Martine Beswick

Martine Beswick (born 26 September 1941) is an English-Jamaican actress and model perhaps best known for her roles in two James Bond films, From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965), who went on to appear in several other notable films in the 1960s.

Martine Beswick
Il bacio (1974) - Martine Beswick (cropped).jpg
Beswick in 1974
Born (1941-09-26) 26 September 1941 (age 80)
Port Antonio, Jamaica
OccupationActress, model
Years active1962–1995, 2019
Spouse(s)
(m. 1967; div. 1973)
[1][2][3]

Early yearsEdit

Beswick was born on 26 September 1941 in Port Antonio, Jamaica,[4] to Ronald Stuart Davis Beswick, a British father and Myrtle May (née Penso, 1912-2017) a Portuguese-Jamaican mother.[5]

Beswick, her sister Laurellie (1943–2002) and her mother moved to London in 1954 following the separation of her parents. In 1955, she left high school to work to help support her family.[4]

Film careerEdit

Beswick is best known for her two appearances in the James Bond film series. Although she auditioned for the first Bond film Dr. No (1962), she was cast in the second film From Russia with Love (1963) as the fiery gypsy girl, Zora. She engaged in a "catfight" scene with her rival Vida (played by former Miss Israel Aliza Gur). Beswick later stated that there was as much bad feeling with Gur offscreen as well as on, with the film's director, Terence Young, encouraging Beswick to get rough with Gur.[6][7]

"I was a very nice girl but Aliza was a cow. We had terrible clashes and I was disgusted with her. I had a lot of anger inside of me so that [fight] scene was a perfect way to work it out. We rehearsed the fight for three weeks but when we shot it, Aliza was really fighting. Everyone encouraged me to fight back, so I did. We got into a real scrapping match." — Martine Beswick[8]

She was incorrectly billed as "Martin Beswick" in the title sequence.[9] Beswick then appeared as the ill-fated Paula Caplan in Thunderball (1965).[10] She had been away from the Caribbean so long that she was required to sunbathe constantly for two weeks before filming, to look like a local.

Beswick went on to appear in One Million Years B.C. (1966) opposite Raquel Welch, with whom she also engaged in a catfight. She played Adelita in the well-regarded Spaghetti Western, A Bullet for the General (1966) opposite Klaus Kinski and Gian Maria Volonté and played a villainous role in the exploitation thriller The Penthouse (1967). She then appeared in various Hammer Studio low-budget films, most notably Prehistoric Women (1967) (aka Slave Girls of the White Rhinoceros) and the gender-bending horror Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971), in which she played the titular villainess. She had a supporting role in the Italian sex comedy The Last Italian Tango (1973). She then starred as the Queen of Evil in Oliver Stone's 1974 directorial debut Seizure, or Queen of Evil. In the 1970s, Beswick moved to Hollywood and regularly appeared on both the big and small screens. She made numerous guest appearances on television series, including Sledge Hammer!, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy, Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man and Falcon Crest. In 1980, she played the lead role in the comedy film The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.

Beswick's career was active well into the 1990s. Since then, she has mainly participated in film documentaries, providing commentary and relating her experiences on the many films in which she has appeared. She owned a removals business in London, but is now semiretired except for her guest appearances at international Bond conventions.

In April 2013, she was one of 12 Bond Girl celebrity guests in an episode of the BBC's Masterchef.

Beginning with Melvin and Howard (1980), she changed the spelling of her last name to "Beswicke", but reverted to her original name in the mid-1990s; her last credit with the longer spelling is Wide Sargasso Sea (1993).

After a 24 year absence from the screen, Beswick came out of retirement in 2018 to appear in House of the Gorgon opposite fellow Hammer film actors Caroline Munro, Veronica Carlson, and Christopher Neame.[citation needed]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1963 From Russia with Love Zora
1964 Saturday Night Out Barmaid
1965 Thunderball Paula Caplan
1966 One Million Years B.C. Nupondi
1967 John the Bastard Dona Antonia
Prehistoric Women Queen Kari
The Penthouse Harry
A Bullet for the General Adelita
1971 Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde Sister Hyde
1973 The Last Italian Tango Giovanna
1974 Seizure Queen of Evil
The Kiss Nara Kotosky
1975 Strange New World Tana
1978 Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell Red Haired Lady
1980 The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood Xaviera Hollander
Melvin and Howard Realty Agent
1983 Balboa Narrator
1987 Cyclone Waters
From a Whisper to a Scream Katherine White
1990 Miami Blues Noira
Evil Spirits Vanya
1991 Trancers II Nurse Trotter
1992 Life on the Edge Linda James
Critters 4 Angela Voice
1993 Wide Sargasso Sea Aunt Cora
1995 Night of the Scarecrow Barbara
Magic Island Lady Face Voice
2016 Sinbad and the Pirate Princess Queen Badra Voice
2019 House of the Gorgon Euryale
2021 Cowgirls vs Pterodactyls Narrator

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role
1965 Danger Man Girl
1967 The Solarnauts Kandia
1969 It Takes a Thief Christine Leland
1970 Mannix Eve Brady
1971 Longstreet Nikki Bell
1971 Night Gallery Susan Davis
1975 Switch Veronique
1976 City of Angels Hannah Bach
1976 The Six Million Dollar Man Shali Giba
1977 Baretta Belly Dancer
1977 Aspen Joan Carolinian
1980 Hart to Hart Ruby Braff
1981 Quincy, M.E. Hanna Weiss
1982 The Fall Guy Countess Vitt
1983 The Powers of Matthew Star Katya
1984 Fantasy Island Giselle Corday
1984 Days of Our Lives Abigail Abernathy
1985 Cover Up Melissa
1985 Falcon Crest Pamela Lynch
1987 Sledge Hammer! Lana

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "John Richardson nach Infektion mit COVID-19 gestorben". Prisma.
  2. ^ "Er wäre beinahe "007" geworden: Trauer um John Richardson | Blick - Kino". www.blick.de.
  3. ^ "Er wäre beinahe James Bond geworden: Trauer um John Richardson". de.nachrichten.yahoo.com.
  4. ^ a b Lisanti, Tom; Paul, Louis (2002). Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962–1973. McFarland. pp. 60+61. ISBN 9780786411948. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  5. ^ Cotter, Robert Michael Bobb (2013). The Women of Hammer Horror: A Biographical Dictionary and Filmography. McFarland. pp. 23–25. ISBN 9781476602011. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  6. ^ Field, Matthew (2105) Some Kind of Hero : 007 : The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films, Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press, page 138 [1]
  7. ^ "Movie Mayhem", The Salem News, Salem, Ohio, p. 12, 15 October 1963
  8. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2002). Film Fatales Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962–1973. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 0-7864-1194-5. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  9. ^ Duncan, Paul (2012). The James Bond Archives: Fifty Years of Bond, James Bond (40th ed.). Köln: Taschen. ISBN 978-3836521055.
  10. ^ CORK, JOHN (1 January 2007). JAMES BOND ENCYCLOPEDIA. DORLING KINDERSLEY. p. 138. ISBN 978-1405334273.

External linksEdit