Rita Tushingham was born in Liverpool on March 14, 1942, and did her professional apprenticeship with the Liverpool Playhouse. In 1961, she made her film debut as a teenager in A Taste of Honey. For her work in that film, she won a BAFTA and the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1963, she followed those up with a Golden Globe Award as most promising newcomer.
Tushingham became a symbol of the kitchen sink school of theater, which told stories about working class folk, people who had been ignored previously in class-conscious England. The Sixties was a decade that saw the rise of a generation of actors born and raised outside Metropolitan London who refused to let go of their accents or adopt posh manners. She became one of the faces of the English New Wave.