Thursday, February 10, 2011

Centrefold Venus of the Month 21. February: Carole Augustine

This month we go back in time nearly thirty years to February 1972 and the gorgeous Carole Augustine.

Carole was one of the few Pets in 1972 who didn't make it to the front cover, losing out to Karen McCook, that issue's non Pet of the Month who was photographed by David Jonathan.

Carole's pictorial was shot by Eugene Finkei who also photographed for Club, Gallery and Men Only during this period.  For Penthouse he would go on to do the notorious Baby Breese shoot in 1976.  We like this picture of her on the swing as she is smiling rather than trying to look sultry.

Carol's autumnal shoot includes a fair amount of her fully dressed, which, as we have said before we think is a good thing.

What soon becomes clear, through the rather murky lighting, is that Carole is a very beautiful young lady indeed.

Most unusually for Penthouse she is a rare ethnic Pet.  If the accompanying text is to be believed she was part Scottish and part Brazilian.  The letter certainly sounds quite plausible given her looks.

Somewhere behind the Penthouse signature out-of-focus foreground flowers is a beautiful girl.

This is a very curious shot indeed and we have no idea what the thinking behind it was!

Here Carole does watch-the-birdie for the photographer while we try to guess whether she has any knickers on or not. If she does then that makes eight shots where she is fully dressed and only five (including her centrefold) where she takes some clothes off.

We had had this pussy contemplating double page spread at the beginning of her pictorial, where it claimed she was a cockney.  The text says that she was just seventeen when this pictorial was shot and was still at school studying for her A levels.

We also got another view of this set-up in a small and grainy picture of the front page of the set. This is a very cute picture!

Finally, she actually gets her clothes off for one of the characteristic breast squeezing shots that Penthouse went in for in the late sixties and early seventies.

This final picture is very heavy on the tease but also features her lovely smile.  All in all this pictorial was a bit of a wasted opportunity.  Finkei had a truly lovely girl but almost the whole pictorial consisted of her fully dressed or badly lit.  Fortunately, he would make amends! 

In August 1973 Men Only ran a pictorial, also shot by Finkei, of Carol (they dropped the "e") photographed in Sri Lanka.  This time he did her justice, not least in the splendid cover shot.

Instead of the normal nonsensical text about what the model supposedly thought about: men, feminism (always very anti, that one), sex or descriptions of her so-called life as a hairdresser, artist, secretary etc. we got an account by Finkei of the trials and tribulations of doing the shoot in a such a remote location.

Finkei on location in Sri Lanka

Anyway, Finkei was obviously more inspired than he had been for Penthouse and was obviously happier shooting in the warm, tropical sunshine rather than the cold autumn of London.  Who can blame him?

On the magazine's editorial page, editor Tony Power opined that Miss Augustine had the potential to take over from Vivien Neves as Britain's new top model.

Certainly, the pictorial opening double page spread, of Carol reclining in the sand in ethnic jewellery, would strongly support such a contention.

Unlike her Penthouse pictorial Men Only would ensure that there were only a couple of photos of her dressed; in these two she's dealing with a coconut.

Long yellow socks are not what you would immediately think of as appropriate leg wear for a tropical country.

Carol manages to carry them off with some style, however.  We have to say we are not so convinced by her stars and stripes shirt, howver.

That's it, take the dreadful thing off, dear!

In this one she is seen smoking a cigar.  This is probably a sly reference to the fact that she appeared in the TV commercials for Manikin cigars.  Manikin's series of TV adverts made a great impression on Triple P when he was young, with their incredibly slutty-looking women prancing about in tropical settings wearing hardly any clothes. 

Not only did these most distracting adverts feature stunning under-dressed women but what made them really sexy was the dirty sounding music playing in the background.  This piece was called, oddly,  B side and was produced by none other than Manfred Mann.  For Triple P, in the early seventies, this track was synonymous with sex!  You can download it from iTunes!

We have a theory, based on our observation of both these and her Penthouse pictures, that maybe Carole was carrying a bit more fat in the latter series which is why they covered her up so much. 

She does look somewhet skinnier in these pictures and maybe her bust doesn't look quite so large.   She does look stunning, however.

Now, in complete contrast to the stars and stripes top we think that this blue number is very nice indeed.

Carol sprawls in the sand in this particularly effective shot.

Below we are presented with Carol's sandy bottom.  This is such a visual cliche for glamour shooting these days that it is worth remembering that photographers used to have people ensure that sand didn't stick to their models' skin in the past.  Yes, someone used to have the job of brushing it off before shooting.  It was only when Marco Glaviano made a feature of it in his photographs that it became an acceptable look.

As far as Triple P goes these final pictures of Carol in a car are the best of the lot.

Late afternoon sun lights up Carol's perfect body.

Here we have another picture from the same shoot, featuring the same ethnic jewellery as the pictorial's opening spread, which appeared in another magazine at the time.

So, did Carole go on to be the successful model that Men Only predicted?  Well, yes.

Helped by her Manikin cigar advertisements she started to appear as one of The Sun newspaper's Page 3 girls.

Carol would make over a dozen appearances in this British national institution.  For the first year of the Page 3 girl, from November 17th 1969, (the issue where new publisher Rupert Murdoch re-launched the then struggling newspaper as a tabloid) the girls would be revealingly clad but covered up. 

The first topless Page 3 girl (whose bust appeared in profile only), German-born model Stephanie Rahn, who appeared a little over forty years ago on November 17th 1970, was originally supposed to be a one year anniversary one-off.  The concept from the newspaper's then editor Larry Lamb, was that it was their first brithday and so the girl should be in her birthday suit.  Good grief! 

The ploy worked so well that they kept the topless shots, which soon became much bolder.  Carol's (she never used the "e" for page 3)  picture above was rather more sensuous than some of the other Page 3 pictures of the time, which were more of the girl next door type. 

In fact, while the original "birthday suit" picture didn't cause any comment, as the seventies progressed there were complaints about the increasingly sexual nature of some of the pictures.  The newspaper didn't worry; The Sun's circulation went up over 40% that year and it is still the best-selling newspaper in the UK.

Having done her bit to help consolidate the juggernaut of Rupert Murdoch's media empire and whilst continuing to be a popular model, Carole's next move would be into the cinema.

On location or in the studio Carole was never anything less than stunning

Carole's first and only film appearance would be in the first of what would be a successful series of four films made between 1974 and 1977.

Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) starred Robin Askwith in a part that was turned down by, amongst others, Kate Beckinsale's father Richard.  Directed by Hammer Films stalwart Val Guest, the plot involved a window cleaner servicing his lady clients whilst desperately trying to win over his proper girlfriend who wouldn't have sex with him.  Amazingly, this rather dire sex-comedy was the biggest grossing film in Britain in 1974, outperforming the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.

Carole appears, fully nude, in a very short sequence, as "sun-lamp girl". She is looking a little heavier, again.

She made the cover of the French magazine Cine Revue, interestingly wearing the same ethnic jewellery as in her Sri Lankan shots, although this was obviously a studio photograph.

Also in 1974 she appeared as the centrefold in the Playboy-owned Oui; one of only a few Pets who also made the centrefold of that magazine.

Unfortunately, Oui doesn't give the photographer's name, surpisingly.

This is a shame as he did a maginificent job in what was undoubtedly Carole's sexiest shoot ever.

Dialling back on the colour he dresses her in either black or white with only her lovely, dusky skin being the main thing adding colour to most of the photographs.

These pictures are much more overtly sensual than the previous ones she had done and none the worse for that, although we do miss her lovely smile!

The text says she was nineteen when she posed for these pictures which does accord with the age given for her in Penthouse two years earlier.

Also, like Penthouse, Oui says that she has Scottish, Polishand Brazilian blood.  So either she really did or Oui just copied what was said in the other magazine.

Given it was right at the height of the Pubic Wars it's not that much of a surprise to see Carole displaying a tastefully lit split beaver in her centrefold, but this was prety racy for Oui at the time.

Oui often put models on the cover who were not featured in the magazine, much to the annoyance of many!  From April 1975 comes this cover shot of her doing a bit of decorating.  Except she is obviously colour blind.

Also from 1975 comes her modelling agency card, from which we can see that she was 5'6" tall and 36-24-36.

In 1979 Oui ran a review of some of their favourite centrefolds since the beginning of the magazine and Carole was one of the girls chosen.

They used this lovely photo, which had also been used in the Oui Calendar for 1975.  They also featured this new picture of her looking devastatingly sultry.  The piece said that in 1974 she had been rather reclusive and shy but now she was more outgoing.

This, of course, is the problem with fictitious pieces and it is even more of a problem when youi revisit them years later and keep up the pretence that there is a real interview going on with the model.  For, tragically. Carol had been dead for around four years when the Oui piece appeared in 1979.   There seem to be two versions of what happened: that she died in "mysterious cicrcumstances" in Portugal or that she was murdered in London by a stalker.  Whatever the truth it seems that she died in 1975 at the age of just 21.

Triple P wasn't aware of this tragedy when he chose Carole as his centrefold of the month and only discovered it subsequently. We were going to substitute her for another woman but, in the end, we felt her beauty should be remembered and celebrated here.

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