Fiona Richmond

Fiona Richmond (born 2 March 1945) is an English former glamour model and actress. She became a British sex symbol in the 1970s for her appearances in numerous risqué plays, comedy revues, magazines and films.[2]

Fiona Richmond
Born
Julia Rosamund Harrison

(1945-03-02) 2 March 1945 (age 76)
Other namesAmber St. George,[1] Amber Harrison

Early lifeEdit

Richmond was born Julia Rosamund Harrison in Hilborough, Norfolk, the daughter of the Reverend John Harrison.[3] At school she qualified for university but chose to audition for drama schools with the aim of becoming an actress.[1] She initially worked as worked as an air stewardess, then as a nanny for the actress Diane Cilento,[4][2] and subsequently as a Playboy Club croupier.[5]

Acting careerEdit

Richmond met the British strip-club owner and publisher Paul Raymond in 1970 when she auditioned for a part in the nude farce Pyjama Tops at the Whitehall Theatre in London.[6] She was awarded the part[4] and went on to star at the Raymond Revuebar strip club, appear in nude photo shoots and work as an adult entertainment journalist, writing articles about sex for the UK’s top shelf magazines. In 1970 she was the subject of a TV documentary The Actress Said.[2] Her column in Raymond's Men Only magazine brought her some fame and in 1974 she appeared as a regular sex adviser on the London Broadcasting Company, a British talk radio and phone-in station. In the same year she made the TV documentary What the Actress said to the Bishop which won a gold award at the Atlanta International Film Festival.[1] In 1976 the News of the World printed a picture of Richmond in the Crystal Palace F.C. players' bath with footballer Malcolm Allison, as a result of which Allison was charged with bringing the game in into disrepute by The Football Association.[7]

She made her film debut (billed under the name Amber Harrison) in Not Tonight, Darling (1971),[8] which led to larger roles in X-rated movies such as the psychological thriller Exposé (1976).[9] Others included Hardcore (1977) – also titled Frankly Fiona – a sex comedy in which she played herself, partially based on an autobiography she had written, and Let's Get Laid (1977), a mistaken-identity comedy that had no connection to the stage show of the same name.[10] Her later film roles included the Queen of France in the Mel Brooks comedy History of the World, Part I (1981),[11] and Fiona the KGB agent in the all-star black comedy Eat The Rich (1987).[12] She also recorded the spoken word album Frankly Fiona in 1973, in collaboration with Anthony Newley,[13] adding erotic talk to Newley's songs.[14]

Richmond appeared in many of Paul Raymond's stage shows.[6] From 1970 until 1974 she starred as a nude swimmer in Pyjama Tops,[15] the West End's first nude production, which ran at the Whitehall Theatre[16] for five years from 1969.[17] The play, set around a transparent-sided swimming pool into which nude actresses periodically plunged, was an English version of the French farce Moumou.[18] Richmond also starred in the play's 1972 tour.[19] In 1974 she appeared on stage at the Windmill Theatre with John Inman in Let's Get Laid,[2] a sex sketch comedy written by Victor Spinetti.[14] The play was the first to be performed in the newly re-opened theatre, and to promote it she rode a horse through Piccadilly Circus in the style of Lady Godiva.[20][4] In 1977 she starred opposite Divine in the women's prison comedy Women Behind Bars at the Whitehall Theatre.[21] In 1979 she went on tour as the star of Yes, We Have No Pyjamas,[22] another of Raymond's nude productions.[23] She starred in the 1981 Paul Raymond production of Wot! No Pyjamas! at the Whitehall Theatre and its subsequent tour.[24] Semi-naked photos of Richmond appeared on posters outside the Whitehall Theatre, and the Greater London Council took legal action against them.[25] In 1982 she starred in the nude stage farce Space in My Pyjamas[26][27] which toured the provinces for over 15 weeks.[28] In a TV interview promoting the tour she expressed her intention to give up nude shows in favour of more serious acting.[29]

Richmond has published many fictional and autobiographical books based on her sexual experiences, including Fiona (1976),[30] Story of I (1978),[31] On the Road by Fiona (1979),[32] Galactic Girl (1980),[33] Remember Paris (1980), Good, the Bad and the Beautiful (1980), From Here to Virginity (1981), In Depth (1982) and Tell Tale Tits (1987). Her last showbusiness appearances in were in the 1990s, including guest spots on James Randi: Psychic Investigator (1991),[34][self-published source] The Truth About Women (1992),[citation needed] and as an uncredited extra in The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous (1997).[35]

In The Look of Love, the 2013 biopic about Paul Raymond directed by Michael Winterbottom, Richmond was played by Tamsin Egerton.[36] Upon its release Richmond said that the film portrayed a sleazy side of her life that never happened,[37] and that most of her suggested script changes to make the film more accurate had not been not taken up.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

From 1970 until 1977 she was Paul Raymond's companion. They lived together in London[4] and the pair had celebrity status.[2] Raymond admitted adultery with Richmond, and his wife Jean divorced him in 1974.[38] He gave Richmond a yellow Jaguar E-Type sports car with the personalised number plate FU2, and she became recognised driving it around the West End.[39] Following Raymond's death on 2 March 2008, Richmond gave an interview to the Daily Mirror about him:

We had fabulous times touring the world looking for acts for the Raymond Revue bar[sic] ... [Paul Raymond] had a boat on the south of France called Veste Demitte. The closest translation from the Latin is "Get ‘Em Off...." He was one of the last great showmen. Everyone today is just so much more boring.[6]

By 1978 the relationship between Richmond and Raymond had ended and she was expressing her intention to marry James Montgomery, the presenter of Southern Television's regional news programme Day by Day.[40] Richmond had met Montgomery when she appeared on a TV show he was producing to promote a book she had written.[41] The pair were married in 1983 and had one daughter, Tara,[4] born in 1984.[3] In that year Richmond retired from show business, going on to run a fashion company and work as a journalist.[6] The couple were divorced in 1998[3] but she retained her married name.[6]

Richmond subsequently became a hotelier with her partner, former pig farmer Peter Pilbrow.[6][4] By 2001 they owned and ran two establishments: "Petit Bacaye Cottage Hotel" on the Caribbean island of Grenada, and "The Onion Store", an English bed and breakfast house in Hampshire.[20][42] She went on to spend time in both countries and raise funds for the charity Gift Grenada.[4]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Not Tonight, Darling Suzanne
1974 Barry McKenzie Holds His Own French Stripper
1976 Exposé Suzanne
1977 Hardcore Fiona
1977 Let's Get Laid Maxine Lupercal
1981 History of the World, Part 1 Queen (The French Revolution)
1987 Eat The Rich Fiona
1992 The Truth About Women
1997 The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous extra TV Series,3 episodes
Uncredited

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Iredale, Paul (26 November 1974). "Minister's Daughter Sex Program Hostess". The Leader-Post. Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Reuters. p. 6.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fiona Richmond at her Pleasure". British Film Institute. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Person Page 26112, Julia Rosamund Harrison". thePeerage.com. Lundy, Darryl. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Levin, Angela (19 April 2013). "King of Soho's muse: Coogan has invaded my privacy". The Telegraph.
  5. ^ Curtis, Nick (5 April 2013). "'Paul Raymond made his living off sex. I make my living by being funny,' says Steve Coogan". Evening Standard.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Webster, Nick (8 March 2008). "70s porn queen Fiona Richmond on her lover Paul Raymond". Daily Mirror.
  7. ^ Taylor, Daniel (15 October 2010). "Malcolm Allison was the best coach this country has ever had, says Mike Summerbee". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Not Tonight, Darling (1971)". IMDb. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  9. ^ Normanton, Peter (2012). "Exposé". The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies. Hachette UK. ISBN 9781780330419.
  10. ^ Willetts, Paul (2010). Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond. Profile Books. p. 320–321. ISBN 9781847653024.
  11. ^ "History of the World: Part I (1981) – Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Eat the Rich (1987) – Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Paul Raymond Presents Fiona – Frankly Fiona (1973, Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b Willettes (2010), p. 306.
  15. ^ Sierz, Aleks (2019). Good Nights Out: A History of Popular British Theatre 1940-2015. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 9781350046238.
  16. ^ Lister, David (4 October 2015). "Whitehall pulls up its trousers for a listing". The Independent.
  17. ^ Brown, Colin (2009). Whitehall: The Street that Shaped a Nation. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781847377388.
  18. ^ Willetts, Paul (2013). "Chapter 27: Yes, We Have No Pyjamas". The Look of Love: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, Soho's King of Clubs. Profile Books. ISBN 9781847659941.
  19. ^ Hayward, Anthony (31 March 2015). "Roger Kitter: Stand-up comedian and actor best known for taking over the role of Captain Bertorelli in Allo 'Allo!'". The Independent.
  20. ^ a b "British mores stripped bare". Herald Scotsman. 29 June 2001.
  21. ^ Jay, Bernard (1994). Not Simply Divine. Simon and Schuster. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780671884673.
  22. ^ Laws, Roz (10 November 2016). "The Full Monty is coming to Birmingham Hippodrome but who else has been naked on stage in the city?". Birmingham Mail.
  23. ^ Lawrence; Goldman, eds. (2013). "Raymond, Paul". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. Oxford University Press. p. 940. ISBN 9780199671540.
  24. ^ "Wot! No Pyjamas! - Leaflet, 1981". Our Theatre Royal. Nottingham. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  25. ^ Willetts (2010), p. 353.
  26. ^ "Day 3: how an Irishman in drag saved the Pavilion". Evening Times. Glasgow. 15 November 2006 – via pressreader.
  27. ^ "Poster advertising 'Space in My Pyjamas' at Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, 1982". Victoria & Albert Museum.
  28. ^ Marshall, Ray (26 September 2007). "Remember When: Naughty but not so nice for Fiona; 70s sex siren who fell out with the city and the Chronicle". Evening Chronicle. Newcastle – via Free Online Library.
  29. ^ "Central News: 09.09.1982: Fiona Richmond". Central Television. 9 September 1982.
  30. ^ Hunt, Leon (2013). British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation. Routledge. p. 127. ISBN 9781136189364.
  31. ^ Richmond, Fiona (1979). Story of I. Star. ISBN 9780352305206.
  32. ^ Richmond, Fiona (1979). On the Road by Fiona. Star. ISBN 978-0426188094.
  33. ^ Richmond, Fiona (1980). Galactic Girl. Star Books. ISBN 9780352307484.
  34. ^ "James Randi Psychic Investigator". The VHiStory Project. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  35. ^ "The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous (1997): Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  36. ^ Dowd, Vincent (23 April 2013). "Remembering the King of Soho". BBC News.
  37. ^ "The Look of Love: Press". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  38. ^ Goldman (2013), p. 940.
  39. ^ Willetts (2010), p. 240.
  40. ^ "Fiona's Leading Man". Evening Times. Glasgow. 11 September 1978. p. 4 – via Google Books.
  41. ^ Willetts (2010), p. 321–2.
  42. ^ Hamilton, Alex (2012). Writing Talk. Troubador Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 9781780883397.

Further readingEdit

  • Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (fourth edition) (Titan Publishing, London) (2011)

External linksEdit