Catherine Schell is probably best known in cult circles for her role as shape-shifting alien Maya in the second season of Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 and as the urbane Countess Scarlioni in 1979’s City of Death, one of the best and most acclaimed serials of the ‘classic’ Doctor Who era. But her career spans decades of appearances in dozens of classic British TV series and starring roles in glamorous, big-budget feature films alongside the likes of Peter Sellers (who became a trusted confidante). Yet it’s her life away from the camera which makes her autobiography, A Constant Alien (the title a reference not only to her role as Maya but also to her slightly restless, bohemian lifestyle) such a terrific, engrossing read; showbiz memories and anecdotes nestle alongside a laid-bare, warts and all life story in which fact is very often much stranger – and much more interesting – than fiction.
Her story sweeps from her birth during an allied bombing raid in Budapest, to life under post-war Russian occupation, escape and life as a refugee in Austria, a strict convent school life in America, and on to Germany where she becomes an actress.
Whilst international fame would follow through roles in the James Bond and Pink Panther franchises, as well as the iconic role of Maya in popular sci-fi series Space: 1999, the story off camera is all together more human and real. An abusive husband, her father’s surrender to Alzheimer’s, her brother’s paranoid schizophrenia, and a dominant and passionate mother, all play their part in her tale.
Told engagingly and with warmth, there are highs and lows, laughter and tears, and lessons learnt as a survivor in a life where she has been A Constant Alien.
Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.4 x 24.2 cm
Product Weight: 573 grams
Publisher: Fantom Films Limited
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