Born September 26, 1963
In London, England
This is the story of a beautiful and talented young actor. Lysette Chodzko is the youngest in the company when she joins the British National Youth Theatre aged 14. She heads off the America, appearing in prestigious television productions, meets a rock star and lands a part in a big budget movie. It's the stuff of dreams. Then she moves back to England for a humdrum sitcom, poses nude for Playboy, works with everyone from Oliver Reed to Kirstie Alley to a pig, in every genre from erotic thriller to horror comedy spoof; that is the stuff of real life.
Lysette Anthony has always split her work between Britain and the USA. She started out in the States in two adaptations of British classics: Rowena in a TV Ivanhoe
(1982) and Oliver's mother in a version of Oliver Twist
(1982). She appeared in a number of Bryan Adams
videos: for "Run to You
", "Summer of '69
" in 1984.
Anthony became known to the British public in Three Up, Two Down from 1985, a Michael Elphick sitcom in which a married couple and their child (the three) lived in the top half of a house and their respective inlaws (the two) lived below. The show was moderately popular and very 1980s, Elphick was good, and Anthony was very pretty (her performance as Angie Tyler is probably the reason I'm here now writing about her; ah, nothing lasts so long as childhood crushes).
She even got a fitness video, the mundanely-title Look Good, Feel Fantastic in 1987.
Her biggest film role was right back in 1983 as the female lead in Krull
(1983), a so-so
movie, part of the same genre of 1980s fairytale movies as The Neverending Story
. Although she was good enough as the princess, the film wasn't great and Hollywood didn't come calling just yet.
It took a 1988 Playboy shoot to really kick-start her film career; although it seemed to typecast her in more slutty roles and eventually led her into the world of dreary soft porn movies like Save Me (1993), in which she stars with TV movie king Harry Hamlin and Michael Ironside, but following her Playboy appearance she was in heavy demand for a few years.
In 1989 she appeared as part of a stunning cast in TV movie The Lady and the Highwayman, alongside Hugh Grant, Claire Bloom, Emma Samms, Oliver Reed, and Christopher Cazenova. (Definitely a movie I'd like to see, although whether it could match up to other early Hugh Grant highlight Lair of the White Worm is uncertain.) Her career also stretched to a starring role in Barbara Cartland adaptation A Ghost In Monte Carlo (1990).
She worked for a couple of notable directors, with a small but memorable role as an aerobics instructor who seduces Woody Allen in his Hubands and Wives (1992), in Mel Brooks's Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), and a supporting role in Blake Edwards' Switch (1991). And she returned to music video for Depeche Mode's I Feel You in 1993.
Also interweaved in this jungle of acting jobs, there were lead roles in a few British films including sex comedy The Pleasure Principle (1991), musical comedy/drama Face The Music (1993), alongside Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley in Sherlock Holmes comedy Without A Clue (1988), and another smaller part in medieval courtroom drama The Hour of the Pig (1993). And don't forget Look Who's Talking Now (1993), in which she was probably unlucky to play a human rather than a dog, and doubly unlucky in that she had to seduce John Travolta.
The late 1990s were quieter for her. She still worked regularly, but more for TV than cinema screens, and her workload seemed to slack off towards the end of the millennium.
Back to television
She returned to British TV acting in 2001 in ITV
's offbeat soap opera Night & Day
, playing a highly unconventional soap matriarch
, Roxanne Doyle-Wells, still beautiful. Her natural confidence onscreen (not to mention a very chic bleach-blonde short haircut) managed to add an element of individual glamour into the show's quirky stylishness. She was probably the strongest character in the program, coping well with its fantasy interludes and askew storylines, but it wasn't a popular hit and was cancelled after a couple of years.
Since then she's had a guest role in another British soap opera, The Bill. Good looks and the ability to turn in a decent performance in virtually anything are useful qualities, but she can't be beautiful forever, and in showbusiness, competence only takes you so far.
"Lysette Anthony". Yahoo Movies. http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hc&id=1800082240&cf=gen&intl=us (August 29, 2003).
IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/ (August 29, 2003).
TV Tome. http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/PersonDetail/personid-53734 (August 29, 2003).