Biography
 

Spanish

   

 

Beautiful,  classy, stylish, sexy, talented, an internationally known model from the 70s and 80s, actress, wife, mother,  and Masters Degree in Psychology from UCLA in 1993, she involves herself in a great deal of Charity work, including the Live Aid connected "Fashion Aid", and "the Rumanian Angel", these are just a few words to describe Barbara Bach, now Barbara Bach Starkey, Beatle Ringo Starr's wife.

On August ,27 1947, Barbara Goldbach was born in Queens,  New York to a family with varied European origins, her  mother was Irish catolic, her  father was Austrian jewish and her Grandmother was Rumanian. Barbara was the daughter of a New York City police officer. She is  the oldest of 5 children. 

When she was 16, Barbara left school to become a model. A year later she shortened her name to Bach and began on a highly successful career as a leading American model with the famed Eileen Ford Agency in her native America. She became the cover girl for "Seventeen". Her face was cover of every major magazine in the world - she was a super model in the 60s & 70s (35-24-35 figure). With this sort of cover girl beauty it is not surprising to find that Barbara was only 17 when she became one of the best Top models.
Ringo Starr´s life and Barbara's life crossed on August 23, 1965 ( but the pair did not meet, they will  meet on the set of "Caveman" in 1981...):  Barbara attended The Beatles' famous Shea Stadium concert on 1965,  Barbara was one of the 55,000 jamming in the Shea Stadium for the Beatles's historic concert in NY.  However, she preferred the music of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Dylan; she was only there as a chaperone to her younger sister Marjorie. 

 

When she was 17, Barbara was sent to Rome as model for the noted "Seventeen" mag, there she fell in love with an italian businessman, Augusto Gregorini 11 years senior than her. At the age of 18 she married Augusto. Bach moved with him to Rome where she soon adapted to a new way of living. They had a daughter named Francesca in 1969 and a son, Gianni, in 1973. It was Barbara Bach's move to Italy which led to an acting career: "In Italy I was casually asked on the street if I would do something for television. One of those things they say happens, and it did. Franco Rossi, an Italian director  asked me if I would do The Odyssey."  She had several small rolls in italian films, along with a part in The Odissey, before she came to the attention of Bond producer Cubby Broccoli. Barbara made her movie debut in this Dino De Laurentis production "The Odissey" she also appeared in "Il Mio Monsignore", "La tarantula del ventre nero", Bambol e di vetri, "Maschio ruspanti", "Paolo di caldo", "Last chance" etc.  She separated In 1975 with Augusto and moved back to America.  The couple divorced in 1978, sharing custody of their 2 children.  "My husband and I were always more friends than anything else".

 

 
 

Barbara Bach did a screen test for British producer-director Tony Richardson. But the movie never got made. However, in 1976 Bond producer "Cubby" Broccoli eventually saw her on this video casette and was very impressed. "I think" says Broccoli, "that I have been looking all my life for a leading lady who looks like Barbara Bach."
After looking at footage from some of Barbara's previous nine italian films, he and director Lewis Gilbert decided to give Barbara Bach a screen test for the role of Anya Amasova  in "The spy who loved me". "I did the test with an english actor on a tuesday, -Barbara recalls-. They saw it on a wednesday and I had a call from Mr. Broccoli inviting me to lunch with him and Mr. Gilbert. I did not know if I had got the part. Then at lunch they told me they wanted me for the part". In 1977 she became a Bond girl with the lead role of Anya in the tenth James Bond movie, "The Spy Who Loved Me" which also starred Roger Moore as James Bond. Her part in the film led to the creation of an Anya doll (an action figure manufacturer made figures of certain Bond Girls). She was 27 years old, had a stunning face and figure, but it was her poise and talent that originally attracted producer Cubby Broccoli. "That is true...",- confessed Tony Richardson-, who conducted the screen test  "...Barbara had the look of a tiger,  tall 1.7 m and streamlined 35-24-35, she was very sexy, Barbara Bach has often been compared to Brigitte Bardot in looks and image". Barbara Bach's role as Anya instantly catapulted her into stardom as an international sex symbol. Besides getting her name and photos in newspapers and magazines all around the world, "The spy who loved me", has also given Barbara a particulary active role, her part is considered the most important ever created for any female Bond protaganist. Barbara Bach was the archetypal Bond girl. Barbara Bach got an exclusive pictorial feature in the June 1977 Playboy edition as part of the promotion of The Spy Who Loved Me. This movie is considered by many to be the best of the Roger Moore Bond films.  The theme song, performed by Carly Simon is possibly the best known of all the James Bond film themes. Personally, I think she was the very best of the Bond Girls.

 

In 1978 she played a Yugoslav Partisan called Marizza in "Force Ten From Navarone" (which also starred Edward Fox, Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw) a continuation of the story THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, is a mayor departure for Barbara. She plays a Partisan, wearing ragged clothes and spending a lot of time with  mud on her face. But the tens of thousands of fans who sent her mail, after seeing her with James Bond, will recognize the same beauty in NAVARONE.

In  1978-79 the hit series Charlie's Angels was looking for a replacement for Kate Jackson's role. 15,000 beautiful models and actresses  auditioned for the role. Two favorites finally emerged from the crowded field: Barbara Bach  and Shelley Hack. On April 13, 1979 the New York Daily News and many magazines from all the world reported that Barbara Bach was the new angel. David Doyle said: "I remember thinking Barbara Bach had the role, she was attractive, and she could do the job". Ed Lakso said: "The problem was that she looked very much like Jaclyn Smith." The other problem was her final screen test, which received disappointing reviews from ABC executives. She said that during her meeting with the producers of Charlie's Angels she was asked a series of questions, the first being would she take her jacket off. "Next"- she said-, "one of them asked me what I was doing afterwards. I couldn't believe that. Then they asked  me what sports I took part in. I told them swimming, skiing, sofball, basketball, things as that. They asked me what languages I spoke. I told them fluent italian, and french and spanish. After I told them I had been in 17 films, they asked what I could bring to Charlie's Angels. That's when I made my big mistake. I said; -"me"-. They said I was too sophisticated in attitude and looks. They also wanted to know if I could play american roles. I was brought up in NY, I suppose they were confused because I started acting in Europe and because of those James Bond films, and in Force 10 from Navarone, I played a european and so I used a european accent." What a shame, she would have been great! But, TV critics lambasted Shelley... and the fans didn't take to her like they did to Cheryl Ladd, so Shelley only lasted a year on the show. It was a fatal error from the producer?. We will never know. The thing is that there was a rumour going round that the BBC executives were regretted of not having chosen her, since Barbara was the favourite for the audience and press instead of Shelley as Angel of Charlie.

 

 

 

In the late 1970s, Carl Gottlie started to work on a prehistoric comedy called "Caveman" with the ex Beatle Ringo Starr.  Barbara and Ringo met while filming this movie in February of 1980 in Mexico,  and  Ringo fell in love with Barbara instantly. 
December 8th, 1980. Upper 72nd Street New York City. An unusually balmy pre-Christmas night. Just before 11pm, five gunshots shatter the hum of the city : four of them hitting a pedestrian point blank. 25 year-old loner Mark David Chapman clutches a red paperback copy of Salingers The Catcher In The Rye in one hand and a smoking .38 calibre handgun in the other while his victim bleeds to death on the sidewalk. That man was John Lennon. Ringo and Barbara were on a holiday when her daughter called to inform them that John Lennon has been shot. Ringo and Barbara went to New York to console Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.
While traveling with her through England in May 1980 Ringo and Barbara suffered a near-fatal car crash, miraculously surviving with few injuries. Ringo had decided he never wanted to be separated from Bach ever again.  Three weeks later, Bach told her father that she was going to marry Ringo. On April 27th 1981 Barbara became the second Mrs. Richard Starkey at a ceremony in Marylebone Register Office performed by Joseph Jevons, who years earlier had married Paul and Linda McCartney in the same building. The McCartneys and Harrisons were guests at the wedding and reception at Rags (in Mayfair). Bach's wedding dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel (who also created Princess Diana's wedding dress). Now that he had Bach, Ringo was ready to rejuvenate his musical career. Barbara was his inspiration and also his motivation.  They've been happy ever since.  

 

She also made a cameo appearance as a reporter in Paul McCartney’s movie "Give My Regards To Broad Street" (1984), but she is retired now from the entertainment industry to devote herself to her family. Ringo seems to need her support in whatever he is doing. 
 Now she involves herself in a great deal of Charity work, including the Live Aid connected "Fashion Aid", and "The Rumanian Angel" appeal which was set up with Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono.  While the others concentrated on getting the money coming in, Barbara spent a lot of time checking to make sure that the funds were used effectively. "It's made such a difference. In one orphanage I visited, the walls have been cheerfully painted with flowers and the alphabet and there were sinks and toilets."

Barbara worked alongside Olivia again in the "Parents For Safe Food" Campaign. In 1991 with help from Pattie Boyd, she set up a free clinic for addicts called SHARP (Self Help Addiction Recovery Program) in London that used the Minnesota method. Compared with her former career, Barbara said this direction had "more meaning - and, in the future I'll probably do some counseling." Barbara received a Masters Degree in Psychology from UCLA in 1993.
Ringo had a new CD which was released on June 16, 1998 on Mercury Records called Vertical Man, the song "I'm Yours" is dedicated to  Barbara Bach. In the last years Barbara is the Ringo's chaperone  in the tours.
Now Barbara Bach lives in Monte Carlo (Monaco) with Ringo.

 

Biography has been written from information compiled by press interviews, books, newspaper articles and biographies. This biography was written by Carlos N. (webmaster)

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