Petula Clark

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Petula Clark, 2012

Petula Clark , CBE (* 15. November 1932 in Epsom in the British county of Surrey as Petula Sally Olwen Clark ) is a British actress and pop singer .


Petula Clark was already on stage with singing at the age of seven. At eleven she had her own radio show Pet's Parlor and got her first film role in A Medal for the General in 1944 . By 1950 she had already appeared in 20 films, making her a child star in Great Britain. She began to publish records from 1949, her first record, a cover version of the Teresa Brewers title Music, Music, Music was released in Australia. In 1950 she received a recording contract from the British record company Polygon Records, which later became the Pye label . With Where Did My Snowman Go?(Polygon P1056) it entered the British charts for the first time in 1953 (number 19). By 1957 she had already placed seven titles there. During these years she continued to be present on the stage, on radio and television as well as in film.

In the UK media, Clark continued to be marketed as a star with the youthful image. The now 25-year-old could not escape this commitment in her home country and therefore settled in France from 1957, where she was already known for her French-language record releases and a successful concert at the Paris Olympia . She signed a contract with the French record company Vogue , which ensured that Clark had more hits in France than in her home country over the next few years. In 1961 she married the French journalist Claude Wolff and had two daughters with him and a son in 1972.

Petula Clark, 1960

From 1960 Petula Clark also began to publish foreign language records. She started in Germany, where her records were also released by Vogue. The first German single Du bist mein Anfang / St. Tropez was produced in 1960 in London's Pye Studios. It was only published by Vogue two years later in the fall of 1962 under the number DV 14027 and was unsuccessful. A few weeks earlier, Petula Clark had already conquered the charts with the German song Monsieur (DV 14006); the title reached number 1 and was awarded a gold record . Clark published a total of 22 singles in German by 1971, five of which made it into the top ten. She also sang about records in Italian and Spanish with just as much success.

In 1961, Clark returned to the British charts. With the English cover version Sailor of the successful German title Seemann ( Lolita , Polydor 24177) she reached number 1 in Great Britain. In 1964 she began working with the British producer and songwriter Tony Hatch , which was the most successful period of her career. With their first song Downtown , Petula Clark achieved worldwide success in 1965. In Great Britain she only landed at number two, but with this song she was also able to conquer the US market, where Downtown stayed in the charts for 16 weeks and became a number one hit . It was awarded a Grammy for best rock and roll single. In Germany, both the English and a German version landed at number 1 on the charts. After her successful debut in the USA, where Clark's records were released by Warner Bros. , she made it into the Top 100 with 22 titles by 1982 and was often more successful with her songs than in her British homeland. With My Love in 1966 she made it to the top of the charts in the USA for a second time . Clark's greatest international success was the title song composed by Charlie Chaplin from Chaplin's last film The Countess of Hong Kong . The 1967 title This Is My Song (German cover version Love - that's the name of my song , DV 14605) was noted in the charts worldwide. It was recorded in Los Angeles in January 1967, initially in German, French and Italian, and the English version followed, which was to have the greatest success. It was the second number one in the UK.

Petula Clark also worked as a song composer under the pseudonym Al Grant. Some of the titles she composed also appeared as German cover versions, for example Darling ververzeih (DV 14345, Original: Now That You've Gone ), Wunderschön wie heute (DV 14561, Original: Where Did We Go Wrong ) and Komm tanz mit mir ( DV 14596, original: Dance with Me ).

In addition to her recordings, Clark toured Europe, Africa and eventually North America. In the United States, she appeared in nightclubs and television shows. From 1968 she returned to the film business and took on roles in the films Finian's Rainbow (1968) and Good Bye, Mr. Chips (1969), among others . In 1993 she made her Broadway debut in the musical Blood Brothers in New York . In 1995, in London's West End, she took on the role of Norma in Webber's Sunset Boulevard .

In 1998 she was appointed Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain .

Clark lives today, after 55 years of marriage, separated from her husband Claude Wolff in Geneva and London.


Known songs:

  • Sailor (1961)
  • Romeo (1961)
  • Monsieur (1962)
  • Casanova baciami (1963)
  • Downtown (1964)
  • I Know a Place (1965)
  • My Love (1965)
  • This Is My Song (1967)

Filmography (selection)

  • 1944: Medal for the General
  • 1945: I know where I'm going (I Know Where I'm Going!)
  • 1946: Paradise of Love (London Town)
  • 1948: Toto-Glück (Easy Money)
  • 1948: Here Come the Huggetts
  • 1949: Vote for Huggett
  • 1949: The Huggetts Abroad
  • 1949: The Romantic Age
  • 1951: Serum 703 (White Corridors)
  • 1952: Must be, Miss (Made in Heaven)
  • 1952: The Irresistible (The Card)
  • 1957: That Woman Opposite
  • 1964: Frank Patton calls Coast Guard 5-8-3 (À couteaux tirés)
  • 1968: The Golden Rainbow (Finian's Rainbow)
  • 1969: Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  • 1980: Never Never Land
  • 1981: Homeless ( Sans famille ; TV miniseries)


Web links

Commons : Petula Clark  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. For more information on the title, see: Bronson, Fred: The Billboard Book of Number One Hits . 3rd revised and expanded edition. New York City, New York: Billboard Publications, 1992, p. 165