Ursula Andress

Ursula Andress

Born: March 19, 1936
Age: 87
Birthplace: Ostermundigen, Switzerland
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Ursula Andress (born 19 March 1936) is a Swiss film and television actress, former model and sex symbol, who has appeared in American, British and Italian films. She is best known for her breakthrough role as Bond girl Honey Ryder in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. She later starred as Vesper Lynd in the Bond-parody Casino Royale.



Andress, the third of six children, was born in Ostermundigen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland to Anna, who was Swiss, and Rolf Andress, a German diplomat who was expelled from Switzerland for political reasons. He disappeared during World War II. She has a brother and four sisters, including Katey Andress, who had a brief modeling career in the mid-1960s.


Andress became famous as Honey Ryder, a shell diver and James Bond's woman of desire in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond movie. In what became an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history, she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini sporting a large diving knife on her hip. Due to her heavy Swiss-German accent, her character's voice was provided by Nikki van der Zyl, while the calypso was sung by Diana Coupland. The scene made Andress a "quintessential" Bond girl. 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." The bikini she wore in the film sold at auction in 2001 for £41,125 ($59,755). In 2003, in a UK Survey by Channel 4, her entrance in Dr. No was voted #1 in "the 100 Greatest Sexy Moments". Andress won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in 1964 for her appearance in the film.

Andress co-starred with Elvis Presley in the 1963 musical film Fun in Acapulco, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 4 for Texas (1963), opposite Marcello Mastroianni in The 10th Victim (1965), alongside John Richardson in She (1965), and as the countess in The Blue Max (1966). She also appeared in the Bond satire Casino Royale (1967) as Vesper Lynd, an occasional spy who persuades Evelyn Tremble, played by Peter Sellers, to carry out a mission. Later, she worked with fellow former Bond girls Claudine Auger in Anyone Can Play (1968), Barbara Bach in Stateline Motel (1975), and Luciana Paluzzi in The Sensuous Nurse (1975).

In 1965, she posed nude for Playboy; it would be the first of eight times she posed for the magazine. When asked why she had agreed to do the Playboy shoot, Andress replied coolly, "Because I'm beautiful." She went on to appear nude or semi-nude in 9 of her 14 film roles between 1969 and 1979, earning her the nickname "Ursula Undress."

Other films from this period of her career include the West African diamond-searching adventure The Southern Star (1969) with George Seagal, the crime caper Perfect Friday (1970) with Stanley Baker, the western Red Sun (1972) with Charles Bronson and Alain Delon, as Joséphine de Beauharnais in the swashbuckling spoof The Loves and Times of Scaramouche (1976) with Michael Sarrazin, the cult favorite Slave of the Cannibal God (1978) with Stacey Keach, and as Louise de La Vallière in The Fifth Musketeer (1979) with Beau Bridges.

She played Aphrodite in 1981's Clash of the Titans, where she worked with Laurence Olivier. During the making of the film, Andress linked up with leading man Harry Hamlin, who became the father of her child. In 1982, she portrayed Mabel Dodge in the adventure-drama film Red Bells. 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.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, her acting appearances have been rare. 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).

Personal life

Andress dated film icon James Dean shortly before his death in 1955. That same year, she 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. They wed in 1957 in Las Vegas, but divorced in 1966 after Andress became romantically involved with Jean-Paul Belmondo while filming Up to His Ears (1965) in Malaysia. She and Belmondo lived together until 1972. One of her longest romances was with Fabio Testi, with whom she lived for several years and co-starred in the 1975 Canadian film Stateline Motel. Andress was in a relationship with American actor Harry Hamlin after meeting on the set of Clash of the Titans in 1979. She and Hamlin had a son, Dimitri, in 1980. Although an engagement was announced, the couple never married. They broke up in 1983. After her son's birth, Andress scaled back her career, which focused mostly on European TV and films. She later dated Brazilian soccer player Paulo Roberto Falcão. Andress was also involved with a Tunisian man in her early years. She is a close friend of actress Linda Evans and accompanied Evans when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986.

On 18 May 2006, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Swiss Consulate General in Scotland, Andress celebrated her 70th birthday on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh in the company of an international crowd of celebrities.


Film Year Role Notes
Un americano a Roma 1954 Astrid Uncredited
La catena dell'odio 1955 N/A
Le avventure di Giacomo Casanova 1955
Thriller 1962 Luana TV series; episode: "La Strega"
Dr. No 1962 Honey Ryder Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress
Fun in Acapulco 1963 Marguerita Dauphin
4 for Texas 1963 Maxine Richter
Nightmare in the Sun 1965 Marsha Wilson
She 1965 Ayesha
What's New Pussycat? 1965 Rita
Up to His Ears 1965 Alexandrine Pinardel
The 10th Victim 1965 Caroline Meredith
Blue Max, TheThe Blue Max 1966 Countess Kaeti von Klugermann
Once Before I Die 1966 Alex
Casino Royale 1967 Vesper Lynd/007
Anyone Can Play 1968 Norma
Southern Star, TheThe Southern Star 1969 Erica Kramer
Perfect Friday 1970 Lady Britt Dorset
Red Sun 1971 Cristina
Loaded Guns 1974 Nora Green
Stateline Motel 1975 Michelle Nolton
Africa Express 1975 Madeleine Cooper
The Sensuous Nurse 1975 Anna
The Loves and Times of Scaramouche 1976 Joséphine de Beauharnais
Sex with a Smile II 1976 Marina
Safari Express 1977 Miriam
Double Murder 1978 Principessa Dell'Orso
Slave of the Cannibal God 1978 Susan Stevenson
Fifth Musketeer, TheThe Fifth Musketeer 1979 Louise de La Vallière
Tigers in Lipstick 1979 The Stroller/The Widow
Clash of the Titans 1981 Aphrodite
Red Bells 1982 Mabel Dodge
Manimal 1983 Karen TV series
The Love Boat 1983 Carole Stanton TV series
Liberté, Égalité, Choucroute (fr) 1985 Marie Antoinette
Peter the Great 1986 Athalie TV mini-series
Falcon Crest 1988 Madame Malec TV series
Il Professore - Diva 1988 Susy Kaminski TV movie
Klassezämekunft (de) 1988 Agnes
Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders 1989 Betty Starr TV movie
Ti ho adottato per simpatia 1991 TV movie
Fantaghirò 3 1993 Xellesia TV movie
Fantaghirò 4 1994 Xellesia TV movie
Alles gelogen 1996
Cremaster 5 1997 Queen of Chain
Die Vogelpredigt oder Das Schreien der Mönche (de) 2005 Madonna

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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