Tuesday 8 November 2011

Sue Lloyd (1939 - 2011)

Only found out last week but I was sorry to hear of Sue Lloyd's passing on 20 October.

Although she enjoyed a long and varied career on TV and occasionally in films I think it's fair to say that she never really delivered on the promise of her turn in THE IPCRESS FILE.  Nevertheless, she has the classic Cinema Delirium-approved series on her CV: THE SAINT, JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN, DEPARTMENT S, and THE PERSUADERS among many others.  She's also in a particularly good episode of THE AVENGERS called "A Surfeit of H2O".

Sue Lyon with Patrick Macnee (R) in The Avengers

Film-wise, she popped up in Hammer's HYSTERIA (1965) - the one where Robert Webber can't remember who he is - but a career low must have been her appearance in NO. 1 OF THE SECRET SERVICE (1977) directed by Lindsay Shonteff who is responsible for two of the worst films I've ever seen: BIG ZAPPER and BIG ZAPPER'S BLADE OF VENGEANCE (both 1974).  Although having said that I don't imagine she was terribly proud of her work in THE STUD (1978) and THE BITCH (1979); the British film industry really was in an dreadful state in the mid- to late Seventies.

But we judge our favourites not by the depths to which they sink but the heights to which they rise and she was terrific as Jean Courtenay in THE IPCRESS FILE (1965), one of my favourite espionage films.  I feel a bit daft confessing it but I occasionally like to practice my impression of Nigel Green as Dalby saying her name as he introduces her to Harry Palmer.  She plays the operative who is sent to get Palmer into bed and indulge him in careless pillow talk.  She's slinky, seductive and sophisticated and that's how I'll always remember her.

Sue Lyon 1939 - 2011

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