Constance "Connie" Booth (born 1944) is an American-born writer, actress, comedienne and psychotherapist based in Britain. She is known for appearances on British television and particularly for her portrayal of Polly Sherman in the popular 1970s television show Fawlty Towers, which she co-wrote with her then-husband John Cleese.
1944 (age 72–73)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Occupation||Writer, actress, comedienne, psychotherapist|
|Spouse(s)||John Cleese (m. 1968; div. 1978)
John Lahr (m. 2000)
Booth's father was a Wall Street stock broker and her mother an actress. They moved to New York state after Connie Booth's birth in Indianapolis, Indiana. Booth entered acting and worked as a Broadway understudy and waitress, meeting John Cleese while he was working in New York. She married Cleese in New York on February 20, 1968.
Booth secured parts in episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–74) and in the Python films And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, as a woman accused of being a witch). She also appeared in How to Irritate People (1968), a pre-Monty Python film starring Cleese and other future Monty Python members; a short film titled Romance with a Double Bass (1974) adapted by Cleese from a short story by Anton Chekhov; and The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977), Cleese's Sherlock Holmes spoof, as Mrs. Hudson.
Booth played various roles on British television, including Sophie in Dickens of London (1976), Mrs Errol in a BBC adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980) and Miss March in a dramatisation of Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers (1995). She also starred in the lead role of a drama called The Story of Ruth (1981), in which she played the role of the schizophrenic daughter of an abusive father, for which she received critical acclaim. In 1994, she played a supporting role in "The Culex Experiment", an episode of the children's science fiction TV series The Tomorrow People.
Booth ended her acting career in 1995. After studying for five years at London University, she began a career as a London psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council.
In 1971, Booth and Cleese had a daughter, Cynthia, who appeared alongside her father in the films A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. Booth and Cleese divorced in 1978, but have remained close friends.
- And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) – Various characters
- Romance with a Double Bass (1974) – Princess Costanza
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) – The Witch
- Dickens of London (1976) – Sophie
- The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977) – Mrs Hudson / Francine Moriarty
- Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980) – Mrs Errol
- The Deadly Game (1982) – Helen Trapp
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983) – Laura Lyons
- Past Caring (1985) – Linda
- 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) – the Lady from Delaware
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1987) – Violet Morstan
- High Spirits (1988) – Marge
- Hawks (1988) – Nurse Jarvis
- American Friends (1991) – Caroline Hartley
- Leon the Pig Farmer (1993) – Yvonne Chadwick
- The Buccaneers (1995) – Miss March
- Smith, Sean. "Don't mention the classic comedy series". Camden New Journal. London Borough of Camden. Archived from the original on January 20, 2004.
- Parker, Robin (March 23, 2009). "Gold to reopen Fawlty Towers". Broadcastnow. Archived from the original on March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
- Milmo, Cahal (May 25, 2007). "Life after Polly: Connie Booth (a case of Fawlty memory syndrome)". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "John Cleese Biography (1939–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "Fawlty Towers: Where are they now?". UKTV Gold. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013.
- "Divorce for Cleese". The Glasgow Herald. September 9, 1978. p. 5. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- Hoyle, Antonia (July 21, 2008). "Our divorceymoon! What happened when Cleese and Winner invaded Switzerland on a six-day road trip". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved August 3, 2008.