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Obituary of Bond girl and model Julie Ege

03-May-2008 • Actor News

Times Obituary - Julie Ege
Former Miss Norway and one-time Bond girl who monopolised the role of the exotic seductress in British comedies in the 1970s.

After serving as a Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Julie Ege briefly became a leading figure in British cinema, monopolising the role of exotic, seductress in the low-brow comedies that were a staple of the time.

She was able to draw on personal experience to play Marty Feldman’s Scandinavian au pair in Every Home Should Have One (1970) and appeared as the aptly-name Voluptua in the film version of Up Pompeii (1971) with Frankie Howerd.

In comedies with contemporary British settings, Ege was presented as a sophisticated and liberated temptress, often in contrast to the dowdy local womenfolk. Her sophistication embraced a willingness to undress for the cameras at every opportunity, both on screen and in magazines.

She was given the title of “new sex symbol of the seventies” and Hammer hoped that a role as a sexy cavewoman in Creatures the World Forgot (1971) would do for Ege what One Million Years BC (1966) had done for Raquel Welch, turning her into a screen icon, but the film flopped. She continued in comedies and also in horror films for several more years, before giving up acting and becoming a nurse in her native Norway.

Born Julie Dzuli in the coastal town of Sandnes, in 1943, Ege began modelling in her teens. After a brief, early marriage to a farmer, she moved to Oslo, won the Miss Norway contest, worked as an au pair in England, returned to modelling in Oslo and made her film debut with a small role in a Norwegian film called The Sky and the Ocean in 1967.

Her second husband encouraged her to pose naked for Penthouse magazine, which apparently helped secure her a role of one of the girls at the centre of Blofeld’s experiments in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it was Every Home Should Have One that really catapulted her to stardom in Britain.

“Once the film opened all the newspapers carried a photo of me with the captions ‘Every home should have one’,” she told one interviewer. ”I was famous overnight.” In the first half of the 1970s she seemed ubiquitous in British big-screen comedies.

She was in The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971), Rentadick (1972), Not Now Darling (1973), Percy’s Progress (1974) and The Amorous Milkman (1975). Such was her fame at the time that she was one of the celebrities playing themselves in The Alf Garnett Saga (1972), along with George Best and Max Bygraves. She was the girl of Alf’s dreams.

“I ran from one film to the other without even knowing what the whole film was about,” she said. However she still found time to make several horror films as well. The comedies have been reassessed to some extent by younger and more open-minded critics, but the horror films have an even more passionate following.

She returned to Hammer for Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974), which co-starred Peter Cushing and shot in Hong Kong, but again did disappointing business. Her most notable horror film is probably Jack Cardiff’s The Mutations (1974), in which Donald Pleasence played a scientist who crosses humans with plants.

Back in Norway she appeared in several stage productions, including The Rocky Horror Show, before giving up acting. She trained as a nurse, which she claimed was a much more satisfying career. She is survived by two children.

Julie Ege, actress, was born on November 12, 1943. She died on April 29, 2008, aged 64.

Thanks to `Andre` for the alert.

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