Sue Lloyd

d. Oct. 20, 2011

Sue Lloyd, British actress best known for playing secret agents in the 1965 film “The Ipcress File” and the 1966 TV series The Baron, died Oct. 20 in a London hospital after a long illness. She was 72.

“The Ipcress File,” one of the critical and popular successes of the 1960s spy craze, was the first of Len Deighton’s novels filmed with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, a sardonic and larcenous army sergeant impressed into the Secret Service. In her first film role, Lloyd played Palmer’s fellow agent and romantic conquest, a character billed as Jean but referred to as Courtney through most of the picture. Caine played Palmer again in “Funeral in Berlin” (1966) and “Billion Dollar Brain” (1967), and revived the character 30 years later in a pair of low-budget films that debuted on cable television, “Bullet to Beijing” and “Midnight in St. Petersburg.” Lloyd returned as Jean in a cameo appearance in “Beijing.”

“The Ipcress File” and 1966’s “Alfie” made Caine a star, while Lloyd continued as a dependable and sought-after supporting player. After working as a dancer and a model, she studied acting with Jeff Corey in Los Angeles. She made her acting debut — playing a model — in an episode of the short-lived 1963 British television series The Sentimental Agent, and went on to appear in such adventure series as The Saint, The Avengers, The Persuaders, Department S, Jason King, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Journey to the Unknown and The Sweeney.

The Baron was one of the less successful of ITC’s many 1960s adventure series. American actor Steve Forrest played John Mannering, a London-based antiques dealer whose expertise and connections were useful to British Intelligence. Lloyd was British agent Cordelia Winfield, who worked with Mannering while posing as his assistant in the antiques business. The show ran for only one series of 30 episodes, appearing first in the United States on ABC in January 1966, then on British television beginning in September 1966.

Lloyd made her stage debut in London’s West End playing John Steed’s least known partner in an ill-fated stage version of The Avengers. Simon Oates played Steed; Lloyd was Mrs. Hannah Wild, a new character but one who was strongly reminiscent of Steed’s female TV partners. The show ran for only a month in 1971.

Her other films included “Carnage” (1968) with Peter Cushing, “Where’s Jack?” (1969) with Stanley Baker, “Lola” (1970) with Charles Bronson, “Revenge of the Pink Panther” (1978) with Peter Sellers, and “Rough Cut” (1980) with Burt Reynolds. She was in two other spy films, both of the low-budget and little-seen variety: “Innocent Bystanders” (1972) starring Stanley Baker and Steve Forrest’s actor brother Dana Andrews, and “No. 1 of the Secret Service” (1977), one of a series of cheap 007 knockoffs starring Nicky Henson. Lloyd also co-starred with Joan Collins in “The Stud” (1978) and “The Bitch” (1979), both based on trashy novels written by Collins’ sister Jackie.

British TV viewers also knew Lloyd for a six-year stint in the 1980s in the long-running evening serial Crossroads. She was largely retired from acting when she was reunited with Caine for her brief appearance in “Bullet to Beijing,” shot in 1994 but unseen until it premiered on The Movie Channel in 1997.


Simon Oates as John Steed and Sue Lloyd as Mrs. Hannah Wild in the 1971 stage version of “The Avengers.”

Sue Lloyd in “The Ipcress File”

(above); with Steve Forrest in

“The Baron” (left); in a 1963

publicity shot (below).

As Cordelia in “The Baron” (above); with Michael Caine in a publicity still for “The Ipcress File” (left).