January 13, 1942
Despite her extensive and varied credits, comic actress Carol Cleveland will forever be best remembered as the unofficial seventh member of British sketch comedy troupe Monty Python, appearing in two-thirds of their television episodes and all their films. Cleveland's parents were movie bit players who met on a set, putting showbiz in her blood; when her mother divorced and then married an American, the family moved to Texas. By the time Cleveland returned to England in 1960 at age 18, she'd won many local beauty pageants and acquired an American accent. Her looks and voice were both in demand on British television first in dramas (often cast as an American) and then as a comedienne at the BBC, eventually coming to the attention of Monty Python. The six-man group needed a real woman for sketches where drag wasn't an option, and Cleveland's statuesque looks and amiability about baring flesh made her a key component of many of their sketches. In addition to appearing in their wildly popular television show and films, Cleveland joined the troupe on tour. Her post-Python career has kept her less active than her co-stars, limited to increasingly rare television guest parts and a few minor film roles.