Most Horrid, a dark comedy satire of murder mysteries.

Her biggest solo television role to date has been as the title figure in the long running BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley, created by Richard Curtis. Since finishing The Vicar of Dibley, she starred in the BBC sitcom Wild West, in which she plays a woman living in Cornwall who is a lesbian more through lack of choice than any specific natural urge. This series was not met with as much success as her earlier role. She played the "Fat Lady" in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, replacing the less well-known actress Elizabeth Spriggs who played the character in the first film of the series.

As a particularly large woman she is known for her efforts to promote the notion that big can be beautiful. As part of this she has her own line of clothes, Sixteen 47 [1] (http://www.sixteen47.com/), deriving its name from the statistic that 47% of the British female population are at least a size 16. It aims to produce clothes that larger woman can look beautiful in. For her large size and admitted chocoholism, she was chosen as the face of the confection, Terry's Chocolate Orange using the slogan "they're not Terry's, they're mine."

In 2001 she and Saunders declined an Order of the British Empire. In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.

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