Cool Actor of the Week – Caroline Munro

In Cool Actor of the Week by Scott9 Comments

This week’s pick was suggested by Bob Vardeman and is in honor of my dad, who I used to drag to all kinds of cheesy movies back in the 70s — but he was always more than happy when Caroline Munro would turn up in a flick, and who can blame him? The lovely Ms. Munro livened up many a genre picture and was usually scantily-clad, greasy and/or sweaty.

Caroline’s career began when a photographer entered a photo of her in a contest and won. She started modeling, then moved on to bit parts in movies like Casino Royale (1966) and Smoke Over London (also 1966). In 1969 she played Richard Widmark’s daughter in the very entertaining A Talent For Loving, but her genre career really took off (despite doing nothing more than lying in a coffin) when she appeared in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) as Vincent Price’s dead wife, Victoria. The following year, she played a swinging hippie chick in Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972 — an incredibly goofy movie but definitely worth seeing.

In 1974, she played slave girl Margiana in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The scene below delivers every kind of groceries imaginable — cool Ray Harryhausen monsters, a greasy Caroline, John Phillip Law as Sinbad, and Tom (the 4th Doctor) Baker as the evil sorcerer Koura. No wonder my dad dug this one.

As an added bonus, here’s a sequence from Golden Voyage where some enterprising fellow has edited out all the distracting elements, leaving only Caroline Munro (despite the title of the clip, it’s safe for work — I think):

Other cool Caroline movies include Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (1976), At the Earth’s Core (1976 — another favorite of my dad’s), and she also appeared as the saucy Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). She caused some real trouble for James Bond in the scene below.

In 1978 Caroline appeared in Luigi Cozzi’s Starcrash: The Adventures of Stella Star, an insanely silly Italian Star Wars swipe that comes remarkably close to being like the Yeast Lords scenes in Gentlemen Broncos.

That said, however, since Caroline spends a large part of the movie in a black leather bikini and thigh-high boots, this was another favorite of my dad’s. The trailer below concentrates way too much on spaceships and not enough on Caroline, but you can see the appeal:

Now, I don’t mean to imply that my dad was the only one enjoying the goodness of Caroline during our movie outings — I was pretty happy to gawk at her myself, and in fact I was a member of the rather awkwardly-named “Unofficial Fans of Caroline Munro Fan Club” at the time, and I still have the newsletters and whatnot to prove it.

Caroline Also appeared in Maniac, The Last Horror FilmSlaughter High, and an episode of The New Avengers, among other titles. In 1982, she appeared in the video for Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes from his album Friend or Foe.

Caroline continues to work today as well as making the rounds on the convention circuit. At 62, she still looks great and still has that amazing smile.

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