Gillian Hills

Top: Beat Girl, classic UK bad girl flick, Demons Of The Mind: her film swansong.

With Jane Birkin, In Blow-Up

Gillian Hills was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1944 to English parents, she was raised in Paris where she was discovered by, but of course, Roger Vadim, who obviously spotted her resemblance to Brigitte Bardot, his first real meal ticket (he’d go on to discover Jane Fonda and Catherine Deneuve). After landing a small part in Vadim’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses (starring Jeanne Moreau) she began a second career, cutting records in what’s now called the Ye-Ye Girl style and later recorded some U.K. style pop in the style of Marianne Faithful/Lulu/Cilla Black, etc. including this one which I like quite a bit– Tomorrow Is Another Day which appeared on Barclay in ’65. .
Her real career was as an actress where she made a huge impression with her second movie (and first English language flick) Beat Girl where she plays a spoiled, delinquent, brat with a pout that rivals Bardot. She later showed up in two classic and ground breaking three way sex scenes, the first in Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) where she appears with Jane Birkin, the other in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), she’s the girl with the Popsicle that droogie Alex picks up in the record store along with her pal. Most of her acting work was in France, or on U.K. television, although she put in a memorable appearence in the cheesy horror flick Demons Of The Mind (1972), one of her last roles.
She gave up acting in 1975, moved to New York City and started her third career, this time as a book illustrator. Still, Beat Girl, remains along with Val Guest’s Expresso Bongo (1959) one of my favorite British rock’n’roll flicks, and I can’t imagine anyone else in the title role, she was perfect. Whatever she’s doing today, I hope Gillian Hills is having a great time.

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