Margaret Nolan

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Margaret Nolan
Artist and actor Margaret Nolan (2013).jpg
Born Margaret Nolan
(1943-10-29) 29 October 1943 (age 70)
London, England, UK
Nationality British
Years active 1964-1983

Margaret Nolan (born 29 October 1943) is an English visual artist, actress and former glamour model. She was born in Hampstead, London to Irish parents.[1] Nolan was married to English playwright Tom Kempinski in 1963 and divorced in 1972. She has two sons.

Early career[edit]

Margaret Nolan began her career in front of a camera lens as a model. As her glamour modelling career took off, she was briefly known as Vicky Kennedy in the early 1960s. Nolan reverted to her birth name as soon as acting roles beckoned; appearing in numerous television shows, theatre productions and movies. The latter included A Hard Day's Night with the Beatles, Ferry Cross the Mersey with Gerry and the Pacemakers and Marcel Carné's Three Rooms in Manhattan.

Goldfinger[edit]

In 1964, Nolan played the small role of Dink, Bond's masseuse, in the James Bond film Goldfinger.[2] She was painted gold and wore a gold bikini for Robert Brownjohn's title-sequence, advertisements and soundtrack-cover (not Shirley Eaton as in the narrative of the film). This led to photographs in Playboy magazine's James Bond's Girls edition of November 1965. In the 1971 film Carry On At Your Convenience, composer Eric Rogers referenced Nolan's Goldfinger affiliation by using its three-note motif on a close-up of her. Nolan appeared on the front cover of both the US and UK versions of the 2005 book Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography.[3][4] The title-sequence was also parodied by the pop-band Scissor Sisters for their 2006 music-video Land of a Thousand Words. In 2012, Nolan gave her first interview concerning her experiences as the model. Asked if the imagery liberates or celebrates womanhood, Nolan responded that 'It does celebrate the physical form. If I’d been nude it might have been about liberation because up to that point you wouldn’t have seen a nude woman in a publicly visible thing like that. I could have been very pretentious and said this is liberating. But because I was dressed-up anyway I didn’t get that sense.'[5] It became the first film-title to be shown in installation at MoMA, New York (2012).[6]

Acting career[edit]

On appearing in Michael Pertwee's 1969 farce She's Done It Again at London's Garrick Theatre, Nolan was described as combining '...a long list of physical attractions with a talent that has contributed to the success of many films and television plays...' [7] She was known for five BBC series with Spike Milligan and in 2013 published a short essay on her time working with him. Nolan gave a live reading of the work at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden, reviewed by What's On London as a "deeply-personal memoir... her performance simply magical."[8] She spoke of her awareness of Milligan's depressive character but also of their friendly working relationship; noting that "Professionally, he taught me that timing is what makes things funny. Timing is crucial..."[9] Nolan was given bigger roles in several 1970s Carry On films - and most sizably Carry on Girls. The scene in Carry On Girls where a woman in a one-piece swim suit sneezes and bursts open two buttons on her outfit (revealing most of her breasts) is Nolan. The same film contains the sequence of Nolan (in a silver bikini) and Barbara Windsor cat-fighting on a hotel floor.

Nolan also appeared in serious theatre, motivated by political themes, and in one of the first episodes of the television police drama The Sweeney.[10] In 2011, Nolan's work as a comedy actor was recognised with her name included on Gordon Young's Comedy Carpet installation in front of Blackpool Tower.[11] Also in 2011, Nolan returned to the screen after a gap of nearly three decades. She starred in a role especially written for her by Ann Cameron, in Yvonne Deutschman's The Power of Three. The film was set in Hampstead, and well-received on the independent circuit with a 7.2 rating on IMDb.[12]

Art career[edit]

Front cover by Nolan for Playerist 2.

As a visual artist, Margaret Nolan is recognised for her expressively graphic and sometimes grotesque photo-montages assembled from cut-outs of her early publicity photographs. These pieces concern '...a unique and personal dialogue intrinsically related to a view of a woman and how a woman is viewed.'[13] She has exhibited in London at venues including the Brick Lane Gallery (2009), The Misty Moon Gallery (2013) and Gallery Different (2013), whilst a screen-print is held by Kemistry Gallery.[14][15][16]

In 2009, early publicity shots of Nolan inspired screen-prints by Brighton-based graffiti artist Hutch.[17] Nolan's work in photo-montage was also selected for the front cover of Playerist literary magazine (No. 2, 2012).[18] In 2013, her artworks featured in the group show equals: exploring feminism through art and conversation at BLANKSPACE Manchester; the press release quoting that "Her voice carries alongside universal debate on socio-sexual hierarchies in the age of mass media."[19] Nolan lives and works in her home town of Hampstead, continues to exhibit, and occasionally attends conventions for film fans.

TV appearances[edit]

Movie appearances[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • King, E (2005) Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography 1925-1970 UK: King [ISBN 185669464X]
  • King, E (2005) Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography 1925-1970 US: Princeton [ISBN 1568985509]
  • Playerist (2012) Margaret Nolan Interview Playerist No. 2, Slidel [ISSN 2048-2515]
  • Ross, R (1996) The Carry On Companion Batsford [ISBN 0713479671]
  • Ross, R (1999) 'Carry On' Uncensored Boxtree [ISBN 0752217984]
  • Ross, R (2011) 'Carry On' Actors Apex [ISBN 1906358958]
  • Sheridan, R (2007) Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema Reynolds and Hearn [ISBN 0857682792]
  • Snelgrove, K (2008) Official Carry On Facts, Figures and Statistics Apex [ISBN 1906358095]
  • Webber, R (2008) Fifty Years of Carry On Century [ISBN 1844138437]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Margaret Nolan: Official website
  2. ^ Margaret Nolan: IMDb page
  3. ^ Dragun, R (2005) Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography
  4. ^ King, E (2005) Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography 1925-1970
  5. ^ Playerist (2012:03) Margaret Nolan Interview Playerist No. 2
  6. ^ Morra, A (2012) Goldfinger: A Convergence at MoMA
  7. ^ Flink, S (1969:13) Margaret Nolan Garrick Theatre Playbill Volume 4 No. 11
  8. ^ whats-on-london.co.uk (2013) Poetry Café: Playerist Comedy Night – Review
  9. ^ Nolan, M (2013) Room at the Top Playerist No. 3, p. 16
  10. ^ Margaret Nolan: Official website
  11. ^ Comedy Carpet: Comedians
  12. ^ IMDb: The Power of Three
  13. ^ Playerist (2012:02) Margaret Nolan Interview Playerist No. 2
  14. ^ Margaret Nolan Art: Official online gallery
  15. ^ Margaret Nolan Art: Official Facebook page
  16. ^ Margaret Nolan: Official Twitter page
  17. ^ Hutch (2012) Dink screen-print
  18. ^ Playerist magazine
  19. ^ BLANKSPACE, Manchester (2013:01 [Slidel, 2013]) equals: Press Release

External links[edit]