Actress Alexandra Bastedo was a vegetarian, animal rights supporter, and the founder of ABC Animal Sanctuary. She was famous for her roles in Batman Begins (2005), The Champions (1968) and Casino Royale (1967).
Bastedo's film career did not take her to Hollywood, but mainly to Spain, where she made a string of films, including The Blood Splattered Bride (1972). She was also in the British horror film The Ghoul (1975, alongside Peter Cushing). Having become fluent in Italian, French and Spanish, she co-hosted the Miss World beauty pageant from 1987 until 1989. She continued to appear on television, with guest roles in series such as Boon (1988) and Absolutely Fabulous (1992). More recently, she played Cynthia Marshall in EastEnders (2008) and a Gotham society dame in Batman Begins (2005).
Happily married and semi-retired from acting by the close of the 1980s, she moved to Chichester with her husband, Patrick Garland. There she returned to her initial vocation in animal welfare as president of her local branch of the RSPCA, before departing to found the Alexandra Bastedo Champions (ABC) Animal Sanctuary near Pulborough, West Sussex. By the turn of the century the ABC Sanctuary housed over 180 abandoned animals, including pigs, rabbits, ferrets, ducks, hens, geese and turkeys. Her autobiography, Beware Dobermanns, Donkeys and Ducks, was published in 1993; and she also wrote several animal welfare books.