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Ursula Andress Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (26) | Personal Quotes (6) | Salary (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 19 March 1936Ostermundigen, Bern, Switzerland
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

It's probably unsurprising that one of the most famous sequences in movie history features a woman who spent most of her time faking being an actress. When Swiss bombshell Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in Dr. No (1962) in the famed white bikini, she's living proof that what's truly unique about the movies is their unsurpassed visual power.

The quintessential jet-set Euro starlet, Ursula was born in the Swiss canton of Berne on March 19, 1936, one of seven children in a German Protestant family. Although often seeming icily aloof, a restless streak early demonstrated itself in her personality, and she had a desire from an early age to explore the world outside Switzerland. For instance, she ran away with an Italian actor at the tender age of 17, then returned home after her parents intervened. The stunning young woman started her movie career with small roles in Italian farces which invariably focused on her impressive physical attributes. Eventually, due in part to the patronage of paramour Marlon Brando, she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and came to the United States. She met rising star John Derek and married him in 1957, dropping out of moviemaking for several years thereafter.

The year 1962 saw the relatively unknown Swiss beauty back on the set, co-starring with Sean Connery in the first movie version of Ian Fleming's fanciful "James Bond" espionage novels, "Dr. No". Andress' smoldering-yet-aloof screen presence immediately established her as one of the most desired women in the world, helped to start the James Bond franchise that continues to this day and set the "Bond Girl" standard beside which all future Bond actresses would be judged (notwithstanding the fact that her Swiss/German accent was so strong that her voice had to dubbed in the movie).

The success of "Dr. No" established her as a spectacular ornament to put on-screen alongside the most bankable talent of the 1960s, and she was cast in vehicles for such icons as Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.. In 1965, she was one of several European starlets to co-star in What's New Pussycat (1965) -- a film that perhaps sums up mid-'60s pop culture better than any other -- written by Woody Allen, starring Allen and Peter Sellers, with music by Burt Bacharach, a title song performed by Tom Jones and much on-screen sexual romping.

Andress made many more movies in the United States and Europe from the mid-'60s to the late '70s, including The 10th Victim (1965), in which she wears a famously ballistic bra; The Blue Max (1966), in which she is aptly cast as the sultry, sexually insatiable wife of an aristocratic World War I German general; and Casino Royale (1967), another foray into the world of James Bond. Her charms seemingly undiminished by age, at 39 she could still easily play a bombshell nurse hired to titillate a doddering millionaire to death in the slight Italian sex comedy The Sensuous Nurse (1975).

Having divorced in 1966 when she left Derek for Jean-Paul Belmondo, Andress played the field for years, reportedly involved at various times with Ryan O'Neal, Dennis Hopper and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1979, she began what would be a long-term romance with Harry Hamlin, her handsome young co-star from Clash of the Titans (1981) (in which she was cast, predictably, as "Aphrodite"). While subsequently traveling in India, Andress' belly began to swell out of her clothing, and she felt very nauseous. What at first seemed a severe case of "Delhi Belly" turned out to be pregnancy, her first and only, at age 43. She and Hamlin named the child, who was born in 1980, Dimitri Hamlin.

After the birth of her son, Andress scaled back her career, which now focused mostly on European television and films, as she was raising Dimitri in Rome. Her relationship with Hamlin ended in 1983, and she last worked on a film in 2005.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Larry-115

Spouse (1)

John Derek (2 February 1957 - 1966) (divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Platinum blonde hair
Large brown eyes
Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice

Trivia (26)

Lived with Harry Hamlin from 1979 to 1983, giving birth to their son Dimitri Hamlin in 1980.
Began living with Lorenzo Rispoli in 1983.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#53) (1995).
Even after their divorce, Ursula and John Derek remained friends up until his death.
At one time, there was actually talk of two former Mrs. Dereks (Ursula and Bo Derek) starring in a movie together, with Bo playing Ursula's daughter.
Often referred to as the "definitive" Bond Girl, as her appearance in Dr. No (1962) made her the first in a long line of famous and not-so-famous actresses to add "Bond Girl" status to their resumes by appearing in the James Bond series of films.
She is the only actor to appear in a canon Bond movie (Dr. No (1962)), an unofficial Bond film (Casino Royale (1967)) and also appear as a character in a Bond novel (On Her Majesty's Secret Service).
Fluent in English, French, German, Italian and Swiss-German.
Her voice was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl in both Dr. No (1962) and The Blue Max (1966) because of her strong accent.
Her younger sister, Kàtey Andress, unsuccessfully attempted to start a modeling career.
Is portrayed by Heidi Klum in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004).
She had a very troubled relationship with James Dean. One tabloid reported at the time that Dean was learning German so they could "argue in another language".
Celebrated her 70th birthday at the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh (18 May 2006).
Is Swiss-German.
Friends with Bo Derek.
Ex-stepmother of Sean Catherine Derek.
Born to Rolf Andress, a German diplomat who had disappeared during World War II, and his Swiss wife, a gardener, she had four sisters and a brother.
Voted "Best Bond Girl of All Time" by the readers of British newspaper Daily Mail (February 2008).
Described her wedding to John Derek a nightmare, marrying him in a small Las Vegas chapel with a cab driver as their best man and a ring that didn't fit.
Studied painting, sculpture and dance in Paris.
Grew up in Ostermundingen, a city in the district of Berne, like TV host Michelle Hunziker and Lauriane Gilliéron, a former Miss Switzerland, who both attended her 70th birthday party.
On the day of his death, James Dean asked her to go with him to San Francisco in his Porsche 550 Spyder, but after talking to John Derek, he realized that she felt in love with the latter, so he left Los Angeles without her (30 September 1955).
Was the original choice for the role of Sophie in Sophie's Choice (1982) but Meryl Streep, who went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance, was cast instead.
Was considered for the leading female role in the Elvis Presley picture G.I. Blues (1960), but the role was eventually played by Juliet Prowse. Andress later co-starred with Presley in film Fun in Acapulco (1963).
Her son, Dimitri Hamlin, is a graduate of Princeton University.
She worked with Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Woody Allen and Burt Bacharach on both What's New Pussycat (1965) and Casino Royale (1967).

Personal Quotes (6)

[on her leaving the acting profession] I couldn't live up to it. So I chose to run away.
I was under contract to Paramount. They wanted to make me into somebody which I was not. So I got so scared and rebelled, so they threw me out of the studio.
It's a mystery. All I did was wear this bikini in 'Dr. No' - not even a small one - and whoosh! Overnight I made it.
To me, it's much more moral to live with the man you love, without signing a piece of paper, than to live legally in an atmosphere of boredom which can eventually turn to hate.
[on performing in the nude] I've nothing against it. We're born this way.
What I look for in a man isn't printable! I wouldn't want to shatter my cool Swiss image.

Salary (1)

Dr. No (1962) $10,000

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