Britt Ekland

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Britt Ekland
Britt Ekland 1972.jpg
Ekland in 1972 by Allan Warren
Born Britt-Marie Eklund
(1942-10-06) 6 October 1942 (age 72)
Stockholm, Sweden
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1959–present
Spouse(s) Peter Sellers (1964–68)
Slim Jim Phantom (1984–92)
Children Victoria Sellers
Nic Adler (b. 1973)
T.J. (b. 1988)

Britt Ekland (born Britt-Marie Eklund; 6 October 1942) is a Swedish film, stage, and television actress, and singer. She appeared in numerous films in her heyday throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including critically acclaimed roles in William Friedkin's The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), and the British crime film Get Carter (1971), which established her as a movie sex symbol. She also appeared as a Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), and starred in the British cult horror film The Wicker Man (1973).

Her high-profile social life and her 1964 marriage to actor Peter Sellers attracted considerable press attention, leading to her being one of the most photographed celebrities in the world during the 1970s.

Early life[edit]

Ekland was born Britt-Marie Eklund in Stockholm, Sweden to Maj Britt, a secretary, and Sven Axel Eklund, who ran an upscale clothing store in Stockholm and was captain of the Swedish national curling team.[2] Ekland's mother later died of Alzheimer's disease in the 1980s, which had a profound effect on her.[1][3]

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."[2] As a teenager, Ekland left school to travel with a theater company, and was spotted by a talent agent in a coffee shop while in Italy, who sent her to London to audition for films.[2]

Film career[edit]

Early roles: 1960-1970[edit]

Ekland began her career with bit parts and uncredited walk-on roles, including her first onscreen role in G.I. Blues (1960). This was followed with a small supporting part in The Happy Thieves (1960). She 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, meeting her future husband, Peter Sellers, her co-star in the film. 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.[4] 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).

Ekland with Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)

Sex symbol and horror roles: 1971-1988[edit]

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 a mysterious relative to an heiress; and as a hallucinatory figure in the anthology film Asylum (1972) opposite Charlotte Rampling. Her most iconic horror role came in the 1973 cult 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.[5]

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 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, which received mixed reviews but furthered Ekland's status as a sex symbol.[1][6] In 1976 she 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 movie Ring of Passion (1978). Ekland was also featured in the horror pictures The Monster Club (1980) and Satan's Mistress (1982).

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

Stage and television: 1989-present[edit]

She has guest-starred on various TV shows, 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 in 1984 Sensual Beauty: How to achieve it, followed by a fitness video in 1992. In the 1999 BBC television series I Love the '70s she hosted the 1971 episode in homage to her role as "Anna" in the film), and The Wicker Man.

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, participated in December 2007 in the Swedish reality show Stjärnorna på slottet (The stars at the castle) along with Peter Stormare, Arja Saijonmaa, Jan Malmsjö and Magnus Härenstam, and in December 2007 and January 2008 she starred again in Cinderella at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.[7] She appeared as a guest on the British daytime television show Loose Women, in January 2008. From December 2008 to January 2009, Britt starred in Cinderella at the Shaw Theatre in London. In a rare instance of her singing, she performed the song My Prince, 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.

Ekland is currently one of the housewives of Svenska Hollywoodfruar (en:Swedish Hollywoodwives) on TV3 during the 2013 season. In 2010 Ekland took part in the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! where she was fourth to be voted off. During the program she developed a close relationship with Stacey Solomon and Nigel Havers, while making an enemy of Gillian McKeith.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Ekland and Peter Sellers, 1964

Ekland is fluent in English, French, and German, in addition to her native Swedish.

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 in London.[9][10] She stood by him after he suffered a series of massive heart attacks shortly after their marriage. Ekland was stepmother to Sellers' 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 in 1964, After the Fox in 1966 and The Bobo in 1967 – before divorcing in 1968.

In June 1973 she had a son, Nic Adler, with record producer Lou Adler.

She also had a much publicised romance with rock star Rod Stewart; they were introduced in 1975 by Joan Collins and lived together for over two years, with Ekland giving up her career to focus on the relationship.[11]

1979–1981 she dated and became engaged to Girl frontman and future L.A. Guns singer Phil Lewis.[citation needed]

In 1984 she married Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom, who was almost two decades her junior. They had a son, Thomas Jefferson (born in 1988), and divorced in 1992.[citation needed] A close friend of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, she is still a regular fixture on the rock'n'roll social scene.

Health problems[edit]

She was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 53, which she attributes to yo-yo dieting and a low-calcium diet,[12] after falling at an awards show and fracturing her wrist and ankle. She has been associated with both Alzheimer's and osteoporosis organisations.


In the 1970s Ekland was one of the most photographed and talked-about celebrities in the world and in 1980 her best-selling autobiography, True Britt, was published.[13]

After years of being renowned for her fantastic figure, Ekland produced her own workout video 'Britt Fit' in 1993, at the age of 51.

In 2004 Ekland was portrayed by Charlize Theron in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Theron invited her to be her date at the Cannes Film Festival, where she became highly emotional when she saw the film.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1960 G.I. Blues Britta Uncredited
1962 The Happy Thieves Mrs. Pickett
Kort är sommaren Edvarda's Friend
1963 Il comandante Iris
Det är hos mig han har varit Li's Workmate
The Devil Uncredited
The Prize Nudist
1964 Advance to the Rear Greta
A Carol for Another Christmas Mother
1965 Do Not Disturb Party girl Uncredited
1966 After the Fox Gina Romantica
1967 The Double Man Gina
Too Many Thieves Claudia
The Bobo Olimpia Segura
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
The Stronger Woman 1 Television film
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 Television film
1974 The Ultimate Thrill Michelle Parlay
The Man with the Golden Gun Goodnight
1975 Royal Flash Dutchess Irma
1976 High Velocity Mrs. Andersen
1977 Casanova & Co. Countess Trivulzi
1978 Slavers Anna von Erken
The Great Wallendas Jenny Wallenda Television film
1979 King Solomon's Treasure Queen Nyleptha
1980 The Monster Club Busotsky's Mother
The Hostage Tower Leah
1981 Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls Françoise Mini-series
1982 Satan's Mistress Ann-Marie
1983 Dr. Yes: Hyannis Affair Susannah
Dead Wrong Penny Lancaster
Erotic Images Julie Todd
1984 Ecstasy
Love Scenes Annie
1985 Fraternity Vacation Eyvette
Marbella, un golpe de cinco estrellas Deborah
1986 Az aranyifjú Mrs. Pidlington Television film
1987 Moon in Scorpio Linda
1989 Scandal Mariella Novotny
Cold Heat Jackie Mallon
Beverly Hills Vamp Madame Cassandra
1990 The Children Lady Zinnia Wrench


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Armchair Theatre Karen Episode: "A Cold Peace"
1966 The Trials of O'Brien Claudia Episodes: "The Greatest Game, Part 1; 2"
1971 Aquarius Strindberg's Stronger/LS.Lowry/Liverpool's Kop
1972-77 McCloud Tatiana Krasnavian / Vicki Erickson Episodes: "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper," "The Moscow Connection"
1978 Battlestar Galactica Tenna Episodes: "Gun on Ice Planet Zero: Part 1; 2"
1979 Return of the Saint Laura Episode: "The Murder Cartel"
1980-82 The Love Boat Alice Robbins / Karen Ellison Episodes: "Vicki's First Love/The High Cost of Loving/Accident Prone," "Doc Take the Fifth/Safety Last/A Business Affair"
1982 Matt Houston Vera Martin Episode: "Deadly Fashion"
1980-83 Fantasy Island Linda / Clarissa Bevis / Berniece Williams / Aphrodite Four episodes
1985 Simon & Simon Samantha Blake Episode: "Love and/or Marriage"
1990 Superboy Lara Episodes: "Escape to Earth," "Abandon Earth"
Grand Viveca Episode: "Blow Off"
1992 Bara med Britt Herself/Host
2002 Lexx Dulcibella Sternflanks Episode: "Prime Ridge"
2010 I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! Herself 20 episodes
2013 Astrid in Wonderland Herself Episode #5.8


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


  1. ^ a b c Iley, Chrissy (2013-09-22). "Britt Ekland on nudity, Alzheimer's, and being 'abducted' by Peter Sellers - interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Lester, Peter (1980-03-10). "All Is Vanity". People 13. 
  3. ^ Whitcroft, Isla (2007-09-17). "Britt Ekland tells the harrowing story of her mother's battle with Alzheimer's". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  4. ^ Variety Staff (1967-12-31). "Review: ‘The Night They Raided Minsky’s’". Variety. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  5. ^ Pukas, Anna (2013-09-23). "Britt Ekland: Being in The Wicker Man was a real horror". Express. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  6. ^ Variety Staff (1973-12-31). "Review: ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’". Variety. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  7. ^ "Oxford Mail review of Cinderella at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon". 18 December 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ "I'm A Celeb reject Britt Ekland blasts 'difficult' contestant Gillian McKeith: 'She should win best supporting Oscar'". Daily Mail (London). 29 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Britt Ekland interview on BBC link title
  10. ^ Sikov, Ed (2002). Mr. Strangelove: a biography of Peter Sellers. Pan MacMillan. ISBN 0-283-07297-0. 
  11. ^ McCormick, Neil (2013-04-11). "Rod Stewart interview: 'I am desperately ashamed of the way I finished relationships'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  12. ^ HEALTH WATCH: Bone Disease Highlighted – Health – RedOrbit
  13. ^ Eklund, Britt, True Britt, Simon & Schuster (February 1984) ISBN 0-13-931089-4
  14. ^ Ashwood, James (30 January 2007). "Charlize Theron interview – Interviews – Movies". Virgin Media. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jane Seymour
Bond girl
Succeeded by
Barbara Bach