Sunday, November 16, 2008
Caroline Munro (January 16, 1950) is a British actress and model known for her many appearances in science fiction and action films of the 1970s and 1980s.
Munro was born in Windsor and lived in Rottingdean near Brighton where she attended a Catholic Convent School. By chance her mother and a photographer entered her picture in a "Face of the Year" competition for the British newspaper The Evening News and won. Her first job was for Vogue Magazine at the age of 17. She moved to London to pursue more work as a model and became a major cover girl for fashion and TV ads while there. Decorative bit parts came her way in such films as Casino Royale (1967) and Where's Jack? (1969). One of her many photo ads got her a screen test and a one-year contract at Paramount where she won the role of Richard Widmark's daughter in the comedy/western A Talent for Loving (1969).
In 1969 Munro began a lucrative 10 year relationship with Lamb's Navy Rum. Her image was plastered all over the country and movie roles began to pour in.
Hammer Films CEO Sir James Carreras spotted Munro on a Lamb’s Navy Rum poster/billboard. He asked his right hand man, James Liggett, to find and screen test her. She was immediately signed to a one-year contract. Her first film for Hammer proved to be something of a turning point in her career. It was during the making of Dracula AD 1972 that she decided from this film onward she was a full-fledged actress. Up until then, she was always considered a model who did some acting on the side. Munro has the distinction of being the only actor ever signed to a long-term contract by Hammer Films. She would later turn down the lead female roles in Hammer's Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, and the unmade Vampirella because they required nudity.
In 1977, Munro turned down the opportunity to play villainess Ursa in Superman in favor of what would become her most celebrated film appearance, the ill-fated helicopter pilot Naomi in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Munro continued to work in numerous British and European horror and science fiction films through the 1970s and 1980s, most notably Starcrash (1979) with David Hasselhoff, Christopher Plummer and Marjoe Gortner. In 1982 Munro appeared as a reporter in Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes music video. In 1984, she signed a recording contract with Gary Numan's label Numa Records, and released a catchy dance single called "Pump Me Up". Written and produced by Numan, the single hardly sold, and Numan admitted later that his label was probably to blame.