Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Calla Lilies - Kikko and Carey....Day 42 of Bond 365

As I was researching and writing today’s entry, I found myself being reminded of the Calla Lily. Both ladies have a graceful elegance about them so that how my title came about for Day 42 of Bond 365. And, Calla Lilies are so much more feminine than making a reference to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Kikko Matsouka, who was cast in a dual role for The Living Skeleton

Kikko Matsouka
Born this day in 1947
Diver Girl in You Only Live Twice

Kikko Matsouka, who also went by Kimiko Matsouka, began her acting career at the young age of 16 in the film Bushido (1963). She became part of the Bond family when she was cast as a Diver Girl in Sean Connery’s You Only Live Twice in 1967. She is probably best remembered as the emcee in the television series 11pm, which she did from 1968-1985. Her last role was in Takeshi’s Castle, a television show that aired in 1986. The series was formatted as a “surreal gameshow” and she was guest star in which she gave verbal support to General Tani (played by her real life husband Hayato Tani).

While researching Matsouka, I came across a new term: gravure idol. A person could equate a gravure idol as the Japanese equivalent of a pin-up girl in her late teens into her twenties. She would usually model bathing suits, school uniforms, and/or kimonos, but she would have never been presented as fully nude. Matsouka was one such idol and it would have been a way for her to launch her career, or in this case, probably assist her blossoming acting career. She would have been featured in mainstreams magazines and photobooks.

James Bond (Timothy Dalton) and Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in Licence to Kill

Carey Lowell
Born this day in 1961
Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill

Prior to her teens, Carey Lowell and her family moved around a lot before settling down in Denver, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder (literature) and then moved to New York to pursue modeling. She worked with Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, among others. 

In 1986, Lowell broke into acting with her roles as Julie in Dangerously Close and as a fashion model in Club Paradise. I actually remember seeing her as Maxine in a rather steamy ‘so 80s’ thriller released the following year called Down Twisted. After her role as Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill in 1989, Lowell went onto a few television series: A League of Their Own, Law & Order and more recently, Six Degrees.

Lowell returned as Pam in 007 Legends
Lowell did return as Pam Bouvier in the 007 Legends video game in 2012. She lent her likeness as well as her voice to the project. In the section of the video game that re-imagines Licence to Kill, Bouvier got to take a much more active and pivotal role in the plot. Although there were many issues with the game, in this case, the creators did a Bond Girl some justice and brought her into the 21st century by giving her more to do, besides looking good in a dress.

Sadly, Lowell has been in the news in the last year or so because she and her third husband, Richard Gere have separated after 10+ years of marriage. They have one child together, James.

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