Actress Alexandra Bastedo, best known to cult TV fans from her role as super-agent Sharron Macready in the classic 1960s ITC adventure series The Champions passed away at the weekend at the age of 67 after a long battle with cancer.
Born in March 1946 in Hove in Sussex Alexandra (whose exotic looks could be attributed to her mother who was of French, German and Italian descent and her father who was born in Canada but was of mixed Spanish, Dutch, Scottish and native Indian decent) made her screen debut in 1963 in horror film 13 Frightened Girls. Subsequent 1960s credits included episodes of The Saint and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) for ITC and feature film appearances in Doctor in Clover, That Riviera Touch (alongside Morecombe and Wise), spy thriller The Liquidator and Bond spoof Casino Royale.
In 1968 she joined William Gaunt and Stuart Damon in the well-remembered 30-episode filmed ITC series The Champions. As an agent for United Nations espionage/intelligence organisation ‘Nemesis’ Alexandra’s character Sharron, alongside Gaunt’s Richard Barrett and Damon’s Craig Stirling found herself stranded in the Himalayas when their aircraft crashes in ‘The Beginning’, the series’ first episode. Rescued by a mysterious group of monks the trio are imbued with extraordinary abilities such as telepathy, precognition and superannuated physical strength and agility which they use covertly in their future missions for ’Nemesis’. A committed vegetarian and campaigner for animal welfare organisation, Alexandra continued to work regularly throughout the 1970s and 1980s on stage and screen and her linguistic skills later came in useful as an interpreter for the British Government and also as co-presenter of a number of Miss World contests in the 1980s.
Her most high profile recent roles included a stint in BBC soap opera EastEnders (2008-2009) and a memorable appearance in a 1992 episode of BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous alongside Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. In 2006 she was reunited with her Champions co-stars for a fascinating documentary included on a ‘special edition’ DVD release of the series. Alexandra published her memoirs in 1998 followed by a number of books on animal welfare. She was married in 1980 to actor/writer/director Patrick Garland who died last year.