Camilla Cleese: who is John Cleese’s daughter set to star in Fawlty Towers reboot - how old is comedian?

Camilla Cleese will star alongside her father John Cleese in a revival of the classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers

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John Cleese will reboot his classic sitcom Fawlty Towers, more than 40 years after the show ended. Many of the main cast of the iconic comedy series have since passed away or retired, but Cleese will reprise his role as the sarcastic and short-tempered hotelier Basil Fawlty.

He will also be joined by his daughter, Camilla, who will play his on-screen daughter in the series revival. Fawlty Towers is recognised as one of the greatest British comedy shows of all time, regularly ranking alongside the likes of Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder, Dad’s Army, and Father Ted.

Fans will be excited to learn that the show will finally be returning for another series, even if they have had a long wait. Perhaps National World can take some of the credit for the news, as Fawlty Towers was included in a list of sitcoms that should be renewed for another season.

Who is Camilla Cleese?

Camilla Cleese is a 39 year old comedian, writer, and actor who has regularly appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival. She is the daughter of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star John Cleese and his second wife, American actress Barbara Trentham.

Camilla Cleese (left) with father John Cleese and his wife Jennifer WadeCamilla Cleese (left) with father John Cleese and his wife Jennifer Wade
Camilla Cleese (left) with father John Cleese and his wife Jennifer Wade

Cleese married Trentham in 1981 and Camilla was born in 1984 - the pair separated in 1987 and divorced three years later. Trentham died in 2013 from complications from leukemia.

Camilla has a half-sister, actress Cynthia Cleese, from her father’s first marriage to his original Fawlty Towers co-star Connie Booth. Camilla’s upcoming Fawlty Towers project with her father is likely to catapult her to nepo baby fame, but it’s far from the first time she’s worked with the comedy legend.

What has Camilla Cleese done?

As a writer, Camilla worked on material for her father’s ‘Alimony Tour’, so-named because John reportedly planned to use proceeds from the tour to pay for the £20 million divorce to his third wife Alyce-Faye Eichelberger.

Camilla also wrote a stage adaptation of the 1980s comedy film A Fish Called Wanda, which was written by and starred John Cleese.

Her screen appearances include roles in sports drama High & Outside: A Baseball Noir, and comedy film Daddy Daughter Trip which also starred (you guessed it) her father. Her upcoming film projects include romantic comedy One Night in Bath, drama Cut the Painter, both of which also star John, and TV movie What’s Wrong with Men?

Camilla’s comedy career has taken her across the world as she has performed at venues across the US, Canada and Mexico, as well as in Europe.

John Cleese and Andrew Sachs in Fawlty TowersJohn Cleese and Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers
John Cleese and Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers

What is the Fawlty Towers reboot?

Camilla’s biggest project of her career so far is likely to be the reboot of her father’s classic sitcom Fawlty Towers, which finished airing several years before she was born. The show aired just two series, one in 1975 and another in 1979, with 12 episodes in total, but has remained popular with fans for decades.

There was strong demand for more episodes of the show to be made, but Cleese resisted at the time, claiming that another series wouldn’t live up to expectations.

The sitcom followed the inept Torquay hotelier Basil and his distant wife Sybil as they attempted to navigate the difficulties of the hotel trade, keep their guests happy, and stay in business. The series reboot will see Basil joined by his daughter, who he has only just learned is his, as they join forces to run a new hotel.

Andrew Sachs, who starred as Basil’s Spanish sidekick and dogsbody Manuel in the original series, passed away in 2016, and Prunella Scales, who played Sybil retired from acting after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.

Connie Booth, who played waitress and hotel maid Polly in the show, divorced husband John Cleese in 1978, though the pair starred together in the second season of Fawlty Towers the following year. Booth retired from acting in 1995 so it is unlikely that she will reprise her role in the series revival.

The release date of the Fawlty Towers revival and it is unknown how many episodes the series will run for. Check back here for updates on the new series.

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