|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Epsom, Surrey, England, UK
Petula Clark is an English singer, actress, and composer whose career has spanned seven decades. Clark's professional career began as an entertainer on BBC Radio during World War II. During the 1950s she started recording in French and having international success in both French and English, with such songs as "The Little Shoemaker", "Baby Lover", "With All My Heart" and "Prends Mon Coeur". During the 1960s she became known globally for her popular upbeat hits, including "Downtown", "I Know a Place", "My Love", "Colour My World", "A Sign of the Times", and "Don't Sleep in the Subway". She has sold in excess of 68 million records throughout her career.
In October 1942, nine-year-old Clark made her radio debut while attending a BBC broadcast with her father. Attending in the hope of sending a message to an uncle stationed overseas, the broadcast was delayed by an air raid. During the bombing, the producer requested that someone perform to settle the jittery theatre audience, and she volunteered a rendering of "Mighty Lak' a Rose" to an enthusiastic response. She then repeated her performance for the broadcast audience, launching a series of some 500 appearances in programmes designed to entertain the troops. In addition to radio work, Clark frequently toured the United Kingdom with fellow child performer Julie Andrews. The "Singing Sweetheart" heard by George VI, Winston Churchill and Bernard Montgomery. Clark became known as "Britain's Shirley Temple," and she was considered a mascot by the British Army, whose troops plastered her photos on their tanks for good luck as they advanced into battle.
In 1944, while performing at London's Royal Albert Hall, Clark was discovered by film director Maurice Elvey, who cast her as precocious orphaned waif Irma in his weepy war drama Medal for the General. In quick succession, she starred in Strawberry Roan, I Know Where I'm Going!, London Town, and Here Come the Huggetts, the first in a series of Huggett Family films based on a British radio series. Although some of the films she made in the UK during the 1940s and 1950s were B-films, she worked with Anthony Newley in Vice Versa (directed by Peter Ustinov) and Alec Guinness in The Card as well as the aforementioned I Know Where I'm Going! Which is a Powell and Pressburger feature film now generally regarded as a masterpiece (Clark's part was small).