Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte Rampling (February 5, 1946) is a highly acclaimed English actress whose career spans four decades and delves into French and Italian cinema.

Rampling was born in Sturmer, England in 1946, the daughter of Anne Isabelle (née Gurteen), a painter, and Godfrey Rampling, an Olympic gold medalist and army officer. She was educated at Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles, France and at the exclusive St. Hilda's school in Bushley, England.

After beginning her career at age seventeen in a commercial role and as a model, Rampling's first screen appearance was uncredited as a water skier in Richard Lester's sex comedy film The Knack...and How to Get It in 1965, which was followed a year later by the role of Meredith in the film Georgy Girl. After this, her acting career blossomed in both English and French cinema.

Rampling has often performed controversial roles. In 1969, in Luchino Visconti's The Damned, she played a young wife sent to a concentration camp. This role redrew Rampling entirely as mysterious, tragic, even sinister. "The Look" as co-star Dirk Bogarde called it, became her trademark. In perhaps her most famous role in 1974's The Night Porter she portrayed a former concentration camp inmate entangled in a sado-masochistic relationship with her former guard who tortured her throughout captivity, played by Bogarde.

In 1972, Rampling married actor Bryan Southcombe. They lived in a ménage à trois with a male model, Randall Laurence and had one child, Barnaby, before divorcing in 1976. Barnaby Southcombe is now a successful television director. In 1978, she married French composer Jean Michel Jarre and had a son, magician David Jarre. She also raised stepdaughter Émilie Jarre, now a fashion designer. The marriage was publicly dissolved in 1997 when she found out via tabloid newspaper stories about Jarre's affairs with other women and had a nervous breakdown. She has been engaged to Jean-Noël Tassez, a French communications tycoon, since 1998.

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