Barbara Bach, Bond Girl And Starr Wife, Then And Now
Actress Barbara Bach on the set of "The Spy Who Loved Me". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) made Barbara Bach famous, but it was Caveman (1981), with Ringo Starr, that changed her life. Bach was a fashion model who transitioned into acting, appearing in Italian films in the early '70s, a career trajectory that reached its apex when she played Major Anya Amasova opposite Roger Moore's James Bond. A few years later, on the set of the largely-forgotten prehistoric comedy, she met the Beatles drummer, and love of her life. They've been a celebrity power couple ever since, though Bach retired from acting in the early '80s.
Barbara Ann Goldbach was born in Queens, New York, on August 27, 1947. While she was in high school, she was the captain of her basketball team and graduated in 1964. After she graduated, she shortened her last name to Bach and started her modeling career. She was employed by the Eileen Ford Agency and appeared on the covers of magazines, including Seventeen and Vogue.
Barbara Bach Moved To Italy And Began An Acting Career
She was working as a model when she met her first husband, Augusto Gregorini in 1966 in Italy. Gregorini, who was 11 years her senior, convinced her that a move to Italy would be beneficial to her career. She moved to Italy, they married, and in 1968, they had two children. While she was in Italy, her acting career began with an appearance on an Italian television show, Cordialmente. She played Nausicaa in Odissea (1968). She then co-starred in Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) with Claudine Auger and Barbara Bouchet, two other Bond girls. She also had small roles in several other Italian films.
Bond And Beyond
Barbara moved to Los Angeles in 1975, and divorced her husband in 1978, sharing custody of their two children; as she has said, they more friends than lovers and their lives simply took different paths. By 1977, she was a Bond girl, playing Anya Asamova in The Spy Who Loved Me opposite Roger Moore. An action figure manufacturer created an Anya doll based on the character, and her role was considered one of the most important Bond female protagonists. This led to her next film, Force 10 from Navaronne (1978), in which she acted alongside Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw; she was the only woman in the film. She auditioned for Charlie’s Angels, but said that she lost the part because she was too sophisticated and did not seem American enough, even though she was born in Queens. Disappointed, she returned to modeling and then went back to Italy, where she had roles in a few films. In 1977, she was still modeling as well, being featured in Playboy.
'Caveman' Changed Her Life
In 1980, on the set of the prehistoric comedy Caveman (1981), Bach met Ringo Starr. They were both in other relationships at the time and played the role of lovers. Because Caveman's dialogue consisted of a lot of grunting and growling, they did not speak properly to each other until the end of the shoot, when they finally said hello. By five days later, Starr says, he realized he was in love with her. The couple moved to London, where they remained. They were in a bad car accident; in order to avoid a truck, Starr hit two light posts and his car flipped. After that, they decided that they would never be apart again, and in July 1980, Starr announced to the press that they were going to be married. On April 27, 1981, the Beatle and the Bond Girl tied the knot. In 1988, they entered the Sierra Tucson Rehabilitation Clinic together to fight off their drug and alcohol addictions. She went on tour with him and was featured in some of his videos.
Her Life Since Marriage
In 1993, Bach received an MA in Psychology from UCLA
She has been active in charity work, and in 1991, she and Patty Boyd, the ex-wife of George Harrison, co-founded the Self-Help Addiction Recovery Program. Along with her husband, she created the Lotus Foundation, a charity focused on advancing social welfare. In 2015, they decided to auction off some of their belongings and memorabilia, with the proceeds going to the Lotus Foundation.
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