Ursula Andress (born March 19, 1936) is a Golden Globe award-winning
Swiss actress and a major sex symbol of the 1960s. She is best known for her
roles as Bond girl Honey Ryder in Dr. No , and as Vesper Lynd in the 1967 James
Bond spoof Casino Royale.
Ursula was born in Ostermundigen, Berne, Switzerland, the daughter of Anna, who was Swiss, and Rolf Andress, a German diplomat who was expelled from Switzerland for political reasons. Ursula has four sisters and one brother. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, and German. The young Ursula started her career as an art model in Rome, which led to her first roles in the Italian movie industry.
Ursula became famous as Honey Ryder, a shell diver and James Bond's object of desire in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond movie. In a well-known scene, she rises out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini. The scene made Ursula the "quintessential" Bond girl, and is now considered iconic. "My entrance in the film wearing the bikini on that beautiful beach made me world famous as 'the Bond girl'", she said, and the bikini from this "classic moment in cinema and Bond history" sold for £35,000 at auction in 2001. In 2003, in a UK Survey by Channel 4, her entrance in Dr. No was voted #1 in "the 100 Greatest Sexy Moments". In 2007, Australian series 20 to 1 ranked her entrance in Dr. No as the #2 Sexiest Movie Moment.
Ursula won a 1964 Golden Globe award for New Star of the Year for her performance in Dr. No. Her voice was provided by Nikki van der Zyl while the famous calypso was sung by Diana Coupland.
Ursula co-starred with the king of rock 'n' roll Elvis Presley in the 1963 film, Fun in Acapulco, with Frank Sinatra in 4 for Texas (1963) and opposite Marcello Mastroianni in The 10th Victim (1965). She also appeared in the Bond satire Casino Royale (1967) as Vesper Lynd, an occasional spy who persuades Evelyn Tremble, as played by Peter Sellers to carry out a mission. Her heavy accent was dubbed over in Dr. No, but she used her own voice in Casino Royale.
In 1981's Clash of the Titans, she starred opposite legendary English actor Laurence Olivier. In 1995, Ursula was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in film history."
In 1957, Ursula Andress married actor/director John Derek. The marriage ended in divorce in 1966. Ursula dated many of Hollywood's leading men including co-stars Marlon Brando and James Dean. In 1980, she had a son, Dimitri, with American actor Harry Hamlin, her co-star in the film Clash of the Titans.
On May 18, 2006, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Swiss Consulate General in Scotland, Ursula Andress celebrated her 70th birthday on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. Among the guests were her former partner Harry Hamlin, their son Dimitri, Miss Switzerland Lauriane Gilliéron and Swiss model, actress and singer Michelle Hunziker who also grew up in Ostermundigen. Also present were The Rt. Hon. George Reid, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Woodard, former Commander of the Royal Yacht Britannia, and Lesley Hinds, Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Earlier that day, Swiss Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin presented Ursula Andress with a bouquet of flowers and the best wishes for her birthday at the Signet Library in Edinburgh. Ursula Andress arrived at the Royal Yacht Britannia in the original Aston Martin DB5 once driven by her film partner Sean Connery in the James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball.
This Ursula Andress Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub