Rita Tushingham

Active - 1961 - Present  |   Born - Mar 14, 1940   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The daughter of a Liverpool pharmacist, Rita Tushingham developed a flair for acting while attending convent school. At 16, Rita made her first appearance at the Liverpool Rep, playing Rabbit and "Back Legs of Horse" in Toad of Toad Hall. She made her 1961 film debut in somewhat more adult fare: as Jo, the maltreated teenaged heroine of the "kitchen sink" drama A Taste of Honey, she won the BFA "most promising newcomer" award. Her fey, eccentric characterizations in such films as The Leather Boys (1963) and The Girl With Green Eyes (1963) rapidly elevated Tushingham to "critic's darling" status. By 1970, however, her love affair with the press had ended. Forming a production company with director Desmond Davis, Tushingham hoped to jump-start her film career, but things didn't turn out as planned. After a few so-so foreign films and a starring stint on the TV series No Strings, she retired in 1979, making a comeback in the 1986 film Judgement in Stone, directed by her second husband, Ousama Rawi. More recently, Rita Tushingham made a delightful appearance as Aunt Lily in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995).

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