Ursula Andress

  1. Joan Collins, Land of the Pharaohs,1954.   In the 60s, his producer pal Cubby Broccoli wanted Howard Hawks to make the first Bond film (From Russia With Love at the time). Good choice… considering that eight years earlier, Hawks had considered the first Bond Girl to be his treacherous Nellifer at age 17….
  2. Jean Seberg, Saint Joan, 1957.    She had the short hair but she was anodd idea from the tyrannical producer-director Otto Preminger, given her future. At 21, married to John Derek, shehad made just the first three of her 48 screen roles. Nonematching her impact in Dr No, 1961.
  3. Juliet Prowse,  GI Blues, 1959.  Welcome home Elvis! And here’s your reward for serving your country for two years  in  the US Army’s 3rd Armored Division..  1: The Indian-born South African dancer beating Ursula Andress, May Britt, and Elke Sommer to Lili  and 2:  All  your movies will suck from  hereon!  As most critics (and fans) agreed, the hayseed was gone and Elvis was all straight arrow – “now a fellow you can almost stand,” said New York Times critic Bosley Crowther. And this boring trifle (he even sings to a puppet) was the matrix for the next 26 films of his hapless Hollywood career…  best summed up by one of his harmless songs. Doin’ The Best I Can.   Andress was rapidly called back for 1963 Fun in Acapulco – after her Dr No triumph.  Didn’t help. 
  4. Shirley MacLaine, What A Way To Go!, 1963.  When Sean Connery was a potential Taylor, Ursula Andress was the first co-star thought of producer Arthur P Jacobs. A year after Dr No.  It’s called cashing in on the casting risks taken by others.
  5. Maria Perschy, Man’s Favourite Sport, 1962.   Fishing, that is… Even at age 67, directing icon Howard Hawks knew who he wanted for the girl called… Easy. Hawks (who nearly directed Dr No, From Russia With Love and the first Casino Royale) first discovered the divine Urs when hunting the treacherous princess Nellifer for his Egyptian epic, Land of the Pharaohs, 1954. But Joan Collins’ English was better.
  6. Rosanna Schiaffino, The Long Ships, 1963.   Director Jack Cardiff wanted the 007-made Andress as Aminah in his Viking demi-epic.   Because of Dr No, she was rather expensive. Italy’s latest Loren-Lollobrigida-Cardinale was not. (Film was produced by Irving Allen, ex-Warwick Films partner of Cubby Broccoli, who made Andress a star!).
  7. Raquel Welch, One Million Years BC, 1966.  Delighted with She, 1965, Hammer Films planned a quick follow-up with same  team: Andress and John Richardson. She passed. Fox owned the rights (due to  the 1940 original), with Carole Landis and Victor Mature)  and suggested a new Fox pin-up wasting away on its contract shelves… “But I don’t wannna make a dinosaur movie,” she complained. “You have no choice, dear,”  rasped Head Fox Darryl Zanuck, “you’re under contract.”  Hmm, she said, or something like that.  ”First, I had to travel through the human bloodstream at microscopic size,” she said referring to her Fox debut in Fantastic Voyage (which had caught Hammer’s eye). ”Now I have to fight off dinosaurs I’m sure that Lana Turner never started her career like this.”  No matter, the film – and her famous  furkini –  put her on the map. “I became a star… not just a star, but a sex symbol.  Part of me loved it and thought it was the greatest thing ever, and part of me thought ‘I’m not sure I like this’ – nobody was supposed to see this movie!’” 
  8. Nadja Tiller, Tendre Voyou, France, 1966.    Jean-Paul Belmondo had hoped his lover could join the fun ’n’ games but she was tied up with innumerable 007s in Casino Royale – and still on it when he finished and turned up for acameo.
  9. Romy Schneider,Triple Cross, 1966.    The Countess was crafted by director Terence Young for the beauty he put on the global movie map in Dr No., 1962. No wonder Romy found the character was too sexy for her.
  10. Catherine Spaak, Hotel, 1966. And we hope you enjoy your stay at New Orleans’ St Gregory Hotel… Amid a cat burglar, a film-stealing countess, a battle to avoid foreclosure and a black couple denied a room. But no Andress – much less Brigitte Bardot – in the rubbish role of real estate magnate Kevin McCarthy’s squeeze with an eye for hotel manager Rod Taylor. And the worst dialogue: “Take off your jacket. You interest me.” When it all became a TV series, 1983-1988, the St Gregory had somehow moved to LA.

  11. Sharon Tate, The Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

  12. Linda Harrison, Planet of the Apes, 1967.

  13. Kim Novak, The Legend of Lylah Clare, 1967.    TThe film that broke the Novak legend  Producer-director Robert Aldrich blamed her for the flop, then admitted the fault was his. Either way, Novak never made another important film. Aldrich has first wanted Andress, Diana Dors (the UK’s Marilyn… sort og)-or the French French Jeanne Moreau as the movie icon. When Tuesday Weld played her on TV on May 19, 1963, Lylah seemd based on Marilyn (or even Weld). The Aldrich take  came adrift by making Novak and Peter Finch more like Marlene Dietrich and  her director Josef von Sternberg.  Two years earlier, Ursula and Novak were both up for hunting Marcello Mastroianni in La decima vittima (The 10th Victim), Italy-France, 1965, and that time Andress won.

  14. Olinka Berova, The Vengeance of She, 1968.  
    “I hated the first film,” said Ursula Andress.  “Apparently it did well and I was signed for a sequel. I wished they’d left her where She was.” A queue of potentials quickly formed at Hammer Films HQ. They included Hollywood’s Barbara Bouchet and Susan Denberg (from Hammer’s Frankenstein Created Woman, the previous year) to Mrs Peter Sellers (the Swedish Britt Ekland) and UK model Samantha Jones.  The winner was the stunning Czech Olga Schoberová billed as Olga Berová, A lovely interviewee. Hammer used many Bond players. In  fact  Hammer was first to hire such future Bond girls as Shirley Eaton, Nadja Regin, Madeline Smith and  the Dr No trio of Eunice Gayson, Zena Marshall, Lois Maxwell. The Bonds went on to use manyHammerites – most famously Christopher Lee as The Man With The Golden Gun. And vice-verse, Hammer  used Charles Gray, Geoffrey Keen, Michael  Kitchen and Christopher Neame. Plus many a Bond babe: Andress, Martine Beswick, Shirley Eaton, Julie Ege, Joanna Lumley, Nadja Regin, Madeline Smith. Oddly, 007 never used any of Hammer’s  Bondables: Stephanie Beacham, Olinka Berova, Carita (Järvinen), Veronica Carlson, the Collinson twins, Marie Devereux, Dana Gillespie, Anouska Hempel, Gillian Hills, Suzanna Leigh, Valerie Leon, Kirsten Lindholm (she refused a Cubby Broccoli offer), Ingrid Pitt, Yvonne Romain, Yutte Stensgard,  Victoria Vetri, Wanda Ventham, Virginia Wetherell, etc.
  15. Liza Minnelli, Cabaret, 1971.  Confirming the fact that director Bob Fosse was here to stay (alas not for long enough), Cabaret stems from the Weimar Berlin stories by Christopher Isherwood who based his main character (he is the other one!) Sally Bowles on the often naked British teenage libertine flapper-actress-singer-writer Jean Ross – later Communist,  Spanish civil war correspondent and lover of jazz pianist (later actor) Peter van Eyck.  On her father’s advice, Minnelli (rejected for the Broadway production!) chanelled Louise  Brooks as Sally. Isherwood said Liza was too talented  such a “medicore” singer.  Never said what he thought of her ten rivals: Ursula Andfess, Julie Andrews, Ann-Margret, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Jill Ireland (!), Glenda Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Brenda Vaccaro, Natalie Wood.   Plus Julie Christie… with Warren Beatty as her gay pal Brian!
  16. Karin Schubert, Bluebeard, 1972.    Losing a rotten Richard Burton film and one helluva 40th birthday party for Liz in Budapest. Her German replacement wound up in  hardcore Euro-porn

  17. Faye Dunaway, The Three Musketeers, 1973.     During the very initial period, Andress was favourite for Milady. Dunaway took over and had a fierce fight with Raquel Welch. “Physical and brutal,” reported Faye.
  18. Lynn Redgrave, The Happy Hooker, 1975.     Xaviera Hollander’s real-life role never attracted any of the obvious sex-stars.
  19. Madeline Kahn, History of the World: Part 1, 1980. Mel Brooks asked her to be Empress Nympho in his history.  She asked not to be. And he sent for the girl who Khan… of blessed Young Frankestein memory.   
  20. Meryl Streep, Sophie’s Choice, 1982.    One day, it’s Empress Nympho  on the table – the next, Sophie Zawistowska.  No, really!  When writing the novel, William Styron said, he envisioned Ursula in the role
  21. Louise Sorel, Where the Boys Are, 1983.   OK, so he turned Grease into a 1978 phenonomon. But Allan Carr also made too many Ann-Margret “specials,” Grease 2, Can’t Stop the Music and this waste of space – neither re-make or sequel to the 1968 title.  Just ‘80s college girls following the Spring Break path of their 60’s forebears  to Fort Lauderdale. (Never had  sun, sea and sex been so boring!).  At 47, Ursula; was sought for the rich aunt of one of the  bunch. Unknown then and now.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  20