Ursula Andress Bio - Biography

Name Ursula Andress
Height 5' 5"
Naionality Swedish
Date of Birth 19 March 1936,
Place of Birth Ostermundigen, Bern, Switzerland
Famous for
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 Andress 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 her paramour Marlon Brando, she signed a contract to make movies for Columbia Pictures and came to the US, but met rising star John Derek and married him in 1957, dropping out of movie-making 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 - in Dr. No (1962), 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 (1962) 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 movie 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 and a title song performed by Tom Jones, and much on-screen sexual romping.

Andress made many more movies in the US and Europe from the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s, including Decima vittima, La (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 German general in World War I, and Casino Royale (1967), another foray into the world of James Bond. Her charms seemingly undiminished by age, at 40 she could still easily play a bombshell nurse hired to titillate a doddering millionaire to death in the slight Italian sex comedy Infermiera, L' (1975).

Having been divorced by Derek is 1966 so he could pursue younger lookalike Linda Evans, Andress played the field for years, reportedly involved at various times with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Ryan O'Neal and Warren Beatty. 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 the age of 43. She and Hamlin named the child, who was born in 1980, Dimitri Hamlin.

After the her son's birth, Andress scaled back her career, which now focused mostly on European TV and films, as she was raising Dimitri in Rome. She last worked on film in 1997. Her relationship with Hamlin having ended in 1982, she has lived with Lorenzo Rispoli since 1983.

Ursula Andress Photos