Ursula Andress

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Ursula Andress
Ursula Andress 1974.jpg
Andress in Loaded Guns (1975)
Born (1936-03-19) 19 March 1936 (age 86)
Ostermundigen, Switzerland
OccupationActress
Years active1954–2005
Spouse
(m. 1957; div. 1966)
Partner(s)Jean-Paul Belmondo
(1965–1972)
Fabio Testi
(1973–1977)
Harry Hamlin
(1979–1983)
Fausto Fagone
(1986–1991)
Children1

Ursula Andress (born 19 March 1936)[1] is a Swiss-German actress, former model and sex symbol who has appeared in American, British and Italian films. Her breakthrough role was as Bond girl Honey Ryder in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962). She later starred as Vesper Lynd in the 1967 Bond parody Casino Royale. Other credits include Fun in Acapulco (1963), 4 for Texas (1963), She (1965), The 10th Victim (1965), The Blue Max (1966), The Southern Star (1969), Perfect Friday (1970), Red Sun (1971), The Sensuous Nurse (1975), Slave of the Cannibal God (1978), The Fifth Musketeer (1979), Clash of the Titans (1981) and Peter the Great (1986).

Early life[edit]

Andress, the third of six children, was born in Ostermundigen, Canton of Bern, to a Swiss mother, Anna, and Rolf Andress, a German diplomat. Her father was expelled from Switzerland for political reasons and her grandfather, a garden designer, took the role of being her guardian.[2] She has a brother, Heinz and four sisters, Erika, Charlotte, Gisela and Kàtey.[3]

She went to school in Bern until she was 16 and speaks several languages including English, French, German and Italian. She studied art in Paris for a year, then went to Rome, where she did jobs such as nannying children.[4]

Career[edit]

Andress in the mid-1950s

Andress was at a party when she met a producer who offered her a screen test for a role in an Italian film. She was successful and got walk-on parts in An American in Rome (1954) (starring Alberto Sordi), The Sins of Casanova (1955) (starring later Bond ally Gabriele Ferzetti) and La catena dell'odio (1955).[4] She was seen by a Hollywood executive who persuaded her to try her luck in Hollywood.[5]

Andress arrived in Hollywood in late 1955.[6] That spring she was signed to a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures starting at $287 a week.[7] The contract resulted in no acting roles, owing to her reluctance to learn English at the time.[8] "I spent most of my time watching old Marlene Dietrich movies," she said.[9] Andress did receive some publicity for dating James Dean shortly before the actor's death.[10] She bought herself out of her contract.[11] In 1956 it was announced she signed to Columbia Pictures.[12] She made no films for them either.[13] She stayed in Hollywood because she married John Derek in 1957. In 1959 it was announced she and Derek would star in a film, High Variety, but no movie resulted.[14]

Andress (left) with Elvis Presley and Elsa Cárdenas in Fun in Acapulco (1963)

Andress returned to screens in 1962 in an episode of Thriller, "La Strega" (1962), with Alejandro Rey. She became internationally famous as Honey Ryder, a shell diver and James Bond's object of desire in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond film, even though her dialogue had to be dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl.[15] In what became an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history,[16][17][18] she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini sporting a large diving knife on her hip. The calypso was sung by Diana Coupland.[19] The scene made Andress a "quintessential" Bond girl.[20][21] Andress later said that she owed her career to that white bikini: "This bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent."[16][22] The bikini she wore in the film sold at auction in 2001 for £41,125.[23][24][25] In 2003, in a UK Survey by Channel 4, her entrance in Dr. No was voted #1 in "the 100 Greatest Sexy Moments".[26] Andress won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in 1964 for her appearance in the film.[27]

Andress followed it playing the female lead in an Elvis Presley musical, Fun in Acapulco (1963). She was billed after Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Anita Ekberg in 4 for Texas (1963); her casting in the latter led to the title being changed from Two for Texas.[28] Both films were widely seen. Less so was a film Andress starred in alongside Derek, Nightmare in the Sun (1965).

In 1965 nude photographs of her from Nightmare in the Sun were published in Playboy; it was the first of seven times she was pictured in the magazine over the next fifteen years.[5][29] When asked why she had agreed to do the Playboy shoot, Andress replied coolly, "Because I'm beautiful."[30][31]

Andress was cast in the title role of She (1965), playing an immortal queen, for Hammer Films and Seven Arts Productions, shot in England and Israel. Andress agreed to make it as part of a two-picture deal with Seven Arts; it was a financial success at the box office. Andress did not appear in the sequel, The Vengeance of She, as her contract expired before the film was produced.[32]

Andress had a supporting role in the comedy What's New Pussycat? (1965) for producer Charles K. Feldman which was a huge hit. She went to France to play Jean-Paul Belmondo's love interest in Up to His Ears (1965), which was popular in France; she and Belmondo became romantically involved, leading to her and Derek divorcing (although they had already been separated for a year).[33] Andress moved to Paris to live with Belmondo and it was her home for the next seven years.[11]

Andress circa 1971

In Italy, she starred opposite Marcello Mastroianni in the science fiction movie The 10th Victim (1965). She returned to Hollywood to play George Peppard's love interest in the World War One film The Blue Max (1966), another success at the box office.[34][35]

Andress made her second film for Seven Arts: another with Derek, who again starred and directed, Once Before I Die (1966), shot in the Philippines. More widely seen was the Bond satire Casino Royale (1967), also produced by Feldman, where Andress played Vesper Lynd, an occasional spy who persuades Evelyn Tremble, played by Peter Sellers, to carry out a mission. It was a big box office hit. Her fee was a reported £200,000.[4] Val Guest directed Andress in Casino Royale and said "I don't think I have ever met someone who was so universally loved by everyone in a studio. They'd all do anything for her and this is really quite something. One day someone is going to get the real Ursula on the screen in a comedy and she's going to astound everybody. The trouble is that she's so tense."[36]

In Italy she appeared alongside fellow former Bond girl Claudine Auger in Anyone Can Play (1968) for director Luigi Zampa. She then went to Africa to make The Southern Star (1969) with George Segal, which was a hit in England.[37] She appeared nude or semi-nude in nearly all of her film roles between 1969 and 1979, earning her the nickname "Ursula Undress".[38]

Andress went to England to appear in Perfect Friday (1970), a heist film starring Stanley Baker and David Warner. In Spain she appeared in Red Sun (1971), a Western with an international cast including Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune and Alain Delon. In a 1972 interview, she said "I think my image, especially to Americans, is that of a femme fatale, a man-eating woman. I'm not empty-headed or calculating and cool. But maybe my looks give that impression. I'm disciplined in my doings and undisciplined in my emotions. I can't control the things I feel or hide my feelings."[11]

Andress did some action films, Stateline Motel (1973), Loaded Guns (1975), and Africa Express (1975). She played the title role in The Sensuous Nurse (1975) and did a comedy with another former Bond girl, Barbara Bouchet, Spogliamoci così, senza pudor... (1976).

Andress played Joséphine de Beauharnais in the swashbuckling spoof The Loves and Times of Scaramouche (1976) with Michael Sarrazin. She made a sequel to Africa Express, Safari Express (1976), then did another with Mastroianni, Double Murder (1978).

Andress was in the cult favorite Slave of the Cannibal God (1978) with Stacy Keach; the anthology sex comedy Tigers in Lipstick (1979) for Luigi Zampa; and the swashbuckler period piece The Fifth Musketeer (1979), playing Louise de La Vallière opposite Beau Bridges.[39]

She played Aphrodite in 1981's Clash of the Titans, alongside Laurence Olivier. During the making of the film, Andress started a romantic relationship with leading man Harry Hamlin, with whom she had a son.

In 1982 she portrayed Mabel Dodge in the adventure-drama film Red Bells and guest starred on shows like Manimal and The Love Boat. In France she was in Liberté, égalité, choucroute (1985).

On television, she participated in the 1986 Emmy-winning miniseries Peter the Great, and joined the cast of the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest for a three-episode arc in 1988 as an exotic foreigner who assists David Selby in retrieving Dana Sparks from a white slave ring. Andress was also in Big Man – The Diva (1988) with Bud Spencer and Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders (1989).

Since the beginning of the 1990s, her acting appearances have been rare. She was in Klassäzämekunft (1990) (English title: Broken Silence), The Cave of the Golden Rose 3 (1993), The Cave of the Golden Rose 4 (1994) and Cremaster 5 (1995). In 1995 Andress was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in film history." Her last role to date was playing "Madonna" in the low-budget 2005 Swiss feature Die Vogelpredigt oder Das Schreien der Mönche [de] (English title: The Bird Preachers). She appeared in the documentary Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr De Hory (2008).

Personal life[edit]

Andress has stated that she lost her virginity to married French actor Daniel Gelin in 1953, when she was 17 and he was 32. She dated Dennis Hopper and James Dean after moving to the US in 1955, and that same year began an affair with actor/director John Derek, a married father of two who walked out on his wife, Pati Behrs, and their family to be with 19-year-old Andress.[40] Derek and Andress wed in 1957 in Las Vegas, but separated in 1964 over her affair with Once Before I Die co-star Ron Ely,[40] officially divorcing in 1966.[41] During the interim, the separated but still married Andress publicly dated John Richardson, her co-star from She, and Marcello Mastroianni, her co-star from The 10th Victim.[42][43]

From 1965 to 1972, Andress lived with her Up to His Ears co-star Jean-Paul Belmondo.[44] He was, she says, the love of her life.[45] Her next live-in relationship was with another co-star, Stateline Motel's Fabio Testi, from 1973 to 1977 (except for one year when they broke up).[8] She also dated Ryan O'Neal, John Delorean, Helmut Berger, Paolo Pazzaglia, Johnny Dorelli, Franco Nero, with whom she later starred in Red Bells, Nels Van Patten and Ricci Martin.[39]

Andress at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival

When Andress broke her arm in late summer 1978, the official story had it that she'd been struck by Hurricane Norman while bodysurfing in Malibu, but rumors flew that she actually suffered the injury during a fight with her on-again/off-again boyfriend O'Neal.[46] O'Neal and Andress were in a relationship twice, first from 1972 to 1973 then again from 1977 to 1978.

Andress was in a relationship with actor Harry Hamlin, who is 15 years her junior, after meeting on the set of Clash of the Titans in 1979.[47] At the age of 44 she gave birth to their son, Dimitri Alexander Hamlin, on 19 May 1980.[48] The night of her delivery, Linda Evans drove Andress to the hospital while Evans' assistant Bunky Young retrieved Hamlin from the set of King of the Mountain.[49][50] Although she was engaged to Hamlin,[51] the couple never married.[48] In 1983, Hamlin broke up with her.[52]

In the mid-1980s, Andress was romantically involved with Brazilian football player Paulo Roberto Falcão, actor Gerardo Amato, singer Julio Iglesias, real estate developer Stan Herman and Greek bodybuilder Mario Natokis.[53] In 1986 she began dating future Sicilian Regional Assembly member Fausto Fagone, then an economics student at university; he was 20 and she was 50.[54] The relationship, which infuriated Fagone's parents, lasted until 1991.[41] Later that year Andress briefly dated martial arts expert Jeff Speakman, but has not been publicly linked with anyone since then.

In 2017, Andress sold her home in Beverly Hills at a considerable profit.[55] As of 2022, Andress splits her time between an apartment in Rome and a house in Gstaad, near to her siblings. Her preferred language is Italian.[56]

Filmography[edit]

Andress in Loaded Guns (1975)

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
1954 An American in Rome Astrid Sjöström Uncredited
1955 Sins of Casanova Passenger
1955 La catena dell'odio Extra
1962 Dr. No Honey Ryder
1963 Fun in Acapulco Marguerita Dauphin
1963 4 for Texas Maxine Richter
1965 Nightmare in the Sun Marsha Wilson
1965 She Ayesha
1965 What's New Pussycat? Rita
1965 Up to His Ears Alexandrine Pinardel
1965 The 10th Victim Caroline Meredith
1966 The Blue Max Countess Kaeti von Klugermann
1966 Once Before I Die Alex
1967 Casino Royale Vesper Lynd
1968 Anyone Can Play Norma
1969 The Southern Star Erica Kramer
1970 Perfect Friday Lady Britt Dorset
1971 Red Sun Cristina
1973 Stateline Motel Michelle Nolton
1975 Loaded Guns Nora Green
1975 Africa Express Madeleine Cooper
1975 The Sensuous Nurse Anna
1976 The Loves and Times of Scaramouche Joséphine de Beauharnais
1976 Safari Express Miriam
1976 Sex with a Smile II Marina
1978 Double Murder Princiess Dell'Orso
1978 Slave of the Cannibal God Susan Stevenson
1979 Tigers in Lipstick The Stroller / The Widow
1979 The Fifth Musketeer Louise de La Vallière
1981 Clash of the Titans Aphrodite
1982 Red Bells Mabel Dodge
1985 Liberté, égalité, choucroute Marie Antoinette
1988 Broken Silence Agnes
1989 Trouble in the City of Angels Betty Starr
1993 The Cave of the Golden Rose 3 Xellesia
1994 The Cave of the Golden Rose 4
1996 Alles gelogen Main role
1997 Cremaster 5 Queen of Chain
2005 St. Francis Birds Tour Madonna

Television[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
1962 Thriller Luana Episode: "La Strega"
1983 Manimal Karen Jade Episode: "Manimal"
1983 The Love Boat Carole Stanton 2 episodes
1986 Peter the Great Athalie 4 episodes
1988 Falcon Crest Madame Malec 3 episodes
1988 Big Man Susy Kaminski Episode: "The Diva"
1991 Ti ho adottato per simpatia TV film

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ursula Andress - James Bond Actresses". www.007james.com. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  2. ^ Anstead, Mark (7 December 2002). "Bond girl who made a killing". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  3. ^ "12 facts about Ursula Andress, the Swiss 'Bond Girl'". Newly Swissed Online Magazine. 19 March 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "Meet Ursula McAndress". London Life. 28 May 1966. pp. 11–13. ProQuest 1689080375.
  5. ^ a b Bentley, Logan (5 May 1980). "Urged by Her 28-Year-Old Lover, Harry Hamlin, Ursula Andress Faces Motherhood at 44". People. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Pretty Visitor". Chicago Daily Tribune. United Press Telephoto. 31 January 1955. p. 23. ProQuest 178785854.
  7. ^ "Judge OKs movie pact for swiss actress". Los Angeles Times. 11 March 1955. p. 18. ProQuest 166734755.
  8. ^ a b James Bacon (22 June 1977). Ursula Andress Lonely, Living Like a Saint. Sarasota Journal.
  9. ^ "Hollywood Mystery 7 Years Then She Learns English". Chicago Tribune. 24 March 1963. p. e11. ProQuest 182602468.
  10. ^ Korman, Seymour (5 February 1956). "JAMES DEAN: Brilliant Young Star Met Tragic End on Eve of His Greatest Success; but Even in Death His Fame Continues to Grow". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. f18. ProQuest 179752428.
  11. ^ a b c Haber, J. (30 July 1972). "Ursula andress' private thoughts on living, loving". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157080235.
  12. ^ Schallert, E. (17 March 1956). "Drama". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166947855.
  13. ^ "Rag doll steals show as trade week starts". Los Angeles Times. 21 May 1956. ProQuest 166951200.
  14. ^ Scott, J. L. (10 September 1959). "Evans will co-star in 'peyton' sequel". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 167506648.
  15. ^ "Dr No bikini for sale". BBC News. 12 January 2001. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Former Bond girl to sell Dr No bikini". The Daily Telegraph. 13 January 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  17. ^ Bensimon, Kelly Killoren (2006). The bikini book. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-51316-3.
  18. ^ Lindner, Christoph (2009). The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-8095-1.
  19. ^ Actress Diana Coupland dies at 74 (10 November 2006). BBC News. Accessed 16 February 2008.
  20. ^ Thomas, Rebecca (19 November 1999). "One girl is not enough". BBC News.
  21. ^ Westcott, Kathryn (5 July 2006). "The bikini: Not a brief affair". BBC News.
  22. ^ Weekes, Karen (2007). Women know everything!: 3,241 quips, quotes, & brilliant remarks. Quirk Books. p. 419. ISBN 978-1-59474-169-2.
  23. ^ "Bond bikini sells for £35,000". BBC News. 14 February 2001.
  24. ^ Christie's Auction Result (14 February 2001). Christie's Auction. Accessed 16 June 2012.
  25. ^ Lisanti, Tom; Paul, Louis (2002). Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962–1973. McFarland. p. 38. ISBN 0-7864-1194-5..
  26. ^ "Andress scene voted 'most sexy'". BBC News. 30 November 2003.
  27. ^ Ursula Andress Archived 13 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. GoldenGlobes.org. Accessed 18 February 2008.
  28. ^ "Fimland Events". Los Angeles Times. 14 May 1963. ProQuest 168358778.
  29. ^ Ursula Andress Archived 23 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine Playboy.co.uk.
  30. ^ Burchill, Julie (10 October 2011). "Julie Burchill: Selling sex... why be coy about it?". The Independent.
  31. ^ Packard, Reynolds (7 July 1965). "Ursula Andress on the State of Undress". Los Angeles Times. p. A8. ProQuest 155227957.
  32. ^ Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography, McFarland, 1996. pp. 292–294
  33. ^ "1965 Box Office". Box Office Story.
  34. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1966". Variety, 4 January 1967, p. 8.
  35. ^ Vagg, Stephen (17 November 2020). "John Guillermin: Action Man". Filmink.
  36. ^ Licensed to kill the James Bond Image? London Life; London (17 December 1966): 12-14.
  37. ^ "The World's Top Twenty Films." Sunday Times [London] 27 September 1970: 27. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. accessed 5 April 2014
  38. ^ Dan Lewis (29 August 1972). 'Andress on Undress: Hollywood Overdoes It. Sarasota Journal. Accessed 18 March 2015.
  39. ^ a b "Elusively yours, Ursula Andress". Los Angeles Times. 27 August 1978. ProQuest 158635658.
  40. ^ a b Derek, Sean Catherine (1982). Cast of Characters. Tower & Leisure Sales Co. ISBN 0843911263.
  41. ^ a b "Ursula Andress". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  42. ^ Alex Freeman (18 June 1965). "From Hollywood to Paris, Ursula's Disquieting Call". Detroit Free Press.
  43. ^ "The Three Men in Ursula Andress' Life", Independent Star-News, 22 May 1966
  44. ^ Earl Wilson (16 July 1972). It Happened Last Night. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  45. ^ Page Six (9 January 1986). Kiss & Tell. New Straits Times.
  46. ^ Warhol, Andy; Hackett, Pat (29 November 2009). The Andy Warhol Diaries. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-57124-1.
  47. ^ Hutchings, David. "For Harry Hamlin, Life After Ursula Andress Is a Time to Awake and Sing". Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2014.9 April 1984. Retrieved on 8 March 2015.
  48. ^ a b David Wallace (4 July 1983). 'I Want to Be with Him,' Says Ursula Andress, but Harry Hamlin Just Wants to Be on His Own. People. Accessed 14 December 2010.
  49. ^ Tipoff. Lakeland Ledger, 3 August 1980.
  50. ^ Evans, Linda (2016). Recipes for Life: My Memories. Post Hill Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1618686930.
  51. ^ Associated Press (28 April 1980). Ursula to wed after baby is born in May. The Free Lance–Star.
  52. ^ Vince Leonard (29 June 1983). Ursula, Hamlin Split. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  53. ^ "Sociedade - NOTÍCIAS - O Brasil irresistível". revistaepoca.globo.com. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  54. ^ "Chatter". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  55. ^ "Quintessential Bond girl Ursula Andress sells her longtime home in Beverly Hills". Los Angeles Times. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  56. ^ "How Dr. No proved the film world wrong 60 years ago". The Telegraph. 6 October 2022.

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