Luan Peters, whose death at the age of 71 was belatedly confirmed this week, is probably best remembered as a popular Seventies cinema starlet – having appeared (in varying states of undress) in cult movies like Hammer’s Twins of Evil and Lust for a Vampire, Pete Walker’s Man of Violence and The Flesh and Blood Show, Vampira, Not Tonight Darling, The Devils Men and Wildcats of St Trinians – or perhaps thanks to her oft-seen guest slot as a sexy Australian who gets Basil hot and bothered in an episode of Fawlty Towers.
She was also a regular guest star on other TV shows, from Z-Cars to Doctor Who, during the 1970s, and a was frequently seen as a glamour girl in newspapers and magazines like Titbits, usually posing in a bikini or skimpy outfit. In 1972, she starred in the TV pilot Go Girl, a lively and light-hearted action romp about a go-go dancer who gets caught up in various adventures. It could have been a female version of The Persuaders, but the show was hamstrung by financial problems and the pilot episode never made it to air.
While a familiar face to fans of 1970s glamour girls, Luan Peters had another, lesser known career as a singer. In fact, she’d been singing on stage before she became an actress – as an eighteen-year-old, she was performing in clubs as Karol Keyes (closer to her birth name of Carol Hirsch), and released a handful of singles between 1964 and 1967 under that name. The records were not particularly successful, but her acting and modelling career allowed her to have a few more tries under her 1970s stage name. These records were not hits either, unfortunately, but she did get to make an appearance on German TV show Musikladen performing her 1977 song Love Countdown – probably her best known work. It’s not, in truth, very good – a sub-disco affair that lacks any real hook and somewhat labour the whole ‘countdown’ bit.
Peters did get to appear on Top of the Pops with a chart single a couple of years earlier, but this was under somewhat dubious circumstances. The band 5000 Volts had a hit with I’m On Fire, but the record label decided that vocalist Tina Charles (who would later have a briefly successful solo career) didn’t have the right ‘look’, and so replaced her with Peters who lip-synced her vocals and appeared on the record sleeve.
Peters apparently died on Christmas Eve 2017, but news of her death only emerged last week.