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

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Centrefold Venus of the Month 15: Francoise Pascal, August 1970

Francoise Pascal: Penthouse August 1970

Whilst Agent Triple P remembers there being very few attractive women in the media in the mid-seventies we do remember one or two from the time who made a strong impression on us (as opposed to other women whose charms we only discovered in retrospect).

Francoise in Israel 1970

One of these was French actress Francoise Pascal, who later became famous for her role in jovially racist sit-com Mind your Language (along with another seventuies favourite, Ingmar Bergman's daughter, Anna-who we will feature another time).

Francoise looking suitably military in Israel

She features in this slot as, early in her career she was the Penthouse Pet of the Month for August 1970. She was fairly unusual in that, unlike most Pets of the time she had already made some films and was becoming known as an actress.

On the cover

So here, from forty years ago, is one of the loveliest Pets from the Seventies and a huge favourite with most people at my school in the mid to late seventies, when she really became very well known in the UK.

Francoise perking up the day of some Israeli soldiers in front of what looks like a T34/85

Her Penthouse shoot was photographed in Israel by Israeli photographer Amnon Bar-Tur who would go on to be one of the great glamour photographers of the Seventies before setting up top printing firm Chroma Copy in the US.

Francoise perks up some serious Russian-built heavy metal

The text accompanying her pictorial was full of nonsense about her interupting her film career to join the Israeli Army as she was Jewish but this was all really just a way to justify the rather curious tank pictures inlcuded in the spread.

Francoise demonstrates the height of sea-level at the Dead Sea and a very 1970s looking hat

The first few pages of Francoise's pictorial are taken up with her messing around in uniform or touring the sights. These were the days when centrefolds were photographed dressed as well as undressed in their pictorials which gives us a wonderful window on to fashions past.

The pictorial only really takes off when she goes out to the desert near the Dead Sea. Penthouse hadn't been taking its models out of the country for location shoots for very long. A few years earlier and Francoise would have probably been photographed in a chilly flat in Chelsea.

Francoise strikes a pose in the desert

Francoise was twenty-one years old (she was born on 14th October 1949) when these pictures were taken and looks completely luscious.

This was one of the few periods when the US and UK Pets were aligned each month. Penthouse had only launched in the US 12 months before (September 1969).

Some of the previous Pets had been photographed with quite a lot of clothing on. This was probably to hide less than perfect bodies; Guccione famously wouldn't allow Playboy-style re-touching.

There is no such problem with Francoise. She can pose completely naked in the harsh desert sun and look utterly perfect from every angle!

Guccione had started to show his girls squeezing their breasts a few years before but none of the shots to date had had the unbridled, sexy, joie-de-vivre that Francoise demonstrates in her gorgeous tit squeezing photograph.

I enjoy being a girl!

The magazine had only gone pubic a few months before so Francoise became only the third girl to flash her fur in a couple of pictures in the set, although she remembers the result rather differently.  "Of all the nudity I've ever done, Penthouse was the most wonderful experience ever. You weren't allowed to show pubic hair in those days, and I loved it because the photographer was the most influential photographer in Israel. He took the most beautiful photos of me. He captured an amount of vulnerability that no other photographer has seen in me. It was fun to pose with the Israeli soldiers. They wanted to be in the pictures. They loved it! I took a picture with a tank, and that really looked like a phallic symbol. A subtle one. I liked holding the gun, too!"

Boing! Boing!

The running downhill picture has the added bonus of capturing some awesome bust bounce on her 37-24-36 figure.

At last there was no need for the girl to conceal her groin behind convenient foliage, Which is just as well looking at the terrain she was photographed in. The only bush belongs to Francoise!

The following year some more pictures from the same Israeli shoot appeared in the Dutch men's magazine ER, although she appeared under the name Nana rather than her own.

 The pictorial featured this rather more revealing shot than the ones that appeared in Penthouse.

Francoise (centre) aged five with her brother and sister in Mauritius

Although her pictorial said that she was French in fact Francoise was born on the island of Mauritius, the home of the Dodo, to French parents.

Francoise in her first film

She was educated in Paris and got her first acting role there, at the age of 11, in Les Miserables and then moved to London where she settled. She always wanted to become an actress as a child and got her first film part in the film Loving Feeling (1968) where she played a model and has a topless love scene.  The credits said "introducing Francoise Pascal"

School for Sex

A full-frontal Francoise (right) in School for Sex.  First Penthouse Pet of the Year Amber Dean Smith is second from the left

Some think that her first film was actually the dire sex comedy School for Sex (1968) whose title was far better than the lame goings on concerning someone using glamorous ex prisoners to fleece old men out of their savings.  In addition, the version released in British cinemas had the ladies keeping their knickers on whereas the continental version had them completely exposed.

Francoise looking groovy in 1969

In the last years of the Sixties she had a trendy short haircut: a quite different, but still appealing, look from the long tresses of her Penthouse shoot.

Giving it some oomph in hot pants for a publicity shot for Go Girl (1970)

In 1970 she filmed the Spanish-shot, British TV series Go Girl which was about a crime-fighting go-go dancer (no, really!) Perhaps its not surprising that the series was never shown!

Feeling a little horse

Francoise in There's a Girl in My Soup

She had more luck with the Peter Sellers film There's a Girl in my Soup (1970) that year which went on to be the seventh most popular film at the UK box office that year.  This comedy, based on the then longest theatre comedy in London, also featured the gorgeous Gabrielle Drake and introduced the equally gorgeous Nicola (Upstairs, Dwonstairs) Pagett.

Francoise on Coronation Street

In 1971 she also got some good profile with her next TV project, as it was actually broadcast: appearing in long running British TV soap Coronation Street.

Her next film was historical horror Burke and Hare (1972) about the famous Victorian body snatchers. Obviously finding such a subject a little grim the producers added lots of gratuitous scenes set in a brothel to so as to be able include young ladies in Victorian underwear (and less).

Much was made in the poster about the saucy Victorian underworld depicted in the film and the producers took full advantage of Francoise's charms.  Francoise had a much bigger part in this actually rather enjoyable film.  The film was known as The Bodysnatchers in the US and came out in two versions, as was not unusual at this time, one for UK cinemas and a naughtier version for Europe.

 Francoise in a publicity still for Burke and Hare

Pictured Francoise, above, in Burke and Hare is Yutte Stensgaard, most famous for her role in Hammer Film's Lust for a Vampire (1971).  This was Stensgaard's final film before moving to the US in 1972, becoming a Christian and working for a radio station.

Francoise has several nude films in the film and is the only actress to briefly flash her fur in what was still an unusual move in British cinema at the time which had only just moved to the new over eighteen 'X' certificate.

La Rose de fer in Amiens cemetery

In 1973 she got her first starring role, in the Jean Rollin film La Rose de Fer, a somewhat experimental, minimalist piece largely featuring Francoise and the actor playing her boyfriend wandering around a spooky cemetery at night (actually Amiens cemetery, the resting place of Jules Verne).

 Francoise in La Rose de Fer (1973)

It was rather too experimental, perhaps, and did disastrously at the box office. For the next few years she only did television not appearing on the big screen again until appearing in the dire sex "comedy" Keep it up Downstairs (1976).

The only thing to recommend in this dreadful production is the sight of Francoise dressed as a French maid.

There is one scene where Francoise, as the maid, Mimi, gets her bottom spanked. By this point Francoise had got fed up with nudity in films and so used a bottom double; who was none other than tragic British glamour star of the late Seventies, Mary Millington. Frankly Triple P knows who he would rather spank!

Penthouse included this picture of the spanking scene in a feature that coincided with the film's release in 1976 and used some of her original Pet of the Month photos but didn't mention that it wasn't Francoise's derriere!

Ooh la la!

One of the things that may have put her off appearing naked anymore was a shoot she did in 1971 for Paul Raymond's new magazine, Club International.

She was well known enough at this point for her name to feature on the cover of the very first edition. In fact, this cover, which also featured a very perky nipple, was a very racy shot for 1972.

Francoise, looking rather skinnier than she had in her Penthouse appearance, later reported that the photo shoot was held in a freezing, unheated Thames-side house.

Nevertheless there is no sense of this in the splendid photographs by Leonardo.

Absolutely no need for a bottom double!

Looking very skinny in this one

Words fail us!

The Club International centrefold shot

In Mind Your Language

From 1977 until 1980 she appeared in the sit-com Mind Your Language, which was set in an English language school. It is most famous today for perpetuating every racial stereotype about virtually every racial group and nationality. We didn't notice at the time, of course, as we didn't have to pretend then that we didn't notice that all foreigners are barmy.

Francoise last year with wonderful Welsh character actor Philip Madoc

In the early eighties she moved to the US and appeared on stage and in TV there, including two years of the The Young and the Restless. In 1985 she won the Los Angeles Critics Award for her performance as Olivia in Twelfth Night. She moved back to the UK in 1987 and gave up acting, although she now runs a celebrity liaison/PR firm and is active in charity work, particularly The Sick Childrens Trust. She has written her autobiography and you can buy it here.

Agent Triple P salutes Ms Pascal as one of the lovliest women of the Seventies and, indeed, the last forty years!


  1. What a beauty! Can you give us a bigger scan of the 11th photo (I think it's number 11--the one of her seated, looking contemplative, in yellow knickers?)

  2. Thanks so much. I'd also be grateful for a bigger scan of the back-to-the-wall, arms-crossed-over-breasts shot from _La Rose de Fer_. Anyone else?

    (the same Anonymous)

  3. I might have a bigger version at home but I am in Toronto for a bit so it will have to wait a week!

  4. Great blog. Huge Francoise fan and this is the best collection of pics I've seen online. Top stuff! :o)

  5. Francoise is a fine woman - excellent pictures. The Israeli army pics remind me of some pictures that made a teenage impression on me in Titbits!! magazine circa 1978. A 'girls of the Israeli army' feature, both topless and very striking. Please investigate!

  6. Brilliant blog , been a big fan of hers since mind your language , the best looking French babe ever .would love to be left alone with her for a week .

  7. I was fortunate in obtaining her autograph and photo (as well as receiving a kiss!) when she opened Burton's store in Darlington, United Kingdom in 1980.

  8. Loved her in mind your language ,never thought she would go full frontal gorgeous tits and a lovely pussy that was made for my tongue .

  9. What a great post, love this blog, reminds me of how things used to be when I were a young adult. Not sure why it took 3 years to find it. Anywho, Françoise Pascal had that wonderful continental carefree (almost) arrogance, so sexy. I don't believe she ever achieved her potential. A shame that she was always wasted in 'School For Sex' type garbage. Imagine a 'And God Created Woman' type movie with Françoise losing her innocence? ;-)

  10. I've just finished watching a programme on ITV called Storage Hoarders and Françoise was one of the obsessive collectors featured in it (Series 1, Ep.1, broadcast 2pm, 17/04/14). A little maturer but still looking fabulous. She had some nice collectables including a lovely , large, framed signed photograph of the radio Goons. The programme should be available to watch on ITV's Catch-Up service.

  11. The best French tits and pussy ever

  12. She was born in Mauritius

  13. She also appeared in a mid seventies film called French Undressing which doesn't seem to be available anywhere

  14. The tv series was actually called Go-Go Girls, since it featured three young women (in the vein of Charlie's Angels); the pilot episode has since resurfaced and can be found online (YouTube, IIRC).

    She still appears occasionally at memorabilia fairs and film conventions.


  16. loved her in mind your language .I would've made endless love to her