Jennifer Saunders facts: Comedy star's age, husband, children and career explained

24 November 2023, 15:42

Jennifer Saunders in 2018
Jennifer Saunders in 2018. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Jennifer Saunders is one of the most celebrated and influential figures in British comedy.

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She has been making audiences laugh for over four decades with her witty and versatile performances, her brilliant writing, and her iconic characters.

From her early days as a member of The Comic Strip, to her long-running partnership with Dawn French, to her creation of the cult classic sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Saunders has proven herself to be a master of humour and satire.

  1. How old is Jennifer Saunders and where is she from?

    Jennifer Saunders is 65 years old as 2023, and she is from Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. She was born on July 6, 1958.

    Her parents are Jane Saunders, a biology teacher, and Robert Thomas Saunders, an RAF pilot.

    She has three brothers.

  2. How did she get her start in comedy?

    French And Saunders Backstage At Hammersmith
    French And Saunders Backstage At Hammersmith. Picture: Getty

    Jennifer Saunders got her start in comedy when she met her future comedy partner, Dawn French, at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London in 1977.

    They formed a comedy duo called the Menopause Sisters, later renamed French and Saunders, and performed at various venues, including The Comedy Store and The Comic Strip.

    They also joined other comedians such as Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, and Alexei Sayle to create sketch shows for television, such as The Comic Strip Presents… and Girls on Top.

    Saunders and French became famous for their parodies of popular culture, their original characters, and their chemistry as a comedy team. They received a BAFTA Fellowship in 2009 for their contribution to British comedy.

  3. What are her other famous TV and film roles?

    Absolutely Fabulous
    Absolutely Fabulous. Picture: Getty

    Some of Jennifer Saunders’ other famous TV and film roles outside her work with Dawn French are:

    • Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous, a sitcom that she created and wrote, which follows the lives of two self-absorbed and dysfunctional women in the fashion industry, opposite Joanna Lumley. She won two BAFTA Awards for Best Comedy Performance for this role.
    • Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2, an animated film where she voiced the villainous character who tries to ruin Shrek and Fiona’s marriage. She also sang the song “Holding Out for a Hero” in the film’s soundtrack.
    • Miss April Spink in Coraline, an animated film based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, where she voiced one of the eccentric neighbours of the titular character who has a secret door to another world.
    • Margaret Thatcher in The Hunt for Tony Blair, a spoof film where she played the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who is on the run from the police for murder.
  4. Who is her husband and does she have kids?

    Jennifer Saunders and Ade Edmondson in 2019
    Jennifer Saunders and Ade Edmondson in 2019. Picture: Getty

    Jennifer Saunders is married to Adrian Edmondson, a fellow famous comedian and actor who is known for his roles in The Young Ones, Bottom, and The Comic Strip Presents…

    They met at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London in 1977 and became part of the alternative comedy scene in the 1980s.

    Jennifer Saunders with daughter Beattie
    Jennifer Saunders with daughter Beattie. Picture: Getty

    They have three daughters together: Ella, Beattie, and Freya. Ella is a singer-songwriter and a clinical psychology student, and she is married to Dan Furlong, with whom she has three children.

    Beattie is also a comedian and actress who has appeared in some of her mother’s shows.