Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling, OBE (born February 5, 1946 in Sturmer, Essex) is an English actress and former model. She is noted for her appearances in French films.

She attended Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles and St. Hilda's School, a boarding school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England.

After beginning her acting career at age seventeen in a starring commercial role and working as a model for a while, Rampling's first screen role was uncredited as a water skier in Richard Lester's 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.

Young Rampling was sexy in the skinny, boyish way favored by the times. Despite an early flurry of success, however, she told The Independent, "We weren't happy. It was a nightmare, breaking the rules and all that. Everyone seemed to be having fun, but they were taking so many drugs they wouldn't know it anyway."[1]

Rampling has often performed controversial roles. In 1969, in Luchino Visconti's The Damned (La Caduta degli dei), 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. [2] In 1974's The Night Porter she portrayed a former concentration camp inmate entangled in a sado-masochistic relationship with her former guard, played by Bogarde. Rampling's 2005 film at age 59 was Laurent Cantet's Heading South (Vers le Sud), a film about female sexual tourism. She plays Ellen, a professor of French literature and single Englishwoman, who holidays in 1970s Haiti to get the sexual attention she does not get at home. On her choice of roles, Rampling says, "I generally don't make films to entertain people. I choose the parts that challenge me to break through my own barriers. A need to devour, punish, humiliate, or surrender seems to be a primal part of human nature, and it's certainly a big part of sex. To discover what normal means, you have to surf a tide of weirdness." [3]

The actress gained recognition from American audiences in 1975's detective story Farewell, My Lovely and later with Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980) and particularly in The Verdict, an acclaimed drama directed by Sidney Lumet that starred Paul Newman.

One of Rampling's recent roles embodied a personal twist: The character she played in François Ozon's Swimming Pool (2003), Sarah Morton, was named after her oldest sister Sarah who, after giving birth prematurely in 1966, committed suicide at the age of 23. [4] For most of Rampling's life she would say only that her sister had died of a brain hemorrhage; when she and her father heard the news, they agreed they would never let Charlotte's mother know the truth. They kept their secret until Rampling's mother died in 2001.

Charlotte Rampling

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