Britt Ekland

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Britt Ekland
Ekland in 1972 by Allan Warren
Britt-Marie Eklund

(1942-10-06) 6 October 1942 (age 81)
Stockholm, Sweden
  • Actress
  • model
  • singer
Years active1959–present
(m. 1964; div. 1968)
(m. 1984; div. 1992)
Children3, including Victoria Sellers
ParentSven Eklund (father)

Britt Ekland (born Britt-Marie Eklund; 6 October 1942) is a Swedish actress, model, and singer. She appeared in numerous films in her heyday throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including roles in The Double Man (1967), The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Stiletto (1969), and the British crime film Get Carter (1971), which established her as a sex symbol. She also starred in several horror films, including The Wicker Man (1973), and appeared as a Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).[1]

Ekland continued to act throughout the 1970s, with roles in films such as The Ultimate Thrill (1974), Royal Flash (1975), High Velocity (1976), and King Solomon's Treasure (1979), and into the 1980s, starring in the likes of Fraternity Vacation (1985), Moon in Scorpio (1987), and Scandal (1989). Since the early 1990s her acting work has mainly consisted of stage shows, one-off roles, cameos, and appearances on reality television.

Her high-profile social life, her 1964 marriage to actor Peter Sellers, and her relationship with singer Rod Stewart attracted considerable press attention, making her one of the world's most photographed celebrities during the 1970s.

Early life[edit]

Ekland was born Britt-Marie Eklund in Stockholm, Sweden[2] to Maj Britt, a secretary, and Sven Eklund, who ran an upmarket clothing store in Stockholm and was captain of the Swedish national curling team, four-time national champion and one-time president of the World Curling Federation.[1][3] Ekland's mother died of Alzheimer's disease in the 1980s, which had a profound effect on her.[4]

Ekland grew up with three younger brothers, and has said that she was overweight for much of her childhood: "I was very heavy. God, I was brutal-looking. I always tried to be funny to make up for the fact that I was fat and ugly".[3] As a teenager, Ekland left school to travel with a theatre company and was spotted in a coffee shop in Italy by a talent agent who sent her to London to audition for films.[3]

Film career[edit]

Ekland with Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)
Ekland (second from left) with Åsa Vesterlund, Maria Montazami and Gunilla Persson in 2014

Ekland had small roles in the Swedish films Kort är sommaren (1962) and Det är hos mig han har varit (1963), before landing her first major supporting part in the George Marshall Western Advance to the Rear (1964).

In 1964 she appeared in the Christmas television film A Carol for Another Christmas with her then-husband, Peter Sellers. She followed this with After the Fox (1966), also starring Sellers; she made one more film with Sellers, The Bobo (1967). This was followed with a lead role as an Amish girl turned New York City burlesque dancer in William Friedkin's musical The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), which earned Ekland critical acclaim.[5] Next came Stiletto (1969), a crime drama, based on a novel by Harold Robbins, co-starring Alex Cord. She then starred in a string of Italian films, Machine Gun McCain (1969), The Conspirators (1969), and as Antigone in The Cannibals (1970).

In 1971 she was cast as a leading lady and gun moll in the iconic crime film Get Carter, opposite Michael Caine, which firmly established her as a blonde bombshell. The 1970s also saw Ekland in several horror films, including What the Peeper Saw (1972) as a disturbed bride; the Agatha Christie adaptation Endless Night (1972), playing the friend and companion of an American heiress; and as a hallucinatory figure in the anthology film Asylum (1972) opposite Charlotte Rampling. Her most iconic horror role came in the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, in which she played a Pagan villager and seductress; however, her voice was dubbed in the film to disguise her Swedish-accented English.[6]

Other roles included in the thriller The Ultimate Thrill (1974) and the British drama Baxter! (1973). On television, she was cast in the TV film The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War (1973) opposite Lee Majors. Ekland's next prominent role came when she was cast as the lead Bond girl, Mary Goodnight, in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), which received mixed reviews but furthered Ekland's status as a sex symbol.[4][7] She played a comedy role in Royal Flash, which has been described as "perhaps her best screen work".[8]

In 1976 Ekland provided the French spoken part at the end of then-boyfriend Rod Stewart's hit single "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)". Ekland also portrayed biographical characters, such as the one based on real-life actress Anny Ondra (boxer Max Schmeling's wife) in the television film Ring of Passion (1978). Ekland was also featured in the horror films The Monster Club (1980) and Satan's Mistress (1982).

In 1978 she hosted a syndicated television series for American International Television called "Jukebox." Directed by Bruce Gowers and produced and written by Paul Flattery for Jon Roseman Productions, the series featured then-nascent music videos, most of which were originally produced by Roseman's companies in the United States and England.

Ekland had supporting roles in independent feature films. She appeared in the comedy film Fraternity Vacation (1985), followed by a role in the slasher film Moon in Scorpio (1988), and as prostitute Mariella Novotny in the feature Scandal (1989) about the Profumo affair.

She has guest-starred on various television series, including an appearance on the popular TV series Superboy, playing an alien disguised as Lara, Superboy's biological mother, during the show's second season in 1990. Ekland published a beauty and fitness book, Sensual Beauty: How to Achieve It (1984), followed by a fitness video in 1992. In the BBC television series I Love the '70s (1999), she hosted the 1971 episode in homage to her role in the film Get Carter.

Ekland's later career has mainly consisted of stage and television, with her last feature film role being in The Children (1990). She appeared on stage as a cast member in Cinderella at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent in December 1999 and January 2000. She also appeared in Grumpy Old Women Live and participated in the Swedish reality show Stjärnorna på slottet (The stars at the castle) along with Peter Stormare, Arja Saijonmaa, Jan Malmsjö, and Magnus Härenstam. In December 2007 and January 2008 she starred again in Cinderella at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.[9] She appeared as a guest on the British daytime television show Loose Women, in January 2008. From December 2008 to January 2009 Ekland starred in Cinderella at the Shaw Theatre in London. In a rare instance of her singing, she performed the song My Prince,[10] originally recorded by Lara Pulver on the album Act One – Songs from the Musicals of Alexander S. Bermange. In 2009–10 she played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at Princess Theatre, Torquay. In December 2010 she starred as the 'Fairy Pea Pod' in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Kings Theatre, Southsea. She starred in further pantomimes at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, in 2011 and 2012.[citation needed][1]

In 2010 Ekland took part in the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, where she was the fourth celebrity to be voted off the show. Ekland was one of the housewives of Svenska Hollywoodfruar (English: Swedish Hollywood Wives) on TV3 from 2012 to 2014. In 2018 she participated in Let's Dance broadcast on TV4. She was the first to be eliminated on 30 March, placing 11th.

In 2020 Ekland appeared in Season 4 of BBC TV's The Real Marigold Hotel.[11] Also in 2020, she toured the country in a production of The Cat and the Canary, playing Mrs. Pleasant. Although the production halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it resumed touring in late 2021.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Ekland and Peter Sellers, 1964

Relationships and family[edit]

Ekland became famous overnight as a result of her 1964 whirlwind romance and marriage to English actor and comedian Peter Sellers, who proposed after seeing her photograph in the paper and then meeting her in London.[13][14] She stood by him after he suffered a series of heart attacks shortly after their marriage. Ekland was stepmother to Sellers's children Sarah and Michael (who died of a heart attack at about the same age as his father). In January 1965 they had a daughter, Victoria. The couple made three films together, A Carol for Another Christmas (1964), After the Fox (1966), and The Bobo (1967), before divorcing in 1968.[15]

On 17 December 1968, Mr Justice Alan Orr granted Ekland a decree nisi for divorce in the High Court on the grounds of cruelty by Sellers, who did not contest the proceedings.[15]

In June 1973, Ekland had a son, Nicolai Adler, with record producer Lou Adler.[16]

She also had a much publicised romance with rock star Rod Stewart. They were introduced in 1975 by Joan Collins and lived together for more than two years, with Ekland giving up her career to focus on their relationship.[17]

From 1979 to 1981, she dated and became engaged to singer Phil Lewis of the groups Girl and L.A. Guns.[18]

In 1984, at age 42, she married Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom, who was 23. They had a son, Thomas Jefferson, in 1988.[19] They divorced in 1992.[citation needed]


Ekland in 2019

In 1980, Ekland's autobiography, True Britt, was published.[20]

While Rod Stewart's domestic partner, Ekland inspired his hit song "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)," which was 1977's overall #1 song.[21] The song features a French spoken part by Ekland.[21]

In 2004, Charlize Theron portrayed Ekland in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Ekland accompanied Theron to the Cannes Film Festival, where she became highly emotional when she saw the film.[22]

In the 2018 film My Dinner with Hervé, Helena Mattsson played Ekland.



Year Title Role Notes
1962 Short Is the Summer Edvarda's Friend
1963 It's With Me He's Been Li's Workmate Uncredited
To Bed or Not to Bed Extra Uncredited
The Commandant Iris
The Prize Nudist
1964 Advance to the Rear Greta
A Carol for Another Christmas Mother
Four Bullets for Joe Extra
1965 Do Not Disturb Party girl Uncredited
1966 After the Fox Gina Romantica
1967 Too Many Thieves Claudia
The Bobo Olimpia Segura
The Double Man Gina
1968 The Night They Raided Minsky's Rachel Schpitendavel
1969 Stiletto Illeana
Machine Gun McCain Irene Tucker
The Conspirators Princess Spada
1970 The Year of the Cannibals Antigone
Tintomara Adolphine
1971 Percy Dorothy Chiltern-Barlow
Get Carter Anna
1972 A Time for Loving Josette Papillion
Night Hair Child Elise
Endless Night Greta
Asylum Lucy
1973 Baxter! Chris Bentley
The Wicker Man Willow
The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War Katrina Volana
1974 The Ultimate Thrill Michelle Parlay
The Man with the Golden Gun Mary Goodnight
1975 Royal Flash Duchess Irma
1976 High Velocity Mrs. Andersen
1977 Casanova & Co. Countess Trivulzi
1978 Slavers Anna von Erken
1979 King Solomon's Treasure Queen Nyleptha
1980 The Hostage Tower Leah
1981 The Monster Club Mrs. Busotsky
1982 Satan's Mistress Ann-Marie
1983 Dead Wrong Penny Lancaster
Erotic Images Julie Todd
Dr. Yes: The Hyannis Affair Susannah
1984 Love Scenes Annie
1985 Fraternity Vacation Eyvette
Marbella Deborah
1987 Moon in Scorpio Linda
1989 Scandal Mariella Novotny
Beverly Hills Vamp Madame Cassandra
Cold Heat Jackie Mallon
1990 The Children Lady Zinnia Wrench
2006 Search Lisa's neighbour
2020 Jeepers Creepers Fantasy Lover voice


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Armchair Theatre Karen Episode: "A Cold Peace"
1966 The Trials of O'Brien Claudia 2 episodes
1971 Aquarius Mrs. X Episode: "Strindberg's Stronger"
1972 McCloud Vicki Erickson Episode: "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper"
1977 McCloud Tatiana Krasnavian Episode: ""The Moscow Connection"
1978 Ring of Passion Amy Ondra Schmeling TV film
The Great Wallendas Jenny Wallenda TV film
Battlestar Galactica Tenna 2 episodes
1979 Return of the Saint Laura Episode: "The Murder Cartel"
Skeppsredaren Patricia All 6 episodes
1980 Fantasy Island Aphrodite Episode: "Aphrodite"
The Love Boat Karen Ellison Episode: "Vicki's First Love"
1981 Charlotte Löwensköld and Anna Svärd The Bitch Episode: "Part Five"
Fantasy Island Berniece Williams "The Proxy Billionaire"
Valley of the Dolls Françoise Both episodes
1982 The Love Boat Alice Robbins Episode: "Doc Take the Fifth"
Fantasy Island Clarissa Bevis Episode: "House of Dolls"
Matt Houston Vera Martin Episode: "Deadly Fashion"
1983 Fantasy Island Linda Episode: "Love Island"
1984 The Fall Guy Britt Ekland Episode: "Always Say Always"
1985 Simon & Simon Samantha Blake Episode: "Love and/or Marriage"
The Golden Boy Mrs. Pidlington TV film
1990 Superboy Lara Lor-Van Episodes: "Escape to Earth," "Abandon Earth"
Grand Viveca Episode: "Blow Off"
1994 Absolutely Fabulous Britt Ekland Episode: "New Best Friend"
2002 Lexx Dulcibella Sternflanks Episode: "Prime Ridge"

Reality television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Dean Martin Show Herself Episode: "6.3"
1981 Barbara Woodhouse Goes to Beverly Hills Herself documentary
1982 Electric Blue 3 Herself
1984 The Fall Guy Herself Episode: "Always Say Always"
1992 Bara med Britt Herself / Host
1997 Brass Eye Herself Episode: "Animals"
2007-2008 Stjärnorna på slottet Herself 5 episodes
2008-2021 Loose Women Herself / Presenster 5 episodes
2010 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Herself / Contestant 20 episodes
2011 Celebrity Antiques Road Trip Herself episode #1.8
2013 Astrid in Wonderland Herself Episode #5.8
2013–2015 Svenska Hollywoodfruar Herself
2018 Let's Dance Herself / Contestant 2 episodes
2020 The Real Marigold Hotel Herself Season 4, 4 episodes


  • "Do it to Me once more (with feeling)" / "Private Party" (1979) No. 15 SWE


  1. ^ a b c Pelley, Rich (6 July 2023). "Britt Ekland: 'I was the first naked female a lot of young lads ever saw". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  2. ^ Fotheringham, Ann. "When city welcomed 'most photographed woman of the 70s' Britt Ekland". Glasgow Evening Times.
  3. ^ a b c Lester, Peter (10 March 1980). "All Is Vanity". People. Vol. 13. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008.
  4. ^ a b Iley, Chrissy (22 September 2013). "Britt Ekland on nudity, Alzheimer's, and being 'abducted' by Peter Sellers – interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Review: 'The Night They Raided Minsky's'". Variety. 31 December 1967. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  6. ^ Pukas, Anna (23 September 2013). "Britt Ekland: Being in The Wicker Man was a real horror". Express. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Review: 'The Man with the Golden Gun'". Variety. 31 December 1973. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  8. ^ Vagg, Stephen (18 May 2020). "Trying to Make a Case for Royal Flash". Diabolique.
  9. ^ "Oxford Mail review of Cinderella at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon". 18 December 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2010.[dead link]
  10. ^ "My Prince". YouTube. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Britt Ekland: Actor and singer". The Real Marigold Hotel. UK: BBC. 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  12. ^ "The Cat And The Canary Returns To Continue Its UK Tour Starring Britt Ekland". Theatre Weekly Press. 2 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Former Bond Girl". BBC News. UK: BBC. 23 April 2010.
  14. ^ Sikov, Ed (2002). Mr. Strangelove: a biography of Peter Sellers. Pan MacMillan. ISBN 0-283-07297-0.
  15. ^ a b "Actor Peter Sellers Regretted That His Marriage To Britt Ekland Had Broken Down, A Divorce Court Judge Was Told Today", Associated Newspapers news release dated 17 December 1968.
  16. ^ Roberts, Randall (15 June 2018). "How Nic Adler turned a life in the clubs into a feast at Arroyo Seco Weekend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  17. ^ McCormick, Neil (11 April 2013). "Rod Stewart interview: 'I am desperately ashamed of the way I finished relationships'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  18. ^ Ling, Dave (10 August 2017). "Philip Lewis: "The best advice I've ever been given was to get a vasectomy"". Classic Rock Magazine.
  19. ^ Wightwick, Abbie (7 May 2010). "Peter Sellers, Rod Stewart and me, Britt Ekland bares all". Wales Online. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  20. ^ Eklund, Britt, True Britt, Simon & Schuster (February 1984) ISBN 0-13-931089-4
  21. ^ a b Windeler, Robert (21 February 1977). "Romantic Rod". People. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  22. ^ Ashwood, James (30 January 2007). "Charlize Theron interview – Interviews – Movies". Virgin Media. Retrieved 4 October 2010.

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