Barbara Bouchet, (born as Barbara Goutscher on August 15, 1943 in Reichenberg), is an actress and entrepreneuse who is fluent in English, German, and Italian. She is a cosmopolitan star. By birth and ethnicity she is German; by upbringing, she is American; and by residence, she is Italian. She has acted in more than 80 films and television episodes and founded a production company that has produced fitness videos and books as well as owning a fitness studio. Her most famous roles include starring as Miss Moneypenny in Casino Royale, as Kalinda in Star Trek, By Any Other Name, as Patrizia in Non si sevizia un paperino and as Mrs Schermerhorn in Gangs of New York.
The enactment and implementation of the Beneš decrees after the Allied victory in 1945, meant that the Sudeten Germans were considered to have been collectively punished, by the Czechs, who regarded them as being untrustworthy and disloyal to Czechoslovakia because they had given their support to the Munich Agreement,which had led to the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany in 1938.
The decision to transfer the Germans, reinforced, as it was, by the terms of the new laws that came into effect, after the Allied liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, led to the confiscation of Sudeten German land, property and possessions. These events were to have profound consequences for the Goutscher family as not only were they required to leave their home and belongings but they were also made stateless.
Little Barbara Goutscher, who had been nearly 2 years old at the time of the end of the war, accompanied her family, as they were transferred from the country. They were placed, along with many others, in a resettlement camp in the American occupation zone in Germany, from where they were, in time, able to apply for, and be granted, permission to emigrate.
Like many other refugees, at that time, in post-war Europe, the family discovered, to their relief, that they were eligible to migrate to the United States, as a result of the humanitarian provisions of the Displaced Persons Act which had been legislated by Congress in 1948.
In 1959, spurred by the popularity of the film Gidget, KPIX-TV, the local television station covering the San Francisco Bay area, decided to hold a "Miss Gidget" beauty and talent contest on the Dick Stewart Television Show. The contest was open to all teenage girls in the local area, she entered and won, resulting in her first experience of fame. Subsequently, she went out on a date with the male star of the movie : James Darren.
The station offered her, as a prize, the chance, which she accepted, to become one of the "Regulars" in a dance group on the show, called The KPIX Dance Party. They were teenage dancers who danced live to the top pop and rock and roll hits of the day and were TV stars, by virtue of the attention they received by being on television six days per week.
She was on the show from 1959 through 1962, after which she moved to the Hollywood area and made it into the film industry, changing her harsh Germanic sounding surname to the softer French sounding Bouchet which had a more fashionable, social cachet.
A youthful photo of Barbara Bouchet, as a dancing teenager, is available to be seen here.
Examples are such films as : John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, a comedy, 1964, in which she is dressed in alluring harem silk robes, In Harm's Way, a war drama, 1964, in which she is seen nude on the beaches of Pearl Harbor, and Agent for H.A.R.M., a spy action film, 1966, in which she wears a bikini for most of the time that she is on screen.
Moreover, in the 1967 James Bond satire, Casino Royale, she added a sultry element to the otherwise restrained Miss Moneypenny. Her early films gave her the grounding in character development that she needed in order to tackle more substantial roles later on in her career. She guest starred in the Star Trek episode "By Any Other Name", in 1968, which has a memorable scene where Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, kisses her repeatedly.
In 1970, she moved to Italy where she began acting in Italian films after growing tired of being typecast and where she began to star in the leading roles that were being denied to her in Hollywood. She rapidly became one of the top actresses in the country as she was constantly in demand due to her strong professional work ethics, her natural acting abilities, and her grace, style and beauty.. In Italy she mostly played in the giallo, poliziottesco and commedia erotica all'italiana, (sex comedy) genres.
In 1971, she starred with two other Bond girls, Claudine Auger and Barbara Bach in La Tarantola dal ventre nero, (Black Belly of the Tarantula) a giallo mystery film. Some notable films that she was in, at this era, were two giallo films that she starred with Rosalba Neri : Alla ricerca del piacere, (Amuck), 1971, in which they have a lesbian love making scene together and Casa d'Appuntamento, (French sex murders), 1972, a murder thriller. She starred in Milano calibro 9, 1972, with Gastone Moschin, a violent, poliziottesco, gangster film.
Other films that she starred in, and which were greeted with critical acclaim, were films such as Non si sevizia un paperino (1972), a giallo film noted for its dark subject matter relating to child killings and directed by the Italian horror master, Lucio Fulci and L'Anatra all'arancia, (Duck in Orange Sauce, 1975), a farcical, commedia erotica all'italiana, in which, she starred with Monica Vitti.
She starred with Yul Brynner in Con la rabbia agli occhi, known in English as Death Rage (1976), a giallo mafia film and also that same year with Marty Feldman in 40 gradi all'ombra del lenzuolo (Sex with a Smile), a commedia eroticaset as five farcical pieces in one film.
In the 1980s she became a television personality on Italian television, typically appearing on a chat show with fellow Italian actress, Edwige Fenech. She starred with Gregory Peck in The Scarlet and The Black in 1983, a successful WWII war rescue TV movie.
In 1985, she established a production company and started to produce a successful series of keep fit books and videos. In addition, she opened a fitness studio in Rome, Italy.
In 2002, she returned to American cinema, starring with Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs of New York, a film about the violence between the criminal underworld and immigrant gangs in New York, in which she appears as Mrs Schermerhorn.
She lives with her family in Rome, where she is a set member of the city's celebrity social life. She continues to work actively in films and television as well as her various business enterprises.