Starburst Memories: Caroline Munro

For the record, I want it noting that this is not listed under the ‘Objects of Desire’ series of Starburst Memories.

I am a ‘new man’ – Mrs Dirk said she wanted one – and that’s what she got *cymbal crash* don’t forget to tip your waitress etc.

No, this isn’t an inappropriate, laddish form of leaching over a screen starlet. This site is far too sophisticated for that, no, this is an analysis with an ironic eye over an obsession of STARBURST in the early 1980s.

In previous posts I have mentioned the occasional FANTASY FEMALE feature that would appear in Starburst. Its odd looking back at them now as its clear that the enlightenment was just about dawning on the editorial team as they added caveats to the photo-features of Barbara Bach in HUMANOID (1979), or Ornella Muti in FLASH GORDON (1980) and Raquel Welch in ONE MILLION YEARS BC (1966) with captions such as:

“Where would we be without the lovely ladies? Chauvinistic or not, the view that beautiful women are and essential ingredient to any fantasy film can hardly be disputed.”

Yeah right.

Caroline Munro was featured the most often. Her pictures dominate the section in the 1981 Starburst annual for example, because she was the actress that was most associated with the British horror/ fantasy scene. She was the most prolific too, in terms of her accessibility she was always available for interviews to tell the story of how she became famous. The legend goes, she was discovered by David Bailey in 1966 when he was judging ‘The Face of The Year’ competition after her friend submitted photos without her knowing. Her subsequent modelling career included being the decorative extra in a Navy Rum advert which was plastered on billboards up and down the country. The rest is geek history.

In the late sixties and early seventies she was the fantasy/ horror star that they asked for by name, appearing in THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971) alongside Vincent Price and her own personal favourite Hammer Classic, CAPTAIN KRONUS – VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974) directed by Brian Clemens, stalwart of The Avengers and screenwriter of the brilliant THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973). Her most famous role was as Naomi, the killer helicopter pilot in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) where she chases Roger Moore to the point where his lotus goes underwater.

From an early age I could see her outstanding features in the Sinbad film as well as appreciating her depiction of a bikini clad cave woman who meets Doug McClare and Moff Tarkin in AT THE EARTH’S CORE (1976) and I was drawn to her skills in The New Avengers ‘The Angels of Death’ episode.

The features in STARBURST, 6 years after the peak of her career made me pick out some of her lesser known work such as Lewis Coates’ STARCRASH (1979) (pictured) without realising that, at the time, she was camping it up as the big-haired-MILF in Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes video.

Now, she is the darling of the convention circuit, selling autographed wears to sad blokes like me. The kind of sad bloke who wrote to her recently sending a picture of her done by my 4 year old daughter. I thought she would be delighted in the depiction of her appearance as Margaina in the sinbad film.

By Amelia, aged 4

She responded with a prompt email:

“Thank you maybe you could come at see me at one of the shows I will sign the picture for Amelia,    Love  Caroline x”

Forever the professional.

5 responses to “Starburst Memories: Caroline Munro

  1. Pingback: Starburst Memories: Horror Classics – The 7th Voyage of Sinbad « Dirk Malcolm's World of Film·

  2. Pingback: Starburst Memories: Gratuitous Fantasy Females Sequel | Dirk Malcolm's World of Film·

  3. Pingback: Dirk’s Five – Ray Harryhausen Creature Preacher | The Dirk Malcolm Alternative·

  4. Pingback: Dirk’s Five: Odeon Memories | The Dirk Malcolm Alternative·

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