Tuesday, November 23, 2010
RIP Ingrid Pitt
Her popularity in Hammer Film Productions made her a cult figure.
Hammer horror actress Ingrid Pitt, best known for starring in cult classics such as Countess Dracula, has died at the age of 73.
The Polish-born star passed away at a hospital in south London after collapsing a few days ago.
She was regarded by many fans as the queen of Hammer Horror films.
The star's death comes weeks after film-maker Roy Ward Baker, who directed Pitt in The Vampire Lovers, died at the age of 93.
Pitt's daughter told the BBC News website that her mother's death had come as a "huge surprise".
After the actress has collapsed recently, doctors told her was she suffering from heart failure.
"She could be incredibly generous, loving, and she'll be sorely missed," Mrs Blake said.
She added that she wanted her mother to be remembered as the Countess Dracula with the "wonderful teeth and the wonderful bosom".
Official Hammer historian Marcus Hearn paid tribute to the star, calling her a "talented actress and fine writer". All fans of Hammer and of British horror are going to miss her terribly” He added: "She was partly responsible for ushering in a bold and brazen era of sexually explicitly horror films in the 1970s, but that should not denigrate her abilities as an actress." A good friend of the actress, Mr Hearn said she was "gloriously uninhibited" and "great fun to be with".
Although she was not the first female star of a Hammer film, Mr Hearn said she had always been "very proud" of becoming the first prominent female protagonist in a Hammer after her role in The Vampire Lovers.
She began her career with fairly minor roles in several Spanish films in the mid-1960s.
But in 1968 she landed a supporting role in war movie Where Eagles Dare, appearing alongside Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton.
The actress got her breakthrough role two years later in the horror thriller The Vampire Lovers, which was a box office success.
Several Hammer movies followed, firmly establishing her as one of the key women of British horror of the 1970s.
Her other film credits included The Wicker Man (1973), Who Dares Wins (1982), Smiley's People (1982) and Wild Geese II (1985).
Pitt made regular appearances at horror conventions and penned several books about her career in the genre.
PITT, Ingrid (Ingoushka Petrov)
Born: 11/21/1937, Treblinka, Poland
Died: 11/23/2010, South London, London, England, U.K.
Ingrid Pitt's western - actress:
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) - 1967 (Tallie Montreaux)