Early Years

Margaret Nolan was born in Somerset, England on October 29, 1943, to an English mother and an Irish father. She primarily grew up in London.

Modeling and Acting Career

Nolan began modeling in the early 1960s under the name Vicky Kennedy. When she was cast in an episode of The Saint in 1963 she reverted back to her birth name, which she used for the remainder of her career.

In 1964 she was featured in her 2 most iconic movies: A Hard Day’s Night and Goldfinger. In the latter, she played the role of “Dink” but was also the girl who was painted gold in the title-sequence as well as on the album cover. In 1965 she appeared in the November issue of  Playboy for the James Bond Girl pictorial.

 “I loved Sean Connery. He was actually more interested in my sister, who’s very much his type. I have a non-identical twin sister, but she’s quite petite with red hair, and she looks a bit like Diane Cilento, so he obviously likes these quite petite, high-cheekboned women. I remember he was very keen to dance with her! But no, he was nice – he used to give me a lift home in his Rolls Royce.”

Throughout the 1960s to early 70s she was a fixture on British television and movies with appearances on shows including Steptoe and Son, The Persuaders and Budgie.

She also appeared in 6 Carry On movies, her largest role being in Carry On Girls.

“They (Carry On) were low budget films and we worked really hard in them. Most of the comedy was improvisation, the way we did it, and they have become multi-millionaires on compiling videos out of them, by selling them as videos and selling them to every single television channel in the world.”

“We could never get any royalties, because the deal was done in the days before films were shown on television, before videos even were invented. Equity and so many of the actors – most of whom have died now, the people who were keen on getting something done, like Bernard Bresslaw and Sidney James – we just couldn’t get anywhere, they were not interested in even just listening. Equity went to see them and they told them to fuck off.”

“And I’ve got another story for you. Charles Hawtrey, the very skinny one with the glasses – oh! Such an amazing character, he was dying of poverty, and Equity went on his behalf to ask for some money in lieu of royalties so that they could pay for nursing, and he was told to fuck off out of the studios. The guy told me that in the Equity office, he said there’s no point even trying.”

“If I had the energy I could pursue it, because somebody just recently has won a court case; it’s always to do with precedent, and on having the contract revoked because it was signed in a day when these showings didn’t happen. But you just need the energy, and I don’t know if I have it.”

“But it’s appalling to consider how popular they became and that no deal was made with the actors at all – so I don’t want anything to do with the Carry On stuff. They were good fun though, and I loved doing them.”

“I want nothing to do with them. Absolutely nothing. I don’t even acknowledge…you know, there are people that have been writing to me over the years to put this in their book and that…they were such bastards, the ‘Carry On people. They became multi-millionaires, both of them, Gerald Thomas the director and Peter Rogers the producer. The last time I saw them was the very last thing I did at Pinewood, where they acknowledged me; they were dripping with gold, and I thought ‘You bastards’”

During this period, Nolan married playwright Tom Kempinski with whom she had 2 sons. They divorced in 1972 after 5 years of marriage.

Post Acting Life

In 1990, Nolan moved to Spain where she lived in a remote farmhouse in the mountains. In 2006, she returned to England. Currently, she works as an artist making photo-montages assembled from cut-outs of her early publicity photographs. They have been exhibited in London at the Brick Lane Gallery, The Misty Moon Gallery and Gallery Different.

 

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