Thursday, April 9, 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: H is for Cassandra Harris!

It's not really a surprise how much of this April 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge is intersecting with my love for James Bond - since I'm picking the subjects and all. This time out we start with the 12th movie in the series, For Your Eyes Only.

Venturing out with my mom and one of her friends I sit down for my first theatrical viewing of a James Bond movie. I'm enjoying the action and stunts - and don't mind when the movie slows down for a romantic interlude between Bond and a beautiful woman he meets in a casino in Corfu.

"I adore grateful men..."

She is the Countess Lisl von Schlaf - or so she says. Later, while enjoying champagne and caviar - and each other - Lisl lets both her nightie and accent slip - she's really an English girl from Liverpool. She gives 007 enough info to help him in his investigation - and after a night together they take an early morning walk on the beach. They are soon set upon by bad guys in dune buggies, and things go badly for Lisl. Bond avenges her eventually, kicking her killer off a cliff in his car (!).

"Me nightie's slipping..." "So's your accent..."

Cassandra Harris played Lisl in the movie - a very attractive Australian actress who'd made her first appearance in an episode of Space: 1999.

Space: 1999 - Cassandra Harris on the right.

It was only much later that the fact that Cassandra was married when she appeared in For Your Eyes Only - and who she was married to - became important to the story. It seems Cassandra brought her husband to lunch with Bond producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and his wife Dana - and it was there that Cubby met - Pierce Brosnan. They had married in 1980. Pierce adopted her two children from an earlier marriage and they had a son together.

Some years later - after Roger Moore had turned in his licence to kill - Cubby remembered Pierce Brosnan and thus began Pierce Brosnan's eight year journey to the role of James Bond. It's an interesting story - but this post is about Mrs. Brosnan.

Cassandra only acted in two more projects after For Your Eyes Only - then retired from acting after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1987. She battled it for four years, eventually passing away in December 1991 at the age of 43.

I'm so glad Cassandra Harris was cast as Lisl - she's fun in the role, and she helped get Pierce Brosnan in as the fifth theatrical James Bond - and for that I will always be grateful to her.

RIP Cassandra Harris.

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. I know I have seen this film, but sadly don't remember her... it's a tragic story in her real life... at least she touched the hearts of people across the world.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  2. I remember reading about her death, but I didn't realize she was so young. It's odd, how lives intersect and diverge, only to come together again years later. I really enjoyed Brosnan's turn as Bond.

    And Moore kicking the car off the cliff--that's my favorite Bond moment from him. It showed a steely side we hadn't really seen. I liked it.

    As always, awesome post!

  3. Bond, James Bond. Oh, how I love those films. Brosnan was a superb Bond, but no one beats Sean Connery. I had no idea Cassandra and PIerce were married! And that she paved the way for his tenure as Bond.

    1. I think Broccoli would have become aware of Pierce Brosnan at some point, but meeting him in the early 80's was certainly a factor in him nearly getting the role in 1987 and finally getting it in 1994.

  4. Nice post, Craig. I've never seen the film, so I had never heard of her previously. Interesting story in hoer part she played with landing Pierce his role. 43 is incredibly young to go out at. I'll be keeping an eye out for her when I eventually get to the film.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures with 007.