While we’re on the subject of Hammer Films, let me take this post to focus on the lovely, Ingrid Pitt. Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland in 1937, she led a very tumultuous life before settling in Hollywood to pursue an acting career in the 1960’s.
She appeared in a few films during that time including Doctor Zhivago and Where Eagles Dare, but she is most well known for the work she did with Hammer Films in the early seventies. Most cinephiles tend to focus on Hammer's leading men like Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, but it was sultry vixens like Ms. Pitt that drew me to their catalogue. Her performances in Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula just oozed sensuality, but it was more than that. She was the predator, rather than the prey, which was something quite rare back in those days.
Pitt as Mircalla Karnstein in Vampire Lovers (left) & as Carla Lind in The House That Dripped Blood.
Pitt was also an accomplished writer, publishing several books including the spy novel Cuckoo Run, her autobiography Life’s A Scream and The Bedside Companion for Vampire Lovers. During the 1980’s, she started up her own theatre company, subsequently starring in productions of Dial M for Murder and Woman of Straw.