She was the heroine in the Edgar Wallace and Karl May films, shared the screen with legends such as Christopher Lee and is known to Bond fans for portraying treacherous Bond-Girl Helga Brandt in ‘You Only Live Twice’. Now 79, concerns are growing for the health of feisty Karin Dor
It was on a holiday in South Tyrol in July 2016 that German actress Dor suffered a fall after being accidentally rammed by a woman with a pram. The backwards fall onto the concrete resulted in a gashing 4 cm headwound that had to be stitched in hospital. She also lost her memory for the duration nof an hour. According to Dor, the doctors did neither detect the brain concussion nor the intracranial injury.
Only during the rehearsals for the theatre play “Der dressierte Mann” (“The trained husband”) weeks after her fall, she got the right diagnosis and treatment. “I was often dizzy and would have needed rest”, said Dor in an interview from November 2016.
Even months after the accident, the after effects were still present and the actress wasn’t feeling up to her usual energetic self. “Sometimes, my knees begin to buckle and I use a walking aid to be safe.” Her attitude however remained positive and, despite her doctors advising against it, she continued working as an actress.
However, being three weeks away from the premiere of her Munich theatre play, Dor felt, she could not just skip out on the theatre and her fellow actors. By that time, she was already experiencing limited motor function in her right leg.
Suddenly, in January 2017, she relapsed. Her ambitions and sense of duty in her professional life had turned out to be too much for her. “I fell back five months. When I woke up, I could just manage tiny steps. Then came this incredibly dizziness, that was unpleasent”, reports a saddened Karin Dor. “I was able to walk fine, otherwise I could not have played theatre. But now it will probably take another for to six months.”
Between October and November 2016, she had appeared on stage every evening performing in “Der dressierte Mann” at the Komödie am Bayerischen Hof in Munich. “I should not have done that. If the brain had had more time to regenerate, this thing would likely be over by now”, said the actress in a January 2017 interview. “The most important thing now is my health”, she added.
Bond fans first became concerned when autograph requests came back in Spring 2017 with an attached note by Dors manager, cryptically saying that “she would not be able to sign again.”
More recently, there have been reports of a filming ban for Karin Dor due to her health problems and the time she needs to fully recover. The actress will celebrate her 80th birthday in February 2018.