Sexiest Villainesses of Television's Avengers 1966-69by aimless-46 | created - 07 Apr 2013 | updated - 07 May 2018 | Public
What follows is my humorous take on this shockingly unexplored topic. We all know that movie and television "bad girls" are several times hotter than good girls. So this is a list ranking the sexiest villianesses who faced off against John Steed, Emma Peel, and Tara King during the final four seasons of the show. The ranking is more character driven than actress driven. Most were played by relatively obscure British actresses, so there will be few photos. They are listed by actress name because the database does not always recognize a search for the character name.
1. Diana Rigg
Actress | On Her Majesty's Secret Service
British actress Dame Diana Rigg was born on July 20, 1938 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. She has had an extensive career in film and theatre, including playing the title role in "Medea", both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Rigg made her ...
Not part of the ranking but listed to get us in the mood.
Actress | Doctor Who
Pamela Ann Davy was born on September 7, 1933 in Australia. She was an actress, known for Doctor Who (1963), The Avengers (1961) and Fatty & George (1981). She was married to Geoffrey Lyndon Archer. She died on June 3, 2018 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
1967 The Living Dead (1967) - Mandy McKay
She plays the malevolent "Mandy McKay" in "The Living Dead" (episode 5-7), a Luna Lovegood type airhead who turns out to be a lot more than she seems. On the short end of another of Mrs. Peel's classic catfights, Mandy benefits from a tight military style costume with submachine gun, wide pistol belt, boots, gloves, and helmet. Emma finally subdues her with some carotid artery pressure, and the camera gives us a series of nice close-ups of Mandy's beautiful face and eyes as she slips into unconsciousness. Most erotic sequence of the series.
Actress | The Avengers
Yolande Turner was born on December 12, 1935 in South Africa as Yolande Eileen Turnbull. She was an actress and writer, known for The Avengers (1961), Bad Girls (1994) and Five Miles to Midnight (1962). She was married to Peter Finch. She died on November 6, 2003 in London, England.
Turner played both "The Receptionist" in "The Girl from Auntie" (episode 4-17) and Miss Pegram in "The £50,000 Breakfast" (episode 6-3). These were made roughly two years apart, Turner was 30 in the first one and aged considerably in those two years - scary the amount of change but it happens. The Receptionist was probably the kinkiest Villainess of the show, first appearing in a super tight short dress, her legs resting on her desk, and a gun on her lap. Later a caged Mrs. Peel is able to turn the tables on her; forcing her to drop her whip and then pinning her head between the bars of the cage. Miss Pegram was a brittle and utterly ruthless businesswomen who gives Mrs. Peel her best fight and ends up handcuffed and dragged across the room. Not the sort of eroticism often seen on 1967 television.
4. Isla Blair
Actress | Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Isla Blair was born on September 29, 1944 in Bangalore, India. She is an actress, known for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Johnny English Reborn (2011) and Valmont (1989). She has been married to Julian Glover since September 28, 1968. They have one child.
A bit of a surprise ranking. At age 23 she played the young "Bride" bomber in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station" (episode 5-13). There was something so delightfully wicked about her stretched out across the train seat in her bridal gown, explaining the workings of the bomb she was planting in the Prime Minister's rail car. Followed by a suspenseful set up and nicely edited fight with Mrs. Peel in their train compartment. Now in a tight sweater showcasing her talents, the Bride ends up unconscious in the overhead luggage rack of the compartment, sensuously groaning as she shifts position. I can't get in a train compartment without thinking of these two scenes.
There is also an uncredited blonde (Juliet Harmer?) in this episode, who comes at Emma with a fork in a nicely staged sequence; giving the viewer two entirely separate catfights in the same episode.
5. Kate O'Mara
Actress | Doctor Who
Kate O'Mara was born Frances Meredith Carroll on August 10, 1939 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England. A hard-looking brunette with high cheekbones, Kate was the daughter of actress Hazel Bainbridge and John Carroll and prodded into performing as a child. Educated at the Aida Foster School, she ...
The sexiest of Tara King's foes, Kate appears as "Lisa" in "Stay Tuned" (episode 7-22). The future scream queen gives Tara her best fight and ends up bound and gagged, with several nice "in distress" close-ups. As in 'The Girl from Auntie", the erotic thrill is heightened by a reversal of positions dynamic with the captive getting the better of her nasty female captor; creating a sizzling degree of humiliation. The hard-faced O'Mara had nice talents which were advantageously displayed in a short tight blue dress.
Actress | The Avengers
Patricia Haines was born on February 3, 1932 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England as Patricia Ann Haines. She was an actress, known for The Avengers (1961), The Last Shot You Hear (1969) and The Adventures of Don Quick (1970). She was married to Bernard Kay and Michael Caine. She died on February 25, ...
Played athletic "Holly Trent", the title character in "The Master Minds" (episode 4-6). Haines looked a bit like Princess Anne, but she had a great body and obviously people found her quite fetching, she was Michael Caine's first wife.
Holly is the games' mistress at a school for high intelligence adults, her surprisingly high ranking on this list is because she is the most successfully duplicitous character in the entire series. She does a sexy stretching bit in the gym for Steed's benefit and later battles a shadowy Emma behind a movie screen, eventually crashing through the screen and landing semi-conscious next to Steed. I'm not entirely sure why this has so much sizzle although I suspect that it has something to do with her stunned expression as she slips into unconsciousness.
Actress | The Saint
Played criss-cross murderess "Barbara Wakefield" in "The Murder Market" (episode 4-7). Although this character and her episode had all the elements properly packaged, the characterization came off strangely sterile and the fight sequence horribly clumsy and poorly edited - with the use of a stunt double far too obvious. The episode does feature a nice sequence of Barbara in riding costume. Although the characterization does not generate the erotic energy that it should, I can't keep it out of the top 10.
The episode goes out with a great close-up of her draped semi-conscious on Stead's shoulder, courtesy of Mrs. Peel. Recently I have grown more and more appreciative of this image, so Suzanne's list position is on the rise.
Actress | Adam Adamant Lives!
Juliet Harmer was born on May 11, 1941 in England as Juliet Linda Harmer. She is an actress, known for Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), The Avengers (1961) and Department S (1969). She has been married to Bill Alexander since June 1977. They have two children. She was previously married to William Squire...
At age 22 she played schoolteacher "Jill Manson" in "The Town of No Return" (episode 4-1). A noteworthy episode if you like girls with glasses and librarian types who transform into dangerous babes. In an early scene Miss Manson seems to be giving Mrs. Peel a lot of suggestive tongue action as she licks her lips throughout their conversation in the school. In the climatic scene a more trendy dressed Jill has a lengthy fight with Emma which culminates in an close up of the young villainess sprawled unconscious on the floor.
If you find Harmer appealing then check out the uncredited blonde who takes a fork to Mrs. Peel in the "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station" episode; as the two actresses have much the same look.
9. Joanna Vogel
Actress | The Avengers
Joanna Vogel was born in 1940 in Worthing, Sussex, England as Joanna Napper. She is an actress, known for The Avengers (1961), Department S (1969) and Jason King (1971). She was previously married to Evan Jones.
Played the tight-lipped "bad nurse" "Hilda" in The Correct Way to Kill" (episode 5-9). A surprisingly high ranking as she does not have a great deal of screen time. But what a gorgeous face and what a stylish way she is dispatched by Mrs. Peel. The viewer is left to fantasize about a stripped of her fencing costume Hilda, shoved unconscious into a locker in the changing room.
A year later Joanna would play good girl Pandora Marshall in "All Done With Mirrors" (episode 7-8). It is a bigger part with lots of nice close-ups, but unfortunately without the bad girl sizzle. This was easily Linda Thorson's "hottest" episode and well worth checking out.
10. Angela Browne
Actress | The Prisoner
Angela Browne was infatuated with cinema from early childhood, imagining herself in the the part of the screen heroine during her frequent visits to the pictures. Aged thirteen, she left her Catholic convent school to study at the Cone-Ripman Drama Academy in London. After four years, she earned ...
Played the main secretary-assassin Sara Penney in "How to Succeed.... at Murder" (Episode 4-25). Next to Maria Machado (see below) the best physical specimen ever cast for an appearance in the series, Sara faced off against Steed, not against Mrs. Peel. In a memorable sequence Steed places her on his lap and tickles her into revealing the location where Mrs. Peel is being held. Sara is wearing tight leather pants and boots, and to the delight of 1960's viewers twists about revealingly in reaction to Steed's molestation. Later Emma gets to take on a whole group of leotard clad secretaries, depositing them one-by-one at Steed's feet, unconscious. Not the most plausible of her action sequences but a nice bonus for those watching the episode.
11. Gabrielle Drake
Gabrielle Drake was born March 30, 1944 in Lahore, Pakistan. Her father worked in an import/export company or as an engineer and she spent her first 8 years travelling around Burma, India, and the Orient. The family returned to England when Gabrielle was eight years old, after which they moved back...
Played catlike PURR beauty "Angora" in "The Hidden Tiger" (episode 5-8). British version of Lee Purcell and that is a good thing. Absolutely glows with suppressed erotic energy wrapped in a high class package. Nicely vanquished by Emma and shoved into the back of a van. High voltage.
12. Veronica Strong
Actress | The Avengers
Veronica Strong was born in 1938 in Eastry, Kent, England. She is an actress, known for The Avengers (1961), Harpers West One (1961) and An Enemy of the State (1965). She has been married to Jeremy Burnham since 1966.
Appears as frumpy cleaning lady "Martha" in "Love All" (episode 7-21). Martha is something for everybody as she is able to transform herself from the mega-plain Martha to her glamed-up neice with a little make-up and a few wardrobe flourishes. I assume it is the same actress since only Veronica is credited, but I've never been entirely certain.
13. Hilary Pritchard
Actress | The Thief and the Cobbler
Hilary Pritchard was born on April 16, 1942 in Isle of Man, UK. She is known for her work on The Thief and the Cobbler (1993), The Avengers (1961) and Department S (1969). She died on July 29, 1996 in the Isle of Man.
Tara didn't get many hot villainess's during her one season, but "Circe Bishop" in "Take-Over" (episode 7-30) does rank near the series' top ten. Circe is simply delectable and would rank higher except for an extremely lame fight sequence, done almost entirely in wide master shot, where Tara easily subdues her.
14. Susan Travers
Actress | Van der Valk
Susan Travers was born on February 18, 1939 in Chelsea, London, England as Jennifer Susan Leon. She is an actress, known for Van der Valk (1972), The Avengers (1961) and Danger Man (1960). She was previously married to Cornel Lucas.
Another bad nurse, in "My Wildest Dream" (episode 7-28). Nurse Janet Owen has a thing about car doors and hypos. If that is your idea of a good time you will enjoy her appearance.
15. Maria Machado
Actress | L'été meurtrier
Maria Machado was born on October 16, 1937 in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is an actress, known for One Deadly Summer (1983), The Avengers (1961) and Rosebud (1975). She was previously married to Roland Dubillard.
Busty blonde German actress who played Russian Alicia Elena in "Two's a Crowd" (episode 4-12). Best physical package in the entire series. Many wardrobe and hairstyle changes plus enormous talents. Needs a seduction sequence or at least a little hand-to-hand with Mrs. Peel. Unfortunately she is only decorative although nicely showcased in many sequences. She does manage an appealing look of distress in her last sequence.
16. Lucy Fleming
Actress | Survivors
Lucy Fleming was born on May 15, 1947 in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, England as Eve Lucinda Fleming. She is known for her work on Survivors (1975), Pirate Radio (2009) and Mystery and Imagination (1966). She has been married to Simon Williams since April 1986. They have four children. She was ...
Played head girl "Emily" in "Invasion of the Earthmen" (episode 7-16). By this point we have gotten to the "what they had" and "what they should have done with it" stage. The nasty Emily bossed around the other students at Alpha Academy, and seemed to be nymphet material for headmaster Brigadier Brett, who gives her the occasional lustful glance. For her part she fills out her tight sweater quite nicely and looks quite fetching in the school's space age costume of skirt and black boots. But no effort is made to involve her in any action nor to go anywhere with the erotic potential of the story. Given that this is otherwise the most listless episode of the entire series, a little erotic sizzle would have been a refreshing development.
Actress | The Deep Concern
Katherine Schofield was born on March 16, 1939 in Yorkshire, England. She was an actress, known for The Deep Concern (1979), Lifeforce (1985) and Doctor Who (1963). She died on August 6, 2002 in Glamorgan, Wales.
Played Oyuka, a black belt and bad-tempered martial arts trainer in "The Cybernauts" (episode 4-3). Technically not a villianess she underestimates Mrs. Peel and is humiliated in front of her Sensei and his other students. It sounds better than it actually is because their fight is over in seconds.
Katherine was one of the most spectacular British actresses of the 1960's and was especially memorable playing Greti in "The Death Game" - Episode 5-17 of "The Saint", a stern Germanic taskmaster in a red body suit with black boots and belt.
1967 The Death Game (1967) - Greti http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0693517/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_28
18. Joanna Wake
Actress | The Avengers
Joanna Wake was born on May 8, 1940 in Crowborough, Sussex, England as Joanna Margaret Wakeham. She is an actress, known for The Avengers (1961), BBC Play of the Month (1965) and Omnibus (1967). She was previously married to Peter West.
Played rich young horsewoman "Miss Beryl Snow" in Silent Dust" (episode 4-14). I may be more favorably impressed because I used to work with someone with a close physical resemblance. Miss Snow does a very convincing flirtation with Stead and there is some potential for more off-camera fantasizing as you imagine Emma stripping her of jodhpurs and jacket.
19. Eunice Gayson
Actress | Dr. No
Eunice Gayson was an English actress best known for playing Sylvia Trench, James Bond's girlfriend in the first two Bond films (Dr. No and From Russia with Love). Originally, Gayson was to be cast as Miss Moneypenny, but that part went to Lois Maxwell instead.
Gayson was originally to have been a ...
Appeared as dance instructor Lucille Banks in "Quick-Quick Slow Death" (episode 4-19). Near the end of her career but still had considerable vamping qualities. Proves a disappointingly inept adversary for Emma at the end but at least it is done stylishly. Eunice was the drop dead gorgeous brunette James Bond found when he returned home at the start of Dr. No; when Ursula Andress appeared later in the film she was a bit of a disappointment in comparison. Add four apparently very tough years and twenty pounds for this "Avengers" appearance.
20. Jan Holden
Actress | Agony
Jan Holden was a stage actress with a reputation for light comedy, who also appeared in several popular television series during the 1950s and 1960s.
She was elegant and pretty, with pale blue eyes. She grew up in Cawnpore in India and was educated at a school in the hills near Simla.
On the outbreak...
Played conniving wife Ruth Boardman in "Dial a Deadly Number" (episode 4-10). A smoldering hot portrayal with a very high end but sexy wardrobe ultimately leads to very little. The episode also features the unzipping of Emma's leather costume by a male villain. Making this one of the more erotic episodes even without much follow through from Ruth.
21. Moira Lister
Actress | Grand National Night
Moira Lister started her career on the stage in South Africa. She appeared on the London stage at the age of 14 and started working in films in 1943. Always popular, she was usually cast as 'posh' lady.
Played Russian agent Elena Vazin in "The See-Through Man" (episode 5-4). A little high mileage to rank high on this list but she does have a very convincing fight with Mrs. Peel.
22. Katya Wyeth
Actress | A Clockwork Orange
Katya Wyeth was born on January 1, 1948 in Rochford, Essex, England as Catherine S. Wyeth. She is an actress, known for A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Avengers (1961) and Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). She has been married to Michael Bangerter since 1971. They have two children.
Played sexy Nurse Jill in "Requiem" (episode 7-29). Doesn't do anything especially bad or get much screen time, but makes a good decoration. Katya was two years away from her signature role in "A Clockwork Orange" as the girl in Alex's Ascot fantasy.
23. Sally Nesbitt
Actress | The Avengers
Sally Nesbitt was born on October 1, 1938 in Darjeeling, Bengal Presidency, British India as Sally Hunt. She is an actress, known for The Avengers (1961), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1982) and Theatre Night (1957). She has been married to Richard Nigel Spink since 2000. She was ...
Played a twisted Twiggy lookalike in "The Joker" (episode 5-15). The Ola Monsey-Chamberlain character had one of the best names in the series and some endearing manic qualities. But neither her costume nor her dispatch was particularly erotic.