Sunday, 31 March 2013

Katya Wyeth

Katya Wyeth is one of those girls who turned up in TV, films, newspapers and magazines a lot at the beginning of the seventies without becoming a star.

Katya Wyeth flanked by the Collinson twins in a Hammer publicity shot for Twins of Evil

The Legatus first registered her in her brief appearance in Hammer's excellent vampire film Twins of Evil (1971) where she appeared as Mircalla Karnstein and which we watched again last week.  She appears in publicity photos for the film which, not surprisingly, highlight the twin delights of Mary and Madeleine Collinson, October 1970s Playboy Playmates of the Month.

In Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)

Born in Bavaria of Nordic parents in 1948 her first film role was in the largely forgotten Inspector Clouseau (1968) starring Alan Arkin as Clouseau (Peter Sellers was shooting The Party in Hollywood).  She appeared in a number of  small roles in some TV shows including Monthy Python's Flying Circus, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (as a brunette), The Avengers and The Goodies, invariably in "pretty girl"-type roles.

With Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange

Apart from Twins of Evil she also appeared on the big screen in another Hammer horror, Hands of the Ripper (1971) and memorably romped around, fetchingly dressed in just stockings and garters with Malcom McDowell in the final Ascot fantasy sequence of A Clockwork Orange (1971).

With Robin Asquith in Confessions of a Window Cleaner

In fact, she seemed quite happy to dispense with her clothes on film if the part really required it for artistic reasons, and it seemed to quite often, as can be seen in The Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) and Barry McKenzie Holds his Own (1974).

Mayfair December 1973

By the mid Seventies she was living in Hamburg and working as a model again, quite often not requiring any clothes either.

I also remember her toothy grin appearing on the LP sleeves of all those cover versions of Top 20 hits in the seventies that always seemed so popular in Woolworth's.  Nothing to do with the covers I am sure.

She also appeared as a model on paperback covers, did some Page 3 work and was really one of those prototypical late sixties and early seventies foreign-born dolly birds, such as Francoise Pascal, Anna Bergman and Julie Ege (whose careers went rather better) who enlivened the Legatus' life through her appearances in newspapers like the Sunday Express (which my mother bought) and the News of the World (which Uncle Len bought) and which I would eagerly peruse for the latest bikini (or less) clad lovely whilst listening to The Navy Lark before Sunday lunch.

She didn't make any films or do any TV after appearing in Space 1999 in 1977 and when last heard of was a tour guide in a brewery.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Rachel Nichols

Rachel in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

The dreaded term "model turned actress" usually indicates a short-lived attempt by someone to extend an ability to pose about looking photogenic into a subsequent career when they become too old to face the ruthless eye of the camera without significant soft-focus/Photoshop.  

To find  a model who can actually act, therefore, is like finding a model with an Ivy League degree in Maths and Economics.  Lo, herewith Rachel Nichols who we find with both!  Rachel (33) started modelling after being spotted by an agent while studying at Columbia University and did work for Guess? and L'Oreal.

Her modelling work paid all her college fees and it was her modelling agent who got her into films and TV with her first role being the not too challenging "model at bar" in the film Autumn in New York (2000).  A much larger role in a Sex and the City episode followed two years later followed by a string of not very big films.


The Legatus first noticed her when she was brought into spy TV show Alias as an additional female lead in Season 5 as Jennifer Garner was pregnant.  Sadly for Rachel that season was to be the last.

Ho Ho Ho!

We next saw her in the JJ Abrams Star Trek (2009) reboot where she played a green skinned Orion girl.  Her presence meant that, sadly, the awesomely pneumatic Diora Baird, playing another Orion girl, had her part (s) cut completely as the producers though that two green girls would be too confusing for the poor viewer.

In Conan The Barbarian

Next I saw her in the somewhat disappointing Conan the Barbarian (2011) where her sparky performance was one of the better things in the film.


Currently she is taking the lead in the Canadian SF series Continuum; most notable for being a series shot in Vancouver which is actually set in Vancouver.  This was recommended by my particular friend Sophie from Vancouver who constantly moans about how many shows are filmed there where the city stands in for somewhere else.


Rachel is simply excellent in this very enjoyable show which has created some controversy in the US due to its time-travel terrorist plot which gives the terrorists aims a sympathetic hearing.  Some Americans don't appreciate moral ambiguity, it seems.  Anyway, it is currently in Season 2 so I will pick up the DVDs when they come out (next year, probably).


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lexa Doig

I first registered Candian actress Lexa Doig in the Gene Rodenberry created SF series Andromeda  (2000-2005) where she played a holographic personification of the spaceship Andromeda itself.   This ran for five series, surprisingly, but I gave up on it after the first one for some reason.  Sadly, the luminous presence of Miss Doig wasn't enough, in itself, to keep me watching.

Lexa in Andromeda

Andromeda, like so much SF TV was filmed in Vancouver and so it wasn't surprising she turned up in a lot of Vancouver-filmed TV shows, many of which were SF. She had roles in Tek-War, Stargate SG-1, The 4400, Smallville and V, as well as appearing in the SF horror film Jason X (2001).  

Lexa in Continuum

Currently she can be seen in the Canadian SF time travel series Continuum which is unusual in that it is actually set in Vancouver rather than having the city stand in for somewhere in America.  She looks pretty good in this and certainly doesn't look like she is about to turn forty, which she is this year. 

Last month she appeared in Primeval: New World, another Vancouver-filmed SF show, which is a spin-off from the ITV series.

Alexandria Lecciones Doig was born in Toronto in June 1973.  She gets her exotic looks from her Filipina mother.  Apparently she enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons but I suspect that's online rather than pushing figures about, as that would be too much to contemplate!

Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall in cavegirl mode from the B movie classic The Face of Eve (1968)

Born in Long Beach, California in 1944, Celeste Yarnall was an actress, model, radio host, real estate agent, Hollywood manager (all at the same time!) and champion cat breeder.

With Walter Koenig as Chekov

The Legatus is a big Star Trek fan and she appeared in the groovy Garden of Eden controlled by an evil computer episode The Apple.

Celeste Yarnall today

She is now Dr Yarnall and is an expert on nutrition and has obviously put this to good use because at the age of nearly seventy she still looks amazing!.