I guess it's about time we had some actual bona fide sexiness up here in this thing, and who better to feature than Rough Stuff muse Uschi Digard? Please note that many of the links here go to WEBSITES WITH BARE BOOBIES (so don't say I didn't warn you).
When it comes to someone as private as Ms. Digard is, facts are understandably hard things to come by. Information obtained via the net must always be taken with a grain or two of salt at best, particularly in the case of celebrity biography - this profile then is made up of information gleaned from about two dozen different websites, and constitutes a 'best guess' I suppose, as much as anything else.
Take something as simple as place of birth: for many years, the story was that Uschi was born August 15, 1948 in Bismarck, North Dakota (and in fact this apparent error made an appearance in an early version of the No No Zero song Uschi) and soon thereafter moved to Sweden. In 2006 however, Uschi gave her first interview in at least ten years, as part of Taschen's Big Book of Breasts, and there she set the record straight -
"I was born in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, a little town outside Stockholm, Sweden, and am of Swedish/Swiss heritage. I was sent to a boarding school with nuns at an early age because those were the best schools in the country and I was pretty promiscuous as a little one -- not with men, but with books. I loved reading and at age 6 I decided I wanted to learn languages because I couldn't stand reading books that had been translated -- they lost the essence. By age 7 I had read every book in the little village library".
Uschi went on to learn eight languages in all - German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, French and English. That speaks for itself, I think (I can barely speak one language). Of course it wasn't just her mind that was growing - Uschi's breasts began to grow at the age of 11 (she strapped them in for appearances); by the time she was 15, they measured 40DD!
The following year, she left home to travel throughout France, Italy & England. During this time, it is believed she worked as a translator for jewelers (she was later an official translator for the United Nations). Asked where she had her start in film, Uschi would say -
"In Sweden, in avant garde films by Tiobylrn Axelman, very, very wayout. One is about the circus, and he has a composer write the music for the whole films. They are something like the French films of Jacques Tati, but with the Swedish humor. There is sex and nudity, of course, but very light, like he shows the nude body but not the pubic hair. And when he introduces sex he has a reason for it, which I like, and they are not skinflicks. He is simply free to use sex, because in Sweden you grow up being nude, more or less."
After her work with Axelman, Uschi was to pursue theatre in Switzerland before finally moving to Hollywood to begin modeling:
"I did pretty-girl modeling first for all major magazines and in all the double-folds and covers, and so the agency started to get calls from people who wanted to use me in films. These were skinflicks, but usually films which had a story and had a reason for the sex, but they did have nudity so they would call them sexploitation pictures. Some of them were pretty good and made good money."
Her first films appeared in 1968. By now, Uschi had rapidly became one of the most photographed men's magazine models of all time. Even if she had disappeared from the public eye at this point, she would undoubtedly be immortalized by breast-fans the world over.
Two years later however, Uschi had her big break - a match-up that would catapult her to superstar status - when titman extraordinaire Russ Meyer found that a reel of his new film Cherry, Harry, & Raquel! was destroyed (in a fire, or lost by the lab, or never even shot, depending on what you read). In order to make up the time, he featured 'Astrid Lillimor' (surely one of Uschi's best aliases) as Soul, who speaks Swedish, hangs out in the desert, and IMHO makes the film.
Uschi is rumoured to have had a close relationship with Mr. Meyer (she denies they had an affair), and went on to appear in several more of his films including Supervixens, the rarely-seen The Seven Minutes, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, and finally Pandora Peaks, for which she did some exciting voice work. She even received an associate producer credit on Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens.
Some of her better appearances in film during this period would include Pleasures of a Woman, Getting Into Heaven, The Toy Box (wherein Uschi is seduced by some bedsheets!), Superchick, Ilsa, Harem-Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, The Black Gestapo, explosive lesbian action in Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again, her unforgettable turn in The Kentucky Fried Movie, and loops like Uschi! or Breast Orgy I & II.
Many of these treasures have only become available again in the last few years after decades of sub-sub-ultra-obscurity. In that way, now is a great time to be an Uschi fan.
After the 1970s, as we all know now, it became increasingly difficult to sell people on softcore; Russ Meyer subsequently retired from making films, and Uschi began to appear in more risqué fare - titles like Disco Sex Party with John Holmes and frequent co-star Candy Samples - without actually going all the way onscreen.
As the 80s continued, Uschi made just a handful of films, and continued to shoot increasingly suggestive pictorials. She also wrote an advice and letters column for Gent magazine from 1980-1985. Overall though, her disappearance from the public eye began in earnest. I have also read that she was a huge star in Asia, and had her own perfume there - but again, this may or may not be so.
Uschi retired from film and print in 1989 (or 1992), although she had an official website in the early 1990s (a new website appears to be official, though I highly doubt it given that her birthplace on-site is listed as North Dakota, and there are some pictures which I don't even believe are Uschi).
She is reportedly happily married, and dividing her time now between Palm Springs and North Hollywood. I am torn between wanting to respect her privacy, and wishing someone somewhere would convince her to approve a documentary on her life so the world could know more of her time here.
Regardless, I hope she is very, very, very happy.