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Tracey Ullman was born on December 30th 1959 in Slough of county Berkshire, west of London, England near Windsor Castle. Her father died when she was 6. She entered the Italia Conti Stage School at a young age and by 16 had a ballet contract in Berlin. She made her debut there in "Gigi." Returning to London, Tracey started performing in musical productions. She was a backup singer with Shakin' Stevens in "ELVIS, THE MUSICAL," played Frenchy in "GREASE" and even played Janet in "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW."
n 1981, she won the London Theatre Critics Award for her role as Beverly, the club singer in "Four In A Million." Originally planned as a solo dramatic performance, "Four In A Million" developed into a comedic piece which led to a successful stint in the sketch comedy show "A KICK UP THE EIGHTIES" (along with Rik Mayall). Tracey followed this with the satirical BBC comedy series, "THREE OF A KIND," which paired her with another formidable Britcomedy talent, Lenny Henry. This earned her a British Academy Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1983. Not content to be just a dancer or actress, Tracey became a true triple threat when she hit the British pop music scene in 1984 with a smash debut album called YOU BROKE MY HEART IN 17 PLACES which spawned the international Top Ten hit "They Don't Know." She snagged Paul McCartney to appear in the video only to return the favour by playing a supporting role in Macca's film "GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET". This was followed by a brilliant TV film, "THE YOUNG VISITERS" (that's how it's spelled as it was written by a nine-year-old girl called Daisy Ashford during the Edwardian era.) After completing two more albums, "YOU CAUGHT ME OUT" in 1984, and "FOREVER" in 1985, Tracey decided to concentrate on her true passion, acting.
n 1985 Tracey starred with Meryl Streep and Sting in Plenty and then appeared in 6 episodes of the sitcom, "GIRLS ON TOP" with French and Saunders, playing the role of a thieving, lying bimbo named Candy. After an inspired cameo in "JUMPIN' JACK FLASH", Tracey snagged a production deal with CBS television and actually filmed a pilot for a TV series. She considered the pilot "mush" and dropped the deal. Soon thereafter, she caught the eye of James L. Brooks of "Terms Of Endearment", "Rhoda" and "Taxi" fame who developed a deal with the brand spanking new FOX TV for Tracey to create her own variety show in 1987. "THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW" would eventually give viewers four inspired years of historic television comedy and garner Tracey 3 Emmys, (two for "Outstanding Performance and one for "Outstanding Writing") and a Golden Globe in 1988. It also launched "THE SIMPSONS" and co-starred Dan Castellaneta, Sam McMurray, Joseph Malone and Julie Kavner.
racey continued her eclectic choice of movie roles by starring as the wife who desperately plots to kill her adulterer husband with a pot of drugged spaghetti in the black comedy, I LOVE YOU TO DEATH Following the FOX series in the summer of 1990, Tracey played Kate to Morgan Freeman's Petruchio in "THE TAMING OF THE SHREW" in New York's Central Park. Since she was in the general vicinity, she decided to take Broadway by storm in 1991 by starring in her own one woman show, "THE BIG LOVE." After giving birth to a son, Tracey focused on film with roles in HOUSEHOLD SAINTS READY TO WEAR(PRET-A-PORTER) ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS I'LL DO ANYTHING and BULLETS OVER BROADWAY . She also appeared in an unbilled cameo as Meryl Streep's maid in DEATH BECOMES HER.
n 1993, after winning her 4th Emmy for a guest appearance on "Love And War", as an Israeli Ballerina, Tracey grabbed her fifth Emmy for the cable special "TRACEY TAKES ON NEW YORK". She also became the speaking voice of LITTLE LULU in the Saturday morning animated series. She also appeared in the British ITV production, "A CLASS ACT" and was the lead voice in the children's film, "HAPPILY EVER AFTER". She returned to regular television in 1995 with a series of CableAce and Emmy Award winning HBO TV specials entitled TRACEY TAKES ON... and has recently completed a third season. In September 1997, Tracey received her 6th Emmy for Best Variety Show Musical/Comedy for TRACEY TAKES ON..., a feat only surpassed by Ed Asner, Dinah Shore and Mary Tyler Moore. Another milestone was made in Tracey's career when she became an author in January 1998 with the release of "TRACEY TAKES ON...THE BOOK" . Considered a companion piece to the TV series, TRACEY TAKES ON...THE BOOK provided readers with an insight into Tracey's earlier years and a more detailed look at some of her most prolific characters. Tracey also released two video sets: Tracey Takes On...Sex Romance Fantasy and Tracey Takes On...Movies Vanity Fame the same year. 1999 brought Tracey into the world of online fashion to great success with the launch of her own clothing site Purpleskirt.com and a 7th Emmy winning performance for a guest appearance on ALLY McBEAL. In 2000, Tracey returned to the big screen to great acclaim as Frenchy Winkler in Woody Allen's SMALL TIME CROOKS and in an uncharacteristically straight role as Martha, the wife of a "hit-man" in the highly acclaimed independent feature, PANIC . In the fall of 2001, Tracey brought her humor to a fashion talk show entitled Visible Panty Lines on the Oxygen Network. 2004 marked another appearance for Tracey in an auteur filmmaker's film. In her bawdiest performance yet, Tracey plays sex addict, Sylvia Stickles in John Waters' A DIRTY SHAME. 2005 beckons us with Tracey's return to musical form in the lead role of Princess Winnifred in ABC TV's ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. She now resides in LA and has a second home in England. Tracey is married to Allan McKeown, a producer (THE NEW STATESMAN, LOVEJOY, BIRDS OF A FEATHER, JERRY SPRINGER: THE MUSICAL) and has two children, Mabel and John. She's also one of the few people on American soil who still pops popcorn in a skillet! Suburban she is not, and for that, we should all be glad.
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