Claire Gordon

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Claire Gordon (born 16 January 1941) is an English film actress and comedienne known for leading and cameo roles in many British movies- from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, and for working with most of the television comedy stars of that time.

She was born in Cambridge, UK. Her father was a doctor and her mother a make-up artist who worked for Max Factor.

Best known for her leading roles in the cult films Konga and Beat Girl, which featured John Barry's first film score, Gordon is the subject of singer Scott Walker's song "Archangel".

After being photographed by chance at Queens ice rink for the cover of the magazine Liliput she was signed to a five-year contract with film agent Bill Watts and played 'a harem girl' in the Bernard Bresslaw film I only Arsked before making her first stage appearance in Meet the Cousin which starred Cicely Courtnedge, Jack Hulbert, Jack Watling, Liza Gastoni. The show opened at The Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh,and it was there that she met her husband-to-be William (Henry Root) Donaldson, who was also just starting out - as a theatrical producer..

Following a spell in repertory at Portsmouth Theatre Royal playing a Russian spy in Agatha Christie's Verdict and a gum-chewing blonde in Brighton Rock and some pre- London tours, she made her West End Theatre debut on a motorbike in The Darling Buds of May at the former Saville Theatre; and then played the role of Peggy the dumb blonde film starlet in a show-stopping scene with Michael Crawford in Neil Simon's first hit Come Blow Your Horn at London's Prince of Wales Theatre.

Later, at Donaldson's request she appeared as an entirely French-speaking Lady Fifi de Winter in an improvised production of The Three Musketeers with Prof Bruce Lacey and The Alberts - at The Arts Theatre. Donaldson's talent for presenting controversial and often money-losing shows didn't desert him; the show ran for two weeks; and Gordon made theatrical history as the first actress to appear naked on stage.

"Watch out for the bath scene; it's a breakthrough." wrote The New Statesman.

Following the breakdown of her marriage - not an easy one - noted Donaldson's biographer, Gordon joined the Open University and went on to graduate from Middlesex University with a BA Honours Degree in English and American History and Literature.

Most recently, she played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, Norfolk, and worked with Sarah Louise Young in Clive Evans two woman show 'The Nunnery' which was directed by Mike Sarne.

Gordon was with Dr Stephen Ward the night that he met Christine Keeler, and with William Donaldson when the police raided and planted hash in their Chelsea flat; for which the policemen were later jailed.

She is currently working on her memoirs and a documentary about her experiences while living in Egypt before and after the 2011 revolution.


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