After training in a stage school in acting and drama, Koo Stark decided to embark upon an acting career and was first seen in the comedy ‘All I Want Is You... and You... and You...’ in 1974. She played the role of Jennifer Ready in the Bob Kellett film, and the movie was successful at the box office.
In 1975, she appeared in a minor role in the popular film ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ Later in the same year, she played the role of Ana in the drama ‘Las adolescentes’, directed by Pedro Masó. Starring the likes of Anthony Andrews and Susan Player, the movie was a disaster, both commercially and critically.
She made her TV debut in 1975 as well with an appearance in the short-lived drama TV series ‘Shades of Greene’. In the episode titled ‘The Blue Film’, she played the role of the lead girl. Despite an impressive performance, the series did not take off.
In 1976, Koo Stark starred in the movie ‘The Awakening of Emily’ where she starred alongside Sarah Brackett and Victor Spinetti. The movie was deemed to be softly pornographic and performed poorly and at the box office.
In 1977, she was first seen in the TV series ‘The Sunday Drama’ as Deborah in the episode ‘The Cuckoo Calls’. Later, she played the role of Justine Jerome in the Chris Boger movie ‘Cruel Passion’. She starred alongside Martin Potter and Lydia Lisle; however, the movie was declared a flop.
Apart from acting, Stark steadily developed a reputation as a photographer in the 1980s. She was invited by Gene Nocon to display her photographs at his exhibition ‘Personal Points of View’ in 1983.
In the mid-1980s, Stark started training under Norman Parkinson, a celebrated fashion photographer, in Tobago. Eventually, he became her mentor and she landed a book deal for her work. In 1985, Stark released her book ‘Contrasts’ and it was a huge success in the art world.
Parallelly, Koo Stark continued working in films. She was next seen in the Steve Barron comedy drama ‘Electric Dream’ in 1984. The movie performed well at the box office, and Stark received many good reviews for her performance as well.
Despite a successful career on the large screen, Koo Stark increasingly gravitated toward photography and began expanding her portfolio to include reportage, landscapes, still life, and other popular genres of photography. Her successful book, ‘Contrasts’, was later staged as an exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery in 1985.
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In 1986, she appeared in an episode of ‘The Two Ronnies’ as Alice and later played a role in ‘Eat the Rich’ the following year. With her interest moving toward photography, Stark focused less on movies. Her last acting role was in 1991, when she played the role of Miss Scarlett in the series ‘Cluedo’.
After retiring from the big screen, Stark exclusively focused on her photography. In 1994, she hosted the exhibition ‘The Stark Image’ at the Gallery Bar in Park Lane. Her work was also featured in Holbein Place in Belgravia.
In 2001, her exhibition ‘Stark Images’ was displayed at Dimbola Lodge, Isle of Wight and at Fruitmarket Gallery, Market Street, Edinburgh. Her next exhibition took place after nine years in 2010. She showcased ‘Portraits by Koo Stark’ at Winter Gardens, Ventnor in Isle of Wight.
Her reputation steadily grew, and her work eventually featured in various reputed magazines. Currently, her portraits are displayed in the National Gallery and are part of the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 2011, her exhibition ‘Koo Stark: Contrasts’ was held at Dimbola Lodge from February to April. She followed this up with a solo exhibition titled ‘Kintsugi’, which was displayed first at Leica Gallery in Mayfair and later at Leica store in Manchester in May and August 2017, respectively.
Her latest exhibition ‘Kintsugi Portraits’ was held at the San Lorenzo in Beauchamp Place, London in November 2017. She continues to work as a photographer and hopes to hold more solo exhibitions in the future.
Family & Personal Life
Koo Stark grew infamous for her relationship with Prince Andrew in the 1980s. She first met him in February 1981 and grew close over the next two years. They were even spotted holidaying together and it was generally understood that this was a serious love affair.
Koo Stark’s association with Prince Andrew brought her undue attention and she was constantly hounded by the press and paparazzi. She and Andrew split up in 1983 owing to the unwelcome attention, and she remained friends with him afterward.
In August 1984, she married Tim Jeffries, a photograph gallery manager, in Hampstead. It wasn’t a public wedding, and the couple decided to keep their wedding as low-profile as possible. However, their marriage soured, and they divorced in 1990.
She was in a relationship with the American banker Warren Walker, and the couple was engaged to be married. However, Walker ended their relationship before this. Stark and Walker have a daughter, Tatiana, who was born in May 1997. Prince Andrew became her godfather.