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Jane Asher

Jane Asher

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Jane Asher is an English actress. She has also developed a second career as a cake decorator and cake shop proprietor.

Early life


Asher was the middle of three children born to Dr. Richard Alan John
Richard Asher
Richard Alan John Asher, FRCP was an eminent British Endocrinologist and Haematologist...

 and Margaret Asher, née
NEE
NEE is a political protest group whose goal was to provide an alternative for voters who are unhappy with all political parties at hand in Belgium, where voting is compulsory.The NEE party was founded in 2005 in Antwerp...

Eliot, in Willesden
Willesden
Willesden is an area in North West London which forms part of the London Borough of Brent. It is situated 5 miles north west of Charing Cross...

, North West London
NW postcode area
The NW postcode area, also known as the London NW postcode area, is a group of postcode districts covering part of northwest London, England...

. Her father was a consultant in blood and mental diseases at the Central Middlesex Hospital
Central Middlesex Hospital
Central Middlesex hospital is in the centre of the Park Royal business estate, on the border of two London boroughs, Brent and Ealing.-Hospital role:CMH is a teaching hospital of Imperial College School of Medicine and part of the...

 in Acton
Acton, London
Acton is a district of west London, England, located in the London Borough of Ealing. It is situated west of Charing Cross.At the time of the 2001 census, Acton, comprising the wards of East Acton, Acton Central, South Acton and Southfield, had a population of 53,689 people...

, west London, as well as being a broadcaster and author of many notable medical articles; her mother was a professor of oboe
Oboe
The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" , "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca...

 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts.-History:...

 and taught George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

 to play the instrument and Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 to play the recorder
Recorder
The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes or internal duct flutes—whistle-like instruments which include the tin whistle. The recorder is end-blown and the mouth of the instrument is constricted by a wooden plug, known as a block or fipple...

. Jane was educated at Queen's College
Queen's College, London
Queen's College is an independent school for girls aged 11–18. It is located in central London at numbers 43-49, Harley Street. Founded in 1848 by F. D. Maurice, Professor of English Literature and History at King's College London along with a committee of patrons, the College was the first...

 in Harley Street
Harley Street
Harley Street is a street in the City of Westminster in London, England which has been noted since the 19th century for its large number of private specialists in medicine and surgery.- Overview :...

, London. Her younger sister is Clare Asher, who was for a brief time a radio actress and is now a schools inspector; her elder brother is record producer Peter Asher
Peter Asher
Peter Asher is an English guitarist, singer, manager and record producer. He first came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the vocal duo Peter and Gordon before going on to a successful career as a record producer.-Early life:He was born at the Central Middlesex Hospital, a child actor and...

, formerly one half of the duo Peter & Gordon
Peter & Gordon
Peter and Gordon were a British Invasion-era duo and formed by Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, who achieved fame in 1964 with "A World Without Love", and had several subsequent hits in that era.-History:...

, and whose daughter is Victoria Asher
Victoria Asher
Victoria Jane Asher , is known to Cobra Starship fans as Vicky-T, and can be seen in some of the music videos produced by the band, which she is the keytarist for. She is the daughter of producer/manager/musician Peter Asher of the hit band Peter & Gordon, who were part of the British Invasion...

, keytarist of the band Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship is an American synthpop band created by former Midtown bassist and lead vocalist Gabe Saporta in 2003 in New York City, New York...

.

Asher's first appearance as a child actress was as Nina in the 1952 film Mandy
Mandy (film)
Mandy was a 1952 Ealing Studios film, based on the book The Day Is Ours by Hilda Lewis, with screenplay by Nigel Balchin and Jack Whittingham, and direction by Alexander Mackendrick and Fred Sears. Another title for the film was Crash of Silence...

, followed by her appearance in the 1955 science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 film The Quatermass Xperiment
The Quatermass Xperiment
The Quatermass Xperiment is a 1955 British science fiction horror film. Made by Hammer Film Productions, it was based on the 1953 BBC Television serial The Quatermass Experiment written by Nigel Kneale. It was directed by Val Guest and stars Brian Donlevy as the eponymous Professor Bernard...

. She also recorded the title role in dramatized versions of Alice in Wonderland (1958) and Through the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There is a work of literature by Lewis Carroll . It is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...

for Argo Records
Argo Records (UK)
Argo Records was a record label founded in 1951 by Harley Usill , and musicologist Cyril Clarke with £500 capital, initially as a company specialising in "British music played by British artists" , but it quickly became a company primarily specialising in spoken-word recordings and other esoteric ...

, acting alongside Tony Church
Tony Church
James Anthony "Tony" Church was a British Shakespearean actor, who has appeared on stage and screen. In 1989 he became the Dean of the National Theatre Conservatory, which is the teaching arm of the Denver Center Theatre Company in Denver, Colorado.-Stage:Church was educated at Hurstpierpoint...

, Norman Shelley
Norman Shelley
Norman Shelley was an English actor, best known for his work in radio, in particular for the BBC's Children's Hour. He also had a recurring role as Colonel Danby in the long-running radio soap opera The Archers....

 and Carleton Hobbs
Carleton Hobbs
Carleton Percy Hobbs was an English actor with many film, radio and television appearances. He portrayed Sherlock Holmes in 80 radio adaptations between 1952 and 1969, and also starred in the radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour.Hobbs was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, into a...

, with Margaretta Scott
Margaretta Scott
Margaretta Scott was an English stage, screen and television actress whose career spanned over seventy years. She is best remembered for playing the eccentric widow Mrs...

 as the narrator. In 1961 she co-starred with Kenneth More
Kenneth More
Kenneth Gilbert More CBE was a highly successful English film actor during the post-World War II era and starred in many feature films, often in the role of an archetypal carefree and happy-go-lucky middle-class gentleman.-Early life:Kenneth More was born in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, the...

 and Susannah York
Susannah York
Susannah York was a British film, stage and television actress. She was awarded a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for the same film. She won best actress for Images at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival...

 in the UK film The Greengage Summer
The Greengage Summer
The Greengage Summer is a 1961 British drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Kenneth More and Susannah York . It was based on the novel, Greengage Summer, by Rumer Godden...

, released in the United States as Loss of Innocence. She also appeared as her distant relative Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey , also known as The Nine Days' Queen, was an English noblewoman who was de facto monarch of England from 10 July until 19 July 1553 and was subsequently executed...

 in the 1962 film and Disney TV programme, The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper is an English-language novel by American author Mark Twain. It was first published in 1881 in Canada before its 1882 publication in the United States. The book represents Twain's first attempt at historical fiction...

. British TV appearances included three episodes (1956–1958) of the British TV series, The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood (TV series)
The Adventures of Robin Hood is a popular British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes. It starred Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show aired weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV in London in the...

(working alongside her brother Peter), and as a panellist on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Juke Box Jury
Juke Box Jury
Juke Box Jury was a musical panel show which originally ran on BBC Television from 1 June 1959 until December 1967. The programme was based on the American show Jukebox Jury, itself an offshoot of a long-running radio series....

.

Relationship with Paul McCartney


In 1963, Asher interviewed The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

. A photographer for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

asked them to pose with Asher. Asher subsequently commenced a five-year relationship with Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, becoming engaged in 1967.

McCartney stayed in the Asher family home at 57 Wimpole Street
Wimpole Street
Wimpole Street is a street in central London, England. Located in the City of Westminster, it is associated with private medical practice and medical associations. No. 1 Wimpole Street is an example of Edwardian baroque architecture, completed in 1912 by architect John Belcher as the home of the...

 from 1964–66 and wrote several Beatles songs there. He wrote in a room usually used for music lessons. The Asher house was also a place of intellectual stimulation for McCartney. He enjoyed the rarefied atmosphere of upper-middle class conversation and company that the house afforded, and to which he aspired. According to Cynthia Lennon
Cynthia Lennon
Cynthia Lillian Lennon is the former wife of musician John Lennon, and mother of Julian Lennon. She grew up in the middle-class section of Hoylake, on the Wirral Peninsula in North West England. At the age of twelve, she was accepted into the Junior Art School, and was later enrolled in the...

, McCartney was "as proud as a peacock" to have Jane as a girlfriend, and saw her as "a great prize." However, Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Evelyn Faithfull is an award-winning English singer, songwriter and actress whose career has spanned five decades....

 remembered McCartney and Asher "never getting on very well," and described one evening at Cavendish Avenue when McCartney wanted a window to be open and Asher wanted it shut. McCartney would repeatedly get up and open the window and then Asher would get up and close it, although neither of them made any comment about it during the whole evening.

On 25 December 1967 McCartney and Asher announced their engagement
Engagement
An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged...

, and she accompanied McCartney to India in February and March 1968 to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi , born Mahesh Prasad Varma , developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the TM movement, characterised as a new religious movement and also as non-religious...

. Asher ended the engagement in early 1968, after returning from Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 to discover Paul in bed with another woman, Francie Schwartz
Francie Schwartz
Francie Schwartz, born 1944, is an American scriptwriter and the former girlfriend, during the late 1960s, of Paul McCartney, who referred to her as "Franny". At the time, McCartney was engaged to the actress Jane Asher who broke off the engagement when she found them in bed together, although...

. However, Schwartz stated that McCartney and Asher had already broken up before the incident. They attempted to mend the relationship, but finally ended it on 20 July 1968 when Asher told the BBC they were no longer engaged. Asher has consistently refused publicly to discuss McCartney or her time with him, and has maintained her position on the matter to this day. On this basis, she is described by the Beatles' 1968 biographer Hunter Davies
Hunter Davies
Edward Hunter Davies is a prolific British author, journalist and broadcaster, perhaps best known for writing the only authorised biography of The Beatles.- Early life :...

 as the only major Beatles associate not to have published her recollections.

Acting


Asher appeared in Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

's The Masque of the Red Death
The Masque of the Red Death (film)
The Masque of the Red Death is a 1964 British horror film starring Vincent Price in a tale about a prince who terrorizes a plague-ridden peasantry while merrymaking in a lonely castle with his jaded courtiers. The film was directed by Roger Corman; the screenplay by Charles Beaumont and R...

(1964), Alfie, opposite Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

 in 1966, and in Jerzy Skolimowski
Jerzy Skolimowski
Jerzy Skolimowski is a Polish film director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor. A graduate of the prestigious National Film School in Łódź, Skolimowski has directed more than twenty films since his 1960 début Oko wykol...

's Deep End
Deep End (film)
Deep End is a 1970 British-West German drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and starring Jane Asher, John Moulder Brown and Diana Dors. The film is set in the suburbs of London and is perhaps best known for featuring the song "Mother Sky" by the band Can and "But I Might Die Tonight", the Cat...

. Thereafter, she was more commonly seen on television: she guest-starred in an episode of the British television comedy series The Goodies
The Goodies (TV series)
The Goodies is a British television comedy series of the 1970s and early 1980s. The series, which combines surreal sketches and situation comedy, was broadcast by BBC 2 from 1970 until 1980 — and was then broadcast by the ITV company LWT for a year, between 1981 to 1982.The show was...

in the episode "Punky Business", as a trend-setting newspaper writer, patterned on the punk journalist Caroline Coon
Caroline Coon
Caroline Coon is an English artist, journalist and political activist. Her artwork, which often explores sexual themes from a feminist standpoint , has been exhibited at many major London galleries, including the Saatchi Gallery and the Tate.Coon was born to a family of Kent landowners and had...

 alias Caroline Kook; The Stone Tape
The Stone Tape
The Stone Tape is a television play directed by Peter Sasdy and starring Michael Bryant, Jane Asher, Michael Bates and Iain Cuthbertson. It was broadcast on BBC Two as a Christmas ghost story in 1972...

; Rumpole of the Bailey
Rumpole of the Bailey
Rumpole of the Bailey is a British television series created and written by the British writer and barrister John Mortimer which starred Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an ageing London barrister who defends any and all clients...

; Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited (TV serial)
Brideshead Revisited is a 1981 British television serial produced by Granada Television for broadcast by the ITV network. The teleplay is based on Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited...

; as Faith Ashley, A Voyage Round My Father
A Voyage Round My Father
A Voyage Round My Father is an autobiographical play by John Mortimer, later adapted for television.The first version of the play appeared as a series of three half-hour sketches for BBC radio in 1963. It then became a television play with Ian Richardson playing Mortimer, Tim Good as the young...

opposite Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

; Wish Me Luck
Wish Me Luck
Wish Me Luck is a British television drama about the exploits of British women undercover agents during the Second World War. The series was made by London Weekend Television for the ITV network between 1987 and 1989 and created by Lavinia Warner and Jill Hyem, who had previously produced and...

(three series in 1987–89); The Mistress (1985–87); Crossroads Mark III (2003) as hotel owner Angel Samson
Angel Samson
Angela "Angel" Samson was a character from ITV soap opera Crossroads, portrayed by Jane Asher in 2003.-Storylines:Angel is the Executive Manager of Crossroads and is married to Max Samson....

 who, as the series ended,woke up behind a supermarket checkout to realise she had dreamt the whole thing and the characters in the hotel were made up of colleagues and customers.

In 1994, she portrayed the Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

companion Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season...

 in a BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 comedy drama Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman? Another notable radio appearance was in The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
This article is about the BBC Radio 4 series transmitted from 2002 to 2010. There is also a U.S. produced series, which began in 1998, that transmits under the same title....

in 2002, in the episode "The Peculiar Persecution of Mr John Vincent Harden". She starred in The World's Biggest Diamond, by Gregory Motton, at the Royal Court Theatre
Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is noted for its contributions to modern theatre...

 in 2005. In 2006, Asher starred in the Richard Fell adaptation of the 1960s science fiction series A for Andromeda
A for Andromeda (2006)
A for Andromeda is a 2006 remake of the 1961 TV series of the same name by Fred Hoyle and John Elliot.-Production:The series was produced by Richard Fell, who the previous year had overseen The Quatermass Experiment, a live remake of the 1953]TV series of the same name also largely absent from the...

, which aired on the British digital television
Digital television
Digital television is the transmission of audio and video by digital signals, in contrast to the analog signals used by analog TV...

 station BBC Four
BBC Four
BBC Four is a British television network operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation and available to digital television viewers on Freeview, IPTV, satellite and cable....

. In 2007, she portrayed the widow Sandra in the Frank Oz
Frank Oz
Frank Oz is a British-born American film director, actor, voice actor and puppeteer who is known for creating and performing the characters Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Show, Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover in Sesame Street, and for directing films, including the 1986 Little Shop of...

 film Death at a Funeral. Asher appeared in the BBC medical Drama, Holby City
Holby City
Holby City, stylised as Holby Ci+y, is a British medical drama television series that airs weekly on BBC One.The series was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young as a spin-off from the established BBC medical drama Casualty, and premiered on 12 January 1999...

as Lady Byrne, a role she still occasionally reprises. In October 2007, she played Andrea Yates in a story in The Sarah Jane Adventures
The Sarah Jane Adventures
The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television series, produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies and starring Elisabeth Sladen...

, in the episode "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? is the fifth story of the British science fiction television series The Sarah Jane Adventures. It forms the seventh and eighth episodes of the show's first series...

" Asher co-starred in the 2008 ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 drama series The Palace, filmed in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

; she played Queen Charlotte, mother of King Richard IV. The Palace broadcast on ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

 at 9pm every Monday for eight weeks, beginning on the 14 January 2008.

In August 2008, Asher appeared in the reality TV
Reality television
Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded...

 talent show
Talent show
A talent show is an event where participants perform their talent or talents of acting, singing, dancing, acrobatics, drumming, martial arts, playing an instrument, and other activities to showcase a unique form of talent, sometimes for a reward, trophy or prize...

-themed television series, Maestro
Maestro (TV series)
Maestro is a 2008 reality TV talent show-themed television series produced by the BBC's Classical Music Department in the United Kingdom. It was shown on BBC Two in August and September 2008....

on BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

. In summer 2008, Asher participated in the BBC's Maestro series where eight well-known show business personalities competed for the "prize" of conducting during Proms in the Park. In 2009, she played Sally in the BBC One comedy series The Old Guys
The Old Guys
The Old Guys is a British comedy television series that revolves around two aging housemates: Tom Finnan and Roy Bowden . The pair live across the street from Sally , whom they both find attractive. Tom moved in with Roy after Roy's wife Penny deserted him...

.

In October 2009, she appeared as Delia in Peter Hall's revival of Alan Ayckbourn
Alan Ayckbourn
Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE is a prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-three full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their...

's Bedroom Farce at the Rose Theatre, Kingston
Rose Theatre, Kingston
The Rose Theatre, Kingston is a theatre on Kingston High Street in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. The theatre seats 899 around a wide, lozenge shaped stage....

 and in her first pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White
"Snow White" is a fairy tale known from many countries in Europe, the best known version being the German one collected by the Brothers Grimm...

at Richmond Theatre
Richmond Theatre
The present Richmond Theatre, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is a British Victorian theatre located on Little Green, adjacent to Richmond Green. It opened on 18 September 1899 with a performance of As You Like It, and is one of the finest surviving examples of the work of theatre...

 in December 2009, receiving enthusiastic reviews for both.

Businesses and philanthropy


Asher has written three best-selling novels: The Longing, The Question and Losing It, and published more than a dozen lifestyle, costuming, and cake decorating
Cake decorating
Cake decorating is one of the sugar arts that uses icing or frosting and other edible decorative elements to make otherwise plain cakes more visually interesting...

 books. Asher runs a company making party cakes and sugar crafts for special occasions.

She is a shareholder in Private Eye
Private Eye
Private Eye is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine, edited by Ian Hislop.Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic and lampooner of public figures and entities that it deemed guilty of any of the sins of incompetence, inefficiency,...

, President of Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care is the UK's largest charity dedicated to supporting people with arthritis . It is a user led organisation which means people with arthritis are at the heart of its work – they form its membership, are involved in its activities and are well represented on its staff and board of...

 and a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association
British Humanist Association
The British Humanist Association is an organisation of the United Kingdom which promotes Humanism and represents "people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs." The BHA is committed to secularism, human rights, democracy, egalitarianism and mutual respect...

. She is also President of the National Autistic Society
National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society is a British charity for people with autistic spectrum disorders , including autism and Asperger's Syndrome. The purpose of the organisation is primarily to improve of the lives of people with Autism in the United Kingdom.Founded in 1962 as the Autistic Children's Aid...

, in which she takes an active role. She was a speaker at the launch of the National Autistic Society's "Make School Make Sense" campaign alongside Joshua Muggleton. She is President of Parkinson's UK.

In March 2010, Asher became Vice President to Autistica
Autistica
Autistica is a UK charity devoted to raising and investing funds into biomedical research and peer-reviewed studies on autism. Autistica’s stated goals include determining the causes and biological bases of autism spectrum disorders, improving diagnoses of autism, and advancing and evaluating new...

, a UK charity raising funds for autism research.

Family


Asher met the illustrator Gerald Scarfe
Gerald Scarfe
Gerald Anthony Scarfe, CBE, RDI, is an English cartoonist and illustrator. He worked as editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times and illustrator for The New Yorker...

 in 1971, and they married ten years later when Asher was expecting their second child. They have a daughter and two sons:
  1. Katie Scarfe, born 1974
  2. Alexander Scarfe, born 1981
  3. Rory Scarfe, born 1984


Asher is the aunt of Victoria Asher
Victoria Asher
Victoria Jane Asher , is known to Cobra Starship fans as Vicky-T, and can be seen in some of the music videos produced by the band, which she is the keytarist for. She is the daughter of producer/manager/musician Peter Asher of the hit band Peter & Gordon, who were part of the British Invasion...

, keytar and backup vocalist of Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship
Cobra Starship is an American synthpop band created by former Midtown bassist and lead vocalist Gabe Saporta in 2003 in New York City, New York...

.

Selected filmography

  • Mandy
    Mandy (film)
    Mandy was a 1952 Ealing Studios film, based on the book The Day Is Ours by Hilda Lewis, with screenplay by Nigel Balchin and Jack Whittingham, and direction by Alexander Mackendrick and Fred Sears. Another title for the film was Crash of Silence...

    (1952) as Nina
  • Adventure in the Hopfields (1954)
  • Charley Moon
    Charley Moon
    Charley Moon is a 1956 British film directed by Guy Hamilton. It stars Max Bygraves, Dennis Price and Shirley Eaton.-Cast:* Max Bygraves as Charley Moon* Dennis Price as Harold Armytage* Michael Medwin as Alf Higgins* Florence Desmond as Mary Minton...

    (1956)
  • The Greengage Summer
    The Greengage Summer
    The Greengage Summer is a 1961 British drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Kenneth More and Susannah York . It was based on the novel, Greengage Summer, by Rumer Godden...

    (1961) as Hester Grey
  • Girl in the Headlines
    Girl in the Headlines
    Girl in the Headlines is a 1963 British detective film directed by Michael Truman and starring Ian Hendry, Ronald Fraser, Jeremy Brett and Jane Asher.-Cast:* Ian Hendry - Inspector Birkett* Ronald Fraser - Sergeant Saunders* Margaret Johnston - Mrs Gray...

    (1963) as Lindy Birkett
  • The Masque of the Red Death
    The Masque of the Red Death
    "The Masque of the Red Death", originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death" , is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a...

    (1964) as Francesca
  • Alfie (1966) as Annie
  • The Winter's Tale (1967)
  • Deep End
    Deep End (film)
    Deep End is a 1970 British-West German drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and starring Jane Asher, John Moulder Brown and Diana Dors. The film is set in the suburbs of London and is perhaps best known for featuring the song "Mother Sky" by the band Can and "But I Might Die Tonight", the Cat...

    (1970) as Susan
  • The Buttercup Chain
    The Buttercup Chain
    The Buttercup Chain is a 1970 British drama film directed by Robert Ellis Miller. It was entered into the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Hywel Bennett - France* Leigh Taylor-Young - Manny* Jane Asher - Margaret* Sven-Bertil Taube - Fred...

    (1970) as Margaret
  • Henry VIII and His Six Wives
    Henry VIII and His Six Wives
    Henry VIII and His Six Wives is a 1972 film version of the famous BBC television series The Six Wives of Henry VIII, it was written by Ian Thorne and directed by Waris Hussein.-Description:...

    (1972) as Jane Seymour
    Jane Seymour
    Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

  • Runners
    Runners (film)
    Runners is a 1983 film directed by Charles Sturridge. It stars Kate Hardie and James Fox.-Cast:*Kate Hardie as Rachel Lindsay*James Fox as Tom Lindsay*Jane Asher as Helen*Eileen O'Brien as Gillian Lindsay*Ruti Simon as Lucy Lindsay...

    (1983) as Helen
  • Success Is the Best Revenge
    Success Is the Best Revenge
    Success Is the Best Revenge is a 1984 French-British drama film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. It was entered into the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Michael York as Alex Rodak* Joanna Szczerbic as Alicia Rodak* Michael Lyndon as Adam Rodak...

    (1984) as Bank Manager
  • Dreamchild
    Dreamchild
    Dreamchild is a 1985 British drama film produced by Verity Lambert, directed by Gavin Millar and written by Dennis Potter. It stars Coral Browne, Ian Holm, Peter Gallagher, Nicola Cowper and Amelia Shankley and is a fictionalized account of Alice Liddell, the child who inspired Lewis Carroll's...

    (1985) as Mrs. Liddell
  • Paris by Night
    Paris by Night (film)
    Paris by Night is a 1988 British thriller film written and directed by David Hare and starring Charlotte Rampling, Michael Gambon and Iain Glen. A British politician spends some time in Paris, but gets caught up in a murder....

    (1988) as Pauline
  • Closing Numbers (1993)
  • Tirante el Blanco (2006) as Empress of Visantia
  • Death at a Funeral  (2007) as Sandra
  • Sarah Jane Adventures- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? (2007) as Andrea Yates
  • Old Guys (2008–2010) as Sally
  • Waterloo Road
    Waterloo Road (TV series)
    Waterloo Road is an award-winning British television drama series, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 9 March 2006. Set in a troubled comprehensive school in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, the series focuses on the lives of the school's teacher and students, and confronts social...

    (2011)

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