Published on June 26th, 2012 | by Kiron Ramdewar0
The ladies behind Lara
Today Square Enix announced that Camilla Luddington will be playing the “performance actress” for the new Tomb Raider game. What you may not have realised is that over the years many beautiful women have played the British explorer. So we have decided to have an unashamed look back at the different Lara’s that have represented the Tomb Raider franchise over the years.
Nathalie Cook – 1996
Back in the 90′s you could create your own marketing content for games without being sued by someone. Such was the case when PC Gamer singled out Cook as their favourite Lara lookalike.
While she was not initially hired by the game’s developers, Eidos, she got quite a bit of time in the limelight and opened a shopping centre in Birmingham, appeared on the front cover of PC Gamer’s 1996 Christmas issue and eventually was selected to appear in a Tomb Raider commercial.
Rhona Mitra 1997 – 1998
This was the first Lara Croft to be chosen by Eidos, who were developing the Tomb Raider series at the time.
During her time as Lara, Mitra covered a lot of ground to promote the game, attending press events, interviews and even creating her own awful single titled, “Getting Naked” – how appropriate.
Mitra took her role very seriously. The actress had cosmetic surgery (from her father) to increase her breast size from a 34A to a 34DD and took media training courses to help her deal with her new role.
Unlike many of the other models in this list, Mitra has gone onto better things. She has a decent acting career which has seen her appear in Nip/Tuck, Ali G In Da House and Hollow Man.
Nell McAndrew 1998 – 1999
The most controversial of the Lara’s on the list, Nell McAndrew oddly has gone on to become the most successful.
The Leeds-born glamour model went under the knife for the role and was used heavily to promote the release of Tomb Raider 3.
Everything was going fine until she appeared on the front cover of Playboy with, “Nell McAndrew A.K.A Lara Croft NUDE,” slapped all over the cover. This prompted Eidos to sever ties with McAndrew, firing the glamour model.
Lara Weller 1999 – 2000
The only one of our actresses to actually be born with our heroine’s first name, Lara Weller seemed to have been destined for this role.
She was spotted while modelling in the Netherlands. After seeing her, Eidos shoved her in a skin-tight top, shorts and gave her a couple of guns.
Her career lasted while Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation was being pushed to the public.
“Since playing Lara, I’ve done some more modelling, but now I run and manage events and I’m also training to be a yoga teacher,” Weller said.
Lucy Clarkson 2000 – 2002
The fourth official Lara Croft model was the youngest to date. At the age of 17 she was just starting her modelling career and her work on Tomb Raider helped to boost her career.
Speaking about her selection as the new Lara Croft, Clarkson said:
“I’d been in South Africa on a modelling job and they’d told me to lose weight. I didn’t fancy that so I was on my way home. And that was when I got the call telling me I was the new Lara. It was such fantastic news. It’s such a high profile job – and one of the few that lets you keep your boobs and bum.”
Jill De Jong 2002 – 2006
Standing as the tallest of the pack, De Jong touted a solid 6ft. While she had all of the assets to make a good Lara Croft, she will always be remembered for the dismal Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. The game she was promoting was hyped up to the highest possible levels. Lara was leaving her familiar tombs and pyramids for an urban setting. After the whole thing backfired, De Jong never wore the iconic outfit again.
She modelled for Ralph Lauren and now De Jong lives in the United States and is pursuing a career in acting.
Karima Adebibe 2006 – 2008
Hired to work for the release of Tomb Raider: Legend, Adebibe was given extensive training in combat, vehicle control (bikes, 4×4 ect.) and elocution.
Oddly enough Adebibe had not been a model before her role as Lara, instead she was discovered while working in a Topshop store as a sales assistant.
She left her position as Lara in early 2008 to try to create a modelling career for herself.
Alison Carroll, 2008 – 2012
The model, actress and gymnast Carroll seemed to fit the role of Lara perfectly. Her curvy figure gave the sexual symbol that was desired while her athleticism matched that of Miss Croft’s.
Indeed, Carroll herself was once a gymnast for Great Britain and helped to coach the junior team in the British National Gymnastics Championships.
Like Adebibe she was trained in certain areas that mimicked Lara’s skill-set such as weapons, combat and archaeology.
Camilla Luddington, 2012 – present
The newest Lara of the bunch was announced earlier today. Luddington was hand picked by Square Enix as they look for a new “performance actress” for the Tomb Raider re-boot. While we don’t know that much about this girl it is nice to see that Square gone for a character that seems to fit the role, rather than the size of her boobs.
Luddington has previously worked on US dramas such as True Blood, Californiacation and other smaller TV shows.
Of course we have Angelina Jolie who played Lara Croft in the Hollywood films. The feisty brunette brought her sexual bravado to the big screen in a video game adaptation, that while not to our tastes, entertained quite a few. So many that Jolie was brought back to work on a sequel to the first film, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
Some may not know this but Katie Price (A.K.A Jordan) has also worked as a Lara model. The glamour model was spotted in a picture with a very happy Ian Livingstone. At the time she still had not had the mountains of surgery that make her the Barbie doll she is today, so you may not recognise her from the picture, but believe us, it’s her.
Other than that we have the Chinese Lara Crofts who were spotted handing out traffic warnings and the cosplayers across the world.
Long live Lara!