Petula Clark, CBE (born 15 November 1932) 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 1960s she became known internationally 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.
Born to English father Leslie Norman Clark and Welsh mother Doris (née Phillips), both nurses at Long Grove Hospital, in Epsom, Surrey, England, she was christened Petula Sally Olwen Clark. Her father Leslie coined her first name, jokingly alleging it was a combination of the names of two former girlfriends, Pet and Ulla. As a child, she sang in the chapel choir and showed a talent for mimicry, frequently impersonating Vera Lynn, Carmen Miranda, and Sophie Tucker for the amusement of family and friends. Her father introduced her to theatre when he took her to see Flora Robson in a 1938 production of Mary Tudor; she later recalled that after the performance "I made up my mind then and there I was going to be an actress . . . I wanted to be Ingrid Bergman more than anything else in the world." However, her first public performances were as a singer, performing with an orchestra in the entrance hall of Bentalls Department Store in Kingston upon Thames for a tin of toffee and a gold wristwatch, in 1939.