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Purrfectly pink: Elke Sommer/ Catherine Schell ~ Clouseau’s Muses #2

August 22, 2013

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Elke Sommercatherine_schell_looking_over_shoulder

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Talent…

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… These are the lovely ladies and gorgeous girls of eras gone by whose beauty, ability, electricity and all-round x-appeal deserve celebration and – ahem – salivation here at George’s Journal

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Yes, just a few short weeks ago this blog’s Talent hall of fame welcomed to its loving bosom the delights that are Claudia Cardinale and Capucine and, as this corner of the ‘Net’s 50th anniversary celebrations of all things Pink Panther continue (following too its guide to the phenomenon that’s the cinematic and cartoon caboodle itself), its now time indeed to welcome another offering of Euro crumpet deluxe from that classic comic film series into these hallowed totty surrounds. In which case then, let’s – each and every one of us – pay due deference to the delectable Elke Sommer and the sensational Catherine Schell…

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Profiles

Names: Elke von Scheltz (Elke Sommer)/ Katherina Freiin Schell von Bauschlott (Catherine Schell)

Nationalities: German/ Hungarian (now naturalised British)

Professions: Actress, model, singer and painter/ Actress

Born: November 5 1940, Spandau, Berlin/ July 17 1944, Budapest

Height: Both 5ft 7in

Known for: Elke – her Hollywood breakthrough role as delectable maid and chief murder suspect Maria Gambrelli opposite Peter Sellers‘ Clouseau in A Shot In The Dark (1964). She went on to win the most Promising Newcomer Golden Globe award for her role in The Prize (1964) and had further starring roles in the caperish romantic comedies that were 1965’s The Art Of Love (with James Garner and Dick Van Dyke), 1966’s The Oscar (with Stephen Boyd, Jill St. John and Tony Bennett), 1966’s Boy, Did I Get The Wrong Number! (with Bob Hope) and the Bond-inspired spoofy adventures 1967’s Deadlier Than The Male and The 1969’s The Wrecking Crew (the latter with Dean Martin). As soon as she hit American screens she became sex symbol, gracing Playboy magazine pictorials twice – in ’64 and ’67. Memorably, she appeared in the bawdy caravan holiday-themed Carry On Behind (1975) and also recorded several albums. In later life she’s taken up painting.

Catherine – appearing as the female lead Lady Claudia Lytton (and trying not to corpse in every scene) opposite Sellers in The Return Of The Pink Panther (1975), as well as playing Nancy, one of Blofeld’s ‘Angels of Death’ in the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Following her foray into big-budget film series, she spent much of the ’70s gracing the British small-screen with her inimitable class and beauty. Most memorably she was the shape-shifting yet bit-of-all-right alien Maya in Gerry Anderson’s Space 1999 (1975-77) and the villainess Countess Scarlioni in the all-time classic Doctor Who serial City Of Death (1979). She also had roles in a handful of top Brit drama series, including The Onedin Line (1971-80), The Persuaders! (1971), The Sweeney (1975-78), Bergerac (1981-91), Howard’s Way (1985-90) and Lovejoy (1986-94).

Strange but true: Although the daughter of a Lutheran priest, Elke is actually of noble birth and is ‘properly’ addressed as a baroness, being able to trace her family back the 13th century; tragically, when younger she endured three miscarriages and in 1993 saw a nine-year feud with Zsa Zsa Gabor culminate in a $3.3 million libel pay out. Coincidentally, Catherine is also descended from European nobility (the ‘von Bauschlott’ part of her name refers to the region of Germany where her family originated from), ensuring through a great-grandfather she is related to the ‘Sun King’ himself, Louis IX of France (1638-1715).

Peak of fitness: Elke – aside, rather obviously, from those Playboy pictorials, it’s got to be wearing that white bikini in those publicity shots for and actually on-screen in Deadlier Than The Male/ Catherine – in and especially out of her space suit in the little-seen, cult Hammer-produced sci-fi effort Moon Zero Two (1969) – see below…

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elkesommeronline.com

catherineschell.co.uk

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CLICK on images for full-size

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catherine_schell_out_of_space_outfit_in_moon_zero_two catherine_schell_undressing_from_spacesuit_moon_zero_two

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catherine_schell_waearing_bead_necklace catherine_schell_smiling_and_wearing_bead_necklace

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elke_sommer_in_pale_blue_against_post elke_sommer_in_pale_blue_and_heels_with_cigarette

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catherine_schell_in_space_outfit_in_moon_zero_two catherine_schell_in_an_egg_chair_in_moon_zero_two

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elke_sommer_playing_with_a_puppy elke_sommer_in_swimming_pool

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elke_sommer_in_white_fur_wrap elke_sommer_with_sharon_tate_in_the_wrecking_crew_1969

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elke_sommer_in_polka_dot_bikini elke_sommer_in_red_cap

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catherine_schell_posing_in_swinging_alpine_gear_in_on_her_majesty's_secret_service catherine_schell_in_a_bikini_in_the_return_of_the_pink_panther

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elke_sommer_with_hair_in_long_curls elke_sommer_in_bodysuit_with_long_cigarette_holder

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catherine_schell_reflected_in_glass-table_in_on_her_majesty's_secret_service catherine_in_night_clothes_in_on_her_majesty's_secret_service

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elke_sommer_in_deadlier_than_the_male elke_sommer_in_stringed_dress

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catherine_schell_in_return_of_the_pink_panther_with_christopher_plummer catherine_schell_in_return_of_the_pink_panther_with_christopher_plummer_2

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elke_sommer_with_peter_sellers_in_a_shot_in_the_dark elke_sommer_showing_legs_in_wood

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catherine_schell_in_short_white_dress_in_space_1999 catherine_schell_in_short_white_dress_in_space_1999_2

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elke_sommer_in_blue_hat elke_sommer_mature

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catherine_schell_as_maya_in_space_1999_against_wall catherine_schell_as_maya_in_space_1999_with_monsters

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catherine_schell_as_maya_in_space_1999_in_flowery_dress catherine_schell_as_maya_in_space_1999_in_flowery_dress_2

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elke_sommer_in_carry_on_behind elke_sommer_with_windsor_davies_and_jack_butterworth_in_carry_on_behind

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catherine_schell_hair_whipping_into_her_face catherine_schell_mature

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. MajorDSmythe permalink
    August 25, 2013 9:52 am

    Ah, i’m partial to a lot of Elke Sommer. But i’m saddened to see no mention of her two Mario Bava films.

    • August 25, 2013 8:28 pm

      Well, the synopsis of her career above there is introduced by the the phrase ‘Known for’, so it’s really a reminder of what Ms Somer’s most famous for, more than anything else, suggesting she’s not really most famous for her contributions to retro Euro horror. And, to be fair, these ‘Talent’ posts really focus more on images than information in any case. 😉

      Thanks for your post anyway, MajorDSmythe – nice to hear from you, matey…! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Purrfectly pink/ Diamond geysers? The Pink Panther (1963)/ A Shot In The Dark (1964) ~ Reviews | George's Journal
  2. Tardis Party: Doctor Who serial close-up ~ City Of Death (Season 17/ 1979) | George's Journal

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