Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Famous Brits with Indian connections

Rudyard Kipling
Born: 30 December 1865, Bombay
The year 1865 brought one of the best English poets, short story writers and novelists to the literary world.  Most famous, perhaps, for his much loved 1894 novel Jungle Book, made exceptionally recognisable by the adaptation Disney has since produced, Kipling also scooped up The Nobel Prize in Literature 1907 before he died aged 70 in Middlesex, London.
Fact: When he was six, Kipling was sent from India, where his parents lived, back to England. He stayed with a very strict family whom Kipling later described as causing him such great terror that it led him to write.

Sir Cliff Richard
Born: 14 October 1970, Lucknow
Sir Cliff Richard is a music legend, a British pop singer and actor who dominated the music scene in the late 1950s.  Richard is the biggest selling singles artist of all time in the UK with an estimated 250 million records sold worldwide. He is still adored by many women who continue to throw their underwear on stage at his concerts.  Sir Cliff Richard currently owns homes in the UK, Portugal and Barbados.
Fact: Sir Cliff Richard has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in six consecutive decades.

Joanna Lumley
Born: 1 May 1946, Kashmir
Born in Srinagar, Kashmir, Joanna Lumley is best known for her character, Patsy, in the outrageously funny British Sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.  The sitcom ran for four years and is still followed a great deal by devoted fans.  Lumley has immersed herself into other projects such as popular English drama series Coronation Street and is also the public face of the Gurkha Justice Campaign.
Fact: Following a Commons Home Affairs Committee meeting between the Gurkha campaigners, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that all Gurkha veterans who had served four years or more in the British Army before 1997 would be allowed to settle in Britain.

George Orwell
Born: 23 June 1903, Bengal
Born as Eric Arthur Blair but known for his pen name, George Orwell was born in Motihari, Bihar.  Orwell was a well-known English novelist and journalist; his most famous works are the novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, which were two of the most famous novels of the 20th Century and are currently studied across the National School Board.  George Orwell died in London aged 46.  
Fact: The pen name ‘George Orwell’ was chosen by Blair because George V was monarch at this time and the River Orwell was one of his favourite visiting spots.

Nasser Hussain
Born: 28 March 1968, Madras
Nasser Husain is a former Essex and England cricketer. He was the captain of the England team for 45 Test matches from 1999 to 2003 and has been regarded as one of the best England Test cricketers of the era; transforming his team from under achievers to a well accomplished National cricket team. He further proves this triumph with his percentage of Tests won, which are higher than any of the previous five captains. Nasser Hussain currently lives in the county of Essex in the East of England.
Fact: In first-class cricket from 1987 to 2004 Hussain scored 20,698 runs in 334 matches at an average of 42.06, including 52 centuries.

William Makepeace Thackeray
Born: 18th July 1811, Calcutta
William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist of the 19th Century and is well known for his satirical works, including his much read novel Vanity Fair.  The Victorian period was dominated by the literary works of Dickens but Thackeray made his mark, ranking a well deserved second to Charles Dickens.  Presently Thackeray’s work has diminished in popularity but he is still widely recognised for his novel Vanity Fair, which has since been adapted and made into two films; the first produced in 1932 and the second in 2004.  Thackeray died in London aged 52.  
Fact: ‘Vanity Fair’ was the first work published under Thackeray’s real name.

Vivien Leigh
Born: 5th November 1913, Darjeeling
Vivien Leigh was an award-winning Actress, winning Best Actress Academy Award for her outstanding portrayal in the film A Streetcar Named Desire. Leigh was also famous for playing major Shakespearean heroines including that of Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet and Lady Macbeth.  She was adored not just for her acting status but also her beauty, which she thought prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress.  Leigh died in London aged 53.
Fact:  In her off-screen wedding to Lawrence Olivier in August 1940, Leigh had only one bridesmaid; Katherine Hepburn.



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