Cherie Mary Lunghi (born 4 April 1952) is an English film, television and theatre actress, well known to British audiences for her starring roles in many TV dramas. Her international fame stems from her role as Guinevere in the 1981 film Excalibur. Her long list of screen, stage and TV credits include football manageress Gabriella Benson in the 1990s television series The Manageress and a series of adverts for Kenco coffee. She also competed in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing. She is the mother of the actress Nathalie Lunghi.
Lunghi was born in Nottingham. Her father, Alessandro Lunghi, was Italian and her mother, Gladys Lee, was English. After her father returned to Italy, she was brought up in west London by her mother and her aunts.
Educated at London's Arts Educational School, Lunghi played Hedvig in The Wild Duck and Alice in Alice in Wonderland on BBC radio while still at school. After graduating from Homerton College, Cambridge and London's Central School of Speech and Drama, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 1970s, taking leading roles such as Perdita, Cordelia and Viola. She left the RSC to pursue a career in film, landing the role of Guinevere in the 1981 film Excalibur.
Lunghi has a daughter, actress Nathalie Lunghi (née Nathalie-Kathleen Mary Lunghi-Joffé), by director Roland Joffé. After the birth of her daughter and the breakdown of her relationship with Joffe she took various short-term parts, including playing the band members' mutual love interest in the music video for Level 42's song "Something About You".
She starred in the 1982 television serial Praying Mantis, based on the book (Les Mantes Religieuses) by Hubert Monteilhet. The thriller co-starred Pinkas Braun, Carmen du Sautoy and Jonathan Pryce. In the mid-1980s she relocated to Los Angeles for eight years, but returned to England to care for her mother. She took on the lead role in football drama The Manageress. As a result, in 1995 she was placed 92nd in the "100 Sexiest Women in the World" by the publishers of FHM magazine. In addition to film and television work, she is perhaps best known for appearing in a long-running advertising campaign on British television for Kenco coffee from the late 1990s onwards...
Quotes by Cherie Lunghi
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