Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Whatever Happened to the Carry On Girls?

 

Carry On Girls is far from being one of my favourite Carry On films. I actually really don't like it at all, despite the best efforts of June Whitfield, Joan Hickson and Patsy Rowlands. Despite this, one aspect of the film in particular intrigues me. Whatever happened to all those Carry On Girls?

Now obviously we know the whereabouts of the most well known "Girls". Barbara Windsor is now a Dame and the nation is going to raise a toast to her 80th birthday later this year. Valerie Leon is also still pretty prominent on the fans circuit and we're all very grateful for that. After years in splendid isolation in Spain, Margaret Nolan is also back in the UK and regularly attends conventions and screenings of her films, as well as continuing her work as a visual artist. Sadly another of the girls, Wendy Richard, is now sadly no longer with us. But what of the others?

Girls featured quite a large cast by Carry On standards and although most of the other beauty contest entrants have little if any dialogue, they are all credited in the films title sequence. Despite this I can find very little information about them on the interweb. At least three of them appeared in small roles in other Carry On films. Laraine Humphrys, who played Eileen Denby in the film also appeared in the 1973 Carry On Christmas television special before returning the following year to play one of the Birds of Paradise in Carry On Dick. Laraine also popped up in the likes of Up Pompeii, Casanova '73 (with Leslie Phillips) and The Benny Hill Show. Her last credit came in 1979.

Caroline Whitaker had her first acting credit as Mary Parker in Girls before returning to play a student in the 1975 film Carry On Behind. Caroline's most significant role appears to have been that of Debbie Fletcher, daughter of Terry and June in six episodes of Happy Ever After between 1976 and 1977. Finally, Zena Clifton had already appeared in the series before joining in the fun in Fircombe. Two years before she had played the Au Pair Girl opposite Robin Hunter and Valerie Leon in Carry On Matron. Zena went on to appear alongside Benny Hill and Les Dawson as well as in game shows like The Golden Shot and Play Your Cards Right.

However, what of Mavis Fyson, whose only role anywhere appears to have been that of Francis Cake in Girls? Pauline Peart made her only Carry On appearance as Gloria Winch, but also cropped up in The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Man About The House and The Galton and Simpson Playhouse. Barbara Wise played Julia Oates and also worked as a model, perhaps under the name of Barbara Ashley. Further roles included working with Spike Milligan and Benny Hill on television. Finally, Carol Wyler appears to have made her one and only acting appearance as Maureen Darcy.

 

If anyone knows anything about any of these Carry On Girls, please do get in touch! I very much hope they are all still around and I'd love to know what they are up to these days.


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