FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM PORTSMOUTH

Famous residents of Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Hall of Fame shows the details of some of Portsmouth's famous residents, some of who were born in Portsmouth and others who lived and worked in the City.

Portsmouth has a wealth of famous people both present and in the past, these include writers, politicians, sports personalties and muscians.

If you know of someone who you feel should be included on these pages, but is missing, then please send us an email to info@welcometoportsmouth.co.uk and let us know the details.

Thank you for your interest.

HALL OF FAME, JOHN MADDEN TO JOHN POUNDS

John Madden, film director born in Portsmouth.

JOHN MADDEN

TV and film director John Madden, was born in Portsmouth on April 8th 1949. Madden, who started his career as artistic director of the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company, directed TV series such as "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and "Prime Suspect" and episodes of "Inspector Morse". He expanded his career into film, his first hit film being "Mrs Brown" which starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Billy Conolly as John Brown, in 1997, other hits followed including "Shakespeare in Love" starring Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998 and more recently "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2011) with a stellar cast of British actors.

Photo of author Michelle Magorian.

MICHELLE MAGORIAN

Born November 6th 1947, Portsmouth, Michelles father was in the Royal Navy, therefore due to postings she spent many of her early years living in Singapore and Australia. Until the age of 18 she lived in Portsmouth, at 19 Michelle attended the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, studying drama. As an author she has produced both fiction and poetry mainly for young people, these include Goodnight Mister Tom (which was made into a film for TV), Back Home, Not a Swan, and A Spoonful of Jam.

Photo of the novelist Olivia Manning.

OLIVIA MANNING

Born March 2nd 1911 in Portsmouth, Olivia was a journalist and novelist. The daughter of a naval officer, produced her first novel, The Wind Changes in 1937 but is best known for her series of novels The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy. She is said to have constantly worried about her ability as a novelist and her literary reputation and is reported to have said that she wished she could be famous like the actor comedian Peter Sellers, also born in Portsmouth. Ironically she died on July 23rd 1980, the same day as Peter Sellers, reports of his death somewhat overshadowed her own and took up more column space in the papers.

Photo of Peter Orton.

PETER ORTON

Peter grew up in the Tangier Road area and after leaving Portsmouth Technical School worked as a salesman selling shoes. In 1966 he joined Television International Enterprises, a programme sales business. Peter was responsible for the international sales of Sesame Street, becoming close friends with Jim Henson. He worked with Henson and helped set up Henson International Television. When Henson sold his TV business to Disney, Orton decided to found Hit Entertainment the best known and one of the most successful children's TV production, licensing and merchandising companies in the world, introducing characters such as Postman Pat, Alvin & the Chipmunks and Bob the Builder. Peter Orton died December 5th 2007 after battling cancer for some time.

Photo of Allison Owen from Portsmouth

ALLISON OWEN

Film producer Allison Owen was born in Portsmouth in 1961, to Peter and Mary Owen, her mother Mary worked Portsmouth Dockyard. Allison attended the Northern Grammar School for Girls. Her film credits include Moonlight and Valentino (1995), Elizabeth (1998), Sylvia (2003), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Proof (2005), The Other Boleyn Girl (2007) and Brick Lane (2007). Allison is mother to the singer Lily Allen from her previous marriage to the actor / comedian Keith Allen. She is currently married to the art director Aaron Batterham.

Olympic Athlete, Alan Pascoe, born in Portsmouth.

ALAN PASCOE, MBE

Olympic athlete Alan Pascoe, was born in Portsmouth on the 11th October 1947. He attended Southern Grammar School for Boys in Portsmouth, before studying at the University of London for an Honours Degree in Education. He won medals for hurdling at a variety of distances, at the 1972 Olympic Games (Silver 4 x 400m relay), the European Championships 1969 - 1974, and the Commonwealth Games 1974 - 1978. After athletics he forged a highly successful business career in events marketing and consulting, starting Alan Pascoe Associates Ltd and having sold that setting up Fast Track Events Ltd.

Picture of John Pounds.

JOHN POUNDS

John Pounds was born in Portsmouth on 17th June 1766. Following an accident at Portsmouth Dockyard, he was crippled for life.
Unable to work as a shipwright, John became a shoemaker, whilst working in the shop, John began teaching local children how to read and write. John Pounds is recognized as the founder of the movement known as the ragged schools.
Read more about John Pounds here.