Monty Python star Carol Cleveland to give a talk on her 'crazy' fame before Quad screening of Graham Chapman biopic A Liar's Autobiography
MONTY Python star Carol Cleveland is giving a talk to Derby cinema-goers about the "crazy" fame she experienced as part of the legendary comedy troupe.
The "busty blonde bombshell" grabbed public attention as the only female star of the hugely popular 1970s comedy show.
The 71-year-old shared the screen with John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Eric Idle for dozens of episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
And tonight she will introduce a screening at Quad of the new film, A Liar's Autobiography, an animated film based on the life of Graham Chapman.
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After studying at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Ms Cleveland appeared as an extra in comedy shows with The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and Spike Milligan.
It was through this work that she was introduced to the Python team and taken on as a performer, appearing in 30 of the show's 45 episodes.
Yesterday, she told the Derby Telegraph she had been "astounded" at how popular the show got.
In her trans-Atlantic accent, which rolls from American to English line by line, she said: "Initially, I was doing five episodes of Python and, on the first day of rehearsals, they were like schoolboys, just laughing and giggling. I went home and told my husband it wouldn't last the series."
But the blend of anarchic humour, post-modern direction and bizarre animation captured audiences' imaginations, propelling its stars to instant fame.
Ms Cleveland said she first realised the height of this fame when the group toured the US with its stage show.
She said: "We came out on stage on that first night and it was crazy. They were screaming and cheering and we hadn't said anything.
"Afterwards, we tried to leave and there were thousands of girls waiting for us at door. We were like pop stars."
She said she owed the longevity of her career to her work with the Pythons.
But Ms Cleveland, who has acted in dozens of films, stage plays and TV shows, said: "It has made it difficult to be taken seriously.
"I hope, with this new film, I can enjoy it once more and maybe move on.
"But to have all the memories I do is something very special."
She has a new film coming I have a film coming out, The Search For Simon.
She said: "It's my first dramatic movie role, and I am really excited about it."
Carol Cleveland will be at Quad tonight for a question and answer session as part of a screening of A Liar's Autobiography at 6.30pm.
For tickets, priced £7.60, call Derby 290606.