Maryam d’Abo (born December 27, 1960 in London, United Kingdom) is an English film and television actress. Her first notable performance was as Kara Milovy in the 1987 James Bond film, The Living Daylights. She is a first cousin of the singer Mike d’Abo, and thus a first cousin once removed of his daughter, actress Olivia d’Abo.
Born to a Georgian mother and Dutch father, d’Abo was raised in Paris and Geneva. She decided to be an actress at the age of 11. She studied at London’s Drama Centre while working as a model in commercials. In 1983 she made her screen debut in the low-budget British science fiction/horror film Xtro, playing a French au pair who becomes an alien breeding chamber (or a human incubator). Xtro was briefly vilified as a so-called video nasty, and it is often mentioned in the same breath as many other video nasties of the early 80s, but in fact it was granted an uncut video certificate by the BBFC, shortly after its successful cinema run. Talking to Femme Fatales magazine in 1994, d’Abo remembered it as “a terrible movie”.
She remains best known for her role as Kara Milovy, the sweet and vulnerable Czechoslovakian cellist and sniper who falls for James Bond in The Living Daylights. It remains her personal favourite film. She did a Playboy cover in September 1987 to coincide with the film’s release but regretted it later saying that she “really disliked” the pictures, because they were “so pedestrian.”.
After that she had a well-received role as Ta’Ra, an alien medical officer in the science fiction TV miniseries, Something is Out There, which was followed by a short-lived (six episode) NBC series by the same name. In 1992 she had a critically acclaimed supporting role as a pretentious stained-glass artist in the quirky, low-budget British comedy Leon the Pig Farmer, which enjoyed a positive reception at film festivals in Venice, London, Edinburgh, and Palm Springs, California. Since then she has had forgettable roles in some low-budget, straight-to-video action, horror, and fantasy films, as well as guest roles on television shows like Tales From the Crypt, Red Shoe Diaries, and Murder, She Wrote. She reunited with her James Bond director John Glen for The Point Men (2001) and also worked under the direction of Mike Figgis for The Browning Version (1994). She played Keira Knightley’s mother in the 2002 TV miniseries version of Doctor Zhivago, and she was Queen Hecuba in the Emmy-nominated miniseries Helen of Troy. In 2005 she had a small role in the dark, but well-received French film L’Enfer (Hell), co-written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Emmanuelle Beart and Carole Bouquet.
Bond Girls Are Forever, co-written by Maryam D’Abo.In 2002, d’Abo co-wrote the book Bond Girls Are Forever, a tribute to an elite club of women who have played the role of a “Bond Girl”. The book later formed the basis for a DVD exclusive documentary featuring d’Abo and other famed Bond girls, including Ursula Andress. The documentary was released as a gift with the purchase of Die Another Day on DVD by some retailers. In 2006, a new version of the documentary, updated to include interviews with cast from Casino Royale and edited to include commercial breaks, was produced for the AMC network and was later released as a bonus feature on the March 2007 DVD release of Casino Royale.
In November 2003, d’Abo married Hugh Hudson, the Oscar-nominated British director of Chariots of Fire; Greystoke – The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; and Revolution.