Carol Cleveland

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Carol Cleveland (born 13 January 1942, London) is a British actress/comedienne, most notable for her appearances as the only significant female performer on Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Contents

Early life

Born in London, she moved to the United States with her mother and U.S. Air Force stepfather at an early age. She was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Antonio, Texas; and later Pasadena, California where she attended John Marshall Junior High School and Pasadena High School. She is a former Miss California Navy and appeared as Miss Teen Queen in MAD Magazine at age 15.

Cleveland returned with her family to London in 1960,[1] and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Career

A stage actress who had appeared as an extra in The Persuaders! and other TV shows and films, she started to appear as an extra in BBC comedy productions, including The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and Spike Milligan.

This brought her to the attention of the production team of Monty Python's Flying Circus. She appeared in 30 of the 45 episodes in the series. Sometimes referred to as the "other Python" or "the seventh Python", she played an archetypal blonde bombshell. Stage directions for her first sketch described her as "a blonde buxom wench in the full bloom of womanhood." Privately called "Carol Cleavage" by the other Pythons, she called herself the "glamour stooge." Cleveland starred in all four of the Monty Python movies, including the dual roles of Zoot and Dingo, twin leaders of the maidens in the Castle Anthrax, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Her mother, Pat, appeared in Monty Python on several occasions, once as a mental patient with an axe embedded in her head.

Cleveland was voted number three in Splendor magazine's "100 Most Beautiful Entertainers" list in 1972.

In 1986, Cleveland played an American television journalist in the Only Fools and Horses episode "The Miracle of Peckham".

In 1995, Cleveland had a small cameo in a Fist of Fun sketch, a BBC comedy show featuring Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. During a radio interview in Birmingham to promote a British tour of Tom Stoppard's play Dirty Linen in the early 1980s, Cleveland confided an embarrassing incident in dress rehearsal. One scene called for her to climb onto a table and pull off her skirt. It was only when her fellow cast members went suddenly silent that Cleveland realised she'd forgotten to put on any underwear that morning.

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