Daliah Lavi was masterfully playing the beautiful vixen in spy movie spoofs decades before successors to the throne like Elizabeth Hurley picked up the mantle in films like "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." The Israeli import started off in more serious films like "The Whip and The Body" (a horror movie about a ghost that returns to flog his sister-in-law)--though "serious" is a loose term when talking about this film, since its over-the-top elements rather hilariously earned it the alternate U.S. title "What? !" Lavi also starred as the love interest Cunégonde in the film adaptation of "Candide," the existentialist tale of a man's journeys to distant lands, while constantly asking the question, "Is this the best of all possible worlds?" Again, it's worth noting that, while the philosophical underpinnings are dead serious, the story is Voltaire's, so naturally it has its absurdist qualities. Lavi jumped into the deep end of the absurd in the 1960s, breaking out as an American star in spy parodies like "Casino Royale" (the only comedy made from a James Bond novel) and "The Silencers" (another film that satirized the sexy, suave spy persona of James Bond).
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