Stunningly beautiful and charismatic blonde Barbara Bouchet was born Barbel Goutscherola on August 15th, 1943 in Liberec, Czechoslovakia, known as Reichenberg, during the German occupation. Her father, Fritz, was a war photographer.
Her family was forced to leave the country when Barbara was a little girl and her name was changed to Barbara Gutscher. They got separated, but ended up getting together again. They migrated in December 1956 and settled in San Francisco, California, where Barbara attended the prestigious Galileo High School, a polytechnic school with commercial and industrial branches. Bouchet speaks English, German and Italian with equal fluency. In an interview to Shock Cinema (Number 44), Barbara Bouchet says her name had been changed again to Bouchet at the start of her career, because it sounded like her German name.
Barbara was inspired to be a screen actress after seeing the work of German actress Christine Kaufmann in Der schweigende Engel (1954) (“The Silent Angel”).
In 1959, her father submitted a photo of her to the “Miss Gidget” beauty contest, and she won. The contest was held by the local television station KPIX-TV, based on the character of what has been considered the first “beach party movie” in Hollywood history, Gidget (1959). The prize included a date with James Darren the famous star of that movie, and a screen test. The screen test never materialized.
Barbara was featured as a dancer on the teen-targeted rock’n’roll TV show, The KPIX Dance Party, from 1959 to 1962.
Bouchet began a career of teen model that led to her extensive magazine cover model (35 covers). In October 1983, at age 40, Bouchet did a nude pictorial for the Italian edition of “Penthouse” magazine.
Barbara acted in TV commercials. She made her film debut with an uncredited bit part in the comedy What a Way to Go! (1964). Bouchet soon became known for openly flaunting her spectacularly curvaceous figure in several pictures: clad in alluring silk harem robes in John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965), cavorting nude on the beaches of Pearl Harbor in the World War II epic In Harm’s Way (1965), and wearing a bikini for the bulk of her screen time in Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966). She also portrayed “Ursula” in Bob Fosse’s outstanding musical Sweet Charity (1969), made for a nicely sultry “Miss Moneypenny” in the tongue-in-cheek 007 outing Casino Royale (1967), and had guest spots on such TV series as The Virginian (1962), Star Trek: The Original Series (1966), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964), and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964).
In 1970, fed-up with being typecast as a mindless sexpot in Hollywood fare, she moved to Italy. She soon became one of Italy’s top actresses, carving out a fruitful niche for herself in sex comedies, giallo murder mysteries and gritty crime thrillers. Among her most memorable roles in these Italian features are the brazen spoiled rich lady “Patrizia” in Lucio Fulci’s disturbing Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972) (“Don’t Torture A Duckling”), prostitute “Francine” in The French Sex Murders (1972) (“The French Sex Murders”), modeling agency choreographer “Kitty” in The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) (“Red Queen Kills 7 Times”), saucy love interest “Scilla” in the splendidly sleazy Ricco (1973), and enticing stripper “Anny” in Death Rage (1976) (“Death Rage”). Bouchet had an unforgettably steamy lesbian love scene with Rosalba Neri in Amuck (1972) (“Amuck”). Barbara Bouchet appeared alongside fellow Bond girls Barbara Bach and Claudine Auger in Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) (“The Black Belly of the Tarantula”). Barbara Bouchet continues to act in both films and TV shows, alike, made in Italy. Barbara popped up in a small role (as the wife of giallo star David Hemmings) in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002).
Barbara married producer Luigi Borghese in 1976. They had two sons: Alessandro Borghese (b. 1974), a chef hosting a show on the Italian cable TV; and Massimiliano Borghese (b. 1989), a bartender. During the shooting of Diamond Connection (1984) in Istanbul, there was mention of a separation in the Turkish language “New World Video & Magazine” of September 1984, but the divorce happened much later.
In 1985, Bouchet started her own production company, opened her own health club in Rome, and launched her own line of fitness books and videos.
[based on woodyanders]
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