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30 Lesser Known Facts About The British Actress Tracey Ullman

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Tracey Ullman, currently the richest female British comedian, the second richest British actress and the third richest British comedian overall, is world renowned for her work in her own BBC sketch comedy show "Tracey Ullman's Show." Here are some interesting things to know about the actress:

  1. She was born on December 30, 1959, in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England, and later migrated to United States in 2006. She is descendent of mixed race with her father hailing from Poland and her mother is of a Roman ancestry.
  2. She is the younger of two daughters to Dorin and Antony John Ullman. Her father, who had served in the Polish Army, died of heart attack when she was six years old. Her mother did odd jobs to take care of the family.
  3. As a teenager she was good at mimicking and would imitate neighbors, teachers, family members and celebrities such as Julie Andrew and Edith Piaf. She would perform all for herself in front of the mirror.
  4. She had an upper middle class upbringing and credits her sense of humor to her family. She credits her sense of humor to a feeling of both classlessness and as well as her mother’s working class roots apart from influence of her uncle Butch Castle.
  5. Her mother married for the second time and with it came Alcoholism and domestic violence in the household. She had to move around the country attending different schools where her mimicry helped in transition.
  6. She won a full scholarship to ‘Italia Conti Academy’ a theatre art school, when she was twelve and appeared on the ‘The Tommy Steele’ Show a year later. She also took up modeling with ‘My Guy’ magazine.
  7. Ullman’s interest in theatre began to wane as she realized her shortcoming of her physical appearance and attached very little value to education. She was thinking of an alternate profession of being a travel agent.
  8. Ullman joined a dance troupe ‘Second Generation’ and went about performing in London, Blackpool and Liverpool, for a brief period ending abruptly when she forgot to wear underwear during a performance.
  9. She contested in a ‘Royal Court Theatre; Four in a Million’ competition out of shear boredom working in a paper product distribution company. She enacted a born-again Christian chanteuse and won the ‘London Critics Circle Theatre Award’ as the ‘Most Promising New Actress.’
  10. She was noticed by BBC and was cast in the Scotland sketch comedy program‘A Kick up the Eighties’ which led to successful career in television. She became a household name in Britain and the British referring to her as one of ours.
  11. A chance encounter with wife of Punk music label ‘Stiff Records,’ Dave Robinson, led her into recording her first music album, ‘You Broke My Heart in 17 Places’ in 1983 and followed it up with ‘You Caught Me Out.’
  12. Apart from two albums she had six singles and by January 1985 six of her songs,Breakaway, They Don’t Know, Move over Darling, My Guy, Sunglasses, Helpless and Terry were in the UK Top 100 lists.
  13. The BBC offered her a slot for her own series and the ‘Three of a Kind’ co-starring comedians Lenny Henry and David Copperfield made its debut in 1981. She was awarded her first ‘BAFTA’ in the category of Best Light Entertainment in 1984.
  14. Ullman married producer Allan McKeown in 1983 and they have two children Mabel and Johnny. Mabel is into politics and contested for Labour party in 2015 and Johnny is an actor and writer. Allan McKeown died on December 2013 three days short of 30th marriage anniversary.
  15. In 1985, on her husband’s persuasion, she moved to Los Angeles high on confidence. She struck a deal with CBS Television for series titled ‘I Love New York’ which did not takeoff. She was appalled by their interference and materialistic attitude.
  16. On April 05, 1987, Ullman starred in the variety show ‘The Tracey Ullman Show’ aired by Fox Network. She performed total of 108 characters in 81 episodes spread over four-seasons. She opened and closed the show herself with her trademark ‘Go Home!’ to the studio audience.
  17. The Tracey Ullman Show was shot in front of live studio audience and she frequently wore layer of costuming with prosthetic make-up to disguise for playing three characters a week. She once fainted on the make-up room floor just before her performance. All this made think of giving-up television.
  18. After the birth of her second child, she accepted a class act sketch comedy about the British Class System titled ‘Tracey Ullman: A Class Act’ which was premiered on ITV on November 23, 1993.
  19. Ullman won two ‘Emmy Awards,’ a ‘CableAce Award,’ an American Comedy Award’ and a ‘Writers Guild of America Award’ for her comedy special ‘Tracey Ullman Takes On New York’ which was premiered on the HBO October 09, 1993. The success led to another series ‘Tracey Takes On’ which made its debut on January 1996.
  20. In 2001, taking a break from character-based works, she hosted a fashion based talk show hosting celebrity guest titled ‘Tracey Ullman’s Visible Panty Lines’ for the Oxygen Network. The show was inspired by her on-line boutique.
  21. Since December 2006, she holds dual citizenship in the United States and United Kingdom. She was provoked by actor Tom Hanks in getting her US citizenship.
  22. After becoming a naturalized US citizen, she took to satiric humor with the ‘Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union’ which made its debut on March 30, 2008, in Showtime and was on the air for three years.
  23. Ullman returned to BBC for six part comedy series with her first original project in many years. She played the diverse and distinct character visiting UK. The ‘Tracey Ullman’s Show’ premiered on January 11, 2016 and HBO picked-up the American rights.
  24. She started her film career with small role in 1984 film ‘Give My Regards to Broad Street.’ In 1990 she was cast in leading role in the film ‘I Love You to Death’ opposite Kevin Kline. She went on to bag roles in films such as ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights,’ ‘Household Saints’ and ‘Bullet over Broadway,’ ‘Small Time Crooks’ and ‘A Dirty Shame.’
  25. In February 2005, Ullman performed her autobiographical one-woman show ‘Trace Ullman: Live and Exposed’ at ‘The Fonda Theatre’ in Los Angeles.
  26. She has worn many hats, that of a comedian, impressionist, singer and dancer. She has now added another feather to her cap by authoring a book ‘’Knit 2 Together,’ with Mel Clark, the Los Angeles yarn-store owner.
  27. On December 05, 2006, she was among the 50 honorees in a three years long celebration of women pioneers in TV and Radio by the ‘Museum of Television & Radio’ in BevHills.
  28. On May 09, 2009, she was awarded ‘Lifetime Bafta Award’ the first ever Charlie Chaplin award at the British Comedy Festival and Awards.
  29. Ullman is a seven-time Emmy Award winning actress out of twenty four times she has been nominated.
  30. It was announced on February 15, 2017, that she will co-produced and star in the ‘Starz-BBC series of Howards End play adaptation, playing Aunt JuleyMund, co-starring Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen.
  31. Tracey Ullman Net Worth: $115 Million

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