John d Green photographed Martine Beswick on 1 February 1967 at his Kensington studios, towards the end of his Birds of Britain sessions. Martine was 25 at the time, and had fire in her belly – and that was how John photographed her. “I was kinda hot in the sixties” she later recalled. To get the effect in the photograph, John took a roll of pictures of a sparkler, and superimposed the chosen frame on the portrait. It worked perfectly, as you can see.
Martine Beswick, who was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica to English parents, is an actress probably best known for her roles in two James Bond films, From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).
She was cast in the second James Bond film From Russia with Love (1963) as the fiery gypsy girl, Zora and engaged in the famous “catfight” scene with her rival Vida (played by former Miss Israel Aliza Gur). Beswick was incorrectly billed as “Martin Beswick” in the title sequence. She then appeared as the ill-fated Paula Caplan in Thunderball (1965). She had been away from the Caribbean so long that she was required to sunbathe constantly for two weeks before filming, in order to look like a local.
She appeared in One Million Years B.C. (1966) opposite Racquel Welch – with whom she had another onscreen cat fight – and numerous Hammer horror films. In the 1970s she moved to Hollywood and regularly appeared on both the big and small screen.
Martine’s acting career was active well into the 1990s and she regularly appears at international James Bond and Hammer film conventions. In April 2013 she was one of 12 Bond Girl celebrity guests to appear on the BBC’s Masterchef.