Early Years and Careers
Madeline Smith was born in Sussex, England on August 2, 1949, to an English father and a Swiss mother.
In late 1967 she moved to London and started to work at the trendy Biba boutique in Kensington. While working there she was encouraged by the owner of the company, Barbara Hulanicki to become a model.
“At 18 you think you own the world, so I then knocked on the door of the Lucie Clayton MODELING Agency and they took me on for 18 months.”
In 1969 she began to pursue a career as an actress and was cast in the Hammer movie Taste The Blood Of Dracula starring Christopher Lee.
“I was off and running, got an acting agent and kept the two careers running parallel until I decided to pursue acting full-time.”
She followed that up with The Devil’s Widow with Ava Gardner, comedies Up Pompeii and Up The Front as well as her iconic turn as Emma Morton in The Vampire Lovers.
Roger Moore and Bond
She met Roger Moore whilst working on the TV series The Persuaders, which starred Moore and Tony Curtis. When he was cast as 007 he recommended her for the part of Miss Caruso, an Italian agent.
“Roger was an absolutely delightful gentleman — there was no ego at play there, he was always interested in every aspect of a film set, always talking to the lighting guys, the sound technicians. But, in fact, he was actually shy and quite insecure about his acting.”
The scene where Bond removes unzips her dress with his magnetic Rolex was the first one filmed for Live And Let Die. Years later she recalled:
“That was the first scene that was shot in the film, and how could I forget that blue dress. We spent three days filming that scene, and after the twentieth take I can assure you it wasn’t that romantic. It didn’t help that I hated the dress. Of course, what nobody saw was the special effects man lying underneath between my legs, and pulling on a thread attached to the zip.”
Throughout out the rest of the 1970s, Smith would appear in various projects including movies (Frankenstein And The Monster from Hell with Peter Cushing and Theatre Of Blood with Vincent Price), stage-plays (Habeas Corpus with Alec Guinness), and TV (Steptoe And Son).
She married actor David Buck and had a daughter with him in 1984. After this, she retired from acting to raise her child. Her husband died of cancer 5 years later.
She returned to acting in 2011 and appeared in the British shows Bargain Hunt and Celebrity Mastermind.