Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

300 Followers and Marcy Hanson!

Well, we have returned from Central and South America to discover that Venus Observations has just reached 300 followers.  We are very grateful to you all and hope you continue to enjoy our selection of enticing women from the past.

As usual, of late, we are celebrating by publishing a small selection of pictures of, in this case, Playboy's 300th Playmate.  Now checking on the web there seems some disagreement as to who is the 300th Playmate but we are pretty sure, after several counts and recounts, that it was Marcy Hanson from October 1978.  Not the 300th centrefold as some issues had more than one centrefold.  We also include Marilyn Monroe in the first issue even though technically she was the Sweetheart of the Month.

The very perky Marcy triumphantly passes the Triple P "does she look good in a white vest?" test.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Non-centrefold Venus of the Month 16: Katya Wyeth, December 1973

December's non-centrefold of the month is a young lady Triple P well remembers turning up from time to time in the tabloid newspapers in the early to mid-seventies.

From nearly forty years ago we present Miss Katya Wyeth who appeared in this pictorial in the December 1973 issue of Mayfair.  As their cover indicates, Mayfair was always keen to present "girls you fancy on TV."  Very few featured in specially shot material but given the nature of the times it was usually possible to find some old, naked pictures of the minor actresses they specialised in.

Katya was one of those girls who turned up in TV, films, newspapers and magazines a lot at the beginning of the seventies without ever becoming a star. 

The reason for Mayfair resurrecting these older shots of her were due to her fleeting appearance in A Clockwork Orange (1971) a few years before. 

Katya displays her pleasing 36-24-36 figure in a number of settings which may (or more likely not) have been shot at the same time.  Certainly the picture quality is variable.

Katya Wyeth was born in Bavaria, Germany (or Leigh-on-Sea, Essex according to Mayfair) on January 1st 1948 (or 1950 depending on who you believe). Her parents were Scandinavian (or British and German). She studied dancing and her first stage role was as a dancer at Windsor's Theatre Royal. Agent Triple P was been dragged along to some pantomimes there with younger relations some years ago and doesn't remember any dancers who looked like this.  Elephantine is the word that immediately springs to mind for most of the current crop.

Her dancing career was abandoned as she grew too tall so turned to acting and modelling.

Katya in 1968. Either eighteen or twenty years old

Her first screen role was in the largely forgotten Blake Edwards film Inspector Clouseau (1968).  It starred Alan Arkin as Clouseau rather than Peter Sellers who was making The Party in Hollywood.  Until 1979 she was billed as Kathja Wyeth so this was probably the real spelling of her first name.

During the next couple of years she appeared in a number of small roles in TV shows including a part as "Miss Budapest" in an episode of ITC series Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) which featured a beauty contest.  This was a show which we never watched when we were little as it was just too ludicrous in conception even for a nine year old.  She also appeared in an episode of The Avengers that year.

The same year she appeared (now as a blonde) in two brief appearances in Monty Python's Flying Circus's first series in 1969.  She appeared in both cases as the wife of an an art critic (Michael Palin) where she delivers a "terrible joke" only to then exclaim "but it's my only line!"

As the centrepiece in publicity shots for Twins of Evil

In full fangs on mode

It was back to the big screen in 1971 for a couple of Hammer horror films.  Here (now a strawberry blonde) she is flanked by the Collinson twins in a Hammer publicity shot for Twins of Evil (1971) where she appeared as Mircalla Karnstein.  She appears in many of the publicity photos for the film which, not surprisingly, highlight the twin delights of Mary and Madeleine Collinson, October 1970s Playboy Playmates of the Month.  Another Hammer followed, Hands of the Ripper (1971), where she appeared well down the cast list as "First pub whore".

It was her appearance right in the final seconds of Stanly Kubricks A Clockwork Orange (1971) that seemed to catch the imagination of Mayfair (and Gallery in the US, as well.  Katya romps around fetchingly just dressed in stockings and garters with Malcolm McDowell in the final Ascot fantasy sequence.

Katya (left) in Straight on till Morning (1972)

Another minor part in Burke and Hare (1972) followed.  The same year she was back with Hammer in a much larger part in the offbeat thriller Straight on Till Morning (1972) directed by Peter (The Italian Job) Collinson.

Katya looked sensational dressed in the groovy fashions of the time and had a brief sex scene, intercut with other scenes in the trendy manner of this not altogether successful film.

In 1973 she appeared in US men's magazine Gallery which mentioned her part in A Clockwork Orange again.

 With Robin Asquith in Confessions of a Window Cleaner 

Katya seemed quite happy to dispense with her clothes on film if the part really required it for artistic reasons, and it seemed to quite often, as can be seen in her next two films in 1974, which followed two years of TV appearances.

In Confessions of a Window Cleaner

The Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) was based on a series of paperbacks by Timothy Lea, a pseudonym for Cambridge law graduate Christopher Wood.  Wood would later go on to write the screenplays and produce two (rather well done) novelisations of the Roger Moore Bond films The Spy who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).  Producer Greg Smith had picked up the book to read on a train journey and immediately decided to bag the film rights.

Katya with (l to r) Confessions of a Window cleaner's producer Greg Smith, director Val Guest and associate producer Norman Cohen.

Made for just £150,000 it became the highest grossing film in Britain that year, beating, ironically the Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.  

In Barry McKenzie Holds his Own

She had a much smaller part in Australian sequel Barry McKenzie Holds his Own (1974) and is almost unrecognisable in a dark wig. Her last film was another dreadful sex comedy I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1975) followed by two years of TV performances which signalled the end of her screen career.

By the mid Seventies she was living in Hamburg and working as a model again, quite often not requiring any clothes either.   We remember her toothy grin appearing on the LP sleeves of all those cover versions of Top 20 hits in the seventies that always seemed so popular in Woolworth's. Nothing to do with the covers I am sure but the same approach was used in Germany too.

She also appeared on that other staple of glamour models in the seventies: the low rent paperback cover.

 In The Daily Mirror

Unlike most models turned actresses Katya did her stint in Page 3 (for both The Sun and The Daily Mirror) after most of her film and TV appearances.

Her last appearance on screen was in an episode of Space 1999 in 1977 where she played a glamorous guard.

 Katya right

Katya left

That year she also appeared in the April 1977 issue of Mayfair with another model under the name Gwendoline but we suspect that these were old photos by this time.

Katya was really one of those prototypical late sixties and early seventies foreign-born dolly birds, such as Francoise Pascal, Anna Bergman and Julie Ege (whose careers went rather better) who enlivened Triple P's teenage life through her appearances in newspapers like the Sunday Express and The News of the World, which we would eagerly peruse for the latest bikini-clad lovely whilst listening to The Navy Lark before Sunday lunch.

We would have thoroughly enjoyed these rather less dressed shots of Katya in the mid-seventies so it is a particular pleasure to discover them now nearly forty years later.

Katya disappeared from public view in 1977 and when last heard of was rumoured to be a tour guide in a brewery.