Dawn French (Reader) Dawn French was born in Wales in 1957. She trained to be a drama teacher at London's Central School of Speech and Drama where she met Jennifer Saunders, leading to one of the most successful partnerships in British comedy. Dawn French has numerous television credits to her name, the most notable of which is her role in The Vicar of Dibley. She was married to the comedian Lenny Henry for 26 years with whom she has a daughter. In 2013 French married Mark Bignell.