Daily Mirror




Caroline Munro descends the staircase of the Great Victoria Hotel in Bradford and it is a shame that there’s only the receptioni­st, the cleaner and me to see it, because she looks sensationa­l, with all the style and glamour befitting a Bond Girl and Hammer horror legend.

If she had a late night at the St George’s Hall next door, hosting the Q The Music show, a celebratio­n of the music of the James Bond movies, it does not show.

Caroline, who played murderous, helicopter-flying Naomi opposite Roger Moore’s 007 in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, is now 73, but looks, quite frankly, fabulous.

So what’s her secret?

She laughs, telling me: “Coffee, stress and chocolate. And Nivea. And I do a lot of walking, which does help.”

She is remarkably upbeat given what she has been through in the last few years, dealing with cancer and then the loss of her husband.

She says: “In January 2018, I got the breast cancer diagnosis. It was a bit of a shock. Quite surreal, actually.”

Caroline had lumpectomy surgery and is now clear of cancer. It’s a warm June morning, and she cools herself with a fan, saying: “I’m still on chemo tablets now, hence this, as I do get very overheated. Although it was a huge shock I got the best treatment and I’m still getting it.”

She was involved in two fan convention­s which together raised more than £25,000 for the cancer charity Maggie’s. She says: “It was so important to me to give something back to Maggie’s, as they helped me so much during the worst times and they are still helping me now.”

In early 2020, she lost her husband of 30 years, film director George Dugdale, father of her daughters Georgina and Iona. She says: “I was really broken. It was so difficult for me and so difficult for my girls. But Georgina and Iona have been amazing, they are my pillars, unbelievab­ly strong. We’re the Three Musketeers.

“I get really good days, especially when I’m working and my mind is occupied, and then I get really bad days. At the end of the day, we have to try to stay positive.”

She is following her own advice. Just this weekend she flew to Pittsburgh, in the US, for Monster Bash, a horror and sci-fi film convention where she was guest of honour.

It is 50 years since she made her Hammer debut in Dracula A.D. 1972, starring Christophe­r Lee as the undead Count and Peter Cushing as his nemesis Abraham Van Helsing.

She followed that with Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, and a slew of fantasy, horror and sci-fi movies, including At The Earth’s Core, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

Caroline grew up in Richmond, South West London, and then moved with her parents to Rottingdea­n, a pretty village in Sussex, where her gran lived. She says: “Rottingdea­n was an idyllic place to grow up, and I would go across the fields each morning to get to school. Not in a great hurry, mind. I didn’t like school and school didn’t like me.”

The reason was that Caroline is dyslexic, which wasn’t diagnosed. Instead, the school branded her “slow”.

She says: “I remember that word, it’s stuck with me, because it was on my written reports, and I thought, well, I don’t think I’m slow.”

She left school with two O-Levels in French and Art. She says: “That wasn’t going to get me very far, so I started going to classes at Brighton College of Art.”

While she was there, an older student asked if he could take some photos of her. Her mum agreed, and she posed at Preston Manor, just outside Brighton, for portraits. The photograph­er entered them into a newspaper competitio­n, judged by David Bailey.

She says: “The next thing I heard was my portrait had won the contest. And suddenly, I was the ‘Face of 1966’.”

From there, things moved quickly. She enrolled in the famous Lucie Clayton modelling school. She says: “They taught us how to walk and how to get in and out of cars while wearing miniskirts.”

Then a session with photograph­er Brian Duffy resulted in a fashion shoot for American Vogue. Her first movie role followed, playing a Mexican-American

I get really good days, and I get really bad days. We have to try to stay positive


 ?? ?? SURE SHOT Caroline in The Spy Who Loved Me
SURE SHOT Caroline in The Spy Who Loved Me
 ?? ?? BLOOD LUST In Dracula A.D. 1972 with Christophe­r Lee
BLOOD LUST In Dracula A.D. 1972 with Christophe­r Lee
 ?? ?? STARS With Roger Moore & Barbara Bach on film set
STARS With Roger Moore & Barbara Bach on film set
 ?? ?? TOAST OF THE TOWN Rum ad led to film roles
TOAST OF THE TOWN Rum ad led to film roles
 ?? ?? ROMANCE With husband George
ROMANCE With husband George

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