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Caroline Munro

Caroline Munro

Caroline Munro (born 16 January 1950) is a British actress and model known for her many appearances in fantasy, science fiction and action films of the 1970s and 1980s--particularly in the Sinbad movies and as a "Hammer Horror Girl". According to Munro, her career took off in 1966 when a photographer friend entered some headshots of her to Britain's The Evening News "Face of the Year" contest. This led to modelling chores, her first job being for Vogue Magazine at the age of 17. She moved to London to pursue top modelling jobs 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 and Where's Jack? (1969). 1971 saw her appear alongside Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes, playing the deceased Mrs. Victoria Regina Phibes. She would reprise the role in the sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again. 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 completed her contract for Hammer with Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter. Directed by Brian Clemens, she plays the barefoot gypsy girl Carla. In Paramount Pictures DVD commentary, Clemens explains that he envisioned the role as a fiery, Raquel Welch type, red-head. Hammer pushed for Munro, and the script was adapted accordingly. 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. Brian Clemens would later be responsible for bringing Munro one of her most memorable roles, Margiana in 1974's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Other appearances during this time included I Don't Want to Be Born (1975) with Joan Collins, and 1976's At the Earth's Core with Peter Cushing and Doug McClure. 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. Munro's career continued to thrive well in the 1980s, appearing in many slasher and Eurotrash productions. Her first film shot on American soil was the William Lustig production, Maniac. This was soon followed by the low-budget shocker, The Last Horror Film, in which she was reunited with her Maniac co-star Joe Spinell. She had a cameo role in the cult classic slasher Don't Open 'Til Christmas as a singer (1984), Slaughter High (1986), Paul Naschy's Howl of the Devil (1987), and Jess Franco's Faceless (1988), followed in rapid succession. She reteamed with Starcrash director, Luigi Cozzi, for 1989's Il Gatto nero. This would be Caroline's last major film appearance. Other work included a guest-starring spot in a 1992 episode of Tropical Heat, interviews for Ted Newsom's 100 Years of Horror documentaries and the Hammer Films tribute: Flesh and Blood - The Hammer Heritage of Horror.


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