Born March 6 1953 in London, Mandel grew up on the Isle of Sheppey and later in Epping Essex and Woodford Essex and Buckhurst Hill Essex. She began her career as a coat model. Later, she worked modeling lingerie, winning such awards as ‘Miss Teenage London’, ‘Miss Benson and Hedges’, and ‘Miss TV Times’ (broadcast on UK television on 14/06/1974 and presented by Hughie Green). Mandel's acting career in British sex comedies began in 1976, with her first film, Intimate Games.
Benny Hill saw Intimate Games, and this led him to cast Mandel on his eponymous show. She appears in multiple roles on two 1977 episodes of the series (broadcast in the UK 26/01/1977 and 23/03/1977) Of Hill and Jackie Wright's famous ‘head slapping’ routine, she said "Jackie Wright was a chain smoker and he would often hide his cigarette in his mouth or behind his back during scenes. In fact, you could often see a little plume of smoke rising behind him if you looked close enough. Benny would slap his head to fan the smoke away..
On the big screen she quickly became a favorite of both British sex film directors and audiences. Soon she was receiving equal billing with Mary Millington, the UK’s biggest sex symbol of the 1970s. Millington and Mandel's film, Come Play With Me still stands as one of the longest-running films in British movie history, and ran continuously at the Moulin Cinema in London's West End from 1977 to 1981.
After the release of her final British sex film, You're Driving Me Crazy, Mandel moved to Los Angeles where, in 1979, she attended the Lee Strasberg Institute for one year, studying acting and voice. She also studied with noted voice and dialect coach Robert Easton. On the 16th August 1981, Mandel married wealthy British film financer Stanley Margolis. Margolis had owned Tigon British Film Productions, the company that released some of her best-known british films, and that would later co-produce the 1993 film True Romance.
Mandel continued acting, appearing in films like The Private Eyes (1981), and Mistress of the Apes (directed by B-movie king Larry Buchanan), and on television shows like The Love Boat. She also appeared in the hardcore film Blonde Ambition (also known as Can I Come Again), which was shot in New York in 1977, but only released in 1980. Blonde Ambition saw Mandel cast as Sugar Cane, one half of a talentless duo of singers who become embroiled in the search for a missing broach. Directed by the eccentric Amero Brothers, the role entailed Mandel to strip while ice-skating, impersonate a drag queen, play the tuba and perform in hardcore sex scenes. It should be noted that she used a body double for the last.
Mandel eventually moved behind the scenes, working on the horror comedy Dead Men Don't Die (1991) starring Elliot Gould as well as co-producing Love Bites, starring Adam Ant, in 1993. She and Margolis divorced the following year.
In 1996, Mandel revealed in the British newspaper The People , that she had quit showbiz to work as a nurse caring for people dying from AIDS after several of her friends had passed away from the disease. “The stunning blonde, who often dressed as a saucy nurse, is now wearing a real nurse's uniform to care for dying patients” claimed the article. In 2006, she returned to producing, working with adult video director Jennifer James on a series entitled ‘Inside Erotica’. She was subsequently spotted at several adult industry socials