Bond Girls and Mulberry Bushes – Remembering Angela Scoular (1945 – 2011)

Posted in Remember by - July 26, 2014
Bond Girls and Mulberry Bushes – Remembering Angela Scoular (1945 – 2011)

For a while in the 1960’s, the sweet and beautiful Angela Scoular projected a very British persona of a fun-loving figure without a care in the world. Unfortunately, in real life she spent many years battling personal demons which, coupled with various health problems, would eventually and tragically beat her.

Born on 8 November 1945, Angela’s screen career got off to a promising start playing Juliet in a 1965 television production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and then a 1967 adaptation of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, as Cathy opposite Ian McShane’s Heathcliff. On the big screen Scoular played a society girl in Charlie Chaplin’s comedy misfire ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’ (’67), and a secret agent sharing a bath with David Niven, in ‘Casino Royale’ (’67). She was great fun as quirky Caroline Beauchamp, crossing Barry Evan’s virginal path, in the excellent ‘Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush’, after which she ran off with Peter O’Toole’s army captain in ‘Great Catherine’ (both – ’68). The following year Scoular had a fun part in another Bond adventure, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (’69), as allergy sufferer Ruby Bartlett, for which she is probably most fondly remembered for.

Angela began the 1970’s co-starring with future husband Leslie Phillips, in the funny sequel ‘Doctor in Trouble’ (’70), the seventh and final movie in the popular ‘Doctor’ film series, this one featuring a scene-stealing Harry Secombe. Angela also had a few recurring roles in television at this time including the popular serial ‘Coronation Street’. With good roles few and far between, Scoular succumbed to the British sex comedy era. As a bored housewife, Angela had a full- frontal bathtub scene in the low-brow comedy ‘Adventures of a Taxi Driver’ (’76), where she was reunited with her ‘Mulberry Bush’ co-star Barry Evans. Scoular then subjected herself to more embarrassment the following year with the even worse ‘Adventures of a Private Eye’ (’77). Back on good form, Angela was seen in a few episodes of the powerful Cornish drama ‘Penmarric’ in 1979.

Together since the late Seventies, Angela married suave comedy icon Leslie Phillips in 1982, and would not remain off screen for the next six years. Making a welcome return, I particularly loved her recurring role as the amorous Lady Agatha Shawcross in the highly enjoyable comedy series ‘You Rang, M’Lord?’ (’88-93). Angela’s final appearances would be in a couple of 1996 episodes of Judi Dench’s popular sitcom ‘As Time Goes By’.

Sadly, Angela suffered from depression for many years, and had attempted suicide back in 1992. In later years she also battled alcoholism, anorexia and had suffered with bowel cancer. Later, fearing that her cancer had returned, on April 11th 2011, a fraught Angela tragically died after drinking drain cleaner, she was 65. The coroner recorded the death not as a suicide, but that the balance of Angela’s mind was disturbed. Either way, it was a desperately sad end to a fine comedy actress and one of the Swinging Sixties most lovable British starlets.

Favourite Movie: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Favourite Performance: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

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