Alexandra Bastedo

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Alexandra Bastedo
Alexandra Bastedo The Champions 1968.jpg
Bastedo in 1968
Alexandra Lendon Bastedo

(1946-03-09)9 March 1946
Hove, Sussex, England
Died12 January 2014(2014-01-12) (aged 67)
Worthing, England
OccupationActress and writer
Years active1962–2014
Patrick Garland
(m. 1980; died 2013)

Alexandra Lendon Bastedo (9 March 1946 – 12 January 2014) was a British actress, best known for her role as secret agent Sharron Macready in the 1968 British espionage/science fiction adventure series The Champions. She has been cited as a sex symbol of the 1960s and 1970s.[1] Bastedo was a vegetarian and animal welfare advocate, and wrote a number of books on both subjects.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bastedo was born in Hove, England. Her mother was of French, German and Italian descent while her Canadian-born father was of Spanish, Dutch, Scottish and native American extraction.[3] She attended Brighton and Hove High School and Brighton School of Drama.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Alexandra Bastedo with her co-stars William Gaunt and Stuart Damon in The Champions.

She made her film debut as one of the title characters in William Castle's poorly received 13 Frightened Girls (1963). Bastedo received notice on the European continent, earning her the nickname, "La Bastedo". Although most familiar to viewers of 1960s TV, she was also known for her multilingual skills, speaking Italian, Spanish, French and German. This skill brought her to the attention of 10 Downing Street to assist with translations and landed her the role of co-presenter of Miss World competitions with Peter Marshall in the 1980s.

In 1979, she played in the series The Aphrodite Inheritance. In 1988, Bastedo was the cover star for 'Rank', a live album by British band The Smiths that charted at number 2 on the British Album charts. In 1991, she appeared in a notable production of the psychological thriller Dangerous Obsession by N.J. Crisp, opposite Marc Sinden and John Challis, at the Mill at Sonning. In 1992, she appeared in "Fat" – the second broadcast episode of Absolutely Fabulous, playing a 1960s model associate of Edina and Patsy. She was seen in two episodes of The Saint series, alongside Roger Moore.

In 2006, Bastedo was reunited for the first time with her co-stars from The Champions to provide commentaries and an interview for a DVD release of the show. Still working as an actress, she appeared in Batman Begins, and touring theatres in 2006 with a production of Beyond Reasonable Doubt alongside Leslie Grantham and Simon Ward. In 2008, she joined the cast of EastEnders, playing Cynthia.[4][5] In January 2008, she appeared as co-presenter (with Ed Stewart) of "The Magic of Mantovani" at Lighthouse, Poole. The success of this concert led, the following year, to a second concert at the same venue, with the Mantovani Orchestra, which she again co-presented.

Personal life[edit]

She dated David Frost and Omar Sharif but turned down the advances of Steve McQueen who, she recalled, propositioned her with the line "My wife doesn’t understand me". In the case of Sharif, the liaison lasted only a few weeks because of the actor's bridge-playing habit, his odd hours and that he took telephone numbers from other women.[6]

Mike Tomkies, the Fleet Street journalist who abandoned the life of a celebrity reporter to live alone in the wilderness, lived with her for a while in Canada, and they talked of marriage, but she was prohibited from marrying by a contract for The Champions (1968 to 69). He said that she was the most stunningly beautiful creature he had ever seen.[7]

In 1980, Alexandra married Patrick Garland,[8] a director, writer and actor, at Chichester Cathedral; he became a long-serving director of the Chichester Festival Theatre.[9] Bastedo wrote a memoir, Beware Dobermanns, Donkeys and Ducks, as well as several books on caring for cats and dogs. Her husband died on 19 April 2013.[10]

Animal welfare[edit]

Bastedo was a vegetarian and is the founder of Alexandra Bastedo Champions (ABC) Animal Sanctuary.[11][12] In an interview for the BBC television series Where Are They Now? Bastedo provided a glimpse into her private life. She used to be the president of her local RSPCA branch but gave up her position in 2008, to dedicate more time to her fast-growing animal sanctuary at her home in West Chiltington, West Sussex.[13][14] A journalist who interviewed her husband in 2010 described their domestic surroundings:

[W]e sit in his Sussex garden looking towards a small lake with a jetty and a battered rowing boat – a perfect pastoral scene which could be a stage set. He lives with his wife, the actress Alexandra Bastedo, who remains startlingly beautiful, a couple of Dobermans, some territorial cats, and a menagerie of horses, donkeys, pigs and goats – Bastedo runs an animal sanctuary. Garland's domain is largely inside the house where he closes doors to keep animals out of rooms lined with 12,000 books.[15]

She was also a patron to a number of animal welfare organisations including Compassion in World Farming, Wildlife Aid Foundation, National Animal Welfare Trust, Greyhounds in Need and Naturewatch.[16]


Bastado died from cancer on 12 January 2014, aged 67, in hospital in Worthing, England.[17] She was buried next to her husband Patrick Garland at St. Mary's Church, Sullington, West Sussex. The service was conducted by her local vicar and friend, Revd Derek Spencer who had overseen the funeral of her husband Patrick less than one year earlier.


  • Alexandra Bastedo, Beware Dobermanns, Donkeys and Ducks (Parkwest: Robson Books, 1998) ISBN 9780860519737.
  • Alexandra Bastedo and Jeannie Kemnitzer, Canine Care and Cuisine: The Healthy Dog Book (Parkwest: Robson Books, 2000) ISBN 9781861051189.
  • Alexandra Bastedo and Jeannie Kemnitzer, The Healthy Cat Book: Feline Care and Cuisine (Parkwest: Robson Books, 2000) ISBN 9781861051783.
  • Alexandra Bastedo and Jeannie Kemnitzer, Canine care & cuisine: The Healthy Dog Book (Parkwest: Robson, 2000) ISBN 9781861051189.




  1. ^ "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 70S SEXPOTS?". Daily Express. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Alexandra Bastedo". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Steven, Alasdair (14 January 2014). "Obituary: Alexandra Bastedo, actress". The Scotsman. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  4. ^ News report on Bastedo
  5. ^ Article in The Mirror Online about Bastedo
  6. ^ "Alexandra Bastedo – obituary". The Telegraph. 3 January 2014.
  7. ^ Telegraph obituary 15.11.16
  8. ^ "Patrick Garland, theatre producer and director, dies aged 78", BBC News, 20 April 2013
  9. ^ Who's Who (annually), entry for Patrick Garland
  10. ^ "Theatre director Patrick Garland dies",, 19 April 2013
  11. ^ "Alexandra Bastedo".
  12. ^ "Alexandra Bastedo Biography".
  13. ^ Alexandra Bastedo Champions Animal Sanctuary
  14. ^ Brighton screen star's goats eat magic mushrooms
  15. ^ Penny Wark, The Oldie, November 2010
  16. ^ "ABC Animal Sanctuary". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Alexandra Bastedo dies aged 67". BBC NEWS. 13 January 2014.

External links[edit]