Entertainment

Bond Girl Caroline Munroe reveals how she’s still in demand 50 years on from her heyday

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Caroline Munro walked down the stairs of the Great Victoria Hotel in Bradford and it was a shame that only the reception, the cleaners and I saw it, because she looked sensational, with all the style and charm fit a Bond Girl and Hammer horror legend.

If she had a late night at St George’s Hall next door, hosting Q The Music, the musical celebration of the James Bond movies, it wouldn’t have appeared.

Caroline, who played the murderous Naomi, piloting a helicopter opposite Roger Moore’s 007 in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, is now 73 years old, but quite frankly, great looking.

So what’s her secret?

She laughed, telling me: “Coffee, stress and chocolate. And Nivea. And I walk a lot, what good is this. “

She’s optimistic because of what she’s been through over the past few years, dealing with cancer and then losing her husband.

She said: “In January 2018, I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. It was a bit of a shock. It’s actually pretty weird. “







Caroline in The Spy Who Loved Me
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Her rum commercials led to movie roles
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UGC)

Caroline had surgery to remove the tumor and is now cancer free. It was a warm June morning, and she cooled herself off with a fan, saying, “I’m still on chemotherapy tablets right now, so this, because I’m hot. Although it was a big shock I got the best treatment and I am still getting it. “

She has participated in two fan conventions, together raising more than £25,000 for Maggie’s cancer charity. “It’s very important to me to give something back to Maggie’s, because they’ve helped me a lot in my worst times and they’re still helping me now,” she said.

In early 2020, she lost her husband of more than 30 years, film director George Dugdale, the father of two daughters, Georgina and Iona. “I was really down,” she said. It was hard for me and it was hard for my girls. But Georgina and Iona are amazing, they are my mainstay, incredibly strong. We are the Three Musketeers.







Actress in the film Dracula A.D. 1972 with Christopher Lee
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“I have really good days, especially when I’m working and my mind is busy, and then I have really bad days. At the end of the day, we have to try to stay optimistic.”

She is following her own advice. Just this weekend, she flew to Pittsburgh, USA, to attend Monster Bash, a horror and sci-fi film convention where she was the guest of honor.

It’s been 50 years since she made her Hammer debut in the 1972 AD film Dracula, starring Christopher Lee as the undead Count and Peter Cushing as his arch-nemesis Abraham Van Helsing.

She was followed by Captain Kronos the Vampire Hunter and a series of fantasy, horror and science fiction films, including At The Earth’s Core, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and The Abominable Dr. Phibes.







On the set of The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore and Barbara Bach
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Caroline grew up in Richmond, South West London, and later moved with her parents to Rottingdean, a beautiful village in Sussex where her grandmother lived. She said: “Rottingdean was an idyllic place to grow up, and I would walk through the fields every morning to go to school. Don’t rush, remember. I don’t like school and school doesn’t like me either. “

The cause is that Caroline has dyslexia, which has not been diagnosed. Instead, the school named her “slow”.

She said: “I remember that word, it stuck with me, because it was in my written reports, and I thought, well, I don’t think I’m slow.”

She left school with two O-Level certificates in French and Arts. “That wasn’t going to get me very far, so I started taking classes at Brighton College of the Arts,” she said.

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While she was there, an older student asked if he could take some pictures of her. Her mother agreed and she posed for a portrait at Preston Manor, just outside Brighton. The photographer entered them into a newspaper writing contest, judged by David Bailey.

She said: “The next thing I heard was that my portrait had won the contest. And suddenly, I was ‘Face of 1966’. “

From there, things changed rapidly. She enrolled in the famous Lucie Clayton model school. “They taught us how to walk and how to get in and out of a car in miniskirts,” she said.

Later, a session with photographer Brian Duffy led to a fashion shoot for American Vogue. This was followed by her first film role, playing a Mexican-American girl in Spanish spaghetti, A Talent for Loving, starring Richard Widmark and Cesar Romero. And then work changed her life.







Caroline is the host of the game show 3-2-1 with Ted Rogers and Lynda Lee Lewis
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As Caroline recalls, “I was approached to do the Lamb’s Navy Rum ad campaign.” Suddenly, she was on billboards all over London, in a low-zip wetsuit, brandishing a knife.

She said: “I look very tough. It is a powerful image. However, it was a bit of a shock for my dad. He works in the City as a lawyer and he got off the train in Waterloo one morning to see this massive poster. I imagine there was a bit of a joke in the office about that. “

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Among the millions of people who saw that poster were James Carreras, president of Hammer Films, and Cubby Broccoli, legend of the 007 film franchise.

She was cast as A.D. Dracula in 1972 and then starred in The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore and Barbara Bach, launching her into a career that has truly never stopped.

She filmed her most recent film, low-budget horror The Haunting of Margam Castle, in 2020.

She said: “I never had the ambition to be an actress. I never even had the ambition to become a model. I think my mother thought that a good career for me would be a dresser in a store. “

Caroline, the host of the 3-2-1 game show with Ted Rogers and Lynda Lee Lewis in the 1980s, also appears every Friday night on Talking Pictures TV, showcasing old and July horror movies. will appear in Christchurch, Dorset, as part of events hosted by Talking Pictures over the weekend. Although she enjoys visiting the United States, she is never tempted to live there. She said: “I had the opportunity to go and Cubby thought I would do very well in America. But I have my parents here, I’ve had my life here and done a lot of work in Europe. I had to follow my heart and I said no. Hollywood is not for me. “

  • Caroline Munro is at A Weekend By The Sea with Talking Pictures TV in Christchurch, Dorset, July 16-17. renownfilms.co.uk. Her next Q musical performance is at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, on October 23. Visit qthemusicshow.com/seetheshow

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/bond-girl-caroline-munroe-reveals-27332239 Bond Girl Caroline Munroe reveals how she's still in demand 50 years on from her heyday

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