On the Ege of stardom – Remembering Julie Ege (1943 – 2008)

Posted in Remember by - February 24, 2014
On the Ege of stardom – Remembering Julie Ege (1943 – 2008)

Hammer starlet and one time Bond girl, Julie Ege, enjoyed a relatively short career during the early seventies. Her perfect figure and jovial manner kept her busy on both screen and in magazines, which included layouts in many publications, from Photoplay to Penthouse.

Born in Oslo, Norway, on November 12th 1943, Julie was only 19 when she was crowned Miss Norway. In 1967 she had a small part as a German masseuse in the Norwegian film; ‘The Sky and the Ocean’, then a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it part in Peter Yate’s excellent crime pic; ‘Robbery’ (’67). After being one of Blofeld’s Angels of Death in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (’69), Julie had a minor role as a randy au-pair alongside Marty Feldman, in ‘Every Home Should Have One’ (’70), her first of many comedy appearances.

In 1971 Julie was heavily promoted by Hammer Studios’ boss James Carreras, who cast her as cave girl Nula, in their third dinosaur sequel ‘Creatures the World Forgot’ (’71). The movie was not a success, and by this time, Julie had already been married and divorced twice. One good (though dubbed) role that did come her way that year, was that of Voluptua, in the popular Frankie Howerd comedy ‘Up Pompeii’, competing in the chest department with Madeline Smith’s ‘Erotica’. After appearing in the ‘Gluttony’ episode of ‘The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins’ (’71) with Leslie Phillips, Julie played Utta Armitage in the comedy spoof ‘Rentadick’ (’72). This was followed by the Reg Varney comedy ‘Go for a Take’ (’72), alongside her ‘OHMSS’ co-star Anouska Hempel. Sending up the Hammer movies, Julie’s part was as an actress playing a vampire, alongside Denis Price’s washed-up count.

1973 began with a bit part in Robert Fuest’s science fiction sleeper; ‘The Final Programme’, before re-teaming with Leslie Phillips for the bedroom farce; ‘Not Now, Darling’. Julie made a handful of Norwegian films around this time. The first was called ‘The Canary Bird’ (’73), in which she was a flight attendant involved with a married man. In 1974 Ege was seen in Freddie Francis’ terrible horror film; ‘Craze’, falling foul to Jack Palance’s deranged antiques dealer. The movie was not a great experience for Julie, who found Palance to be rather creepy in real life too.

Another Norwegian film followed; ‘Bortreist Pa Ubestemt Tid’, a pretty good thriller in which Julie played a murder victim stuffed into a freezer. Ege was then a widow turned vampire, in the enjoyable Peter Cushing Hammer hybrid; ‘The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires’, co-produced by Hong Kong’s famous Shaw Studios. Another terrible comedy followed with the sexist sequel ‘Percy’s Progress’, where she was Vincent Price’s secretary. She was then a victim of Donald Pleasence’s mad scientist, in cinematographer Jack Cardiff’s final directorial effort; ‘The Mutations’ (’74). Then, as a favour to actor Derren Nesbitt, she agreed to a main role in his tacky sex comedy; ‘The Amorous Milkman’.

In 1976 Julie was dubbed again, this time as a villain, in the Dutch comedy ‘Sherlock Jones’. Ege then accepted various theatre works in her native Norway, including playing Columbia in a version of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’. Soon after, Julie returned to Oslo full time, where she dabbled in photography for a while. Looking for new challenges, Ege decided she wanted to become a nurse, and after studying in Oslo, where she earned her degree, she finally fulfilled her dream.

Sadly, after beating breast cancer in the mid eighties, Julie finally succumbed to the disease on 29th April 2008, she was 64. Twice divorced with two daughters, Julie Ege was one of the UK’s most recognisable and popular sex symbols in the 1970’s. The Scandinavian beauty was a favourite pin-up of many, and although Julie wasn’t one to take her acting too seriously, she always appeared enthusiastic on screen. A beautiful, warm-hearted person, Julie Ege made the most of her night in the sun.

Favourite Movie: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Favourite Performance: Up Pompeii

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