Cassandra Harris (Countess Lisl von Schlaf)
Above: Brosnan and Harris in January 1985
Actress: Cassandra Harris
Character: Countess Lisl von Schlaf
Movie: For Your Eyes Only
Date of Birth: 15th December 1948
Place of Birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Trivia: After her Bond Girl stint, she appeared in four "Remington
opposite her husband, Pierce Brosnan
Pleased To Meet You
James Bond spies the lovely
Countess across the courtyard of a glitzy Corfu casino
where she is dining with her keeper, the suspicious-looking Milos
Columbo. Bond quickly abandons his contact, Kristatos,
and charms his way into her taxi homeward bound, unaware
that Columbo has secretly ordered her to learn more about
"I'm a night person. I have champagne and oysters in the fridge. Why not come in for a bite?"
Caught In The Act
Retired to a lonely beach house, James Bond discovers that the
Austrian Countess' accent is slipping and she is really from
Liverpool, but this doesn't discourage 007. The
pair put business aside for a champaign nightcap.
In truth, Lisl is not a genuine countess and has no fortune
to be bled by Columbo, she is simply a puppet in a larger
game. She is a bright and able-bodied girl but falls victim
of a violent assassination.
The mistress of smuggler Columbo,
Lisl is sent to extract information from 007. She has
already staged a phony spat with Columbo to attract the
attention. Bond poses as a smooth journalist, hoping
to get a story in order to win a ride home with the Countess.
next morning, 007 finds Lisl on the beach, but the pair
have unwelcome company. They are ambushed by henchman Locque and
some goons on supercharged beach-buggies. Bond tries
gallantly to save his new lover but she is struck down
Lisl: I am the Countess Lisl Von Schlaf.
Bond: My name is Bond. I'm writing a novel about Greek smugglers. Know any?
Lisl: Smugglers? How would I know any smugglers?
Bond: I would think that a lady in your position... would get to
know many things. I'd be most grateful.
Lisl: Whoops! Me nightie's slipping.
Bond: So is your accent, countess. Manchester?
Lisl: Close. Liverpool.
Bond: It was an amusing performance... between you and the owner of this [Gesturing to the dressing gown he is now wearing].
Lisl: I love a grateful man.
Australian actress Cassandra Harris was born Sandra Colleen Waites,
the daughter of Walter (Wally) Waites, a builder, and Roma, a
hairstylist. After her mother divorced and then remarried, Sandra
took her stepfather's surname of Gleeson. She studied at Narrabeen
High School in Avalon, then worked at a local estate agents before
enrolling in Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)
in Sydney. She met and married Bill Firth in 1964, but the pair
Her first acting role was as an air-stewardess
in a play called "Boeing Boeing" at the Palace Theatre in Sydney.
She soon after landed a part in the Australian TV Show "Beauty
and the Beast" and an early Bruce Beresford film, "Five
Days". By the late '60s, she left her native Australia to
live in London and became known as Cassandra. There she met producer
Dermot Harris and had two children with him (Charlotte and Christopher).
Above: Brosnan and Harris behind the
scenes of "Remington Steele".
Her big break came when she was passing the stage door of the London Palladium. Sammy Davis Jr., who was appearing there, happened to see her passing and asked if he could take her photo. The picture was published in a glossy magazine alongside the caption "My Ideal Woman - by Sammy Davis Jr." On the back of her rendezvous with Sammy, modeling work flooded in and she won the lucrative role of the American Express girl in a series of commercials with the catchline: "That'll do nicely". She also appeared in Lord Lichfield's book, 'The World's Most Beautiful Women'.
She went on to win several acting roles, including
appearances in the TV series "Space: 1999" and "Dick
Barton Special Agent". Her first big screen role came in "The
Greek Tycoon" in
1978. Her relationship with Dermot Harris ended soon after and
she won another acting part, this time in 1980's "Rough Cut".
Around the same time, she met the would-be Bond actor Pierce
Brosnan and the couple married on 27th December 1980. Soon
after, the family flew to the location shoot for Cassie's portrayal
Countess Lisl in "For Your Eyes Only". She introduced
her then pre-Remington Steele husband to Bond producer Albert
R. 'Cubby' Broccoli at a dinner party in 1981 while working
on her Bond film.
After "For Your Eyes Only", Harris
landed roles regularly opposite her husband on "Remington
Steele" which screened between 1982-85,
notably the two part episode "Steele Searching", in
which she plays Felicia.
Brosnan and Harris had a son, Sean, in September 1983 and stayed married until Cassie's death in 1991 after a four-year struggle against ovarian cancer. She passed away on December 28th 1991 in Los Angeles, California.