Born 1946 in Hove, England, British actress Alexandra Bastedo made her film debut as one amongst a group of teenagers in William Castle’s 13 Frightened Girls (1963). The Champions (1967) was a British-made teleseries which also starred Stuart Damon. In it, Ms. Bastedo played Sharron Macready, one of a trio of spies with superhuman abilities. The show was entertaining, but uneven, and only ran for one season.
Two more of her early film roles were in 1970 with This, That and the Other (British-made) and Wedding Night (Ireland). During the same year, Alexandra landed a bit part in the Gothic psychodrama My Lover, My Son. Tyburn Films’ The Ghoul (1974) features Ms. Bastedo as the sole survivor of a band of vintage auto-racing wastrels who run afoul of a defrocked clergyman and his cannibalistic offspring. A Spanish/Swiss co-production called I Hate My Body (1975) finds her as Leda, the unhappy subject of a transsexual brain transplant. Joseph Larraz cast her in Estigma (1981) where the blonde haired beauty became entangled in a love triangle with a teenage psychic-killer and his older brother.
Alexandra Bastedo’s performance in Vicente Aranda’s The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) was one of the eeriest portraits of a disturbed woman in the history of seventies Spanish horror cinema. Playing a vampiric lesbian who incites a young bride to murder her abusive husband, the film simultaneously hit upon the perversely novel idea of a coffin built for two.
In 1979 she played in the series The Aphrodite Inheritance. In 1988, Bastedo was the cover star for ‘Rank’, a live album by British band The Smiths that charted at number 2 on the British Album charts. In 1991, she appeared in a notable production of the psychological thriller Dangerous Obsession by N. J. Crisp, opposite Marc Sinden and John Challis, at the Mill at Sonning. In 1992 she appeared in “Fat” – the second broadcast episode of Absolutely Fabulous, playing a 1960s model associate of Edina and Patsy. She was also seen in two episodes of The Saint series, alongside Roger Moore.
She dated David Frost and Omar Sharif but turned down the advances of Steve McQueen who, she recalled, propositioned her with the line, “My wife doesn’t understand me”. In the case of Sharif the liaison lasted only a few weeks because of the actor’s bridge-playing habit, his odd hours and that he took telephone numbers from other women. Mike Tomkies, the Fleet Street journalist who abandoned the life of a celebrity reporter to live alone in the wilderness, lived with her for a while in Canada and they talked of marriage; but she was prohibited from marrying by a contract for The Champions (1968 to 69). He said that she was the most stunningly beautiful creature he had ever seen.
Even with only a few genre credits to her name, Alexandra Bastedo still managed to stand out in any production she was involved in. I only wish there was more data on her, another European actress who made her indelible mark and then seemingly vanished from the motion picture scene without a trace..