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Lesley-Anne Down is an actress who has starred in a surprising number of historical costume movies. She’s probably very talented and a lovely person, let’s get that out of the way.
It’s not the least bit her fault that she did a number of historical movies and TV shows during the 1980s, and hey, mad props that she’s still working today — but I can’t help but notice that she’s the connecting thread amongst a TON of smokey eyeshadow and Dynasty hair.
So with full knowledge that that was the era, and hey, blame the costume designers, makeup artists, and really the people in charge, let’s take a wander through Lesley-Anne’s AquaNetted glory:
Countess Dracula (1971)
Essentially Erzabet Bathory as vampire.
Pope Joan (1972)
The (mythical) story of a woman who impersonated a man and became pope in the “medieval era.”
Upstairs, Downstairs (1973-5)
The classic upper-class and servants story set in early 20th-century London and where Down appears to have really taken off. She plays Georgina Worsley, a relative who comes to live with the fam after her parents die in the Titanic sinking. She was a nurse during WWI, then turns party girl in the 1920s, only to settle down and marry.
A Little Night Music (1977)
The film version of the Sondheim musical, set around the turn of the century. Down plays the virginal wife during a farcical country house weekend.
The Great Train Robbery (1978)
Where it starts getting good: in the 1850s, she’s the mistress of an upper-class thief and joins in his heist of, you guessed it, a train.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982)
She’s Esmerelda, the gypsy lady to Anthony Hopkins’s hunchback! Insert head necklaces and shitty hair!
The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)
Summed up by the title, but is Chloe really a classical name?
North and South (1985)
Boobs are everywhere in this tale of northerners and southerners before, during, and after the Civil War! Lesley-Anne Down plays Madeline, the kindly, blushing southern belle trapped in a loveless marriage to an abusive husband and secretly in love with Patrick Swayze’s mullet.
North and South, Book II (1986)
The story continues. Don’t ask me.
Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (1994)
Why, I ask you?
Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996)
Okay, probably not historical, but hilarious nonetheless! As “Morgana,” who, I am guessing, is a witch.
Alright, still working! Go Lesley-Anne! “A U.S. Marshal seeking justice for his brother’s murder defends a small town from a corrupt mayor and his henchmen with intents to revive the civil war.”
Coming Soon: Of God and Kings
“Prima Ballerina Annalise is invited to dance La Traviata in Venice. Her risqué past comes to haunt her as she finds love in the ballet.”
Which is your favorite of Lesley-Anne Down’s perms?