Felicity Kendal finds comfort after death of partner with new puppy
Felicity Kendal is seen for the first time since the death of her theatre director partner Michael Rudman as she takes her new Schnauzer puppy out for a walk
Felicity Kendal, who is mourning her long-term companion, the theatre director Michael Rudman, seems to have found comfort with a new puppy.
The Good Life star, 76, was spotted taking the Schnauzer out for a walk in Chelsea, West London. She already owns a cocker spaniel called George.
‘What I love about animals is that they’re not only calming and at times highly entertaining but, unlike many humans, they are grateful, straightforward and incredibly loyal,’ she has said.
Michael, who won a prestigious Tony award for one of his theatre productions on Broadway, died last month aged 84.
The theatre director met Felicity in 1974 while he was married to Veronica Bennett.
Best friend: Felicity Kendal, who is mourning her long-term companion, the theatre director Michael Rudman, seems to have found comfort with a new puppy
Sweet: The Good Life star, 76, was spotted taking the Schnauzer out for a walk in Chelsea, West London. She already owns a cocker spaniel called George
Sad: Michael, who won a prestigious Tony award for one of his theatre productions on Broadway, died last month aged 84 (pictured together in 2010)
The couple later married in 1983 after the actress divorced her first husband of 11 years, actor Drewe Henley.
The American theatre director described the secretive romance in his book, I Joke Too Much.
Recounting the first time he saw the Good Life star, he wrote: ‘I can’t say I fell in love with her that day, but I certainly felt differently about her than I did about her co-stars Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon.
‘I had been directing actors since the early Sixties at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, among other places.
‘Soon afterwards I offered Felicity a role in a play I was directing in the West End.
‘The production went well and when, some time later, we began dating we decided to keep our relationship a secret.
‘This was quite difficult: I was now directing her in a play at the National Theatre, we both had children and my daughters, Amanda and Katy, spent every weekend with me. Still, I swore the girls to secrecy.’
The couple were married for seven years but divorced in 1991 when Miss Kendal sensationally left him to begin a relationship with playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, who also left his wife Miriam.
Fresh air: Felicity cut a casual figure in jeans and trainers as she headed out on a little dog walk
Stepping out: She put on a brave face after the devastating loss of her partner Michael
Despite their divorce, Felicity and Michael rekindled their relationship in 1998 and have been together since, despite not remarrying. They have one son together called Jacob.
Speaking of her love life in 2019, she said: ‘I didn’t ever have affairs. I just went from one person to another, maybe overlapping a little bit.
‘I wouldn’t recommend infidelity to anybody, ever, it’s basically lying – and lying is never a good idea. But we all lie and most of us, at some point… are unfaithful to a partner.’
Two years before his death, Michael had fought for his life after contracting Covid in 2021.
He was treated for two weeks in intensive care, in what Felicity described as a ‘scary time’.
Speaking of the ordeal, the Good Life star said: ‘I think I can speak for a lot of people about the fear being huge, and the frustration being a real hardship.
‘That feeling that you don’t know what state your loved one is in, and knowing you still can’t go and see them – it’s not like anything you’ve experienced before. It was just such a scary time. Michael is in his eighties.’
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