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1 January 1945|
London, England, United Kingdom
|Died||5 June 2004
East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Life and career
Born Virginia Anne Northrop in London to a British mother and a U.S. Army father, North spent her early years in Britain, France, Southeast Asia and finally Washington, following her father's military postings. By the mid-1960s she had returned to Britain, where she worked as a model, specialising in swim wear. In 1968 she joined the newly established London agency Models 1, which has since gone on to become one of the major modelling agencies in Europe.
North began her brief film career with small parts in the Bulldog Drummond film Deadlier Than the Male (1967) and the Yul Brynner vehicle The Long Duel (1967). She returned to film two years later as Robot Number Nine in Some Girls Do (1969), the second in the Bulldog Drummond franchise, and as Olympe in two short scenes in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), so forever labelling her—however marginally—a "Bond girl".
The 1969 Department S episode "The Mysterious Man in the Flying Machine" marked her only television appearance.
Her last and perhaps best-known role was as Vincent Price's silent assistant, the delectably deadly Vulnavia, in the horror comedy The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). Except for a brief moment as she struggles not to laugh during a campy dance scene with Price, North keeps an impassive face and dispassionate poise throughout, no matter how abominable or downright weird proceedings become. With this film’s frequent change of stylish and sometimes bizarre costumes, her work as a model stands her in good stead.
In 1974 North married the wealthy industrialist Gordon White. Later that year she gave birth to her only child, Lucas, who would later become a well-regarded polo player and one of the richest young men in the United Kingdom.
With her husband awarded a KBE in 1979 for services to British industry, so becoming Sir Gordon White, Virginia White became Virginia, Lady White. She and White were divorced in 1991. She never remarried and died at her home in West Sussex, England, in June 2004 after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 59.