Felicity Kendal CBE was born on September 25th, 1946 in Olton, Warwickshire. She is the younger sister of the late Jennifer Kendal and the daughter of Geoffrey Kendal, an English actor manager who made his living leading a repertory company on tours of India after the Second World War. They performed Shakespeare to audiences consisting mostly of schoolchildren. Felicity made her stage debut in these productions, and at the age of nineteen, starred in the film, Shakespeare Wallah (1965), loosely based on her family's real-life experience.
Two years later, in 1967, she made her debut on the London stage and subsequently confirmed her reputation as a popular stage star with appearances in such plays as Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests (1974), Michael Frayn's Clouds (1978), Peter Shaffer's Amadeus (1980), Tom Stoppard's Hapgood (1988), and Chekhov's Ivanov (1989), for which she won the London Evening Standard Best Actress Award.
Kendal's theatrical links secured for her a first television role in The Mayfly and the Frog, which starred John Gielgud, and she made a good impression in supporting roles in such subsequent productions as Man in a Suitcase, The Woodlanders, The Persuaders, Edward VII, and Home and Beauty, among others.
It was in 1975, that she got her big break with the sitcom, The Good Life, which made her a household name.
After this series ended, she starred in several other BBC sitcoms, including Solo and The Mistress, (both written by Carla Lane), The Camomile Lawn and Honey for Tea.
She is particularly popular with male viewers, and was voted "Rear of the Year" for her appearances wearing wellington boots in The Good Life. This compliment was later reiterated, in the distant future, in an episode of Red Dwarf. She was selected as one of the FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 1995.
Her most recent work is the murder mystery, Rosemary & Thyme, where she plays a gardener, Rosemary Boxer, who, together with fellow friend and ex-policewoman Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris), solve mysteries near their work.