Geeks of a certain age love … Jenny Agutter

Our weekly series celebrating our past desires returns. And, for Martin, Jenny Agutter is someone he's never fallen out of love with...

Jenny Agutter

Stuff 52” flat-panel LCDs – I want the TV that Michael York had in Logan’s Run, where (after very nearly arranging a hot date with a member of the Village People) he managed to tune into the thinly-clad loveliness of uncommitted prostitute (but very committed dissident) Jessica 6… and then got her to walk right out of the damn thing and into his bedroom, without any cardboard glasses or costly DirectX cards…

It was a few steps into cult film history for English actress Jenny Agutter, then 24 and best known as the sensible one in The Railway Children and the – ahem – controversially naked one in Nick Roeg’s Walkabout.

Logan’s Run was the last gasp of 60s-70s dystopian sci-fi, a patchy but interesting genre that was swept away by Star Wars eighteen months after its release, but for the time it was flashy and glamorous. Michael York had spotted Farrah Fawcett in a theatre production and recommended her for the part of Holly, which finally kick-started her career into Charlie’s Angels. If you like blonde, vacuous and positively suspended by Harmony hairspray, you were catered for.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a velvet and demure voice, mesmerising hazel-green eyes, full lips framed in a delicate and very English face combined with an IQ that makes your usual offer of strip-chess a bit of a gamble, then Jenny was the one for you.

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After forking out for all that futuristic aluminium trim, there seems to have been little left for Jenny’s wardrobe in Logan’s Run; her initial emergence finds her modestly bedecked in a small green handkerchief, but her fans were (and still are) willing to overlook such slipshod production values, and even respectfully avert their eyes during an ice-cave nude scene that was a little steamy for an ‘A’-rated film and was excised for years from TV showings.

Agutter went on to acclaim (and yet more nude controversy) in the screen version of Equus a year later. Aside from the indifferent adaptation of James Herbert’s The Survivor in 1978, she made us wait until 1981 before a memorable (and final) return to genre cinema in An American Werewolf In London.

This time she played a nurse worth dying (or at least getting very ill) for, tending werewolf-victim David Naughton’s lycanthropy with a bit more than bad food and an unwelcome thermometer. It has been widely noted that Nurse Agutter’s central London flat in Werewolf is rather plush for her pay-grade, but let’s just assume she did a window-cleaning round on the side and enjoy the shower-scene again…

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