• 24 April 1946
  •  London, England, UK

Virginia North


The daughter of an American Army Officer and a British mother, Virginia Anne Northrop spent her childhood travelling and growing up in whatever country her father happened to be posted. By the age of twenty, she settled in London and became a fashion model with Europe's leading agency, Models 1. Despite having little or no acting experience, her exquisite looks caught the ever-roving eye of scouts at the Rank Organisation. For the first three years, her career remained static. This changed when she was cast as a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), playing Olympe, the chess-playing companion of crime boss Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti). Her most fondly remembered -- and, sadly, final -- role was that of the ethereal silent assassin Vulnavia, devotedly serving The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) (Vincent Price). By 1974, Virginia had left the film world behind and wed the industrialist Gordon White (1923-1996), a former governor of the British Film Institute and chairman of the noted corporate raider Hanson plc. She became 'Lady Virginia' upon her husband's elevation to knighthood in 1979. The marriage lasted until 1991, White subsequently marrying a younger model (literally), forty years his junior. Virginia died prematurely of cancer in 2004 at the age of just 58.