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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Venus in Black Stockings 8: Irina Demick

There are a few women who made an early impact on Agent Triple P at that time when we were starting to realise that women were more interesting than we had previously thought which, in our case, was at about the age of eleven.  Initially, it was a mixture of bikini clad lovelies who livened up the pages of The Sunday Express and certain actresses who we had seen on TV or, perhaps more unusually, at the cinema.  Like many people in the sixties Triple P's family only went to the cinema once a year, for the annual James Bond film. We didn't have a colour television until 1974 so it was on our uncle's colour TV that we first saw Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) and was immediately struck by the lovely Irina Demick.

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

Of course, the fact that her first appearance in the film was as a naked artist's model on the beach (for an unusually cast John LeMesurier as a French artist) helped impress her on our consciousness.  The circling aircraft of Jean-Pierre Cassel's character attracted a large crowd to the beach where Miss Demich filmed her scene and the police had to be called to hold back peeping Toms.

The Longest Day

Demick was born in Pommeuse, just east of Paris in 1936, so was twenty-nine at the time of Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. She was born Irina Dziemiach of Russian-Jewish ancestry. She became a model in Paris and having appeared in a film in 1959 met American producer Darryl Zannuck, who was 34 years her senior, at a friend's house.  Zannuck was immediately smitten and she joined a line of his girlfriends whose careers he promoted.  He gave her a part in his D-Day epic The Longest Day (1962) as a French resistance fighter.

Naked on the beach again in Le Clan des Siciliens (1969)

Ken Annakin, the director of some of The Longest Day's sequences, was also the director of the Zannuck produced Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.  It was Zannuck himself who suggested the idea of her taking a multiple role as the various women from different countries pursued by the French pilot Pierre Dubois, played by Jean-Pierre Cassel.

She appeared in another dozen films up until 1972 but married a Swiss businessman, moved to Rome and had a baby, retiring from the film industry.  After she divorced him in 1979 she moved to the US and died in Indianapolis in 2004 just short of her sixty-eight birthday.

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