A minor, but always fun to watch, sexploitation starlet. Pat Astley grewup in the seaside town of Blackpool, Britain's 'Las Vegas of theNorth'. By the early 1970s Astley, with a baby daughter in tow,relocated to London in pursuit of fame and fortune. She drifted into'blue movies' (i.
e. hardcore shorts) made by 'John Lindsay' and'George Harrison Marks' . These were of sort of home projection 8mmporn films that would later be referenced in mainstream movies like GetCarter and O Lucky Man. Promoted as a 'mind-blowing orgy of Lolitalust' End of Term (1971) is in keeping with John Lindsay's tabootheme of dressing 20 something aged actresses as schoolgirls with itsstory of a 'teenybopper' spending her holiday seducing a chauffeur anda Maid (Astley). Astley's 'legit' debut came as an extra in 1976's I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight (1976) , a silly softcore comedyabout a 'sex-ray' machine co-produced by an un-credited John Lindsay.
After a few years working as a model for raunchy 'Men's Magazines',Astley bounced back in a surprisingly mainstream role as Young MrGrace's Nurse in the 1977 run "Are You Being Served?" (1972) . However the role was not to last and after 7 or 8 episodes she wasreplaced by 'Vivienne Johnson (I)' who was allocated dialogue andbilling in the 'you have been watching' end credits, two attributescuriously denied to Astley. For the rest of the seventies Astley was part of an almost repertorycompany of young actresses who were required to do little but runaround naked in background scenes of sex films. She had 'nude walk on'roles in Rosie Dixon - Night Nurse (1978) , Adventures of a Plumber's Mate (1978) ,and The Stud (1978) . 'Films and Filming magazine', a scholarlypublication at heart who used racy images on their covers to increasesales, gave Astley an amusing career boost by name-checking and using apicture of her from the comedy Let's Get Laid (1978) for thecover of their Feb 1978 issue.
The cover would seem to suggest thatAstley was the star of the film, whilst in reality she appears in thefilm for all of eight seconds and isn't even billed in the end credits!There are a few exceptions to the 'blink and you'll miss her' nature ofAstley's film career. Disco/Soap Opera flop The World Is Full of Married Men (1979) , is the only film thatuses her as an actress rather than a nude, despite her role as one of'Anthony Franciosa (I)' 's disco dollies being dubbed. While in theamateurish Queen of the Blues (1979) , Astley played a stripperwho gets scared by a skeleton spectre and delivers a fair share of thefilm's lewd backstage dialogue. Many British Sex films (and horrorfilms for that matter) used pre-release 'publicity shots' to perk theinterest of the public with stronger images than appeared in the filmsthemselves. Astley's most memorable appearance in this respect was inpromoting 'murder thriller with thrilling bodies' The Playbirds (1978) , where she was ghoulishly depicted rubbingstage blood on her breasts.
While many nudie actresses' career ended with the demise of the BritishSex Film era, Astley's career stretched to one further movie. Don't Open Till Christmas (1984) was a cheapo horror film partlymoneyed by a video distributor who wished to get into film financingafter several of his tape releases had been prosecuted as 'VideoNasties'. Astley's Playbirds co-star 'Alan Lake' played a psychopathmurdering anyone dressed as Father Christmas. Coincidently Astley's'Are You Being Served' debut was in an episode entitled 'The FatherChristmas Affair' and featured the Grace Brothers staff dressing up asFather Christmases as well. In the film Astley enjoys asemi-autobiographical role of a nude model who encounters the Santahating psycho down a back alley.
Sadly, 'Don't Open 'Til Christmas' didnothing for anyone's career, and Astley never acted again. She was lastheard of working part time in a shop in Lancashire, at least avoidingthe tragic legacies of several of her contemporaries. .
|1||Adventures of a Plumbers Mate||1978||as Party Guest|
|2||Come Play with Me||1977||as Josie|
|3||Dont Open Till Christmas||1984||as Sharon|
|4||Dr Sex||1971||as Dental Nurse|
|5||End of Term||1971||as Maid|
|6||Im Not Feeling Myself Tonight||1976||as Barmaid|
|7||Lets Get Laid||1978||as ATS Girl|
|8||No. 1 of the Secret Service||1977||as Girl|
|10||Queen of the Blues||1979||as Rosetta|
|11||Respectable - The Mary Millington Story||2016||as Herself|
|12||Rosie Dixon - Night Nurse||1978||as Nurse|
|13||The Playbirds||1978||as Doreen|
|14||The Stud||1978||as Girl in Shower|
|15||The World Is Full of Married Men||1979||as Wendy|
|16||Youre Driving Me Crazy||1978||as Monica|
|17||Are You Being Served?||1972||as Mr. Grace's Nurse|
|18||Whoops Apocalypse||1982||as Woman|
|19||Wilde Alliance||1978||as Annette Stewart|